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: 746

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.  Home Energy Pros is sponsored by the Better Buildings Residential Network.

Latest Activity

Evan Mills replied to Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA's discussion Green Mortgage Appraisal Roundtable
"Would love see your slides, but the AI site requires login.  Can you post them here or email…"
4 hours ago
Colin Genge posted a blog post

What needs to be done to get builders to follow Code for duct and envelope leakage?

“Have you been ripped off for $100,000 by your builder?  Let us help you get what you paid for! …See More
10 hours ago
Green Training USA posted an event
Thumbnail

Proctor’s Without Borders at Online

July 29, 2015 to August 7, 2015
Complete your training at your own pace and take exams when you want and where you want. No…See More
19 hours ago
Gar Swaffar commented on Gar Swaffar's blog post Cost of using a BPI QCI?
"Ip.s., I would presume there will be a difference between the Left Coast and nearly everywhere else."
yesterday
Gar Swaffar posted a blog post

Cost of using a BPI QCI?

I'd like to find out if there is a consensus on a rule of thumb cost of a QCI onsite for…See More
yesterday
Gar Swaffar is now a member of Home Energy Pros
yesterday
Colin Genge posted an event

Infiltration and Duct Leakage with BPI at Online

July 30, 2015 from 1pm to 2pm
Blower door and duct test requirementsCalculating resultsCertification optionsTest preparation and…See More
yesterday
Stacy Hunt posted an event

Volunteers needed for the upcoming U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA at Orange County Great Park

October 8, 2015 at 11am to October 18, 2015 at 7pm
Volunteer for the upcoming U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015, taking place Oct. 8-18…See More
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service