Basment workshop heat

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Old 01-27-12, 07:52 PM
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Basment workshop heat

As I posted in another thread I am looking for ways to heat my basement workshop. Ever since I changed out my old oil fired monster and magic heat on the flue for the new high efficiency gas boiler the basement is at 50f during the winter. Not very comfortable for working down there. I am thinking about installing one of these on my boiler: /Modine-HC-33L-01-HC33L01-Hydronic-Unit-Heater-29500-BTU
But they are not cheap and if you add in the zone valves, fan controls and piping its much more expensive. Are there other good options? I mostly work down there on the weekends or sometimes after work so I want something that will heat it up fast when I decide to work down there.
 
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Old 01-27-12, 09:13 PM
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Two approaches to increasing the temperature down there. Increase the heat as you are asking or decrease the heat loss. By decreasing the heat loss you reduce the energy used and its cost and you provide a 24/7 warm floor for the house.

Air leakage at the top of the foundation is a major source of cold air. Any concrete that is not insulated and exposed to the outside is about the same as a single pane of glass, which is about the same as a sheet of plastic, it just doesn't flap in the wind.

Air seal and insulate down there and then consider an extra heat source if needed, probably not. But even if it is, it will be much smaller and the average temperature of the basement will still be higher when it is off.

Bud
 
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Old 01-27-12, 09:26 PM
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Air leakage at the top of the foundation is a major source of cold air. Any concrete that is not insulated and exposed to the outside is about the same as a single pane of glass, which is about the same as a sheet of plastic, it just doesn't flap in the wind.
Absolutely agree I need to insulate. See my other post on this subject. insulating-exterior-basement-wall-above-ground Still haven't entirely figured out a good way to do this.

But do you really think that's all I'll need to do?
 
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Old 01-28-12, 05:33 AM
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Your new system is more efficient than the old for sure, but it is still a boiler and will be losing some heat to the basement. If you are currently holding 50, that temp can only go up. One of the easiest ways to insulate the walls down there is to glue some rigid foam board right to the concrete. Your local codes will probably require a fire rated covering, so consider the foil or white surface faced polyisocyanurate. Dow Thermax is FM4880 approved so does everything in one install.

The easiest part would be checking the top of the concrete to feel for drafts. The normal air leakage from a house involves warm air leaking out the top and the cold displacement air coming into that basement. Some caulking or a can of the foam can do wonders. Also feel the wood rim joist and leaks allow air in there as well.

Will it be enough? I don't know. But try the air sealing to see if it makes a difference. Any progress you make is all for the good.

If your workshop involves wood or anything with dust, 60% of the air you breathe upstairs comes from your basement, so caulk and seal those holes up into the house as well. They make fire rated produces for those areas and use metal flashing for larger openings. There are links on how and where if you need them.

Bud
 
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Old 01-28-12, 06:09 AM
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Run the foam up and cover with a synthetic stucco (check out Sto). You will have to address a drip edge where it meets the existing siding.

Just be aware of EPS vs XPS foam.
 
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