Old 07-30-03, 08:17 AM
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Hi. I live Norhtern Massachusetts. I just refinished my basement. I used fiberglass R13 for isolation between 2x4. It became more hot in the basement, then it was before. But it not really humid, just hot. Is this because I did not choose right isolation, or because this summer is hot? My basement has 2 small windows. What my options are? Some people suggested to install exosted fan in the concrete wall, some offered dehumidifier. I do not want to take walls apart.

Thank you in advance.
Old 07-30-03, 10:11 AM
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Masonry walls and floors in basements are considered heat sinks. As the term implies, it is something that drains heat from this area. When you insulated the wals of the basement, this heat sink effect went away. However, your description implies that there is a source of heat in the basement that was not noticable when the basement was unfinished and is now that the basement is finished. Insulation prohibits heat flow by retaining it, whereas when the basement was not finished, the masonry walls absorbed the heat in the basement, making it cooler in this area.

The most common type of heat gain in homes is sunlight but you stated that there were only two small windows in the basement. The next most common is cooking followed by showering. All these produce heat and the insulation on your basement walls will retain the heat in the basement. Some other common causes for the heat gain are water heaters, clothes dryers, washing machines, incandescent lighting and other appliances like refrigerators, TV's, stereo equiptment, etc. By the way all these are referred to as internal heat gains, except for the sunlight. What also are included in this category are humans and pets, especially dogs.

The idea here is to eliminate or reduce the amount of heat in this area so the heat is not there to be retained by the insulation. For sunlight, use shades. For cooking and showering use an exhaust fan while doing this activity. For water heaters, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, try to separate them from the rest of the basement by enclosing them in a separate room. For lighting, use fluorescent instead of incandescent.

If you are unable to control or eliminate the amount of heat gain in the basement, then your best bet would be get an air conditioner for this area.

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