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Heating a finished basement??

ledebuhr1's picture

House is currently heated with a gas forced air furnace. The basement is not heated at all. Im going to finish the basement off and would like to provide some heat to make it a little more comfortable. It will also be insulated too.

Should I have zone dampers installed on every supply run making two zones, one for the main floor,and one for the basement? radiant floor heating is out of the question.

You shouldn't need much heat (post #203071, reply #1 of 9)

You shouldn't need much heat in the basement if you insulate reasonably well.  Either a zone off your current furnace or electric baseboard heat would be the way to go.

If you zone the existing furnace, make sure that the warm air is delivered at floor level, preferably along the outside walls.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Return air (post #203071, reply #2 of 9)

On one basement finish I did the heating contractor advised and installed a return air so the furnace wouldn't pull the air up into the 1st floor return.  Something to think about.  Further, when walling off the heating equipment, consider future service and removal of the unit.  Also, combustion air if not a sealed unit that pulls the combustion air from outside.

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Thanks, I dont think there (post #203071, reply #3 of 9)

Thanks,

I dont think there is any way of having the supply runs run down to the floor.

I know it wont need much heat but something is better than nothing.

I planned on having two return airs in the basement for that zone. The main floor would be on a seperate zone. I would need quite a few zone dampers to seperate the two spaces.

If you don't have the heat (post #203071, reply #4 of 9)

If you don't have the heat delivered at floor level, you won't be heating the basement.  You'll be heating the basement ceiling.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

I thought by putting in (post #203071, reply #5 of 9)

I thought by putting in returns in at the floor level, it would force the warm air down. I can think of many commercial buildings that only have the heat supplied to the room from the top. 

Not only do they have heat (post #203071, reply #6 of 9)

Not only do they have heat supplied from the top, they have the return up there too. The performance of registers--that is, their effectiveness in throwing and mixing air, is not primarily a function of their location--it is primarily due to the type of register selected along with sufficient air velocity in the duct.

Far too many HVAC contractors use registers without referring to the manufacturer's specs. and without knowing the velocity of air that the duct delivers.

The location of return(s) is even farther down the list of importance, assuming that the supplies are performing right.

Whatever you say.  (post #203071, reply #7 of 9)

Whatever you say. 


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

What is a reliable type of (post #203071, reply #8 of 9)

What is a reliable type of damper? I want something that isnt going to cause problems down the road. electric or pneumatic?

I think the 3-wire electric (post #203071, reply #9 of 9)

I think the 3-wire electric dampers are pretty reliable.  We have EWC "Ultra-Zone" units that have operated fine for 5 years now.  You need a controller that can operate them, though.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville