TIME: 2 hours
NET RESULT +6 degrees to basement temp (average)
Well. Here it goes. My first blog post on the house. Let me say that the HVAC setup on a Ball home isn't the best. The house has an upstairs, main level, and a basement. The upstairs system has one return (right under the furnace), which makes it pretty loud. If you shut the bedroom doors, the system doesn't breathe at all. If I get a pile of money or get very brave, the upstairs may get a post in the blog. This post is about the basement system, which heats/cools the main level and basement. We had the home surveyed by a professional before we moved in. Fixed the critical stuff, but left some items for later. Much later in my case. We've lived here for 6.5 years (longest house I've had so far), so I finally decided that the basement was waaaay too cold. I'm talking we were in sleeping bags to watch a movie. I think one time I could actually see my breath.
I broke out the home survey which read, "NO RETURN FOUND BEING DRAWN FROM BASEMENT - MAY LEAD TO COOLER CONDITIONS DOWN THERE". That wasn't much to go on, so we had a couple of companies come out to do a quote. I never got the pricetag on either one after repeated calls, and I think I figured out why. It's easy.
After an hour surfing on YouTube and 2 trips to Lowe's, I had the parts for the job:
- Vent cover, Boot, 6" Metal duct, Elbow
- Skill Saw, Razor knife, Duct tape, Sharpie, Drill, Tin Snips
- 750ml Makers Mark, Ice, Plastic cup, Mexican Coke (for after the drill, saw, tin snips, and razor knife)
- Turn off furnace.
- Find a good place in the basement wall to install the intake vent. Cut a hole in your drywall for the vent boot very close to the floor. The cold air hangs out by the floor, so the closer the better. I drew lines for the cutout on the drywall and drilled starter holes for the Skill saw. This step makes a drywall mess.
- Find a good place to cut a hole in the return air duct. Make sure you cut the hole BEFORE the filter, so you get filtered air going through the furnace. Trace the elbow with a sharpie and cut out. I was able to cut mine easily with a razor knife.
- Install the elbow in the return air duct. Install the boot in the wall. Measure the distance to run the metal duct between the elbow and the boot. Say a few choice words. Measure again. Pray. Cut the metal duct with tin snips a little longer that what you think. Test fit. More choice words. Cut again to the right size. Assemble the metal duct and try to slide into elbow and boot. More words.
- Bourbon break. Hey, the sharp items and power tools are put away!
- Wiggle, push, more choice words, wiggle, and finally it's together in one piece. Tape up good with duct tape, so it doesn't leak.
- Install vent cover.
- Turn funace back on. Test airflow by putting a piece of paper over the grill to make sure it's sucking in air.
|My last mod to the basement, the electric heater. |
Note the timer, so the heater only runs when we need it.