The Importance Of Good Basement Ventilation
Common Sense Basement Ventilation Ideas To Help Avoid Making Your New Home Theater An Uncomfortable Place.
When finishing your basement, its important to spend some time thinking about air ventilation. Most homes with central heating and unfinished basements have air ducts jetting out of the basement ceiling between the exposed floorjoists. Half of these ducts should provide an air supply and the other half would be cold air returns.Get more near the floor
The problem with the ducts being on the ceiling is they don't provide good enough air flow down near the floor. When the furnace is running, warm air blows out from the ceiling. Since warm air rises, it tends to stay near the ceiling. You end up with a warm head but chilly feet. Basement ventilation isn't too much of a concern if the basement is unfinished, but you'll appreciate it more if you put a living room down there.
To make your new basement theater a comfortable place to be, you should consider moving the air supply ducts to within 1 foot of the floor. You can choose to also move the cold air returns near the floor or just leave them in the ceiling. You will find various opinions on this but I think either solution is fine.
To match the design of the rest of my house, I moved both sets of ducts to the bottom of the walls. I kept the same number of air supply ducts and merged the cold air returns into a larger return for each room. I redirected the air supply ducts to blow air toward any areas I would expect to be occupied. Places like where the seating will be and where the kids will be playing.
The cold air return is redirected to a wall right in the middle of the room so it can easily collect air from all corners of the room.
What you get out of moving your ducts in this way are comfortable winters, and proper dehumidification during the summer.
Most new homes now have devices called air exchangers. They recirculate the air in your home by swapping the inside air with air from the outside.
Even in the winter, a typical exchanger is about 65% efficient at recycling inside heat when taking air from the outside. Anyway, air exchangers also dehumidify the air. Exchangers are also hooked up to your central heating system and use its ductwork to deliver fresh air to all the rooms.Final thoughts
So if someone suggests to you that you'll be fine with all your ducts in the ceiling, politely say to them "Thanks, but no thanks". The time you'll spend improving your basement ventilation will pay off in spades when you actually have to spend a few hours down there when its the dead of winter.
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