1)My basement is much colder then any other part of my house. Would it be okay to put a hole in the return ductwork in the basement? (Not a hole, per se, but a vent that could be opened in summer and closed/sealed in summer). It seems logical, when the AC is on, it wouldn’t have to work as hard to get the rest of the house down to temp, and if just the fan is on, it would bring some of the cold air up from the basement. The only reason I ask is becuase there isn’t one to begin with and it seems like such a good idea, there must be a reason not to.
2)Our furnace has a ''fresh air intake." A insulated tube that runs from out side the house along the ceiling of the basement and into a cold air return. My understanding is that it’s there to bring fresh air into the house. But it always seemed like a waste of money. In winter the furnace is trying to heat up freezing cold outside air and in summer it’s trying to cool/dry hot/damp air. Is that really neccessary? Can it be removed? (if it can, the resulting hole would be nice for question 1), or at least could it be pinched down a bit so it doesn’t bring in as much fresh air?