We have an small, two-bedroom, one-storey-with-basement house built c. 1930 that was retrofitted with forced air heating and A/C. As a result, there is a large duct that runs the length of our basement ceiling, right down the middle. It is impossible to walk from one side of the basement to the other without ducking, as the ceiling height under the duct is about 5'6". Visitors regularly bang into it. We'd like to divide the basement -- which is essentially a bonus room right now -- in order to add bedrooms down there (growing family), and we'd also like to not have to dispense aspirin to everyone who visits. The duct would have to be moved to accommodate this. We don't know if this is possible.

A friend suggested we run the duct up through the old furnace chimney and into the (uninsulated) attic, but that seems like it would be really inefficient -- plus would we then have to heat the first floor from ceiling vents? Another person suggested moving the vent to the far side of the basement, but there are windows, so that won't work.

As I'm sure you can tell, I don't know a lot about HVAC (I'm not even positive I'm using the right terms) and I'd like to know if this is a task worth consulting a good HVAC tech on, or if it's better to cut our losses and move to a house with more bedrooms. We really like this location, however. Thoughts?