I recently bought a townhouse and noticed the gas consumption is very high,
and we're only into the middle of the fall. The townhouse has forced hot
air heat. The house has a relatively large finished basement, and since I
don't use it except for storage I've decided not to bother heating the
basement. I've closed off the regular/ordinary heating supply vents in the
basement. However, the basement also has return vents (one in the main
room, one in a closet that is relatively close to the furnace room, and
another return vent that is in the furnace room itself, located directly on
the main return duct)
My question is this: If I don't intend to heat the basement, is there any
reason to keep any of the vents (either return or supply) opened within the
basement itself? To me this seems like a waste of heating power.
Am I correct in thinking I can simply close off all the supply air vents and
all return vents within in the basement itself, and this will cause the
heating system to focus on the main living areas? (By the way, the house I
just sold had LOW heating bills and I did not have ANY supply or return
vents opened in the basement (there was only one return and one supply and I
closed both of them all year)
One problem is the return vents in the new townhouse do not have any
built-in adjustment lever that would allow for closure. Can I just use the
magnetic covers (designed specifically for this purpose) to close them?
Another question: besides the basement, my townhouse has 2 levels. I
noticed that, by default, more air flow comes out of the downstairs vents.
Is it more efficient to keep the downstairs supply vents *partially*
to allow for more airflow upstairs, or would it be more efficient not to do
that since the heat will tend to rise even with less forced air flowing out
of the of upstairs vents vs. the downstairs vents?