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Old 01-09-2017, 10:06 PM   #1
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Losing a lot of heat through baseboards - is this normal?


Hi all,

I have several rooms in my house that are always colder than others. There are also lots of large windows in my house so i had always assumed that was the cause.

I bought a flir one (thermal imager) and realized that I am losing a ton of heat through my baseboards which surprised me.

Here is what i am looking at:






Now this is a problem around the entire perimeter of the main floor of my house, so im wondering if the builder cut some corners, or if this is normal.

I would specifically like to address this room asap because will be used for a nursery.

My main floor is elevated from the ground. From the outside view, the baseboard is roughly 3 feet above ground level. the outside finish is brick. there is also a level right below this room.

Has anyone seen this before? I am planning on ripping out the carpet soon, and will take a look behind the baseboard. any ideas as to what i should look for?

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Old 01-09-2017, 10:12 PM   #2
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Re: Losing a lot of heat through baseboards - is this normal?


Where the rim joist ever insulated under the house with 2" thick blue foam?
Are the floor joist insulated?
Attic and crawl space been air sealed?
100 % sure the foundation vents are closed?

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Old 01-10-2017, 07:33 AM   #3
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Re: Losing a lot of heat through baseboards - is this normal?


That's not unusual since the framing parts are there, sill plates and rim joists, full of holes and cracks. Put your hand there and feel for draft. You may have to remove the trim and air seal under the drywall but at this point that is about all you can do, unless you remove the siding and seal the framing parts. If nursery, put the baby's bed away from the window and air registers/vents. Get a thermometer, place it at the bed spot and check the changes.
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Old 01-10-2017, 10:16 AM   #4
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Re: Losing a lot of heat through baseboards - is this normal?


thanks for the replies. Should have mentioned the house is roughly 30 years old as well.

I simply dont know some of this stuff. I have only been in this place about a year, but plan on staying a long time so I want to address this. There are no foundation vents, and no crawl space. there is a basement right below this room which is finished and warm. No idea on the outer joist insulation.

I am willing to investigate further than just taking off the baseboards if I dont find the "smoking gun" while looking there. I may drill a hole in the floor and stick an inspection camera down there to try and see if the outer joists are insulated correctly. Is there anything else I can do to make sure this room stays warm? will rip up sections of the floor if necessary/beneficial.
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:13 PM   #5
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Re: Losing a lot of heat through baseboards - is this normal?


Here is a link that has some illustrations to help you see how yours might be constructed. With a finished space below it will be difficult to add new insulation. But let's discuss those IR pictures.

First, what was the temperature outside?
The 15.9 C, sorry I'm old school, converts to 60 degrees. That isn't terrible but that depends upon what the temp was outside. That number also depends upon how large a spot the camera is measuring, I suspect it is averaging some of the warmer areas with the cold center. But it does indicate that the rim joist as others have suggested probably wasn't air sealed or well insulated. Air sealing at the baseboard level may not address air leakage into those joist cavities but it may help.

The window we can see looks like it may not be sealed well at the bottom.

On a cold day, turn on all of your exhaust appliances, bath and kitchen fans and the dryer. That will increase the amount of air leaking back in and after a few minutes any cold signatures resulting from incoming cold air will get colder.

Any way to access these areas from below?

Bud
http://www.finehomebuilding.com/2013...ing-rim-joists

Last edited by Bud9051; 01-10-2017 at 01:15 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:46 PM   #6
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Re: Losing a lot of heat through baseboards - is this normal?


The house is 30 yrs old? I'm betting there's no insulation in those walls.

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Old 01-10-2017, 08:57 PM   #7
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Re: Losing a lot of heat through baseboards - is this normal?


Hi Chuck,
The IR picture suggest the cavities have insulation. If none then the studs would be warmer than the cavities. I started building 45 years ago and using insulation in cold country back then was standard practice.

Bud
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Old 01-11-2017, 04:05 PM   #8
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Re: Losing a lot of heat through baseboards - is this normal?


Looks normal for that age. Now; plywood/OSB wall sheathing is required, usually covering the rim joist also. You may not have any so the bottom wall plate has a continuous air crack at the floor decking plywood. Now, continuous caulking is required under or next to (on interior) of that bottom plate to stop air infiltration which probably comes from the code required air space to your brick veneer--- install some backer rod under the drywall --if up higher than backer thickness- install/caulk in the bottom plate joint, use the backer some place else.
The brick space air could be moisture loaded from solar gain as well, giving moist air from the exterior.

Gary

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