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House with 1 cold bedroom - for toddler

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[OP]
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Jun 9, 2011
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Toronto

House with 1 cold bedroom - for toddler

i have a 9'-0" x 12'-0" small bedroom which my toddler is sleeping in,
that room feels very cold recently compared to other bedrooms in the house

I have adjusted my vents and HVAC ducting during summer and the home is quite balanced w/
the help of Ecobee3.

it's a 1 year old newly built home
9'-0" ceiling, w/ 2 windows on 2 walls (18" x 72" and 90" x 72")
room is facing south.
had an inspector checked the insulation in the attic (R50 - 13" to 14" claimed by builder), and found some places were down to 8" and 2" @ ends.
had the builder re-sprayed loose insulation to those insufficient areas and never checked back.

now that it's always down to single digit at night, that rooms feels cold...



what should i do?

apply those transparent film to my large windows to prevent heat lost? (no bubble wrap, the lady at home banned this idea)

or

go up in the attic myself, and buy 2 large bags of loose recycle insulation and apply it myself by hand? (not renting a machine for 2 bags)

please advise~
30 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
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Alliston, ON
Is the room above the garage? If it is, there's a chance they didn't insulate the ceiling enough to stop the cold air from coming through
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
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Mississauga
^This.

And unless the windows are really bad or poorly installed, adding that transparent film will do nothing for heat loss.
Deal Addict
Feb 2, 2011
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Ottawa
What about your rim joist insulation in the basement? What's that look like? I only ask because I had a very similar issue with a room facing SW which happened to be on the corner of the house. It was much colder than any of the other rooms. Once I removed the fiberglass isulation and replaced it with a spray foam insulation it was a night and day difference in that room.

edit: My comment obvisouly assumes that you're in a bungalow.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17603 posts
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Applying a film to your windows is a great way to stop drafts. It may not be the 100% cure for your problem, but with two exterior walls and two windows (one very large), you are definitely going to be introducing cold air/losing hot air through them. Windows are a huge source of heat loss/transfer and the film will act like a vapour barrier.

If you have (or can borrow) a cheap temperature gun you can scan the walls and see if there is an obviously source of heat loss. They should all look relatively the same, areas that are inconsistent are most likely areas of concern. This might be the best course of action before doing anything - even if you have to buy it should be $15-20, which is very little compared to buying bags of unneeded insulation, window film, etc.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
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Mississauga
TrevorK wrote: Applying a film to your windows is a great way to stop drafts.
A one year-old house shouldn't have drafts around its windows. But I do agree that having that much glazing introduces a huge heat loss source.

We still don't know if the bedroom is over an attached garage. That is the most common source of "my room is cold" complaints because the builder didn't put enough insulation in the garage ceiling.
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2007
2935 posts
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Scarborough
yellowmp5 wrote: ....
I have adjusted my vents and HVAC ducting during summer and the home is quite balanced w/
the help of Ecobee3.

it's a 1 year old newly built home
.....
had an inspector checked the insulation in the attic (R50 - 13" to 14" claimed by builder), and found some places were down to 8" and 2" @ ends.
....
apply those transparent film to my large windows to prevent heat lost? (use an incense stick to detect draft with the smoke, highly doubtful considering it's only 1yr old)

or

go up in the attic myself, and buy 2 large bags of loose recycle insulation and apply it myself by hand? (not renting a machine for 2 bags) (cheap to try, why not, just DO NOT over spread too much at the edge covering the soffit vent. Take a tube of cheap Dap caulk with you and tighten up the electrical box that's in the middle of the ceiling)
please advise~
OP, bear in mind I'm just using a shotgun to hit a barn door...hoping one may hit. :)

Open the floor vent and see if there's any construction debris. You may want to consider having duct cleaned? Some tradesmen maybe using your vents as apartment garbage disposal chutes...

Typically a furnace is situated at the center of the basement and the middle closest vents get to be the hottest/coldest. Try a simple experiment and cover up all middle vents with towels temporarily and see it forces more heat to the end bedrooms? I have done so and did improve the end bedroom venting.
[OP]
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Jun 9, 2011
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Toronto
Samwfive wrote: OP, bear in mind I'm just using a shotgun to hit a barn door...hoping one may hit. :)

Open the floor vent and see if there's any construction debris. You may want to consider having duct cleaned? Some tradesmen maybe using your vents as apartment garbage disposal chutes...

Typically a furnace is situated at the center of the basement and the middle closest vents get to be the hottest/coldest. Try a simple experiment and cover up all middle vents with towels temporarily and see it forces more heat to the end bedrooms? I have done so and did improve the end bedroom venting.

I had my duct cleaned the next day after some minor renovation when my house was closed.

