Adding return air from a heated basement in a high radon area

When building my house in CT, return air ducts are not put into basements because of radon, at least along the coast where radon levels are high. In prepaing for an addition to the house, I will be adding radon remediation. I don't like the pressure differences in the house currently as the basement has supply ducts but no return ducts, and feel that adding returns will help with better more consistent temperatures throughout the house. I'll also be adding an ERV to the current HVAC system during the addition process. I'm curious if anyone has done this process and what the results were.

Views: 586

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Gary,

As you certainly know, omitting returns in the basement isn't exactly a solution for radon :).  Preparation for radon in new homes is an absolute must for people in locations like yours and mine, problem areas.  Any new home built without such could face a huge penalty when it comes time to sell.  Any major renovation like what your planning is a good time to play catch-up. 

I still remember the first home in our neighborhood that failed a radon test, at least the first I heard about.  I think a haunted house would have been easier to sell.  As time has passed, that fear has switched places with one of not having the remediation in place, now that everyone has accepted that the radon is always going to be there and needs to be taken care of.

Back to your house, if you do a great job of remediation, I would not be worried about the heating system circulating basement air into the house.  If the remaining level is higher than you would like, then isolating the basement with its own HRV and heat is possible. 

Your first step is the remediation and a look at those results.

As for the consistent temperatures throughout the house, that is a process of delivering the right amount of heat to the right places and you are correct that return air is a big part of that. 

Bud

A thorough sealing of the duct system, including the furnace cabinet should do a lot to remove pressure differences from the air handler. Radon issues aside, there are a number of reasons to avoid basement returns.

Greg, what are the numerous reasons you mention?

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Griffin Hagle replied to Tom Conlon's discussion Whole House Fans - Love 'Em or Not?
"I was aware of but unfamiliar with them until moving to Southern California in 2012. After seeing…"
1 hour ago
tedkidd commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"David,  I don't think forcing people to do things works out well for anyone.  Any…"
2 hours ago
David Eakin commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
""I believe it is our job to educate the consumer, understand the problems, help them…"
2 hours ago
Profile IconGary Fitzgerald, LOUIS ANDERSON and Jeremy Hargreaves joined Home Energy Pros
3 hours ago
eric anderson replied to Tom Conlon's discussion Whole House Fans - Love 'Em or Not?
"In Connecticut’s climate, I am not in favor of them . Either they are the big old style that…"
4 hours ago
Don Fitchett replied to Brandon Walton's discussion 12 Things Every Home Performance Contractor Should Have on Their Work Truck
"Every little bit helps. :)"
4 hours ago
Tom White commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"Ted, I understand and share your concern about the lack of guidance on the part of the "Home…"
4 hours ago
Mike Kandel added a discussion to the group Building Performance Institute (BPI)
5 hours ago
Mike Kandel posted a discussion
5 hours ago
tedkidd commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"David,  Please think some of these things through.  If programs suck so much, how can…"
6 hours ago
Hannah Finch posted a blog post

Stump Duncan, Innovate with Colby, and Save on RaterFest! 2014

RaterFest! 2014 Speaker Spotlight!Presenter:  Duncan PrahlTopic: Duck, Ducks, and more Ducts…See More
7 hours ago
David Eakin commented on Scott Mellberg's blog post Lessons from Energy Efficiency Advisors: Getting Homeowners Onboard with Home Performance
"Consultation and education are all well and good, but we have found that the…"
7 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service