In my basement, there are an old oil-fired steam furnance and a natural gas
clothes dryer. The temperature is above 50 degrees F in the basement and I
am in Northern New Jersey where it is 15 degrees outside.
I closed up some of the chases where it was really cold in the room above.
I could have also added some insulation before closing the chases under the
upstairs windows as well. In the end, this didn't seem to effect the damper
movement when furnance and dryer were running. I know closing the remaining
chases would be preferable and adding a fresh air intake would be too.
Since the basement is unfinished I suppose closing the chases would make it
less drafty in the basement and maybe warmer upstairs. But adding the fresh
air intake would just dump the air into the basement cooling it again. I
would like to condition the intake air. I thought about running the intake
pipe along the insulated steam pipes and wrapping it with radiant barrier
material. It could pick up some heat. I would put a damper/draft blocker
at the end intake to control it somewhat.
This could sound Mickey Mouse but I think this can be done cheaply and
somewhat effectively. Your comments are appreciated.