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-   -   Furnace room is warm, wasting heat (http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/furnace-room-warm-wasting-heat-38500/)

Richo 02-16-2009 09:41 PM

Furnace room is warm, wasting heat
 
Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if this is common or not. My furnace is in the basement in the laundry room. The rest of the basement is about 58 degrees but the room with the furnace stays at least 10 degrees warmer.

Is this just a characteristic of a furnace or is my furnace wasting heat by heating a room that doesn't need it? I foil-taped the duct seams in that room and I've read about wrapping the ducts with insulation but that stuff is expensive and is it really even worth it?

With the price of natural gas, I'm just looking for a way to save as much energy as possible.

BTW my furnace is about 5 years old.

Thanks for your input.

Scuba_Dave 02-16-2009 09:59 PM

Is the room above the furnace a heated room?
Any heat that "escapes" inside the house contributes to heating the house. If the basement is colder, then the 1st floor "floors" will be colder & you will use more heat

Richo 02-16-2009 10:16 PM

Yes, the entire ground level of the house is heated including right above the laundry room. It just seems like such a waste to have an unused room as warm as the living area.

Bondo 02-16-2009 10:32 PM

Ayuh,...

It's kinda the nature of the Beast,...
A Fire inside a steel box is going to heat it's surroundings....

Scuba_Dave 02-16-2009 10:43 PM

My laundry area is separate from the furnace room
I may actually open up the wall to allow the heat to warm up the laundry area. My wife would like it warmer down there

beenthere 02-17-2009 01:37 AM

You can wrap the duct. But that room will still be warm.
The insulation in the furnace jacket will still let heat radiate through it.

I'd rather have a little heat in the laundry room, then let it get cold.

blogo 02-17-2009 04:37 AM

You have some insulating problem. You tape the duct. however, where you have the furnace, just that place will be a little warmer for sure .. but not the entire room will be 10d warmer than the others ....

pcampbell 02-17-2009 06:49 AM

My attic is where my heat is, and after I sealed the heater well (the trunk is insulated), my attic is not hot even with no insulation between the living area and the attic.

Do you feel any air escape around the furnace, blower, motor, etc? Is there duct mastic all over it?

Home Air Direct 02-17-2009 08:04 AM

Not knowing the level of insulation of your plenum and supply ducts, I can't comment on why it is so much warmer, but it does sound like a great place for a round pipe pass-through to the laundry room with booster fan in it.

I think the booster fans are normally useless and often are used to try to compensate for bad ducting, and that won't work, but this seems like maybe a plausible application. The wife deserves the heat if she is doing the laundry:wink:

sweaty 02-17-2009 09:27 AM

Your basement may be too cold because of air leaks. Seal all gaps- sill plate, any penetrations from outside, and insulate your rim joists. It makes a big difference and costs very little. It also keeps your top floor warmer because it reduces the chimney effect.

AllanJ 02-17-2009 09:48 AM

There is no good solution. Either buy insulation for the furnace or let the basement be heated.

The most modern furnaces have a duct to bring oxygen to the furnace directly from the outside rather than take the heated air in the basement for that purpose. Also a sealed exhaust instead of a typical chimney smokestack assembly that lets heated basement air out with the combustion gases.

Nestor_Kelebay 02-17-2009 10:27 AM

While it's true that some of the heat loss in the furnace room does help heat the floor above, it's NOT true that the higher temperature in the furnace room doesn't represent a heat loss.

The higher the temperature in the furnace room, the greater the rate of heat loss through the floor and exterior walls of that furnace room. The heat lost through the basement concrete foundation to the surrounding ground is a total loss.

Richo 02-18-2009 12:56 PM

Hey guys, thanks for all your replies.

The basement is insulated all the way around the sill but for a 35 year old home, I suppose it can only be so good.

I did feel around for any air leaks in the furnace duct area and I taped up any that I could feel warm air blowing through. I suppose I could try to get a hold of a smoke pencil and check for leaks that I can't sense with my hand.

The furnace does have intake and exhaust PVC pipes leading outside.

Being that I only need to do laundry about once a week, it doesn't matter to me if the laundry room is cooler :)

Yoyizit 02-18-2009 12:57 PM

There are room to room wall mounted fans if you don't mind doing some cutting.


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