Gas Heater for "no heat" basement

Old 04-25-21, 08:08 PM
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Gas Heater for "no heat" basement

I have a basement that is about 21'x44' (924 sqft) that has no heat source. The heater system is located on the 2nd floor. I'm in PA so it gets cold in the basement - around 50-55 F in winter. The basement just has storage and laundry and a water heater. The problem is that the floor of the main floor (hardwood floors) is always cold. I tried installing insulation in the basement ceiling in half the basement just to see if it had an affect - negligible difference. So I had an "Energy Audit" from the Electric/Gas company (PECO/Excelon) as well as two Weatherization companies - the bottom line seems to be that there's no heat source in the basement so it will always be the same temp. There were a number of options they all gave me (install new HVAC in basement, radiant heater to warm floors) ... there were two that seemed feasible. The first was to get a kit to heated floor in the ceiling of the basement to warm the 1st floor hardwood floors - that was the most "direct" solution because we don't care about heating the basement so much ... but that will be VERY difficult because of all the piping/electric already strewn about. The other option was to install a vented (Direct vent?) natural gas furnace - I'm handy enough that I can do that myself.

One concern ... the basement is essentially "two halfs" with the stairs and a closet in the middle - doors on either side of the steps allow a "flow thru". So ... if I install a heater on one side, will it create it's own air flow to warm the other side? Or do I need a strong blower to keep air circulating? Then I was trying to figure out how many BTU I needed to raise the temp 10-degrees (from 50 to 65F or 55-65F) ... I'm assuming 65F floor will suffice ... but I'm open to your thoughts on how warm the basement needs to be in order to make the floor feel comfortable.

Also, (as if that isn't enough background,) the walls are cinderblock and floor is cement. No insulation on any of it. Should I have to insulate all the walls/floors? The weatherization guys didn't feel that would help at all but rather the heat would seep into the walls after 2-3 weeks of heated basement.

I tried asking this specific question to the people who came in (including an HVAC guy) but I never got a direct answer on everything. So ... I'm hoping someone can help me here.

Thanks in advance for your help!
Old 04-26-21, 09:24 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Typically a 30k btu direct vent heater is good for a basement up to 1000 sq ft.
Williams makes the best units.
Be sure to opt for the blower to move the heated air.

Underfloor heating is nice but not easy to install after the bays are filled.

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