Basement to heat or insulate?


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Old 01-30-05, 08:43 AM
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Question Basement to heat or insulate?

Happy Sunday to all. IN this old house the basement ceilings were never insulated. I guess you're all not surprised. With hard wood floors in my living space above they are always cold on the feet. I did insulate the basement ceiling below my bedroom with R-19 but it seems it has made no difference. My question is this....First, would it make more sense to spend my money and just add another heating zone to heat the basement ( i can do this work) so that my floors would be somewhat warmer. ... or should I spend the $$ on completing the insulation of the basement ceiling. I have read many threads where folks were disappointed even after insulating the basement ceiling. I could add carpeting but the floors are attractive as they are. any ideas greatly appreciated. Thanks
-Bob
 
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Old 01-30-05, 06:34 PM
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Hello Bob, I have a post war home that didn't have heat in the basement, floor were cold in the winter and very uncomfortable.

I added radiators after doing a heat loss calc. I also added insulation to the basement walls (R21) and floor (R5) After doing some researching, I could not believe the amount of heat that is sucked out through the foundation of a basement.

In short Basement is now toasty warm and not to mention the floors of the main floor.

Also would like to thank the many persons whou helped me here in this forum!!!

Hope that helps a little
 
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Old 01-31-05, 05:32 AM
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HI Exile....thanks for the reply. When you say you added R5 to the floor do you mean the basement floor or the underside of the living space floor? Also, can I just cut out the exposed sections of 3/4 copper FHW supply and return sections and replace them with 3/4 copper sections that have fins on them? Would this generate any more heat than what the pipes alone are doing? My foundation is 14" thick stone foundation, however I have had to stuff pink batts into where the sill sits atop the rock, as this was a very porous area. I also have four small basement windows that I have covered from the inside with the pink batts also. But with no heat generated down there (the boiler is there 0f course) it seems I have created or inherited a "refrigerator" effect without any heat to speak of. any thots are greatly appreciated on the changing of the finless exposed pipe to pipes that have fins on them. have a great day.
-Bob
 
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Old 01-31-05, 06:42 AM
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Hello Bob, I insulated the concrete floor with 1" Styrofoam pink as it does not allow mold to grow. I also added this to the walls then tuck taped them, framed the walls then installed R14 bat isulation, vapour barrier and then drywall.

I then added from the boiler 2 lines and ran them around the basement and connected them to Cast iron rads, one area I couldn't and bought a Stelrad (steel rad) so as to fit it in a tight area. This was a mistake as it didn't go to give the full output. I was told and read on this site that you shouldn't mix them in the same zone and that I would have to plave a cirulator on that one to get it to full output. All in all I think I much prefer my old cast iron rads....you just can't beat the heat and they seems to radiate heat for a while after the boiler shuts down. Baseboards because of they're design stop outputing heat when the circulator or boiler stops.

As for you just cutting and placing a finned section in will do nothing. Also finned sections are ment to go into a baseboard box. When the fins heat up because of convection in the box you get hot air rising and cold air getting drawn up into the box thus heating the air. There is no simple way to do this and if you are going to spend the money I would do it correctly or you will be disapointed.

Hope that helps.
 
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Old 01-31-05, 08:57 AM
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I see your point about the pipe with fins doing nothing. Cold air flows underneath the baseboard and warmer air out the top. If I added a new zone in the basement around the perimeter wall with FHW baseboard help much with a separate circ pump & thermostat? Is there any possibility of applying radiant heat tubing on the basement ceiling (underside of living space) to warm the floors or am I thinking like i'm off the wall here? I've installed the heating system (Utica FHW) myself with new Tacos and electrical and all the copper work myself. I'm handy so I found it to be pretty self explanatory. This old house has lots of charm we think but that charm always has it's price I guess. So, I guess my question at this point realizing adding a zone downstairs will help and if it will help, am i better off sticking with a baseboard installation down there? THANK YOU.
-Bob
 
  #6  
Old 01-31-05, 12:43 PM
Ken Greene
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I Have an 1850's Greek Revial that had a retrofitted hot water baseboard system for both of the main floors. This last fall i converted to a radiant floor system i installed my self on the first floor. Man what a difference i now run the temperature down stairs 4 to 5 defgrees cooler and it still feels warmer then it did with the old fin type heat. oh yeah the floors are now nice and toasty too
 
 

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