Author Topic: Heating vents in basement  (Read 263 times)

jpdx

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Heating vents in basement
« on: December 21, 2018, 04:00:04 PM »
My HVAC guy noticed that I have a couple duct vents in the basement (unfinished) and he suggested opening them during the winter. The idea being the heat will rise and work it's way into the living areas above. He mentioned that this furnace is sized so that it can heat the entire home including the basement. I'm skeptical that this is a good idea from an energy efficiency standpoint. What do you think?

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Heating vents in basement
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2018, 04:37:10 PM »
I sealed off 2 vents in my basement when we moved in.

I do not notice a difference between the standing on the floor barefoot on the first floor vs second floor (when on the same type of surface).

My basement is partially unfinished, with minimal insulation below grade (maybe 3/4 rigid foam below grade and nothing on concrete above grade). It is cooler in the basement during the winter, but not terrible. In the 5 years we have been here we have not had it get anywhere close to freezing. I wouldn't consider actively heating this space until I have addressed the insualtion (concrete has basically NO r-value).

But passive heating . . . between having the heating system in the basement, the ducts for the first floor (uninsulated), a washer/dryer, and the food storage deep freezer there is enough heat to keep things from freezing up.

If I were you I would keep them closed so long as it doesn't risk freezing and any use of the basement remains comfortable (we have our home gym, laundry, food storage, and brewery in the basement).

big_owl

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Re: Heating vents in basement
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2018, 04:44:21 PM »
Air handling systems are generally designed for a certain amount of airflow.  Closing too many vents is bad.  I can't say for certain that this is the case for you, but it's something to consider.  Anothe thing to consider is mold.  In the summer you will benefit from dry air vented to the basement from the AC system.  This isn't as much an issue in the winter if you live somewhere cold.  And it couldn't hurt to insulate your basement either.