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Old 04-12-2011, 10:48 PM   #1
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Cold Basement


Hi guys and girls, My fiance and I just bought our first house and are really happy with it. The only thing that is a problem wouyld be how our finished basement in close to 5 degrees colder than the main floor.

There is good insulation in the walls but for the flooring the just threw the carpet and linoleum down over the concrete floor.

Im pretty sure this is why it is so cold down there, but what im not too sure of is how we would remedy it.

Would I just put down some vapor barrier and then some plywood or would I have to put down some rigid insulation as well?

Or if anyone has any other suggestions Im open to anything really lol.

Thanks in advance

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Old 04-13-2011, 12:58 AM   #2
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Old house, new house? Vapor barrier plastic under the slab? Any water problems, or sign of effervescence (water/salt deposits)?
Headroom for a built-up floor? Tape a 2' square plastic tight to the floor yet? Furnace down there? Rim joists insulated?

Gary

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Old 04-13-2011, 01:14 AM   #3
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The house is about 20-25 years old, Unsure about the VB under the slab, only sign of water is in laundry room from spilling, plenty of headroom probably 8'6" height. Furnace, water heater, laundry and second 3 piece bath all down there. Rim Joists are insulated
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:01 AM   #4
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HVAC supplies and returns?
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:01 PM   #5
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Home inspection had all supplies and returns as correct and clean.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:14 PM   #6
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basement are always cooler,,, below grade, ambient earth temp's in the 65f range,,, wear slippers OR put in a raised floor,,, we used pt2x4's & 3/4" t&g plywood then wall-to-wall carpeting on top when we had young rugmunchers,,, also had a wood-burning stove down there
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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Cold Basement


Make sure you use the circulation of heat/heat/cold to maintain the uniformity and annual economics.

I run by furnace fan (variable) continuously during the heating season and usually have 2F difference despite a open vaulted stairway connecting the levels. In the winter, I use a 6 degree setback (too much, but the basement bedromm is desired to be colder) with a 2 two hour rise. The downstairs warms up quicker and is the warmest in the house in the early AM. The mechanics are simple since the soil/foundation temperature in the winter is about an average of 58F, which is warmer than the exterior air temperatures.

In the summer, I run the fan on automatic when air conditioning to get maximum dehumidification and circulate the basement air that is cooled by the soil/foundation. The downstairs is slightly cooler than the upper level, but usually within 1F during heavy demands. - I do fiddle with the vent openings but I have excess duct capacity.

Using the natural thermal storage and stability of the soil is very economical one can figure out to use the advantages.

Dick
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:35 AM   #8
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humidity also plays a part in how a room's temp ' feels ',,, guess you're too young to remember ( or to have heard of ' root cellars ' ) dick & i aren't

ps - that's his wife's car, NOT his ! ! ! he married a younger woman
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:04 AM   #9
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I know that humidity affects the way a temperature feels. And I definitely know what a root cellar is lived in 3 houses over 100 years old.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:40 AM   #10
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Does the basement have dedicated heat?
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahrens View Post
Hi guys and girls, My fiance and I just bought our first house and are really happy with it. The only thing that is a problem wouyld be how our finished basement in close to 5 degrees colder than the main floor.

There is good insulation in the walls but for the flooring the just threw the carpet and linoleum down over the concrete floor.

Im pretty sure this is why it is so cold down there, but what im not too sure of is how we would remedy it.

Would I just put down some vapor barrier and then some plywood or would I have to put down some rigid insulation as well?

Or if anyone has any other suggestions Im open to anything really lol.

Thanks in advance

Your basement will always be cooler, unless you have dual-zone heating.

There are a lot of things you can do about the temperature difference. Everything from having a little plug-in space heater, to installing radiant floor heating.

I guess the main question is, "how much are you willing to spend to bring the temp up a little bit?"
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:23 AM   #12
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Cold Basement


I know the basement will be cooler but the difference is very noticeable and I can go from wearing just pants and a t-shirt upstairs to having to put on socks and a hoodie downstairs. I dont think we want to go with just plugging in a space heater down there. What I am thinking is that if we finish the floor properly with subfloor and some insulation that would reduce the cold coming through the floor. It is not a priority at the moment Im just trying to get some ideas. We wouldnt have a huge budget, as we have many bills (who doesnt).

Just like to say thanks again to everyone that has been helping me out here.

AA
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahrens View Post
I know the basement will be cooler but the difference is very noticeable and I can go from wearing just pants and a t-shirt upstairs to having to put on socks and a hoodie downstairs. I dont think we want to go with just plugging in a space heater down there. What I am thinking is that if we finish the floor properly with subfloor and some insulation that would reduce the cold coming through the floor. It is not a priority at the moment Im just trying to get some ideas. We wouldnt have a huge budget, as we have many bills (who doesnt).

Just like to say thanks again to everyone that has been helping me out here.

AA
You didn't answer the question:
Do you have a dedicated heat source in the basement?
Is there baseboard heat?
Are there heating vents from a furnace?
If you do have these and it's insulated properly and it's still cold, the heating wasn't sized for the area.
Plugging an a heater isn't a solution.
Ron
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:48 PM   #14
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Cold Basement


There are 3 heat runs that go into the main room in the basement and one each for the batroom and bedroom. The utility room doesnt have one but then again the furnace is in there so no point really. There is no baseboard heat in the house at all it is all from the furnace which has a btu rating which is more than enough for the size of the house.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahrens View Post
There are 3 heat runs that go into the main room in the basement and one each for the batroom and bedroom. The utility room doesnt have one but then again the furnace is in there so no point really. There is no baseboard heat in the house at all it is all from the furnace which has a btu rating which is more than enough for the size of the house.
Then the issue is either the system balance is off for the basement or there is cold air getting in somewhere, or both.
I have a 1949 built house I finished a 15x 24' room with 20 ft of Slantfin standard baseboard on it's own zone. I hardly turn it on. It stays 68 degrees on all but the days it drops below 20 outside.
I have a ceramic tile floor with an area rug.
Ron

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