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Huge air returns into basement

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  • Jan 9th, 2019 3:08 am
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 4, 2019
32 posts
6 upvotes

Huge air returns into basement

Hello,

I have 2 large air returns on my main floor that lead directly into the basement. I also have air return vents on my main floor that run through ducting into the furnace, but these vents are literally just holes in the floor that lead to the basement and are covered by a vent.

It’s and older house and I am going to be replacing the flooring. Is there any issue with getting rid of these vents?

Thanks
10 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 10, 2006
2223 posts
255 upvotes
Kitchener
Your HVAC system needs return air to work properly. I wouldn't cover anything over without having an HVAC person in the home to give you advice.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 4, 2019
32 posts
6 upvotes
That's why I'm confused - there are already multiple return vents that run through ductwork directly to the furnace.

These are just 2 "vents" that don't tie into the hvac system at all. They are just square cutouts in the main floor, and if you remove the vent, you could fit inside the opening and you'd be in the basement.

I don't understand why they were added or why they might be needed. I will try to add a pic tomorrow.
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
3837 posts
1841 upvotes
dani6634 wrote: That's why I'm confused - there are already multiple return vents that run through ductwork directly to the furnace.

These are just 2 "vents" that don't tie into the hvac system at all. They are just square cutouts in the main floor, and if you remove the vent, you could fit inside the opening and you'd be in the basement.

I don't understand why they were added or why they might be needed. I will try to add a pic tomorrow.
Do you have any actual return air vents in the basement? If not than they would be relief vents in order to get the air out of the basement that the furnace blew in, assuming you have any supply air vents in the basement.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 4, 2019
32 posts
6 upvotes
There are supply vents in the basement, but no returns that lead through ducts into the furnace.

Is there any way to eliminate the ones I have and have returns that pull the air back from the basement?
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2891 posts
1122 upvotes
Those are not air return vents at all.

They are heating vents from what is commonly known as a gravity furnace heating system. Essentially a big burner located in a central area of the basement, and large vents in the floor above, and even the floor above that, which allowed the hot air to rise.

You can close them up, and donate the old grates to the guy who answered your question.

Cheers
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Addict
May 17, 2012
2351 posts
1086 upvotes
ontario
Fieldhousehandyman likely has it.. these are also common in homes where wood (ie wood stove) is/was used as a source of heat in the basement allowing the warm air to rise to the other levels easier. If you still have wood heat leave em.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 8, 2002
12096 posts
3405 upvotes
GTA
You could install a firemans pole to create a quick way of getting to the basement. Wheeeeeeeeeee !!
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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 17, 2004
2639 posts
910 upvotes
Hugh Jass wrote: You could install a firemans pole to create a quick way of getting to the basement. Wheeeeeeeeeee !!
And here I was going to say laundry chute, but that’s a much better idea.

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