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Old 01-03-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
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cold bedrooms! insulate basement ceiling?

The bedrooms located above the basement utility area, which is uninsulated, are colder than other rooms. Would insulating the basement ceiling make the rooms warmer? I also saw a suggestion to only insulate the space where the block wall meets the house.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:27 PM   #2
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I believe your efforts might be better focused on insulating or improving the insulation of the walls of the laundry, which is the cold area of your home. Not sure how cold it is in there, but there is potential for it to get even colder after the joists are insulated, as it may get a little warmth from the bedrooms above. If it gets too cold in your laundry there could be issues with freezing pipes. A good start would be to insulate your rim joist area, which is a place where cold air can really infiltrate. Be sure to address air leakage through doors, windows, cracks with an appropriate sealant.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:33 PM   #3
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There are several common causes of your problem:

1) A lack of airflow through the ducts. You can test the airflow in various rooms with a green garbage bag placed over a register and time how long it takes to fully inflate the bag. If it takes longer to fill the bag in the cold room, a duct problem is likely. If so, there may be a closed balancing damper in the basement. Balancing dampers have levers visible on the outside of the duct work. Turn all levers parallel to the duct. There may also be obstructed, disconnected or undersized ducts, or long duct runs with many elbows. You will need professional help to cure this problem.

2) Rooms may be cold because they are above an unheated garage, or have three exterior walls, or face northwest winter winds you can find drafts on a windy day with a cigarette or smoke pencil and seal them up and see if this will help.

3) Another problem maybe air from the registers may be too cool. You can check this on a cold day with a thermometer if the air from the duct in the cold room is cooler than the other bedrooms, the ducts may be losing heat. Insulate the ducts to reduce heat loss.

4) Another problem you might have is there is no return air grille in the bedroom which helps with circulation through the home. When bedroom doors are closed, warm air can't get into the room because the cool air can't escape. If the room is warmer with the door open, keep the door open, or cut off the bottom of the door so there is a ’’ gap at the bottom.

5) And if all else fails then the only economically viable solution is to add an electric baseboard heater in that room.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:56 PM   #4
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This is a good post. I never thought about the Bedroom doors being closed. My Master on the second floor is always cold, but the guest room is not. Neither have returns, and are on the second floor, but the guest room door stays open, while the master stays closed to hid the mess...
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