Recommendations for basement gas heater?


  #1  
Old 02-14-13, 04:24 AM
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Recommendations for basement gas heater?

I'm looking for a small gas (wall-mounted) heater for my basement...

Right now we have some forced air ducts on the ceiling but it's just not providing enough heat so I need to add something (either a natural gas wall-unit or electrical baseboard, but electrical is around 5x more expensive in my area)

Here's what I'm looking for in the gas heater:

1) Safe for two-year old who likes to touch everything (i.e. don't want him reaching in and touching the flames!)
2) Thermostat control
3) Thermostat scheduling (i.e. automatic lowering of heat during work hours and automatic heat-up for when I get home)

Does anybody have any suggestions? I'm just looking for something inexpensive to provide some supplmental heat down there...
 
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Old 02-14-13, 06:17 AM
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First, don't consider non-vented units. More on that if needed.

Second, when a basement is reasonably air sealed (only the top area leaks) and insulated, they usually stay warm with minimal heat. So, how is yours insulated and is it finished?

Bud
 
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Old 02-14-13, 06:37 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

We just moved into the house (four weeks ago) and the basement was already partially finished.

The ceiling is a drop ceiling and has two outlets/vents for my forced air heating. There are no return ducts in the room.

There is an opening from the finished side of the basement into the crawl space going underneath my family room and that was a large source of cold air so I placed a bunch of insulation in the opening and now at least it's no longer losing heat there.

The dividing wall between the finished and unfinished sides of the house is not insulated (I checked by looking into an empty wall outlet that didn't have a wall outlet box).

** I am not sure if the outside walls are insulated and I can't look into the walls from the top (i.e. in the drop ceiling) because there is a 2x4 running across the top of the walls.

I was told that because the heating ducts are in the ceiling that the hot air is just rising right out of the room and that we definitely needed supplemental heat, etc. It really is quite chilly down there (not artic, but definitely uncomfortable) even with the air ducts...
 
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Old 02-14-13, 07:47 AM
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During the colder months cold air pushes into the lower portions of our homes and forces the warm air up and eventually out through leaks in the upper areas. If you reduce the flow of cold air into your basement it will be warmer. That cold air will fall to the floor even if you add more heat. Pull a section of the drop ceiling near the outside and examine the rim joist and sill plate that rests on the foundation. If you see extensive caulking or can foam then they tried. If there is just fiberglass insulation stuffed in there, that's not doing much.

Remove a receptacle cover on the outside wall, if there are any, and see if you can see any insulation beside it.

The crawl space may present another problem. Note photograph #1 BSI-009: New Light In Crawlspaces — Building Science Information
If there is a dirt floor in that crawl, there is a lot of moisture that needs to go somewhere.

Can you add a return air duct to the area you want to warm up. Supply ducts work better if the air has a place to go.

Bud
 
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Old 02-14-13, 10:11 AM
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Definitetly need returns ducts close to the basement floor level. The ducts can be metal or in some cases, enclosed by studs and dry wall since the pressure differential is quite low.

The return ducts can also be beneficial if you have central air - The basement slab is cooler than the exterior and this can actually reduce the cooling load and provide more uniform comfort in the entire home.

Dick
 
 

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