Last summer I had a shed dormer framed for the second floor in the Cape Cod style home that my family lives in. The previous owner had insulation blown into the crawl space floors on either side of the house (about 6’ from the outside walls). When I finished off the interior bedrooms over in the fall (new wiring, flooring, insulation batts, sheetrock, etc), I did not think to remove the blown-in insulation that was now under/in the floors toward the back of the house.
That winter, we noticed that the upstairs rooms were very cold and that they were especially cold when you stood on the floor with the blown-in insulation underneath. My theory was that we may not have adequate heat going to the upstairs, but the blown-in insulation in the floors was also preventing the thermal energy from the first floor from rising into the second floor.
I have not sided the outside of the second floor yet, so I was planning on cutting holes, from the outside, into the second floor (between the joists). I thought I would then try to vacuum out the blown-in insulation with the hope that this would help out heating problem during the next winter.
Today I spoke with a duct cleaning company owner and he felt that I was wasting my time and money and that there would not be a noticeable difference. He asked me about my existing heating system upstairs. I told him that the house was built in the 1950’s and that the heating system was forced hot air. There is ONE register along one of the outside walls in each room that provides hot air (so one register per room – 2 bedrooms). He said that that was my problem - I have now created a large outside wall and there is no heat register on that wall; the new outside walls were not heated. Since I had already finished off each room, he said that there wasn’t a way to tap into the existing heating system with a new duct without ripping up the wall and floor. I am now looking into an electric baseboard for each of the unheated outside walls.
What is your opinion on this situation? I know there is not adequate heat upstairs, but is an electric baseboard the way to go? Do they make baseboards that can tap into the existing 20amp circuits that I wired for each bedroom or do I have to run a separate circuit? Should I spend the money and time to remove the insulation in the floor between the 1st and second floors?