source of heat for basement rooms

cakequeenAugust 26, 2011

I have a single vent to two built out half-basement rooms which seems to be inadequate to heat the spaces. I am working on trying to address whether or not I have sufficient insulation, but would like advice on adding another heat source to this area. There is a very cold bathroom where the foundation forms one bathroom wall. It has a ceiling fan heater that is quite noisy and not pleasant to use. The room is very cold in the winter. The other two rooms vary in temperature depending on how close you are to the high wall vent.

Would it be worth looking into adding an electric towel warmer to the bathroom and another heat source to the baseboards or walls of the basement rooms? I'm trying to be energy efficient. We can use an portable electric fan heater but it is expensive and noisy.

It is amazing to me that the adjacent garage with its large door vents is usually warmer than the interior, probably from the water heater keeping the garage warm. We do have insulation, both floor and walls, but apparently it isn't adequate.

Any ideas regarding an efficient system? We have an efficient gas furnace in the attic two stories above the basement and have a Solar PV for electric use. There is a small closet where we can add a small water heater for radiant heat if needed but I dont know if that makes much sense.

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Heaters placed high on the wall or in ceilings are good ceiling heaters as you have discovered. If you are forced to stay with electric in the bathroom, an electric heater low in the wall will work a lot better. If you have the wall space, a radiant panel might work well.

Explain what are "large door vents". I do not understand.

What is your climate? Do you cool the house with the same forced-air system? Is there a return in the basement? Where are the return air registers? Are there dampers on the ducts? How is the duct that supplies the basement related to the rest of the ducts in the house? Is there a home run to the attic for that?

I'd advise you to move this discussion over to the heating and air conditioning forum with the additional information and clarification that I asked for.

I am no HVAC guy, but it seems like adding a small heating system just for the 2 rooms plus bath in the basement might be your best bet for an economical plan for the long term. I would be tempted to go with hydronic heat unless you have excess capacity in the furnace and a good way to get the air all the way to the basement. An answer to the latter question will require a description or examination of the duct system.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 7:56PM
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HI, thanks for the response. I live in the SF Bay area with a mild to cool climate. We do not need AC in the summer; sometimes even need to turn on the heat in the summer. There is a single retun air register ont he top (third) floor. The heating system is in the attic with a control for the top floor and one for the middle and bottome floor. It will be hard to run a new heating duct to the 2nd room. The ducts have dampers.

I would be interested in a hydronic system but don't know how to add such a thing at this point. The bathroom is tiny and has little wall space but maybe I can put something in under the sink which is attached to the wall, however I'd need to get some hot water in there somehow.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 2:22PM
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Wrong forum

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 8:25PM
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Agree with Ionized. Have you tried opening damper for lower level more?

One other suggestion is electric radiant although it would require redo/new floor finish. Normally wouldnt recommend it but could be a good fit for the situation.

Below is a manufacturer I found from quick search

Here is a link that might be useful: electric radiant supplier

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 6:01PM
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