HVAC cooling queston


Staff member
I have a split level ranch style home, and in the summer, the basement is always freezing, and the 1st floor is extremely hot and takes forever to cool down. So I started thinking, since my basement hasn't been finished yet, I could run pipes into my walls, with a nice wall outlet (think central vac style), and have a fan pump the cold air from downstairs to key areas on my first floor.

If I seal the fan end with something like a dryer vent (so smoke or fumes created in the basement can't escape to upstairs when the fan isn't on), wouldn't this be a real efficient way of cooling the house down? Am I missing something obvious? It wouldn't be that expensive to do, and the fan could be controlled by my home automation setup.
Could you use the air handler on your furncace with a damper controlled feed from the basement into the return air ducts?
The one thing to remember that if you're pulling the cool air from the basement up to the 1st floor, there also has to be some sort of return air source for the warm 1st air to get back into the basement, or you need to be sure there is enough open windows in the basement. Otherwise your fans will create a vacuum effect and start pulling air from areas like your hot water heater and furnace exhausts ducts. :unsure: NOT A GOOD IDEA. This is the same thing to keep in mind when using whole house fans to, you need to make sure to have enough open windows to draw air from to feed the demand of air being pulled through the fan, or it will suck it from any opening it can, including exhausts ducts!

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