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Q: How do I heat my cold basement? ( No Answer,   5 Comments )
Subject: How do I heat my cold basement?
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: midnightdad-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 03 Feb 2004 14:31 PST
Expires: 04 Mar 2004 14:31 PST
Question ID: 303267
The house: Single-family Colonial built in 1996, Central New Jersey,
approx. 2500 sq. ft., gas forced hot air heating.

The basement: full basement, cinderblock walls, wall-to-wall berber
carpet with moisture barrier padding (installed in concrete floor with
masonry tack strips), open ceiling

The problem: I've tried several methods for heating the basement
(cutting supply and return ducts, electric duct fans, and portable
heaters), but nothing will raise the temperature even one degree.  It
can get as cold as 55 deg. down there.  It's a nice big basement that
I'd like to turn into useable space but don't want to spend $10K or
more to have it professionally finished.  Please help me explore ways
to get heat down there short of hiring a pro.

Clarification of Question by midnightdad-ga on 03 Feb 2004 14:35 PST
I painted the basement cinderblock walls with one coat of Drylok and
then a coat of masonry paint.  This was mostly for appearance.  The
basement is completely dry.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: How do I heat my cold basement?
From: hlabadie-ga on 03 Feb 2004 15:01 PST
The "open ceiling" is probably the area of greatest heat loss. Heat
rises, and whatever heat you divert into the basement will end up
passing through the ceiling into the ground floor of the house. You
should insulate the basement ceiling (that is, between the floor
joists of the ground floor). Naturally, that will lower the
temperature upstairs. Also, if there are windows into the basement,
they should be suitably glazed to prevent heat loss.

Subject: Re: How do I heat my cold basement?
From: digitalentety-ga on 03 Feb 2004 16:41 PST
Get your self some heat reflective insulation.
Subject: Re: How do I heat my cold basement?
From: stressedmum-ga on 03 Feb 2004 16:59 PST
Further to what hlabadie-ga said about the open ceiling, if you
install a ceiling fan, you'll find that the hot air that has risen
will be recirculated and will maintain a warmer temperature at ground

Another option to consider would be to install some sort of
non-structural insulation panels so that the heat transfer out
*through* the cinderblock walls is slowed somehow.

See if this site is any use:
Subject: Re: How do I heat my cold basement?
From: liner-ga on 04 Feb 2004 06:53 PST
I too have a cold basement, and I know exactly why.  I have a furnace,
and it needs combustion air.  The rest of the house is well sealed, so
when the furnace kicks on, I can feel the cold air sweep in from
unsealed openings, keeping the basement miserable.

You have two solutions, neither of which is very cheap.  You can buy a
new furnace which is designed to burn outside air, and requires a
properly sized fresh air duct to the outside.  Or, you can enclose the
furnace in a "closet" and put a homebuilt duct to the furnace.  In
either case you must be extremely careful about duct sizing for safe
Subject: Re: How do I heat my cold basement?
From: arjo-ga on 03 Mar 2004 15:15 PST
I'll start this comment with the disclaimer that I work for an
electric floor heating company and I don't plan on using this forum
for selling my product but the other comments that have been posted
are only to do with insulation not actual heating of the basement.
With electric floor heating, you do have to redo the floor, but it is
an easy way to add heat to a space and only take up approximately 1/8"
of floor height. We also have a product that goes directly under
carpeting and does not add any floor height whatsoever.

I work for and our systems can be used as a
primary heat source for most applications. In the interest of fairness
other good websites include,, and
another one of our websites that talk more generally of radiant heat

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