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Does a drop-ceiling in the basement help with heating the main floor?

KMHMI
KMHMI Member Posts: 4
I live in a rental property that is two floors - the top floor has baseboard heaters that are individually controlled in each room. The basement is unfinished, and there is insulation placed between the wood in the ceiling, but it's all open. Our heating bills are outrageous. I have asked the landlord to look into different options, such as an actual central furnace system, or more insulation, etc. He believes the house has enough insulation but agreed to look into a furnace. My question is: if we were to put a drop ceiling of some sort up in the basement, after adding more insulation, would that help? I am not interested in making him spend thousands of dollars on a furnace if we find out the house isn't properly insulated to begin with. Just wondering what some thoughts are?

Comments

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    What kind of baseboard is this?

    Electric, hot water, or steam?  If either of the latter, what kind of boiler and what fuel?
  • KMHMI
    KMHMI Member Posts: 4
    Electric baseboard

    It's electric baseboard heat. The landlord was thinking of putting in a gas furnace, but that can't be done until the Spring when the ground thaws (or else it costs a lot more).



    We've put plastic around every window, the doorwall, he bought us new storm doors last year.



    The heat from the baseboard heaters go right up the wall, almost like the walls themselves aren't properly insulated. You can see the plastic from the windows billow out.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Compare costs

    http://www.eia.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls is worth a few minutes of your time.  Be sure to update the fuel costs and appliance efficiencies to match your situation.



    If your house is neither sealed nor insulated, I'd ask the landlord to address those issues first.  Doing so will allow a smaller furnace and potentially smaller ducts to be installed, which will save him a few bucks and perhaps mangle the interior sightlines a bit less.
  • KMHMI
    KMHMI Member Posts: 4
    Thanks!

    I'll check that out. I have been doing some research online and I'm going to check a few of the walls behind the outlets tonight when I get home. I don't want to move, but I can't have another winter of $500+ electric bills!
  • Sealing the envelope

    Those improvements to doors and windows could probably be done right away, yielding immediate savings.

    Some communities have government grants available for insulation improvements too.--NBC
  • KMHMI
    KMHMI Member Posts: 4
    Thanks!

    I'll check into that. I called our utility about their offer of free home energy audits but of course I live in a county not covered. At a home I owned previously, I paid to have an energy consultant come out and that was very helpful, and I'm not against doing that again, even if my landlord doesn't reimburse me, so that's an option.
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