: best way to warm up a basement ?


rebs
02-21-2012, 02:43 PM
My house it at 68 to 69 degrees and the basement is 60 to 61 degrees, I have forced air heat. I have a wood burner but cannot hook it up to the chimney because that is where the gas hot water heater is vented. What are my options to get some heat in the basement ? If I cut a hole in the duct work and put in a vent in the basement how much heat do I loose upstairs ?
What about a kerosene heater or other type of portable heater ? From what I hear the tripe wall vent pipe to vent the wood burner would be very costly.

Fishoil
02-21-2012, 03:04 PM
I added baseboard electric heaters to my basement and it stays as warm as I want to set the thermostat.

B-lou
02-21-2012, 03:18 PM
My house it at 68 to 69 degrees and the basement is 60 to 61 degrees, I have forced air heat. I have a wood burner but cannot hook it up to the chimney because that is where the gas hot water heater is vented. What are my options to get some heat in the basement ? If I cut a hole in the duct work and put in a vent in the basement how much heat do I loose upstairs ?
What about a kerosene heater or other type of portable heater ? From what I hear the tripe wall vent pipe to vent the wood burner would be very costly.
Very little heat loss as heat rises but might want to close off the vents in the summer because of the AC...B-lou

v-bay gord
02-21-2012, 03:18 PM
I would think if you already have the forced air system and could just extend the ductwork into the basement that would be the simplest. Any heat you pump into the basement should rise into the upper floors anyways.

REW
02-21-2012, 03:40 PM
When you have a forced air system and want to heat the lower level - do as follows:

1. Keep the fan running 24 hours a day- 365 days a year. The moving air will help to balance the heat levels between floors.

2. Install several heat ducts in the basement, next to the floor. i.e. extend heating runs from the overhead ducts to the floor to insure that you are getting the heat where you need it. i.e. near the floor.

3. Also - install several cold air returns in the basement.
If your basement is wide open, you can cut a large cold air return, right in the furnace cold air return. Install a louver over it so that you can turn it off if needed.

4. Turn the heat registers - either off or way down upstairs. You want the basement to be heated first, and then have the heat percolate upstairs. If you turn off the main floor registers, the bulk of the heat will be forced into the basement. Then, the heat will warm the main floor and very little added heat will be required to make the upper floor comfortable.

The continuous circulation of air from the furnace, along with the addition of both hot air registers and cold air returns in the basement should give you a nice cozy basement - while still keeping the upstairs nicely heated.

5. You can always add an electric space heater if needed for localized heating.
I wouldn't under any circumstance use a kerosene heater in the house. Just too many issues with CO, potential fumes and spills.

Good luck - Stay warm and cozy.

REW

spillway
02-21-2012, 03:42 PM
If your furnace and water heater are the same fuel type.You can put them in the same chimney and put your wood burner in the other.

yarcraft91
02-21-2012, 04:22 PM
If your furnace and water heater are the same fuel type.You can put them in the same chimney and put your wood burner in the other.

If the chimney hasn't already been hooked up that way, I wouldn't count on code allowing what you suggest. The furnace and water heater have to be alike in more than just fuel type.

spillway
02-21-2012, 04:47 PM
If the chimney hasn't already been hooked up that way, I wouldn't count on code allowing what you suggest. The furnace and water heater have to be alike in more than just fuel type.
Power vent or natural draft can go in the same chimney and in most cases the same pipe.As long as it is the correct size and not tied directly into the power vent discharge.If that is what you mean.At least here in upstate ny.Now if the unit is direct vent high eff. you are correct.No condenceing appliances can go into a masonry chimney.Or be tied in together.

yarcraft91
02-21-2012, 05:02 PM
Spillway:

I think we're on the same page. :)

spillway
02-21-2012, 05:16 PM
Spillway:

I think we're on the same page. :)
Are you in the hvac field to.Most people would not know that.

yarcraft91
02-21-2012, 05:45 PM
No, but I talk to the furnace guy when he comes in to service my furnace. I try to learn something from everyone I meet and he's taught me several useful things. :)

rwl
02-21-2012, 06:03 PM
A pellet stove can easily heat your basement or even the whole house from the basement and can be direct vented through the sill. A second zone on your force air would work well also.Just cutting in vents and cold air returns will be better than nothing, but the problem with mild weather is the upstairs will heat from sun and the furnace won't run because the t-stat is upstairs. That's why you need to run the fan on your furnace.
In floor heat is the best. I have it in my house and cabin and will not have a house without it. Best installed in new construction though.

hommer23
02-21-2012, 07:08 PM
If you have carpet in your basement have it removed along with the pad and tack strip. Then fir the floor up with 2X4 or 2X6 on the flat 16" to 24" on center. Then you can either install 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches of closed cell foam or install a water heated floor run off a water heater with a circulation pump. The extra amount of work it will take now will pay off in the long run. You will have to remove the base boards, cut off the doors and jambs and if you have a ext. door you will have to remove it and install it on top of the new floor or you can leave a small area with a step down around the door.

