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Unread 12-18-2007, 01:38 PM   #1
Deckert
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Insulation/Heating problem

Went to look at a job yesterday. They have a bedroom that they can't keep warm. They say they want some insulation installed in the attic. Ok, fine.

I get there and the room they are having problems keeping warm is suspended over the driveway. Made a crude drawing to show you what I mean. The main house is approx 6000 sft. and the vent that feeds that bedroom is around 60' long (actually longer as thats just the horizontal run). By the time it gets there, the heat is just a trickle. Brand new furnace and ducts have been replaced. In addition, there are 3 large size windows (dual pained, vinyl) in this bedroom.

I tell them I can insulate the attic, but don't think that will solve the problem. With this room having 3 walls exterior, plus the floor is basically an exterior/suspended, plus the three large windows i think its a waste of time to just put more insulation up in the attic. I tell them this.

Bedroom is a guest room, and used rarely. 95% of the time heat is a non issue here (Southern California). They want something that they can turn on and off to warm it up during "the winter". Plug in space heater out of the question they say.

We talk about possibbly doing radiant heat under travertine (which matches the stone in the hallway leading up to this bedroom), and a heater inset into the wall. Does this combo seem like a decent plan?

Love to hear some thoughts on this. I don't want to sell em something that doesn't help their situation.
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Last edited by Deckert; 12-18-2007 at 01:45 PM.
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Unread 12-18-2007, 02:00 PM   #2
gwataloo
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How about a couple of baseboard heaters. Thats what heats my house here in the winter. You can check out air-n-water.com This is were I bought my new ones at. If you decide to go this route get the digital thermostat . The worse part will be running the wire for them. Hope this helps you out.
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Unread 12-18-2007, 02:17 PM   #3
Brian in San Diego
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Brannigan,

How far away is the gas and/or electric service? You probably won't be able to use electric heat (Title 24) but if the gas is near enough, piping gas and installing a wall heater may fit the bill. Not really the most ideal looking appliance, but for what they are trying to accomplish it may be the most cost effective solution. If they don't have A/C (or even if they do, as I imagine that it is just as ineffective in that room) I would recommend capping off the duct as close to the plenum as possible. This would benefit the rest of the house with more air flow and less run time.

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Unread 12-18-2007, 02:32 PM   #4
Tom Tee
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Different situation, maybe similar remedy;

Had some rental properties w/ bedrooms over garage in north east. COLD floors in winter.

We had 4 inches of Iso foam sprayed on the garage ceilings. Problem gone!

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Unread 12-18-2007, 03:55 PM   #5
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how about a staple up hydronic system ,running it off a 40 gal water heater that could be located below..
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Unread 12-18-2007, 04:56 PM   #6
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You're talkin' about SoCal. Tell them to put on a sweater.
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Unread 12-18-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
Splinter
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Since it sounds like there's forced air heating, you could try an inline duct fan... It'll increase the CFM's of warm air coming into the room which may be enough to solve the problem. They cost less than $50 at the local Evil Orange and they run off the 24v supply on the HVAC unit...
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Unread 12-19-2007, 12:32 AM   #8
Deckert
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Some good ideas so far.

I'll figure out exactly how far away a gas line is and give them the option of a wall heater.

Doubt theyll go for Iso foam in the floor joists because it would invole tearing up the outside of their house.

The staple up hydronic I'd need to know more about. Have never installed or even seen one installed.

Inline fan sounds promising as well.

Any more thought on the merit of putting in a heated travertine floor as part of the overall solution?
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Last edited by Deckert; 12-19-2007 at 12:41 AM.
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Unread 12-19-2007, 01:23 AM   #9
Brian in San Diego
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Brannigan,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brannigan
Any more thought on the merit of putting in a heated travertine floor as part of the overall solution?
Heck, yeah! Ya gotta turn this into a tile job somehow.

Do you have any idea how many BTUs the new furnace is? When you said 6000 sqft. main house my mind is already thinking two systems. There's no way you could effectively cool that space with a 5 ton system. I'm thinking that if it's a single system the furnace won't have enough BTUs available even with inline fan to heat that much space. Has anyone ever done a heat load calculation?

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Unread 12-19-2007, 11:26 AM   #10
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The max you can get out of the electric heat in the floor is 15 BTUs a square foot.
From your description I seriously doubt a heated floor would do much (sadly). It might get the floor up about 10-15 degrees, but that's about it. But I guess the difference between a 60 degree floor and 75 would be better than nothing!
Is there any insulation under the floor now?

Like Brian said, has a heat loss been done for this space? It'll at least give you an idea of what you're losing and what you'll need in terms of BTUs.
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Unread 12-19-2007, 08:34 PM   #11
Deckert
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Haven't been back to talk to em yet, but will update you all when I get some more information.

As far as calculations go, I bet the folks that sold em the new furnace drove up, saw the size of the house, and said, "yep, lets sell em the big one" and that was that.
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