Home & Garden

Basement - warmest room in the house...... why?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 28th, 2011 10:11 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
1641 posts
128 upvotes
Mississauga

Basement - warmest room in the house...... why?

So I have an unfinished basement. Yesterday I went down there to get something and holy $hit was it nice and toasty in there. Why?
I have all my vents closed down there and taped. I thought basement would be the coldest room in the house.
It seems that now that the heat is on (reverse in the summer when cooling was on):
basement = hot
ground floor = warm
upstairs = cool

So what I am getting at is how can I fix this? Can I do it myself or if not then who should I call if anything at all can be done?
14 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2006
1144 posts
278 upvotes
London
Exposed ductwork.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
1641 posts
128 upvotes
Mississauga
And to fix that.... cover the ceiling and ducts with insulation?
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
6592 posts
238 upvotes
arisk wrote:
Oct 28th, 2011 8:50 am
Exposed ductwork.

I think every unfinished basement has exposed ducts, that shouldn't be the cause. Before or after my basement was finished, with or without the exposed ducts, my basement is always the coldest floor, maybe 2 degree lower than main floor. And I think it is normal as we know hot air rises and cold air sinks. I am wondering if your basement is enclosed (mine is open to above) and there is big leak from your furnace ducts. Since you have vents sealed, all leaked warm air is kind of trapped in the basement. Anyway, I am no HVAC expect. It is just my guess.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 16, 2010
3121 posts
259 upvotes
Aurora
I had the exact same issue. Warmer in the basement than above; all vents closed in the basement. I ended up taping the seems in the ductwork and sealing the registers with paper and tape (not just closing them). The situation improved quite a bit so I attribute the problem to leaky ductwork.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
1641 posts
128 upvotes
Mississauga
DiceMan wrote:
Oct 28th, 2011 10:02 am
I had the exact same issue. Warmer in the basement than above; all vents closed in the basement. I ended up taping the seems in the ductwork and sealing the registers with paper and tape (not just closing them). The situation improved quite a bit so I attribute the problem to leaky ductwork.

And to tape you used that silver ducting tape?
Deal Guru
Mar 23, 2009
12499 posts
1753 upvotes
Toronto
Are the ducts going upstairs too small? Are the ducts coming back from upstairs (return plenum) too small?

Plus there may be dampeners inside some ducts that can be adjusted to direct more or less air to certain ducts.

In the winter I redirect more air into my basement, because my basement would otherwise be cool. In the summer I redirect more air to the upstairs, because otherwise my upstairs would be hot.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 16, 2010
3121 posts
259 upvotes
Aurora
cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Oct 28th, 2011 10:17 am
And to tape you used that silver ducting tape?
trucanuck wrote:
Oct 28th, 2011 10:22 am
Use metal foil duct tape, not the plasticy kind. It must be metal.


http://reviews.canadiantire.ca/9045/067 ... eviews.htm

Yeah, that's pretty much what I used - something that specifically says it's for HVAC work. I've read that actual duct tape is not at all good for ductwork.
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2007
1202 posts
88 upvotes
Kitchener
I've got similar problems in the house we bought about a year and a half ago. My basement is nice and warm, main floor warmish, 2nd floor cool. The basement is finished so I can't get at the ductwork to tape. All vents closed in the basement, most vents closed on the main floor and bedroom vents open on the 2nd floor.

In addition, my furance cuts out prior to reaching the set temperature on the thermostat. It flashes a pressure switch error. I had Aire One in to diagnose and fix, and all they wanted to do was keep chucking parts at it to see if they could fix it, starting with replacing the pressure switch (at around $500), which did nothing. They had zero diagnosis skills and they will never be setting foot in my house again.
Banned
May 5, 2003
4879 posts
26 upvotes
Toronto, Ontario
Should all the vent sin the bsmt be closed in the winter and then opened in the summer?
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
6592 posts
238 upvotes
Shaf wrote:
Oct 28th, 2011 11:15 am
Should all the vent sin the bsmt be closed in the winter and then opened in the summer?

Yes, that's what I do, and it works fine.

BTW, forgot to mentioned to OP, if you try everything and it still does not work, consider getting someone to inspect the duct work. You won't believe sometime there are some screw up duct work. I am speaking from my personal experience. I found one vent has no air comes out at all on 2nd floor, and had builder to arrange for inspection since the house was new. They ended up found out they hooked up the ducts in the wrong direction, nothing was going up to that vent on 2nd floor………………..

Luckily, the house was under Tarion warranty and the basement was not finished and the messed up duct work was only a small portion in the basement level …….
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Apr 4, 2009
7666 posts
761 upvotes
North York
Sounds like an air flow problem.

1) Did OP try to install a NEW furnace filter? If the filter is EXTREMELY dirty, the hot air won't make it to the other parts of the house. (Every 3 months.)

2) Also in older homes there are flaps the control the amount of air going to various parts of the house. Does OP have any of these flaps and are they set correctly? They look like levers sitting on the ducts. (If basement is finished ... could be a problem.) And easy test is to see when the heat is on, if any heat/wind comes up from all the vents - document which vents have air coming out and the problem becomes more obvious.

#1 is easy. A trip to CT and get a new furnace filter.

#2 if OP is confused can be solved by bringing in a heating guy and they can set it.

If there is not enough heat, and the problem is not obvious, a call to the heating contractor is in order. (And FAST ... it is getting cold.)

Are these new houses that don't have heat coming up? If so ... these builders are sure screwing up.
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 28, 2009
1247 posts
260 upvotes
Ottawa
rdx wrote:
Oct 28th, 2011 9:39 am
I think every unfinished basement has exposed ducts, that shouldn't be the cause. Before or after my basement was finished, with or without the exposed ducts, my basement is always the coldest floor, maybe 2 degree lower than main floor. And I think it is normal as we know hot air rises and cold air sinks. I am wondering if your basement is enclosed (mine is open to above) and there is big leak from your furnace ducts. Since you have vents sealed, all leaked warm air is kind of trapped in the basement. Anyway, I am no HVAC expect. It is just my guess.


where are your vents. On the ceiling or on the floor. lots of basements are very nicely finished and then they mess up by placing the vents on the ceiling. I brought mine down and its mostly closed. The basement is nice and warm. also do you have a return air. We have one pretty much in the middle and the vents are in the four corners so that creates a good draft.
Jr. Member
Sep 23, 2009
150 posts
4 upvotes
Have u checked ur hummidity levels? If the humidity in ur basement is higher then your basement will feel warmer than the other parts of the house where the humidity is lower.
× < >

Top