Basement heat

Jleigh0036September 14, 2013

We rent a house with a finished basement which I need the use of all year round. We moved in, in April this year and the basement was really cold. It is so cold that even with shoes and a coat on its still cold. I can only imagine how cold it will be in Dec, Jan, and Feb. if this cold in April. There are 3 bedrooms and 1 bath in basement. My son's room is downstairs and our office and a guest room for our extented family who visits often.
In April my son left his bottle of water on carpet floor in his room and by morning it had ice crystals floating in it. We put a space heater in his room which helped but raised our electric bill $60.00. So we can't afford to put heaters in each room and also the den in basement would be too costly to heat that way. Winter is coming its already in low 40's at night here.
The basement has big windows with steel window wells that has a ladder on them in case of emergency. They are double pane glass. Slab floor with padding and carpet. Upstairs living room has a natural gas fireplace. The house has gas furnace with two zone heat and AC. One unit is in attic that heats upstairs bedrooms and second furnace is in basement which heats kitchen living room area on first floor and basement. Each room in basement has a heat vent in ceiling but no return duct anywhere downstairs. Stair case is big and open from kitchen no door. The floors in foyer and kitchen are hardwood but very cold to walk on.
So I am open for suggestions on how to get some additional heat downstairs without having to take out a loan to pay the electric bill to run space heaters.
I am going to talk to the landlord and see if they are willing to help. We love the house and would love to stay here for awhile but if cant find a solution to heat downstairs we will only be here this year until our lease is up. Unfortunately we will have to get through the winter here.
So any help in coming up with a way to get extra heat downstairs without huge utility bills it would be greatly appreciated.
If landlord is willing to help I was researching things like a pellet stove or installing a gas stove since the house has natural gas. If landlord is willing to pay to have it put in. It would have to be something that doesn't need a chimney to vent, since it would have to go three stories up.
If landlord is not open to helping I need some suggestions how to get some heat for this winter. If it were my house there is a lot I could do but since I am renting I am limited. I am going to insulate the basement windows, so maybe that will help, but don't think that will be enough.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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There must be very little if any insulation in the walls and poor air sealing for the area to be so cold--and that's even with the furnace in the basement and a couple of vents.

A direct vent natural gas fireplace or freestanding stove would do the trick. And it would be a great selling/renting point for the landlord. However, will the landlord be willing to shell out the $3-$5K cost for future benefits?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 8:11PM
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I just wanted to let you know that you have rights as a tenant. I would refer to the landlord/tenant act. I would imagine it is different by province or state. The landlord must provide you with heat. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 9:30AM
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Good point. But not always applicable.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 8:45PM
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