However, I will try the method you've advised in closing all vents but the bedroom and see how much heat will be forced.
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Oct 16, 2008
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Maple
OP, get laser heat gun, you will see area of heat loss (most likely around windows, floor, ceiling), do you feel heat from register vent. Is there cold air return vent on the wall?.
[OP]
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Jun 9, 2011
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Toronto
schade wrote: Is the room above the garage? If it is, there's a chance they didn't insulate the ceiling enough to stop the cold air from coming through
this room isn't above a garage, but the bedroom next to this 'cold' bedroom is above garage.
the bedroom next door is a 9'-0" x 13' (or 14'), but only have one big window on one wall (similar to 90" x 72")
TrevorK wrote: Applying a film to your windows is a great way to stop drafts. It may not be the 100% cure for your problem, but with two exterior walls and two windows (one very large), you are definitely going to be introducing cold air/losing hot air through them. Windows are a huge source of heat loss/transfer and the film will act like a vapour barrier.

If you have (or can borrow) a cheap temperature gun you can scan the walls and see if there is an obviously source of heat loss. They should all look relatively the same, areas that are inconsistent are most likely areas of concern. This might be the best course of action before doing anything - even if you have to buy it should be $15-20, which is very little compared to buying bags of unneeded insulation, window film, etc.
i don't feel or hear any draft from the window, but, i have a temperature gun, it shows 0C to 2C in difference (i guess depends on outside temperature)
teoconca wrote: OP, get laser heat gun, you will see area of heat loss (most likely around windows, floor, ceiling), do you feel heat from register vent. Is there cold air return vent on the wall?.
there is heat coming out from the register vent, but the vent is directly below the middle of the large window, the return air vent is
8'-0" high from the floor, and is nearly 11'-0" away from the large window


edit: i have the HRV running 24/7, and my furnance fan is running in AUTO, as advised by my co-worker, i may try running the HRV few hours a day, and run the furnace fan 24/7 once i buy an auto on/off timer
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Nov 29, 2011
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Grimsby
We have a similar situation in our house. Actually, almost exactly like you described it. I have a Seek Thermal attachment for my iPhone, and no walls or ceilings show any obvious signs of coldness or lack of insulation.

When I put my hand over the floor register, there is a lot of air that comes through. Also an air return on the opposite wall 8' high. The one thing I have noticed is that if I leave the bedroom door closed through the day, the room will be a lot cooler than if I had left it wide open. We close the door at night for when the kids are sleeping as well. I'm starting to suspect the air return isn't pulling enough air to balance things out. I'm going to pursue this further and see. Until then, I'm going to use a space heater with built in thermostat at night.

House is 5 years old btw. Been like this since day one.
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[OP]
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Jun 9, 2011
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Toronto
michiebaby wrote: will a portable fan heater work?
Not gonna feel safe having a portable fan heater in a toddler's room
Deal Guru
May 29, 2006
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my kids love the cooler rooms, toddlers are little furnaces. they sleep better when the temp is under 20 in their rooms.
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May 17, 2012
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ontario
we have a similar issue also in our little mans room. ours may be that the return is not in the bedrooms but in the hallway on the top floor

we use an oil filled elec heater on pretty much the minimum setting to keep the lad's room a touch warmer in the winter. he's never thought to touch it as far as i know and if he did, it's not as hot as one of those fan heater elements.

since you have an ecobee3, why not place a sensor in that room?
[OP]
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Jun 9, 2011
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Toronto
esoxhntr wrote: we have a similar issue also in our little mans room. ours may be that the return is not in the bedrooms but in the hallway on the top floor

we use an oil filled elec heater on pretty much the minimum setting to keep the lad's room a touch warmer in the winter. he's never thought to touch it as far as i know and if he did, it's not as hot as one of those fan heater elements.

since you have an ecobee3, why not place a sensor in that room?
I may consider an oil filled elect heater.....i currently only have one ecobee remote, but if i place aremote in her room....it will most likely make the rest of the house very hot
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Feb 4, 2015
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Canada, Eh!!
Same with our boys' room. However they actually use fan at night couple of nights ago!!

Is it just me or why are all the cold rooms with the kids!! :)

One thing that helped us is to adjust the dampers in the basement... although have another bedroom that can not get enough forceful heat to [longest duct run so closed one duct in basement and one in main floor... that helped a bit].

Have someone adjust dampers in basement while you check heat in room.
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Dec 19, 2009
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georvu wrote: Same with our boys' room. However they actually use fan at night couple of nights ago!!

Is it just me or why are all the cold rooms with the kids!! :)

One thing that helped us is to adjust the dampers in the basement... although have another bedroom that can not get enough forceful heat to [longest duct run so closed one duct in basement and one in main floor... that helped a bit].

Have someone adjust dampers in basement while you check heat in room.
It's usually the kids room because they like to remove the registers and shove toys down the duct pipes blocking off flow.
Deal Fanatic
May 5, 2008
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Winnipeg
I use a oil filled rad in toddlers room and have rest of house in set back

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