Question about cooling our basement a bit

catherinetJuly 23, 2011

We have a small, poured basement. Most of what's under the house is a 4' crawl space. I wish our basement were deeper, because it doesn't stay that cool. We also have a pressure tank, water heater, water softener and a geothermal furnace in this small space. The basement is about 10'x12'.

My husband has alot of nice wine in the basement, and used to have a window a.c. in the opening between the basement and the crawl space. But that became quite a hassle, and it stayed pretty cool without it for a number of years.

But now there's this heat wave and its too warm down there.

Question: We have central air and there are a couple ducts in the basement. Can we open a small section in one of those to let a bit of a.c. into the basement, and then close it up for winter? I was thinking of somehow cutting 3 sides of a square out and just pulling the aluminum down.........or.....could we put a couple small holes in it that could be easily plugged later??

Just curious if this is a reasonable course of action.

Thanks for your help.

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mike_home

What are decribing is a very common procedure. You can buy a register which can be opened closed as needed. The installation should not be too difficult. The register would be attached with sheet metal screws.

The only drawback is you would be stealing some amount of air flow from the rest of the house. You may not want to do this if your current air flow is weak.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 3:40PM
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catherinet

Thanks mike.
Do they sell registers that are specifically for the side of ducts?
Our house cools really nicely, so I think we could stand to give a little to the basement. We could always close the register off if it doesn't work out.
Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:49PM
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mike_home

You can use a standard register. I am sure you have find them at Lowe's or Home Depot.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:02PM
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ionized_gw

Have you checked the basement for radon?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 1:44PM
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catherinet

Yes, we have a radon fan that takes care of under the small basement floor and a radon barrier in the crawl space. Why do you ask?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 2:50PM
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ionized_gw

Bringing up air from a basement that has not been checked for radon is not a good idea. It sounds like you have that covered.

Is the basement dry or humid? If humid, it will add a more significant load than you might expect from the temperature.

What kind of water heater do you have there? Depending on your climate and what you use to heat water, you could consider adding a heat pump water heater.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 10:39AM
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ionized_gw

I should have made more obvious that a HPWH will cool and dehumidify the basement, however, it will only do it when you are using hot water.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 10:43AM
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ionized_gw

I am still thinking about this. What are the sources of heat down there aside from the water heater? If that is it, the HPWH might solve your problem if it does not make it too cool in the winter.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 2:53PM
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