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I recently added a door to close off a walk in pantry room. It doesn't have an a/c vent to bring cool air into it. I didn't realize how hot the room would get. The pantry shares a wall with the a/c inside unit. Would adding a return air vent in the wall under the a/c unit encourage cool air into the room? The new air vent would open up into the same area where the other a/c return vents are, There is about 1.5 inches open at the bottom of the door. Is that enough?

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  • Welcome to StackExchange! But I am confused. What would the two air paths be (conditioned and return)? Aug 17, 2020 at 20:50
  • Please edit your post to include some pics (with your proposed modifications drawn on) or drawings (nothing fancy or to scale, just a rough drawing with dimensions written on and proposed changes).
    – FreeMan
    Aug 17, 2020 at 21:10

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I don't think you want to rely on encouraging cold air into the room.

I have a walk-in closet that had the same problem and I solved it with a through the wall fan similar to the one below. Mount it between a room with AC and the pantry. Cold air will blow into the pantry and the space under the door will act as a return.

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You could add a return vent to pull air out, but it might not work to use the underdoor gap for conditioned air to enter the pantry. The underdoor gap on a pantry is often reduced to a bare minimum to exclude rats, mice, and other undesirable critters. This can be accomplished by the placement of a threshold across the entry of the pantry. The gap between our pantry door and the threshold is 1.5 mm (0.06 inch).

If your pantry is a walk-in, then any threshold has to be designed to avoid being a tripping hazard and to allow easy movement of a wheeled cart through the doorway.

This means air balancing of a pantry will normally require a screened vent, either in the door or in the wall. If you have a 1.5 inch gap under your door, this might be sufficient, but might not be.

Depending on the size of your pantry and how cool you want to keep it, you may find that it is necessary to have a conditioned air supply duct into the pantry.

EDIT If you would add ducting for conditioned air into the pantry, you would need either a return vent or a large vent in the door or a wall connecting to the space outside the pantry. With conditioned air going into the pantry you could keep the pantry cooler than the rest of the house in summer and in winter by adjusting the flow restriction on the incoming air. If you have a large pantry, keeping it cooler than the living space would allow storage of some fresh fruits and root vegetables out of the way, but not in the refrigerator.

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About 5 years ago we replaced all the original doors in our 1970 build tract house. For the small pantry (2 ft deep x 3 ft wide) we used a custom made solid oak screen door. From the mfgr's options we chose old fashioned copper screening. If you search online for pantry doors, you see many offerings with a glass panel, but these don't allow air flow.

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