Heat runs to unfinished basement? Pacific NW area
I realize the basement is considered part of the conditioned space, but I was a little startled at an HVAC guy proposing to cut heat runs into the basement (which we do not plan ever to finish). It’s a 1901 basement with concrete walls to ground height and wood joists above that. Previous owners had put fiberglass insulation in the joists, which was a really bad idea as one can see from old water stains. That’s long gone, but when we first lived in the house we used to get water coming up through the floor drain during storms (no leaks through the walls that I am aware of). Drainage work done during a remodel took care of the floor problem, and I would now say it’s relatively dry. We are just getting around to properly air sealing it. I am embarrassed it took us so long, but natural gas prices have been low enough that I hadn’t worried about the bills and didn’t realize our usage was as high as it was (furnace is on its way out as well).
Anyway, I had always assumed that an unfinished basement should inherently be, well, cellar temperature or thereabouts, well above freezing, but not warm. It’s been convenient for us to keep beer down there, for instance. Plus I don’t want to overwork the heating system by adding square footage to the officially heated area. But is it inefficient to have the basement much cooler than the rest of the house?
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