# Basement not heating well?

• posted on October 20, 2003, 4:42 am
I have a problem with our 1964 gas forced air heated rambler. The basement stays cooler than upstairs and have to have the heat set high to get it warm. The basement is partially finished, insulation, paneling and has 2 heat vents one towards each end of the ductwork that runs along the ceiling. There is only one thermostat that is upstairs in the living room. The furnace is newer. I would think that the heat is rising upstairs alot. Any suggestions how to warm it up more with out having the upstairs so hot? A ceiling fan? I have the heat vents downstairs wide open and the upstairs some closed down more where it is too warm. Still doesn't warm the downstairs enough. Thanks
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• posted on October 20, 2003, 9:04 am
To really answer your question you will need someone to come out and "do the numbers" There are calculations and measurements needed to figure out what needs to be done. It would be difficult to do over the internet. I would guess the size and placement of air returns and supplies are a problem, but just how to go about correcting that is best approached by on site measurements and calculations.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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• posted on October 20, 2003, 12:23 pm
My insulated basement is impossible to heat , when the sun comes out ,the furnace is off and it cools down. more vents will help and a return. I am going the route of a seperate vented heater. then i will heat it only when needed
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• posted on October 20, 2003, 12:15 pm
On Sun, 19 Oct 2003 23:42:54 -0500 (CDT), snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (t fitzgerald) wrote:

A couple of questions: Does it have any cold air returns at floor level? Is there a closed door to keep warm air from rising upstairs?
Two vents, depending on the size of the basement, may not be enough.
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• posted on October 20, 2003, 1:07 pm
Many newer, larger homes are using separate heating/cooling systems for 1st & 2nd floors. Separate heat for basement may be the best answer. A cold air return near the floor in basement may help. Our basement became noticeably cooler when we installed new hi-efficiency furnace 3 years ago. The old furnace drew combustion air near the floor thus taking out the coldest air, new furnace draws combustion air from out side so cold air just lays there. I added cold air return near floor, helps a lot but since basement is just work shop now, don't need, or want, to be as warm as living space.
Walt Conner
>The basement stays cooler than upstairs and have to have the heat set high

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• posted on October 21, 2003, 12:13 pm
wrote:

Isn't this simple physics? Heat rising, and all that? [A friend had a similar problem with a new, less wasteful furnace -- she now has to leave a light bulb on in her utility area to keep a water source from freezing.] Depending on his uses, the OP might "decorate" with heat-emitting appliances -- 'fridge, TV, computer, etc. And use incandescent, not fluorescent lighting.
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<%-name%>
• posted on October 20, 2003, 7:24 pm
You have the right idea. Close upstairs registers and open downstairs registers. It may be necessary to install more registers downstairs. If there is a door between up and down, keep it closed. Fabricate/install a cold air "trap" on the fresh/combustion air inlet to reduce siphoning. Close off unused and unfinished areas that do not require as much heat. You need return air vents close to the floor downstairs to pull the cold air out. Force the blower on to circulate the air between up and down.

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• posted on October 22, 2003, 11:08 am
Thanks for all the feedback. No there is no cold air return in the basement and there is a doorway but no door.
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• posted on October 23, 2003, 1:50 am
It's most likely as you have surmised, with the thermostat on the 1st floor, the temp in the basement isn't going to have much effect on it. Basement, being below ground, will naturally be cool, and without a return air vent, its probably not getting as much heat as you'd like since when the furnace is on it has to 'push' the cold air up the stairs to the return.. You could try adding a return air vent to assist some, but your best option may be to add some supplemental heat. Electric baseboard heaters are probably your best bet. Or a second small gas furnace with the stat located in the basement.

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• posted on October 23, 2003, 1:59 am
Hi, I have a two story house with finished basement(has a gas FP) where the thermostat is licated on the main floor(has a gas FP). Basement is properly ducted for hot/cold air. After trial and error I managed to balance air flow throughout the house. all 3 level has pretty even temp. in summer/winter. But until I have dampers installed in the air duct, nothing much helped. Also I have dual speed fan which runs in low speed all the time. When heat/cold air is called for, it goes into high speed. Tony
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