Hollis
02-21-2012, 07:31 PM
These are not cheap but I've been very impressed on how cheaply these are to run. We have a BIG antique shop a few miles from the Canadian border in a very windy site and just one of these heats the whole place with a relatively small operating cost. My own oil guy says he installs same and had had very little service calls over the last 7 years he has dealt with them.

http://www.medfordfuel.com/monitor_stoves.htm

Now is this a finished or unfinished basement? Walls insulated? Have you had a blower door test? (you can hire someone to do it or you can get a reasonable amount of information with a big fan of about 3 amp output) Place it in ANY window in the house it really doesn't matter which, and tape/staple plastic over it and then cut out a circle a bit smaller than the fan cage...you are not going to have much of a vacuum, as most houses leak a lot...if you go outside,.. feel the air coming OUT of your house,...its coming IN just as fast ,..somewhere. You need to find out where. A basement is a good place to start,..btw make sure that fuel heaters are shut off,...and stuff something in the pipes to stop back drafting,..be sure to put tags on the switches to remind you to take those OUT before you turn things back on!!!

In a multi story house an amazing amount of incoming air comes in from the "stack effect" often from microcracks that you don't feel much,...go to youtube and see blower doors and maybe reverse blower w/a smoke machine (rentable) I have done this to more than a dozen places and the amount of smoke that pushes out of a basement (with a fan blowing inward) is often amazing,
Those same micro and sometimes larger air leaks really add up as they are constantly pumping in cold air 24/7. It also then pushes OUT air esp in your top floor. People don't feel these even on a cold windy day (often recommendations by newspaper/tv weatherize suggestions.) because of the great pressure pushing OUT. So doing this saves on total heat bills. It may also help keep that basement several degrees warmer. After I did this to my own home, my fuel company called and said that I must have installed a wood or pellet stove as our bill went down considerably,..(in an older house, don't worry much about making it "too tight" . when you think you have it tight, do the fan test and you will still have lots of air leaving your house,..hopefully less from all your efforts. Even if you do heroic's with caulking etc,..you still will probably have more air exchanges per hour than the EPA recommends..
AND even if somehow you did get it very tight (we never have in our rentals despite a lot of trying) you always have the OPTION of cracking a window.

Stack effect

http://www.basementsystems.com/crawl-space/stack-effect.html

lipripper1
02-21-2012, 08:45 PM
One thing you want to be carefull of when you start shutting down registers within your HVAC duct system is that you move enough air. Most houses have (should) have the duct work sized for your house,, meaning the right amount of duct runs and duct sizes to each run/room etc... Say you have "x" amount of registers on the main floor and you put 3 registers down stairs and close most of them upstairs you need to make sure you can still move the right volume of air to get the heat out of the duct....

Your furnace needs to have a certain amount of Delta T,, in temperature in the supply and return and it should be posted on the model plate inside your furnace door. and tells you how much temperature change you need between your supply (from the furnace) to return (coming back to the furnace) if you don't get rid of that heat your furnace has sensors or "limit switches" that will trip and shut down your furnace,, as it thinks its overheating. Airflow is important.... your furnace may also loose airflow and trip a limit switch if your filter is dirty and can flow enough air through it,, or your coil is dirty also...

just a quick FYI

Thunderbucket
02-21-2012, 09:28 PM
My vote would be baseboard as you will only be using this for winter, I know in my area pellet and wood burning stoves can dramatically increase insurance costs and even void some policies. Also if you needed to leave the house quickly would your mind be at rest with a fired up stove running. Baseboard set it and forget it or turn it on/up when needed.

GWC
02-22-2012, 04:58 AM
We had that problem too. The main living area stays warm so the heat pump doesn't kick on. We added carpet to the basement floor & installed a vent less propane stove, thermostat controlled, in the basement. Our basement is nice and warm and our electric bill is lower. We have a 120 gallon propane tank. I've refilled it once this winter.

petewv
02-22-2012, 05:48 AM
is the basement ceiling insulanted?

jet man
02-22-2012, 07:12 AM
I replaced my electric baseboard with this cove style radiant and it has worked well. Baseboards are a pain because they complicate furniture placement and they are great dust collectors.

http://www.radiantsystemsinc.com/

AllenW
02-22-2012, 09:50 AM
Chances are adding a register in the cold air return as close to the floor as you can get will help, if not enough, add a feed register or two.

That raised the basement temps at my house about 4 degree's and cost less than a hundred bucks.

If your generally in one spot and that doesn't do it, add a small electric heater.

Running the fan in the on position if you have A/C will help too.

Basements are going to be cooler than the rest of the house, zone systems can help, but becareful of adding zones to a furnace/system that isn't set up for them.

Try the cheap/safe $hit first imho

Al

eriksat1
02-22-2012, 10:46 AM
My vote would be baseboard as you will only be using this for winter, I know in my area pellet and wood burning stoves can dramatically increase insurance costs and even void some policies. Also if you needed to leave the house quickly would your mind be at rest with a fired up stove running. Baseboard set it and forget it or turn it on/up when needed.

Are you kidding? We have a free standing wood stove that burns 24/7 why should you be worried about it? We are both gone to work all day stoke it up before we leave, and still have coals when we get home. Oh yea the high insurance cost is a extra $40 per year. 2,400 sq ft house I use about 250 gals of propane per year and we keep our inside house temp about 75 all winter. I will admit that because the furnace almost never kicks on it is about 15 degrees colder in the basement, but the only time anyone goes down there is to do laundry, put on a sweater.