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Old 04-04-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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Too Hot or Cold

I am not an HVAC man. I am a plumbing apprentice. I have done odds and ends work not related to plumbing for various people over the years. In one man's case I installed a closet maid hanging shelf for his extensive marketing wardrobe.

He asked me back later to see if I could do anything about a room in his basement which he is leasing from a landlord in a residence.

The room in question is too cold in winter and too hot in the summer.

He feels that he can not use it throughout the year as it is to uncomfortable. He also wants to know what his options for improvement are.

I do not think that as a renter he is really going to be interested in fronting the money to have this space properly sealed, have an HVAC system installed, install an air conditioner, or have the space properly insulated.

It is likely that his landlord is not interested in parting with his money to make sure this man can use his entire space throughout the year as well.

So I proposed to him that I would ask the pros on this site for advice.


He is looking for advice on what types of portable climate control options he has. Air Conditioner and how (explained later), better portable heaters, sealing cracks in walls, around door, in window frames etc.

I will provide a link to so that you can take a look at the pictures I took and give according advice. Thanks in advance.

I think that this space which is a part of the basement was an addition put on by HO.

There is a brick wall which may have once been the exterior wall which separates this room from rest of basement save for the open area of brick wall which serves as entrance/exit. This room has skylight windows, wood framed windows, and a door to the outside.

Notes I took:

1) The man has a quilt between his main basement area and this room. He is using it to keep heat in the main space and to attempt to keep heat generated by his portable rolling radiator heaters in the small room. Quilt is not very heavy and likely does not have much insulating value.

2) Has wood flooring in room. Would carpeting help with keeping it warmer in winter?

3) States that room has a dry cold in winter. Not very humid in there.

4) Would it help "enough" "noticeably" if cracks in walls, around door frame, in window frames were to be sealed with proper caulk?

5) Would you advise that he keep the windows covered with plastic in the winter?

6) He has two plug in radiators on wheels and states that with both of them running that he still is not comfortable in space during winter. Does he need to figure out the cubic space of room and get a single unit with high enough wattage or is he dealing with an almost impossible situation?

7) Too hot in summer.

8) Is there a good portable air conditioner plug in type on wheels that might do him some good? He does not seem to have windows that are conducive to an air conditioning unit being installed.

9) I did point out that he has a duct installed close to the ceiling of this room and that the air directors were closed. Would be helpful to have them open and pointed down during the winter. He did not even know about this condition. My guess is that he probably does not get enough output even with it open to make a difference in the winter. It should have been installed lower in my opinion since heat rises.

10) Would an insulation install be advisable?

11) Would you advise an HVAC upgrade?


Last edited by Drazzil; 04-04-2011 at 06:23 PM.
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