I have several heat ducts from my furnace in the basement which run
parallel and in between the floor joists. The basement is unheated but
maintains a temperature of about 55 degrees in the winter. Should I
wrap the ducts with a reflective insulating material for that purpose
or just nail in insulation between the joists like I was insulating an
outer wall. Does it matter?
I'd be tempted to nail or staple up some fiberglass, under
the ducts. Like the man says, also keep an eye on the temp
in the cellar, so you don't freeze the water pipes. I'll
admit, I hadn't thought of that. The cellar may maintain 55F
in the winter, even without the heat runs.
If you use the basement at all, adding insulation to the ducts is
going to make it appreciably cooler/colder and you may regret adding
the insulation. Eiither method you propose should work, but wrapping
the ducts means going between the ducts and the floor above and that
may be awkward if the duct is close to the floor.
Since your ducts are up high in the ceiling joists, I doubt they
provide any heat in the basement if left unwrapped. I would wrap them,
especially if you also use your ducts for A/C so they don't
If you want to provide heat in your basement, I would suggest cutting
out an opening on the bottom of the duct and putting in a register and
forcing the air downwards. Or you probably get better results if you
had a portable electric heater or electric baseboard heat down low on
the floor. Remember, heat rises.
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