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C_J_GO 11-30-2008 12:28 PM

Alternative Basement Heat
Background: Unfinished basement with 1 heating system throughout house (heat ducts are branched off eachother for both upstairs and downstairs). Coverage area will be ~900-1000 square feet.

(Percieved) Problem: Basement will be cold during the winter due to the thermostat being upstairs using the furnace as the only source of heat. I would like this to not stand out as a heating source, but function quietly (baseboard heat, without the unit on the wall). I have no good place to put a gas/electric fireplace, and even worse place to vent it outside.

Ideas: (1). Close upstairs vents and open downstairs vents to allow more heat into the basement. (2). Plumb/wire in an additional heat source for the basement. I looked at flooring heat, but was limited by the want of carpet. Also read that floor heat from this source only heats up the floor and does minimal to the air temp.

Any other options that I am missing?

yuri 11-30-2008 01:03 PM

Electric baseboard heaters with a wall mounted thermostat is your best bet. On a sunny day it may be warm upstairs and the tstat doesn't call for heat anyway. If you want to use the basement a lot then a separate system will allow you to turn it on/off as required.

C_J_GO 12-04-2008 09:32 PM

I figured that would be my only option. They are just damn ugly and really can't conceal them for a clean look. I have seen the covers for them, but they are expensive...

Is there a square footage value per foot of baseboard that I should follow?

hvaclover 12-04-2008 10:00 PM

Zoned system. One stat for main floor. The other serving the basement.

You may have to add branches. Only a visit from a Pro can determine the best lay out.

J_theo 12-04-2008 10:36 PM

If zoning isn't an option, you may want to look into a fujitsu or Mr. Slim heat pump system, can get costly, but it will heat and cool your basement seperately from the rest of the house, meaning no need for additional zones or increase of BTU to the existing primary system. But, if it's a McMansion, and the builder installed a "builder grade" furn and A/C, you may just want to bite the bullet, get some zones and a bigger/better name brand system.

beenthere 12-05-2008 06:21 AM

A mini split, or zone your curretn system.

Just closing the supplies won't help much.
During the off cycle, the cold air from the first floor will still enter the basement through the supply registers, and cool it off quicker the the first floor.

mike4 03-31-2009 06:24 AM

electric baseboard heat
Going down the same road as you, finishing basement, looking for best heat without spending a bundle. (did get a price on a heating airconditioning unit, $5,500.00 installed...too much). Seems for me the only choice is to go electric baseboard, and agree with you on the appearance. Now I need to decide, between the basic electric, hydronic, or ceramic.

beenthere 03-31-2009 11:19 AM


Originally Posted by mike4 (Post 252861)
Now I need to decide, between the basic electric, hydronic, or ceramic.

More like you have to decide how much you want to pay upfront.

Basic $, or hydronic or ceramic at $$$.

They all cost the same to operate.

jogr 04-01-2009 01:51 PM

First things first. Insulate the basement walls and pay particular attention to the rim joist area. That will make a huge difference in your basement temps. Once that is done you'll have a better idea how out of balance the temp difference is between upstairs and down. Maybe some minor balancing with adjustable registers will be all you need. If you leave your furnace fan on 24/7 it also helps address the "sunny day" issue.

If that doesn't do it then look around more at baseboard heaters. They all gotta be what they gotta be but some aren't all that ugly compared to others.

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