Heating a finished basement


Old 06-23-07, 08:33 PM
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Heating a finished basement

I am finishing my basement and want to heat it. My thought was to tap into the exisitng branches that service the upstairs and simply put vents in. I have one vent in the main trunk, but no other heat or air in the basement. What is the best way to do this?
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Old 06-24-07, 05:27 AM
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It is usually OK to tap the existing ducts to heat a basement space, but check the capacity of the heater. Ideally you should install dampers in the new duct, for adjustment. You also need to open a space in the return system to balance things out.
Old 06-24-07, 09:45 AM
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Heating a finished basement

One of the most overlooked things when heating/cooling a basement is adequate RETURNS. The returns should be much be larger than the supply.

If you do not properly move the air, the cold air can settle in the basement and a lack of ventilation will make it seem "stale".

There is also a benefit in the summer since the cool air is collected along with the hot air from above, reducing the cooling load.

If you have anewer furnace with a variable speed DC fan, run it constantly to acheive the most comfort and dehumidification in the summer.

It would be best to consult with a professional heating/cooling person to get the most out of your system when serving a greater volume.

Old 01-22-08, 07:48 AM
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How about baseboards too?

Wanted to re-use this thread since I am in the same boat. I am working with my builder to finish my basement, and when I asked about tapping the existing heating ducts, he said he would do it but also recommended electric baseboard heating too. He said in all likelihood, the floor area (where my kid is going crawl) is still going to be cold in the winter - even with the heating air being blown from above. This made some sense.

My basement area will be one big open room , so maybe this is a good idea to supplement the heating ducts. Anyone else have thoughts/experience with this? Is it worth the expense?

I already plan to have plenty of vents and returns to keep airflow moving.
Old 01-22-08, 10:20 AM
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Craiger, I live in Green Bay WI. If you watched the NFC championship game this past weekend, you'd see how cold it get's here. I recently completed a 1000 sq ft basement finish. Large rec room, bedroom, and bath. I too have a young one, who plays on the floor every night. Gas forced air furnace, heat from above, returns close to the floors, no baseboards. Berber carpet with a nice quality pad underneath. The floor and air are very comfortable. No signs of cold air coming up through the concrete floor.
Old 01-22-08, 10:39 AM
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When we put heat in for the basement or lower level in a home. All runs come off the main trunk line. Run out to just off the outside walls . Blowing down out of a 2 1/4"X 12" reg . This gives a good cover of the wall with its spread and throw. all returns down low on inside walls. this let the warn and cool air go down the outside walls. Across the floor to the returns.
Old 01-23-08, 06:36 PM
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craiger, I think your builder is on the right track by suggesting baseboard heat. You need some type of supplemental heat source down there.

I live in cold minnesota and my recommendation would be to add a direct-vent gas stove. It would give you instant heat when and where you need it most. Plus, you enjoy the warmth and beauty of a fire. One of the best features of my basement project.
Good luck with your decision. -jasper
Old 02-05-08, 01:43 PM
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I was told not to tap into existing runs as the first opening typically "hogs" all the air being pushed through, and the remaining runs will lack air. This is dependent on the sizes of the piping ducts and how large of furnace you have. Not sure on the truth of this, but does make some sense. In our home, each room appears to have its own run, and if a room has two vents, it has a separate run for each. All of these come off own huge master duct. The smallest bedroom in the house has little to no air being pushed through, I think they shared a run. Same with the master bedroom's walk-in closet. It is shared with the bathroom next to it, and the closet has limited air.

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