Return air through basement
I am unexpectedly going to have a basement. It will be insulated, conditioned and dry, but not habitable per code. I’m also unexpectedly going to have a heat pump instead of mini splits. The air handler will be in the basement. We will have no combustion appliances.
Can I return air with transfer grates to the basement, and use the open space of the basement as the return path to the air handler? Is this a bad idea at all?
I note that the IRC says: “Return air shall not be taken from a closet, bathroom, toilet room, kitchen, garage, mechanical room, boiler room, furnace room or unconditioned attic.” Would I need to construct a little rooms around the air handler and water heater to make this code legal?
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