basement heating -- duct placement

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by James Owens, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. James Owens

    James Owens Guest

    I'm refinishing a Canadian basement and I need to decide where to put the
    heating vent in each of two rooms. The simplest thing would be to set
    them in the ceiling. I plan to insulate the ceiling with R12 and then
    cover it with acoustical tile. I'm also putting a return vent at floor
    level in the opposite corner of the larger room (there's no easy way to
    run a return vent to the furnace from the small room).

    Obviously the walls will be insulated. The floor is OSB on sleepers, open
    at one end to provide air flow (and I may cut some floor vents at the
    opposite end to improve the flow).

    Will this be adequate, or is it advisable to run the heating ducts down
    the partition wall and place the outlet vents near floor level? This would
    require a "bump" near the ceiling in each room, to get the duct down from the
    joists and into the wall, so I wouldn't do it that way unless there were a
    significant advantage.

    --
    "For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
    -- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_

    James Owens, Ottawa, Canada
    James Owens, Sep 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. James Owens

    James Owens Guest

    "Joseph Meehan" () writes:
    > James Owens wrote:
    >> I'm refinishing a Canadian basement and I need to decide where to put the
    >> heating vent in each of two rooms. The simplest thing would be to set
    >> them in the ceiling. I plan to insulate the ceiling with R12

    >
    > Assuming you have a heated living space above and are going to heat the
    > basement full time, why are you planning to insulate the ceiling?


    I thought if I put the ducts at ceiling level, the heat would dissipate
    upwards before it had a chance to warm the basement properly. The upstairs
    would be heated by the regular ductwork in part, but in part also by this
    rising heat. That would cause the thermostat to shut off the furnace
    sooner than if the upstairs were heated by ducts alone. (I'm assuming
    here that the heat loss by conduction through the floors would be
    significant -- maybe that's where I'm going wrong?)

    The same would apply if the ducts were at floor level, but to a lesser
    degree since the air would have some time to dissipate its heat in the
    basement before it reached the ceiling. Therefore I was considering
    insulation mainly for the first option.

    That was my thinking, but I am asking for other opinions.

    >
    > Sorry I don't have an answer to your distribution questions. There is
    > enough of a difference between your area and mine, I would only be guessing
    > about distribution, but if it were me, I would try to get those ducts down
    > to floor level.


    OK, thanks.


    > --
    > Joseph E. Meehan
    >
    > 26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
    >
    >
    >



    --
    "For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
    -- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_

    James Owens, Ottawa, Canada
    James Owens, Sep 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. James Owens

    Jeff Prevett Guest

    I saw a segment on TV dealing with heating a basement. It was on Just Ask
    Jon Eakes on HGTV Canada.

    He said that the best way to heat the basement is to put the hot air vents
    in the ceiling and put the returns near the floor. The return pulls the
    cold air off of the basement floor, thus moving the warm air (from the top
    of the room) to the bottom of the room. It has to do with the preception of
    warmth. By indirectly heating the lower part of the room and pulling the
    cold air out of the room, your feet are not as cool and thus you feel
    warmer.

    Now to add my input.

    I agree with Jon. If you put the hot air vents on the floor, a few bad
    things might result. First, you mention having to build a sofit for the
    pipe. I find the less sofits, the better (visually and, well, it's easier
    to build). Second, if you have AC, you will have little air change in the
    basement while it's running. The cold air would enter the room at the
    bottom and stay along the floor and return to the furnace leaving the top of
    the room stale.

    Jeff


    "James Owens" <> wrote in message
    news:chn2h9$fhp$...
    >
    >
    > I'm refinishing a Canadian basement and I need to decide where to put the
    > heating vent in each of two rooms. The simplest thing would be to set
    > them in the ceiling. I plan to insulate the ceiling with R12 and then
    > cover it with acoustical tile. I'm also putting a return vent at floor
    > level in the opposite corner of the larger room (there's no easy way to
    > run a return vent to the furnace from the small room).
    >
    > Obviously the walls will be insulated. The floor is OSB on sleepers, open
    > at one end to provide air flow (and I may cut some floor vents at the
    > opposite end to improve the flow).
    >
    > Will this be adequate, or is it advisable to run the heating ducts down
    > the partition wall and place the outlet vents near floor level? This
    > would
    > require a "bump" near the ceiling in each room, to get the duct down from
    > the
    > joists and into the wall, so I wouldn't do it that way unless there were a
    > significant advantage.
    >
    > --
    > "For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
    > -- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_
    >
    > James Owens, Ottawa, Canada
    Jeff Prevett, Sep 8, 2004
    #3
  4. James Owens

    James Owens Guest

    "Jeff Prevett" () writes:
    > I saw a segment on TV dealing with heating a basement. It was on Just Ask
    > Jon Eakes on HGTV Canada.
    >
    > He said that the best way to heat the basement is to put the hot air vents
    > in the ceiling and put the returns near the floor. The return pulls the
    > cold air off of the basement floor, thus moving the warm air (from the top
    > of the room) to the bottom of the room. It has to do with the preception of
    > warmth. By indirectly heating the lower part of the room and pulling the
    > cold air out of the room, your feet are not as cool and thus you feel
    > warmer.


    Did he say anything about insulating the ceiling? It s sounds like there
    would be no point, since the hot air is pulled down by the vacuum effect
    of the return air duct.

