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new return or just de-stratifying duct ?

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  • new return or just de-stratifying duct ?

    I'm adding a room to the back of my house, behind where a "great room" with cathedral ceiling and loft is located. My HVAC guy thought it'd be great to put a second return-air duct in the loft, so as to even out the air temperatures. The return could be in the back of the loft, with the duct running down the adjoining wall of the new room in a vertical chase, down to the crawlspace where the air handler is (there's no place for it to run in the existing house, which is why I'm thinking about this now).

    But I'm wondering if it might not make more sense to stop the chase at floor level, where a fan at the bottom of the chase sucks the hot air down from the loft and blows it out at floor level in the addition. The reason is, my house gets much of its winter heat from firewood (and some passive solar); I have a kick-*** woodstove that I keep well-fed. As a consequence, I simply don't run the HVAC much in the winter. This works perfectly, since I like to sleep in a cold room - the stove keeps the living areas (and loft) toasty and the bedroom is nice and cool. But the addition is to be an office so I'd like it warm. If the HVAC isn't running, a loft return-air duct isn't help me feel much of the wood heat - but a simple duct plus fan, like I propose, would.

    I run the HVAC a lot in the summer, but I don't really care if the loft is uncomfortable then.
    Last edited by RustyShackleford; 08-30-2012, 03:38 AM.
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