Page 1 of 10 12345678 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 118
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    373

    Should another return be helpful for basement system?

    We had our basement system inspected and tuned-up last Tuesday. The system is a 2003 Trane XR11 1.5 ton heat pump that heats and cools the finished 2200 sq ft basement. I questioned the tech about if a return should be added to the system to help the game room feel more comfortable in the winter. He was able to increase airflow to the system. The current supply serving the room is a 6 inch. He said that a 6 inch return could be added but he also said that it was not really needed and it will have to go in the ceiling. There are currently 2 other returns (One is a 12 inch in the theater room where the thermostat is located and the other is a 6 inch located in the man cave (billiards room). Both of those returns are located on the lower section of the wall. There's a total of 6 supplies in the basement: an 8 inch in the theater room, a 6 inch in the man cave, a 6 inch in the music room, a 6 inch in the workshop, a 4 inch in the unfinished bathroom (which will be finished starting this spring) and of course the 6 inch in the game room. The workshop and music room supplies are coming off an 8 inch trunk. All of the supplies are located in the ceiling.

    My question is, is he right that a return will not be needed? Are the current 2 returns enough for the system?
    Thanks in advanced.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,476
    Is it a gas furnace or an electric (heat) fan coil? There is enough airflow, 800cfm, assuming that it's steel (solid) pipe, but just barely.

    However, there is no room for any airflow balancing. Is the large return able to service the majority of the area iwthout being "closed off"?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,476
    I recounted to cfm of the supplies..........you have about 650cfm there.

    I always oversize my supplies (and returns) for balancing reasons. It never hurts to have too much airflow. Problems arise when there is not enough, i.e; lack of comfort, less efficiency and shortened equipment life.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    5,821
    Usually if a room is hot or cold it is not resolved by adding small return

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    Is it a gas furnace or an electric (heat) fan coil? There is enough airflow, 800cfm, assuming that it's steel (solid) pipe, but just barely.

    However, there is no room for any airflow balancing. Is the large return able to service the majority of the area iwthout being "closed off"?
    It's a fan coil with electric backup heat. The other two systems in my house have gas heat (except main level system is dual fuel). All of the ductwork is flex. For the large return it is able to serve the whole theater room and with the door to the game room open all the time, It helps just a little, but still feels much cooler in there, and air flow is very weak in there as well. My son plans to move his bedroom to the game room in the future and he likes to keep his door closed. A 6 inch return was added to the man cave because when that room was finished the 6 inch supply was added. The system was installed several years before the man cave room was finished. That room is located far away from the 12 inch return.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    I recounted to cfm of the supplies..........you have about 650cfm there.

    I always oversize my supplies (and returns) for balancing reasons. It never hurts to have too much airflow. Problems arise when there is not enough, i.e; lack of comfort, less efficiency and shortened equipment life.
    Thanks for the info. I forgot to question the tech if increasing the supply duct size to an 8 inch will help for the game room, but I don't know if it's a good idea or not.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by SBKold View Post
    Usually if a room is hot or cold it is not resolved by adding small return
    Thanks. So are you saying that the room does not need a return?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,476
    Electric heat, I believe, needs more airflow than gas. Flexible duct is an airflow killer.

    Add more return and more supply. I agree with SBK, to a degree, by adding just return air doesn't always make a room more comfortable, but, if a system is short on RA, it does effect to supply side. But you're short on both supply and return. Forget the 6" materials, that's a waste of time, money and energy!

    Your house must be very nice (and large) to have 3 systems. Were the 3 systems installed when the home was built? I would love to visit GA.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,630
    Probably more "don't get your hopes too high" as it's not likely to be a major tipping point.

    You probably need more supply and balancing as well. See George's comments.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    Electric heat, I believe, needs more airflow than gas. Flexible duct is an airflow killer.

    Add more return and more supply. I agree with SBK, to a degree, by adding just return air doesn't always make a room more comfortable, but, if a system is short on RA, it does effect to supply side. But you're short on both supply and return. Forget the 6" materials, that's a waste of time, money and energy!

    Your house must be very nice (and large) to have 3 systems. Were the 3 systems installed when the home was built? I would love to visit GA.
    Thanks for the input. I do agree that flexible duct can kill airflow. Is it okay for the return to be located in the ceiling?

    Our house is pretty large. The main level and upstairs systems were installed when the house was built back in 2002 and the basement system was installed right before the basement was finished in November 2003. Georgia is a nice state!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The Quad-Cities area (midwest).
    Posts
    2,476
    Does the basement have a drop ceiling? Is it impossible to add a return duct from the mechanical room to the basement area? A ceiling return is better than nothing.

    I would assume the first floor system is in the basement? Where is the second floor system located?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by George2 View Post
    Does the basement have a drop ceiling? Is it impossible to add a return duct from the mechanical room to the basement area? A ceiling return is better than nothing.

    I would assume the first floor system is in the basement? Where is the second floor system located?
    Three of the rooms in the basement have drop ceiling (The game room, theater room, and music room). It's not impossible to add a return in the lower wall. Can it be a good idea to replace the 6 inch duct going to the game room with an 8 inch?

    The first floor system is in the basement and second floor system is in the attic.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    373
    In case this helps, here's the model number of the air handler:Name:  DSC00292.jpg
Views: 263
Size:  40.5 KB

Page 1 of 10 12345678 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Comfortech Show Promo Image

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor Magazine
Forums | Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Magazine
Comfortech365 Virtual Event