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Old 01-29-2015, 02:26 PM   #1
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Furnace return question

The furnace return air system on my 2004 Dutchman Classic 5'iver not only draws return air from inside but also from the basement. I don't know if it was designed that way or not. Seems to me this design would cut down considerable on the efficiency of the heating system. Do you think I should seal off the return from the basement or leave it alone?
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:39 PM   #2
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I wouldn't block it off. Cold air returns are important and blocking them off can cause your furnace to heat improperly.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:11 PM   #3
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I was thinking of blocking off in the basement so the return only draws from inside the coach
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:50 AM   #4
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I think it would increase the efficiency of the unit - you'd be re-heating conditioned air rather than a mixture of conditioned and non-conditioned air.


I think you'd be more successful if you ran a separate return duct instead of trying to seal off the basement area. Too many openings in the underfloor area.


You would also increase efficiency if you shortened and re-routed the flexible heated air supply ducts.
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:59 PM   #5
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Could it also be that it's drawing warm air from the inside through the basement to help keep it from freezing?
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by macman83 View Post
Could it also be that it's drawing warm air from the inside through the basement to help keep it from freezing?
Could be. It seems like there would be a supply duct to that area if that were the purpose. I have an "all weather package" sticker near the entry door that should, I think, mean I have tank heaters to prevent them from freezing. I have the switches in the cabinet, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it

I'm sure there are others more proficient than me with HVAC systems, but my understanding has been that an AC or forced air heating system is a closed system; no outside/unconditioned air is introduced because it lessens the efficiency. You re-heat or re-cool already conditioned air that is closer to the desired temperature.

My rig might be different than others, but there are openings galore in the basement area through what is essentially the coach floor and then open to the belly area between the frame members; toilet drain pipe to the black tank, drains to the grey tank and a large hole for an electrical bundle.

The flexible ducts that supply heated air are also way longer than needed, and they wrap around and over things and turn back on themselves when they could have been installed in a straight shot.

To get back to the OP's question, I haven't crawled in far enough to look at the FA unit to see if or how hard it would be to attach a dedicated return duct to the heater.
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:59 PM   #7
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The hose that supplies heat to the garage in my Voltage runs through the space between the frame rails, and I'm sure that provides heat to that area just by being so thin and radiant.
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Old 02-03-2015, 07:07 PM   #8
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The hose that supplies heat to the garage in my Voltage runs through the space between the frame rails, and I'm sure that provides heat to that area just by being so thin and radiant.
My V3605 uses rectangular rigid ducts made out of something like 1/4" foam board. They do the same thing. My floor gets warm where ever they run.
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