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: 1113

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

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Jan Green liked Chris Laumer-Giddens's blog post Rock Wool Insulation for Floor of High Performance Tiny House
18 hours ago
Carly Maltais posted a discussion

Comparing the AirCycler g2 and HRV [Infographic]

AirCycler is excited to share that we have recently launched a new version of our…See More
22 hours ago
SolyMoly, Inc posted discussions
yesterday
Home Energy Magazine's blog post was featured
yesterday
Brad Cook replied to Jim Tenhundfeld's discussion LED's and motion sensors
"I don't know what it stands for. See RAB.com"
Saturday
Jim Tenhundfeld replied to Jim Tenhundfeld's discussion LED's and motion sensors
"That makes sense since the same thing happened with dimmable CFL's.  I have never heard…"
Saturday
Brad Cook replied to Jim Tenhundfeld's discussion LED's and motion sensors
"My first thought is whether the motion sensor and/or the LED lamp is a cheap one. I had so many…"
Saturday
John Wagner joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
Friday

Home Energy Pros

Welcome to Home Energy Pros – the unique digital community by and for those who work in the home energy performance arena.

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (supported 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. Please honor our Guidelines

© 2017   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service