Basement Heat


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Old 03-03-03, 07:34 AM
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Basement Heat

Hi all,

I'm finishing my day-light basement and want to add a little heat/cooling. The back (south-eastern exposure) is totally exposed with windows and glass sliders. It gets direct sunlight until midday. The other 3 walls are underground. I live in New Jersey and the coldest it's ever gotten in the basement (with subzero temps outside) is 50F. Once insulated, I'm thinking I can get away with tapping 4 6" ducts into my existing heating system (with one 8" return). It never really seems to get uncomfortably warm down there, but by tapping into the existing system for heat, I'd also have access to the central AC by default.

My question is around motorized dampers (though advice on my plan as described above would be welcomed). I thought it would be cool to add 4 motorized dampers and control them with a digital thermostat. I don't need to create an entire new "zone", just for the dampers to open when necessary and close when not (but not actually trigger the system to run - it needs to run to heat/cool the first floor anyway).

So, would I just need a thermostat, 24V transformer, and the motorized ducts? Or would some kind of relay be required, too?

TIA,
Jim
 
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Old 03-03-03, 10:19 AM
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Jim:

You will most definately need a relay because the damper will have to be reverse acting in either the heat or cool modes.

There are commercial dampers that will change from heat to cool mode by sensing the air temp in the duct, but they are not cheap.
 
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Old 03-04-03, 02:58 AM
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Thanks, Greg.

Pardon my ignorance, but if I get a heat/cool thermostat won't it act like a switch and simple open the ducts when necessary? If i get normally closed ducts I'd just need something to open them regardless of whether I'm heating or cooling.

Thanks again,
Jim
 
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Old 03-04-03, 04:53 AM
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Jim:

When in the heating mode the switch action of the thermostat is open on rise, that is the circuit opens when it hits the high setting to stop the heating.
When in the cooling mode the switch action is open on fall, the switch opens to stop the cooling when its cold enough.
These operations are electrically reverse of each other and you will need a relay(s) to make it work.
 
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Old 03-04-03, 05:12 AM
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Got it - thanks.

Jim
 
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Old 03-04-03, 10:13 AM
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Duct work

It would sure cost a lot less to just use 2x12 registers in the ceiling blowing down for the basment by the out side walls. Then all you have to do is balance them two times a year for heat and cool. Just dont forget K I S S ED
 
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Old 03-04-03, 10:25 AM
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Jim:

I agree with ED that the KISS principle might be the best thing for your heating/cooling needs.

Keep in mind that if the heat loss is greater in the basement than in the area of the thermostat, the temp swings down there may leave it a little chilly between cycles.

I've thrown in a couple of electric baseboards in my finished bsmt to take care of this.
 
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Old 03-05-03, 05:17 AM
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Good advice from you both.....

I think I'm going to tap into the main plenum and pop in a couple of vents and see how that goes. I'll also drop in a couple of electric baseboards on the outside walls. My neighbor did this and it seems fine. Actually, he hasn't had to fire up the electric baseboards yet.

Thanks,
Jim
 
 

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