    One of the rooms won't have a return air duct unless I go through some
    hoops to do it. I wonder if I should run a computer fan to pull the cold air
    into the storage room next door.



    >
    > Now to add my input.
    >
    > I agree with Jon. If you put the hot air vents on the floor, a few bad
    > things might result. First, you mention having to build a sofit for the
    > pipe. I find the less sofits, the better (visually and, well, it's easier
    > to build). Second, if you have AC, you will have little air change in the
    > basement while it's running. The cold air would enter the room at the
    > bottom and stay along the floor and return to the furnace leaving the top of
    > the room stale.
    >
    > Jeff
    >
    >
    > "James Owens" <> wrote in message
    > news:chn2h9$fhp$...
    >>
    >>
    >> I'm refinishing a Canadian basement and I need to decide where to put the
    >> heating vent in each of two rooms. The simplest thing would be to set
    >> them in the ceiling. I plan to insulate the ceiling with R12 and then
    >> cover it with acoustical tile. I'm also putting a return vent at floor
    >> level in the opposite corner of the larger room (there's no easy way to
    >> run a return vent to the furnace from the small room).
    >>
    >> Obviously the walls will be insulated. The floor is OSB on sleepers, open
    >> at one end to provide air flow (and I may cut some floor vents at the
    >> opposite end to improve the flow).
    >>
    >> Will this be adequate, or is it advisable to run the heating ducts down
    >> the partition wall and place the outlet vents near floor level? This
    >> would
    >> require a "bump" near the ceiling in each room, to get the duct down from
    >> the
    >> joists and into the wall, so I wouldn't do it that way unless there were a
    >> significant advantage.
    >>
    >> --
    >> "For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
    >> -- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_
    >>
    >> James Owens, Ottawa, Canada

    >
    >



    --
    "For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
    -- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_

    James Owens, Ottawa, Canada
    James Owens, Sep 8, 2004
    #4
  5. James Owens

    Jeff Prevett Guest


    > Did he say anything about insulating the ceiling? It s sounds like there
    > would be no point, since the hot air is pulled down by the vacuum effect
    > of the return air duct.


    I would not insulate the ceiling. There isn't any insulation between my 1st
    and 2nd floor. However, you might want to insulate to reduce noise (ie from
    say a home theatre in the basement). But you mentioned that you're using a
    suspended ceiling so the acoustic tiles will reduce the noise. Also,
    insulation in a suspended ceiling is not really a good idea; It will make it
    harder to do things above the ceiling in the future (one of the reasons
    people put suspended ceilings in basements in the first place).

    >
    > One of the rooms won't have a return air duct unless I go through some
    > hoops to do it. I wonder if I should run a computer fan to pull the cold
    > air
    > into the storage room next door.


    It won't be a big problem, just leave the door open when not using the room.
    Try to then install the return near both rooms. The problem with using a
    computer fan is the extra cost to operate the fan as well as the noise. You
    mention a storage room. Maybe you can route the return through that room.

    One last thought. Make sure that the area of the returns doesn't exceed the
    area of the hot air vents (i.e., if you have 3 hot air vents measuring
    1"x10", make sure that the total returns are not bigger than 30 sq. in.)
    Better to have the returns a little smaller. This is because you could end
    up with backdrafting problems (with the furnace and hot water heater).

    Jeff
    Jeff Prevett, Sep 9, 2004
    #5
  6. James Owens

    Guest

    On 8 Sep 2004 13:47:21 GMT, (James Owens)
    wrote:

    >
    >
    >I'm refinishing a Canadian basement and I need to decide where to put the
    >heating vent in each of two rooms. The simplest thing would be to set
    >them in the ceiling. I plan to insulate the ceiling with R12 and then
    >cover it with acoustical tile. I'm also putting a return vent at floor
    >level in the opposite corner of the larger room (there's no easy way to
    >run a return vent to the furnace from the small room).


    I'm a contractor in Calgary. Usual practice is heating vents in the
    ceiling; cold air returns at floor level. (Cold air dropping moves
    out of the room, pulling warm air down.)

    I recommend supplementary electric baseboard heat, thermostat
    controlled. Beats trying to balance hot air heat between two and
    even three levels. Also, good in the summer when the furnace is
    off.

    No reason to insulate the ceiling, no reason to build a sub floor.

    Ken
    , Sep 9, 2004
    #6
  7. James Owens

    James Owens Guest

    () writes:

    > I'm a contractor in Calgary. Usual practice is heating vents in the
    > ceiling; cold air returns at floor level. (Cold air dropping moves
    > out of the room, pulling warm air down.)
    >
    > I recommend supplementary electric baseboard heat, thermostat
    > controlled. Beats trying to balance hot air heat between two and
    > even three levels. Also, good in the summer when the furnace is
    > off.
    >
    > No reason to insulate the ceiling, no reason to build a sub floor.


    Thanks. In my case the subfloor was required for levelling. I had to
    custom-rip the sleepers in short lengths; one of them works out to about
    3" at one end and 0.5" at the other over about 11 feet (the worst case).
    Most of them average about 2", but in no case was I able to use a parallel
    cut.

    --
    "For it is only of the new one grows tired. Of the old one never tires."
    -- Kierkegaard, _Repetition_

    James Owens, Ottawa, Canada
    James Owens, Sep 9, 2004
    #7
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