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Old 01-04-2011, 10:30 AM   #1
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Question for everyone, due to a new addition to the family my office has been relocated to an unfinished basement; the house was built in 1898 and is very chilly during the winter (SE Penna)... I want to insulate the ceiling to keep some heat in the basement as well as keeping the 1st floor a bit warmer. I have purchased faced roll insulation, should the facing be against the floor or exposed? Is there any thing I should not cover? E.g. pipes, wires etc???? Any advice would be welcome

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Old 01-04-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
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Question for everyone, due to a new addition to the family my office has been relocated to an unfinished basement; the house was built in 1898 and is very chilly during the winter (SE Penna)... I want to insulate the ceiling to keep some heat in the basement as well as keeping the 1st floor a bit warmer. I have purchased faced roll insulation, should the facing be against the floor or exposed? Is there any thing I should not cover? E.g. pipes, wires etc???? Any advice would be welcome
If the basement is chilly, what heat are you keeping in?
If you're using the basement as living space, you need to set it up as so.
It would help if you detailed what you have down there as far as walls and heat sources.
Putting insulation in the ceiling will isolate the first floor a bit, but do nothing for the basement. The ceiling joists in the basement are insulated if the basement is cold or sound deadening insulation is put in to keep it quiet upstairs.
If both the basement and first floor are heated, ceiling insulation has no use.
Ron

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Old 01-04-2011, 12:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Ron, I have a forced air vent for heat direct from the heater... the walls are stone with a thin cement covering that is spalling in may places...that is my next question for DIY... the floor is concrete and water migrates up from the underground springs in my area...not enough to puddle but enough to keep things damp if we have heavy rains...I want to keep the heat that is blown in the basement to stay and not lose it to the first floor. With the water migration problem I don't think I could ever make it a living space unless I dig up the floor and water proof it... not ready to do that yet.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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Thanks Ron, I have a forced air vent for heat direct from the heater... the walls are stone with a thin cement covering that is spalling in may places...that is my next question for DIY... the floor is concrete and water migrates up from the underground springs in my area...not enough to puddle but enough to keep things damp if we have heavy rains...I want to keep the heat that is blown in the basement to stay and not lose it to the first floor. With the water migration problem I don't think I could ever make it a living space unless I dig up the floor and water proof it... not ready to do that yet.
Putting heat in the basement without controlling the cold coming is a waste of money. Especially with the amount of wall space that's in a basement.
You can control the water with an interior perimeter drain system and a sump pump.
Seasonal humidity with a dehumidifier.
Studding out the walls and adding insulation will go along way to conserving energy and your heating bill.
Ron
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:09 PM   #5
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I would opt for unfaced insulation between the ceiling joists if the upper areas are heated or will be.

All depends on how long you plan to use the basement. There is a lot of thermal mass in the foundation and the soil does not see the exterior temperatures that above grade construction does. In Minnesota, the soil temperature around a basement does not go below 55F (even at -30F) if you are down a few feet and it would be warmer in SE PA since the ambient temperature may be warmer. Earth sheltered (or earth berm) homes require very little little heat in the winter without a lot of insulation below the soil level.

You can monitor the humidity, but usually in homes above grade require humidification in the winter because the air

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Old 01-04-2011, 08:20 PM   #6
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Ron, only way they are going to burn more fuel, is if their thermostat is down in the basement, or the upstairs is loosing heat as quick as the furnace can put out, and the furnace keeps running. Venting a duct & placing a cold air return into the basement is not going to burn more fuel.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:35 AM   #7
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Thanks Greg, I did not think we would be using more fuel...since I asked our heating guy if we could install a vent in the basement without affecting the performance or cost of operating the heater... the thermostat is on the first floor...
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:14 AM   #8
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I have two vents & a cold air return in my basement. I have not used any more fuel than normal. You are fine. The offside is, you will keep the space a little warmer and keep pipes happy, because it is not freezing cold down there. Right now, my basement is 60, my main floor is 67, and the furnace cycles on stage 1 about every 15-20 min's as it should. My wife says that I have made the house too weathertight, since there is no air leaks, even though no insulation in my basement other than R-13 along the Rim Joist bays, and 6" of blown in up in the attic.

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