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Old 01-26-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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Adding heat to a basement, newbie questions


I'm in the planning stage of finishing my basement and I'm trying to figure out the best way to heat the space. Here's the background:

I live in MN where it gets mighty cold. It's a 1920s house with an 1000 sqft foundation but only 600 sqft will be finished. There's currently no heating or cooling in the basement but the main floor is heated by hot water radiant heat and the 1/2 story second floor is heated by electric baseboards. The main and second floors are cooled by window AC.

For heating the basement, electric baseboard seem like the easiest install (I'm capable of the wiring) but the cost of electricity is pretty high.

The other option I've come up with is using hot water baseboard radiators running off our current boiler or some sort of dry radiant flooring using hot water from the current boiler. Here's where I get above my head, how do I know if my boiler has the capacity to be extended to heat the basement? Is that even possible?

I don't know if you can tell just from the numbers, but my boiler is a Burnham Series 2 (204H) with Input MBH: 96; DOE Heating Capacity MBH: 80; I=B=R Net Rating MBH: 94. I confess... those numbers don't mean anything to me yet.

Is there a way to know based on the info I provided? If not, what other info can I gather?

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Old 01-26-2011, 07:49 PM   #2
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Adding heat to a basement, newbie questions


Your basement won't need much heat, so your boiler should be fine size wise for being able to handle that additional load. Unless it already can't heat the first floor.

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Old 01-27-2011, 07:23 AM   #3
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Adding heat to a basement, newbie questions


Pellet stove or wood
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:57 PM   #4
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Adding heat to a basement, newbie questions


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Your basement won't need much heat, so your boiler should be fine size wise for being able to handle that additional load. Unless it already can't heat the first floor.
Thanks for the info. The boiler has been keeping up fine on the main level. Running the pluming and adding a second zone is above my head so I guess it's time to call in a pro.
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