We have an upper floor to the house that has no heat. Running ductwork from
the furnace in the basement is not an option. Does anyone have any
suggestions for a way to heat the rooms up there other than just plugging in
a quartz heater? I'm looking for something fairly permanent -- I'll likely
add a thermostat in the mix as well.
Check with a local heating contractor. We need more information about
your home than you are likely to be able to give us. BTW don't bet that
ducts could not be used, but they may not be the best solution.
Ducts could not be run within the walls -- it's plaster and lathe (wood AND
metal mesh) construction with a bunch of interesting wood constructs in the
frame. I *MIGHT* be able to come up with something using a form of flexible
ducting I suppose, but I'd be leary breaks in the ducting during running it.
Putting ductwork external to the walls means losing space in the downstairs
room and the layout is not conducive to this -- it also means cutting
floors/ceilings and after a recent project, I'm leary of cutting anything
more in this house. Last time, I ended up doing a MAJOR tear-out.
I was suggesting that an experienced professional has tricks they have
learned that get around problems we mortals see as impossible obstacles.
They will also have the experience to choose the best option based on the
situation, not just one that works.
I'll tell ya Joe, if I had the bucks I'd hire a pro to take care of a number
of things for me so I didn't have to hassle with 'em. Unfortunately, the
bucks just ain't there so I have to do it myself. If it weren't for the age
of the house and the fact that it was once a barn this would be no big
deal -- I'd just cut into a wall and run the duct. BUT the house ain't
being very cooperative. :-|
I've debated a direct vent system of some sort in the larger room then maybe
a vent in the wall to encourage air flow between the two. Although I'd have
a helluva time getting normal ductwork up there, I'm fairly confident I can
get a pipe for gas through the walls possibly using the stairwell between
the two floors, which has a fairly accessible wall space.
Why do you rule out running a duct from the basement? That
is the only permanent solution. Don't you already have ducts
to the first floor, and can't you tap those. You should be
able to run a duct/ducts through closets to get to the
second floor with little visual problems. Of course you
could run hot water but that would be a lot more
complicated. The last possibility is to use electric
baseboard heaters, but your heating costs would be
Vents are on the floor, not in the walls. They run directly up from the
basement through the floor. The only option to use these would be to extend
them with a tap for the first floor. That also means cutting holes in the
ceiling/floor to the 2nd floor and the associated visual problems.
Well, that's that. Tear down the house and start over.
Seriously, and depending on how much work you want to go to,
you could enclose the ducts within the existing walls. But
of course you have to have a hole all the way from the
basement to the second floor. I think you could do it with
a minimum of visual effect, it just requires tearing out a
section of wall and then repairing it for each duct. If your
walls are plasterboard (gypsum) it wouldn't be too hard.
The hard part is determining which walls would be
appropriate and cutting through the plate at the bottom and
at the top. (Of course it would be much easier to just put
a duct in the corner and build the wall around it and that
way you wouldn't be cutting into a support structures. No
matter what the wall is made of you could just box the two
sides in with paneling or solid wood to make it look like a
support pillar. And you would only lose a 15 inch square out
of the room.)
One other thought, you know they used to just cut holes
through the ceiling and upper floor to move the air
upstairs. Didn't use any ducts.
How I wish it were that easy. These walls are tough -- they're all plaster
and lathe, both wood and metal-mesh type lathes at that. External walls
have first the plaster and lathe combos followed by boards, THEN you get to
the studs. Internal walls are all load bearing but of the same design as
the exterior walls with the exception of the cross boards. The ceiling
between the first and second floor is the same as the walls -- plaster/lathe
(both types) followed by wood then the joists (beautiful thick cedar) then
more boards, a subfloor and underlayment, tile. One thing is for certain --
there's a lot more than spit and prayer holding THIS old house together. :)
I've considered this but it's just plain ugly and also not easy -- the house
sits on a stone foundation and, you guessed it, the edges are over it so I'd
have a helluva time getting the duct over there. There is the one that
services the living room I could extend but having 3 taps off a single duct
might not be a very good working solution, especially with two upstairs. I
dunno -- I'll have to spend a little time revisiting this option. I had
just really hoped for some solution that would require less chop work. :(
I visited (in summer) an old New England farmhouse where there was a
grate in the kitchen ceiling into the 2nd floor bathroom floor. I
vaguely remember one or more fireplaces on the ground floor, but
presume the main winter heat source was the kitchen stove. Must have
been *mighty* chilly in winter. :-) Are there any simple ways to let
the heat rise?
I've heard of this but never really considered it an option as it tends to
buck current conventional wisdom on heat conservation (one of the things
they recommend these days is insulating the floor/ceiling between floors to
prevent heat loss). At this rate, I might just have to go that route
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.