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Is it worth the cost to heat my basement?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by buildingmaint, Jan 28, 2008.

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  1. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    I have been kicking around the idea of putting in a Englander 13 PNC in my basement. It is 672 sq ft , three of the walls are insulated and the forth is 80 % below ground level. I bought one of those electric oil filled radiator heaters and it brought the temp up 6 degrees in 16 hours[ FROM 42-48 F ] . I had a vent less 10000 BTU gas heater in last year before I insulated the walls and it brought the temp from 38- 50 in about 24 hours. That being said I think I need about 15000 to 18000 BTU to heat that area. I was hoping to heat the first floor [ SAME SQ FT] along with the basement. Will the Englander do the job ? Or am I just throwing away money trying to accomplish this . Still have to find a chimney guy also .

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  2. Jimbob

    Jimbob New Member

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    Do you have access to free wood??
  3. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    No . I would have to buy a tri axle load [ about 6 cords ] for about $ 400.00 .
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    From what you've previously asked it sounds like this is going to be an expensive setup. The stack will likely cost more than the stove. What is the goal, to make the basement a comfortable space or to heat upstairs?

    Have you considered moving the pellet stove to the basement and a wood stove upstairs? That might be a less expensive and more effective heating solution.

    Whatever the choice, continue insulating the fourth basement wall.
  5. brooktrout

    brooktrout New Member

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    My question is to all burners- what to do about a basement with no heat? I am worried about my pipes, as the furnace never comes on now since we've been burning. What are others doing about this?
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Let the furnace run occasionally. It helps the basement warmth and it's good for the furnace. Also, caulk any and every leak in the basement paying close attention to the sill plate. Insulate if possible. It will keep your floors much warmer which will reduce the heat load for the house.
  7. lotust

    lotust New Member

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  8. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    Well, I have thought about buying another pellet stove for the basement instead of a wood stove , if they are 50% off at Home Depot . That would put an Englander 25 PDVC at around $ 600.00. Which even after you include all the piping for the pellet stove would be a lot easier , and more cost friendly as i could do all the installation myself .Then it would be to put in a wood stove and chimney. I worry about electrical outages with pellet stoves . Which is why I was considering a wood stove.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Putting a wood stove upstairs could be a lot less expensive than in the basement. Though it depends on the upstairs layout and obstacles you are confronted with. But I like that option as it gives you quick heat for the basement, reliable warmth for the house and in the fall/spring, the pellet stove may be able to heat the whole house by itself.
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Probably wouldn't make no difference what you put down there if you have a bare concrete floor? Even if the walls are insulated the floor can suck away alot of heat. I noticed a big difference after I carpeted the floor.
  11. jeffman3

    jeffman3 New Member

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    We use the wood stove up stairs and electric space heaters in the basement to keep the pipes etc.... Another wood stove for the basement is somewhere in the future, but not now. (Too much money, and I have allot of insulating to do before I would even consider it.)
  12. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I put in a Englander furnace 2 weeks ago this coming Thursday and with my buddies help the duct work from the furnace goes into the existing duct work. My basement is all concrete with poured walls and floor. We have a kennel down there and before the furnace it was around 51-53.

    Now I had to close off the vents down there and let the heat radiate. Its been around 65 as an average. My question to the original poster is, how does it get so cold in your basement? You live where it is really cold? Even with no heat my basement is below grade and it never got 38.

    Shipper
  13. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

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    It only got to 38 or below last year when we had the coldest weather we have had in the last 12 years [ -10 TO + 10 for a whole month] . In 20-35 it stays around 45-50 or ground temp . I live in North Western Pennsylvania . I have an old forced air furness and it cost me $ 25.00 a month to keep the pilot lit . I would say that I have about 40 % of my basement above grade . My basement is tile block.

    I heat my main living area now with a pellet stove . Putting a wood stove in its place would be a major expense with having to cut floors , roof to install the chimney. And wood is to messy for where the stove would have to go.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Wood doesn't have to be a major mess. We have the woodstove in the living room. I bought an old copper boiler to store the kindling in and have a dedicated area for storing a day's worth of wood that is easy to sweep clean.
  15. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    I am in the same boat as others here: with the furnace not running at all due to the other floors being heated by wood my basement stays cold - about 50 F recently. (I think this also hurts my gas bill with the hot water heater in the basement.) I have steadily plugged away at finding spots of air infiltration so I've plugged those by caulk or insulation. Now comes insulating the bare block walls, and where the previous owners used paneling probably going over those with insulation and drywall. I agree with another poster about the floor also. I recently bought one of those IR thermometers and my walls and floor are about 40 degrees, so pad and carpet will help in the semi-finished area (already spend the money on waterproofing). I have a used wood stove in the basement that I installed in hopes of heating it up, but the walls and floor suck up that heat pretty well. I can get it up from 50 to 65 in about 10 hours, but once I let the fire go out it will be back down to temp within 24 hours.

    My next step is the major work of insulating and erecting new drywall, etc. I think it's the only way for me to make any serious attempt at heating the space. This will help the rest of the house, also, so I think it will be worth it.

    MarkG
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The comfort difference for us going from a 40 degree crawlspace and cold floors to a 60-65 degree, draft (and rodent) free crawlspace is a significant improvement in comfort in the house. Kudos for progress Mark.
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