On wall near floor or ceiling for supply ducts in basement


Most heating/cooling systems now are dual units, with different elements for heating or cooling, but sharing a blower and ductwork to distribute conditioned air through a house. Most ductwork today is flexduct, wire coils inside a layer of insulation and sealed with a metallic covering. It can be installed in walls, ceilings, attics or under floors in basements or crawl spaces, and routed around posts and other framing. The size of ducts will vary with the airflow or output of the heating/cooling unit, the length required to reach outlet vents and other factors.

Draw a rough floor plan of the house, noting the location of the heating/cooling unit and each vent or outlet, typically installed on outside walls near windows. Include provisions for a return system, typically an entry point in a central area where air will flow naturally, installed with a metal frame to hold an air filter. Place the return so the frame can connect easily to wall studs.

Sketch a rough...

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Ok, now we're at odds. I completely disagree. I live in a real cold place called Ottawa, Canada. So I know about cold. I have a relatively big place and put my cold air returns (3) and heat vents (6) to the floor. They are inset between the frames (2"x6") in the basement with 3" 'Cladmate' (Dow) glued to the cement walls. This gives me an R value of 15 (other than these areas, the basement is insulated with R 20). The heat runs are this insulated 10" x 3" rectangular flexible (silver) stuff - name fails me now. This is great stuff with no heat loss at all.

Having your heat and cold runs at floor level is what exactly happens on the first floor of 2 storey house (cold air runs are usually near the ceiling on 2nd floor) and my basement is pretty warm. When you think of it..hot air rises and cold air falls. The hot air that comes from the vents does not sit along the floor. It immediately rises warming the air on its way to the ceiling. In my view and experience, this is...

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We have a 1200 SF two bedroom 1 bath ranch with a full basement that was partially finished by the previous owner into an office space. The walls were fully finished (framing, vapor barrier, insulation, drywall, etc...) but there was never any carpeting and a drop ceiling had been installed. It was a usable space but we would like to turn it into a combination family room and office. The major obstacle to making the space really "feel" finished is the ductwork, which like in many homes, runs off of a central trunk line which is routed down the center of the house with the furnace at one end. In my case it runs perpendicular to my basement stairs so that in its current configuration, once you reach the bottom of the steps the supply and return are directly above your head and clearance is about 6' 1" which is claustrophobic for my wife and I both at 5' 10" and an actual obstacle for some of our family members who are 6' 2" and taller. In any event, having the ductwork there and not...

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My basement is about 1400 sf. It has a exercise room, office, bathroom w/shower, laundry, storage, and large entertainment room. I did hire some stuff out like drywall and had floor drains installed after I did the hard work up busting up the floor.The majority of it I did. I did major electrical work,all copper plumbing, installed a bathroom with high end faucets, granite counter top,lots of framing, installed direct vent fireplace with remote, granite tiles surronding fireplace, moved furnace to other side of basement, redid all duct work to increase cieling height and allowing heat in all rooms, added glass block windows, blass block half wall coming down the stairs, good cieling tile, removed support pole and added channeled steel to reinforce existing support beam. I could have used cheaper materials here and there but I did not want it to look like a cheap home owner job.It has taken me over 2 years so far. I am down to painting, carpet, and coming up with a bar area yet. I...

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|By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson

Installing ductwork for heating and air conditioning is a bit like putting together a huge three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

The basic rules of the game, however, are the same, whether you're retrofitting an older house, working with new construction, or adding heating and air conditioning to a new room, attic or basement.

Basic Rule No. 1: Hot air rises, cold air falls.

Ducts should be installed to take maximum advantage of natural air movement. For instance, for air conditioning to work properly, air returns, the large ducts that carry air back to the central unit, need to be installed high up on the wall of each upper floor, to capture warmer air and return it for cooling. Efficient heating means installing a return at a low point on the first floor, to capture cooled air and return it for heating.

Registers that deliver warm air should be in the floor or low on the wall; registers to deliver cool air should...

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I see no reason why you wouldn't employ the same strategy in the basement you would with the rest of the house - whereby you put the heat vents as close to the floor as possible and cold air return on the opposite side of the room on the floor (hot air rises, cold air falls).

The only issue with bringing heat into the room is that, generally, your heat ducts are in front of windows (the cold spots). If you were to bring a heating duct in front a basement windows you'd have to either not insulate behind it (Very poor idea) or build a bulkhead out (could be ugly).

I think, for simplicity, many people just leave the heating vents in the ceiling because it avoids the need for bulkheads, and you can still aim the hot air in front of the cold zone (the window). As well, I'm not sure if it'll throw off the balancing in your system when you change the length of the duct piping to run it to the...

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I am in the process of finishing my basement on my 3 year old house, there are vents in the ceiling and no cold air return. Should the heating vents be relocated to about 1ft off the floor and the cold air return go in the ceiling? Since it is in the framed stage It would be fairly easy to do.

Thank you

The best arrangement for HEATING this basement area would be to have the supply LOW near the floor level (just above the baseboard) and the Return should also be LOW near floor level while as far away as possible from any supply (an opposite wall is best).
This arrangement also works good for Cooling season too, especially in a basement. Blowing air across your ankles generally will lead to severe comfort problems. We usually put the ceiling registers in perimeter of ceiling and the returns down low on interior walls. Having air "blown" at you will cause comfort problems especially if you have a heat pump! We also try and recommend to homeowner...
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Framing around the ductwork in my basement had me completely and totally stumped. The key to wall framing for your basement is visualization. If you can visualize what the finished wall needs to look like then you are half way there.

It's a skill that takes some time to develop but then is very easy to repeat. Even though I had already framed a few rooms for my basement I need some help from friends to wrap my brain around how to handle framing around the ductwork.

Be sure to check out my "super tip" at the end of the post for a solution to a noisy pipe problem that must be solved before you close up your ductwork framing with drywall.

Wood framing around duct work for a finished basement. Duct work framing is often called a soffit or soffit run. Which is French for - a type of ceiling that can be a pain in the ass.

What is "Ductwork" and Why do I need to Frame It

Okay, so here's the deal. The ductwork I'm referring to is the main line (a metal...

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