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Well this is the first winter that we've stayed home in a very long time since I retired in 2006. My plan was to run trains & do scenery but unfortunately I didn't realize that the basement would get so cold. It's 2000 sq. feet and a balmy 52 degrees. I have a couple of small portable heaters that warm up my work bench area but do nothing for the rest of the area.
The house has forced hot air (which I hate) but that's a saga for another time. I'm going to have the furnace guys come up in the spring & see if the furnace is big enough to add a couple of trunks to it for the basement and help the temperature down there. I've looked in to those Mitsubishi heaters but they would have to drill into the sill or concrete and I dont want that,
Unfortunately I have no windows in the basement and therefore I can't add a window or two unit.
So that's my dilemma, Any other ideas??
 

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Does your furnace have hot water, or just air? We have forced air in portions of our house, but also in-floor heating in others, and since we have hot water we installed some radiant heat in the basement, which would help in your situation.

In-floor would be the best, but you probably don't want to jack up the floor :)
 

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Waaay back when I had a house in Chicago with a basement, insulating and drywalling the walls raised the basement temperature 10 degrees.
 

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The hot water is separate which comes from a hot water electric heater.
If the waters hot, why do you need to heat it? :) Courtesy of George Carlin.

What I meant was does the furnace heat water, or just air? Our's heats water, which is then run through a heat exchanger to provide the forced air....

But, I understand that you don't have hot water from the furnance, and your domestic hot water comes from a water heater.... so radiant heat is out, unless you want to add more stuff.
 

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I'd probably be looking at a solution that doesn't require you to use the main furnace as that will not allow independent control of the heat. FWIW, the ductless units you mention require one fairly small hole, is that really a major concern? If so, I'm curious why you think this is a problem?

FWIW, I went with a Carrier ductless heater, the same idea as the Mitsubishi unit you mention. I have independent control of the heat and A/C for the basement, which I think is mandatory IMO.

BTW, I think the idea of insulating the basement is sound, that makes a huge difference!

Basement Heater.png
 

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My basement is unheated.

For the winter, when it gets down to the mid 40's down there sometimes, I keep a small "oil filled" electric heater near the train layout (where I'm generally close to it). That takes the chill off.

I also put on my winter coat -- like I did when I worked "the big engines".

Works for me... :)
 

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Put a box fan at the top of the stairs leading to the basement. That will force the air from above into the basement. The temperature should stabilize in a couple hours. If you are able, even mount the fan into an opening you can cut in the door.

Dan
 

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A separate heating unit is your only answer. You want to be able to heat that space when you're there, and turn it off when you're not, assuming it won't freeze in the winter. Otherwise you're heating everything all the time. And I doubt your existing furnace is large enough to add that many cubic feet to its load.
 

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Waaay back when I had a house in Chicago with a basement, insulating and drywalling the walls raised the basement temperature 10 degrees.
+1. Another option are foam panels. Just use a construction adhesive to adhere to the wall. But they are pricey compared to fiberglass rolls. Also, you don't have to use sheet rock. You can just use studs and leave the exposed fiberglass paper backing. Or sheet rock another year ...

And the increase in temperature is free after installation costs. And no maintenance.

Insulate.png
 

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If it was 100* outside, a balmy 52 degrees would be nice down there. :D

My basement is like that on a hot summer day, nice and cool.

I have a natural gas heater with vents in the basement.
On real cold days it is cold down in the dungeon. I have an portable electric heater that puts out heat by the table area.

It warms up the area nice, but I prefer it to be a little colder then real hot anyway.

I never actually checked the temperature down there, I will have to see how cold it gets.
 

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...

My basement is like that on a hot summer day, nice and cool.

I have a natural gas heater with vents in the basement.
On real cold days it is cold down in the dungeon. I have an portable electric heater that puts out heat by the table area.
My 92 year-old, mostly finished basement is 2/3 below ground and has virtually no insulation. Just paneling on furring strips. It's nice and cool in the summer. And a back section getting my layout has the natural gas furnace for hot water baseboard heating. Though there's no radiators in that section it's more than comfortable in the winter.
 

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For a 2000 sq. ft. non-insulated basement in the Northeast, heating efficiently is difficult. In our house in Pennsylvania I had drywall and blown in insulation. The basement was about 1300 sq. ft. I had two forced hot air vents on each side of the basement. On really cold days the best I could get was 65 degrees. Mostly because once the upstairs was warm the heater would shut off.

I supplemented that with one of those Amish built electric fireplace heaters in the center of the basement. That helped with raising the temperature a bit.

In the summer, with the air conditioner running I had to close the vents. The temperature would stay around 65-68 degrees but most times I left them open to help control humidity along with a dehumidifier. Sometimes I did get condensation dripping from the ductwork above the drop ceiling.

Spence, for the size of your basement, if you want to avoid construction mess and cost, a couple electric space heaters may help.
 

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John I can’t seem to find the square footage covered by one of those units and if so how many units (BTU’S) would I need?
My son recently bought a house, and it has those stand alone natural wall heaters in the living room and dining room. It keeps the house very toasty. He also has 1 unit in the basement. The basement wall are insulated,only 3 of them, and he keeps that thermostat set at around 60 degrees. That basement is TOASTY!!! You can go down in the basement with shorts and a t-shirt and be very comfortable..Here in upstate NY the units are around $1200, plus installation.
 

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My son recently bought a house, and it has those stand alone natural wall heaters in the living room and dining room.
What is a "natural wall heater", and what provides the actual heat?



Spence, clearly you'll probably need a lot of heat if you don't insulate the basement at all. Even minimal insulation like some 2" foam would be a major improvement.

FWIW, most of my basement is insulated and fully finished, but I have a back room workshop that does not have insulation. There is a pair of double doors that closes off the unfinished workshop area. I have a dual thermometer that measures right outside the door and inside the unfinished workshop area. The differential is 5-6 degrees, and the doors are not even close to sealed, there are gaps between them and at the bottom. I'm sure when I get around to sealing those doors better, the differential will be even greater.

Time to consider insulation. :)
 

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What is a "natural wall heater", and what provides the actual heat?



Spence, clearly you'll probably need a lot of heat if you don't insulate the basement at all. Even minimal insulation like some 2" foam would be a major improvement.

FWIW, most of my basement is insulated and fully finished, but I have a back room workshop that does not have insulation. There is a pair of double doors that closes off the unfinished workshop area. I have a dual thermometer that measures right outside the door and inside the unfinished workshop area. The differential is 5-6 degrees, and the doors are not even close to sealed, there are gaps between them and at the bottom. I'm sure when I get around to sealing those doors better, the differential will be even greater.

Time to consider insulation. :)
"Natural gas"....
 

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A $15.00 box fan will solve your problem and save you thousands that you can spend on new train equipment.

Dan
 

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"Natural gas"....
OK, "gas" was a noticeable omission! :D Obviously that solution only works if he has natural gas to the house! He didn't mention gas, only forced hot air, so I figure we have to ask.

A $15.00 box fan will solve your problem and save you thousands that you can spend on new train equipment.

Dan
Truthfully Dan, I'm not sure a fan is going to move enough heat down there without other measures. Trying to heat 2,000 sq/ft of uninsulated basement with a box fan isn't going to cut it, at least IMO.
 
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