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Room too cold..


DatacomGuy's Avatar
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GA

12-29-09, 09:44 AM   #1  
Room too cold..

My wife and I are expecting, and the baby is due in July.

The room that we need to use for the baby is constantly cold. It has three exterior concrete block walls, and 3 large bay windows.

I need to find a remedy to this, especially during the winter. Even though we're in Florida, it was 35 out this morning and that room was easily 60 degrees or colder while the rest of the house was 68-72.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Is it something I can tackle myself?

 
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XSleeper's Avatar
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12-29-09, 10:04 AM   #2  
Assuming that you don't plan on going to the work of insulating your block walls and covering that with sheetrock, I think you will probably just need to throw more energy at the problem. the rooms feel cold because of heat loss, so you simply need to add more heat... either by increasing existing airflow or actually adding more heat to the room.

Increasing existing airflow would include leaving your HVAC fan on, to circulate air evenly throughout the house. You might need to contact an HVAC technician and see if cold air returns could be increased in this area to pull more cold air out, or perhaps increase the number of heat ducts into the rooms. A box fan set in the doorway would move a lot of air.

For additional heat, adding electric space heaters is probably the easiest solution. There are also oil burners that are fairly effective. Once the child gets old enough to move around, these could obviously become dangerous if he/she is left alone and they get knocked over.

You could also have an electrician add additional heat, perhaps radiant heat units up high on your walls where they are out of reach.

You mentioned 3 bay windows... if they have single pane glass they probably act like air conditioners in the winter, since single pane glass will be slightly above the temperature outdoors. Changing the glass is probably not an easy option, but adding thermal blankets/curtains to the windows might help.

Rooms that have dramatic temperature problems due to the design of the room usually need a separate thermostat and heat source as a way to better control the temperature of the room. You'd talk to an HVAC guy about the possibilities with your existing system. You didn't mention what type of system you have.

 
DatacomGuy's Avatar
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12-29-09, 10:19 AM   #3  
Posted By: XSleeper Assuming that you don't plan on going to the work of insulating your block walls and covering that with sheetrock, I think you will probably just need to throw more energy at the problem. the rooms feel cold because of heat loss, so you simply need to add more heat... either by increasing existing airflow or actually adding more heat to the room.

Increasing existing airflow would include leaving your HVAC fan on, to circulate air evenly throughout the house. You might need to contact an HVAC technician and see if cold air returns could be increased in this area to pull more cold air out, or perhaps increase the number of heat ducts into the rooms. A box fan set in the doorway would move a lot of air.

For additional heat, adding electric space heaters is probably the easiest solution. There are also oil burners that are fairly effective. Once the child gets old enough to move around, these could obviously become dangerous if he/she is left alone and they get knocked over.

You could also have an electrician add additional heat, perhaps radiant heat units up high on your walls where they are out of reach.

You mentioned 3 bay windows... if they have single pane glass they probably act like air conditioners in the winter, since single pane glass will be slightly above the temperature outdoors. Changing the glass is probably not an easy option, but adding thermal blankets/curtains to the windows might help.

Rooms that have dramatic temperature problems due to the design of the room usually need a separate thermostat and heat source as a way to better control the temperature of the room. You'd talk to an HVAC guy about the possibilities with your existing system. You didn't mention what type of system you have.
My HVAC experience and exposure is limited, so bare with me.

To clarify on the exterior CB walls, they are covered in drywall, but no insulation. Could I tear out the drywall and add insulation? Or would that be for nothing?

My system is central heat and air. Want to say its a 3.5 ton A/C.

 
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12-29-09, 10:29 AM   #4  
Removing the drywall, then adding furring strips and foam insulation (2" of Thermax would probably be best) would "help". But that alone will probably not solve the entire problem. 3 exterior walls will always mean more energy loss than rooms with only 2 exterior walls, and 3 bay windows makes for a lot of glass area, and glass is just plain cold in the winter. Even with energy efficient glass, glass is not as efficient as an insulated wall. You also have an attic space... do you know how much insulation is up there?

I'd suggest you buy a thermometer... set it in the room, and take a reading of what it is in the morning.

Then the next day, turn your thermostat fan switch to "ON" let it run for 24 hours that way and see what temperature it is the following morning. If the temperature comes up, that will be an easy solution. If it doesn't, you might contact the HVAC technician and ask about added airflow to the room. But you'll probably want more heat. A $50 space heater, used a few weeks out of the year, is more cost effective than a $4500 remodelling project.

 
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12-29-09, 10:39 AM   #5  
Good ideas, and good point. I'll do just that and let you know what I come up with.

Thanks!

 
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12-29-09, 05:36 PM   #6  
Curtains drawn across the windows will help as well. You will be surprised at how much of a difference that can make in the room feeling cold.

 
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12-29-09, 05:50 PM   #7  
Posted By: drooplug Curtains drawn across the windows will help as well. You will be surprised at how much of a difference that can make in the room feeling cold.
What about blinds? All 3 windows have faux wooden blinds..

When we start decorating for the baby, there will be curtains also..

 
XSleeper's Avatar
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12-29-09, 07:56 PM   #8  
Posted By: XSleeper You mentioned 3 bay windows... if they have single pane glass they probably act like air conditioners in the winter, since single pane glass will be slightly above the temperature outdoors. Changing the glass is probably not an easy option, but adding thermal blankets/curtains to the windows might help.
wood has an r-value of about 1.3 per inch. So if your blinds are 3/16" thick... well, thats about r-0.25. Next to nothing... so your blinds may help a little but not much. If you are going to get new curtains anyway, you might look into the thermal blanket curtains I mentioned earlier. They have decent insulating properties.

You could also cover the windows with 3M window insulator kits, but that might not be desirable, not to mention they might not be big enough to cover a large bay window.

 
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01-10-10, 08:12 AM   #9  
Just to update.. I placed a thermometer in the room and I've learned that the room has on average an 8-10 degree difference than the rest of the house.

 
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