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Heat for my unfinished basement

dvi2020 Member Posts: 34
edited August 2021 in Gas Heating
Hi All,

I have a modcon boiler heating our house with zones using fin baseboard. I would like to put a piece of baseboard in our large single room unfinished basement just to keep it a few degrees warmer on that side of the space for when I go down to work out or do laundry. I don't need to warm it up to any specific temperature.

One thought is to put this piece of baseboard on a tiny separate zone. I understand that creating a tiny zone can cause short cycling. However in this case, the baseboard length (let's say 10') is too small to satisfy the demand of the large space, so would the boiler stay on for longer periods trying to?

Another option is to add it to an existing zone so that whenever that zone calls, it will throw off some bonus heat in the basement. Does adding basement baseboard to a zone that's two and three levels higher (2nd floor and attic) create a risk of air in the pipe that can't easily be purged? This is something a plumber I know said could be a factor to consider. Any other problem with this idea?

Would either of these options work?

Thank you
David I


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,868
    The microzone will cause short cycling, if it is the only zone calling. The reason being that the tiny little zone can't get rid of the heat in the incoming water, which heats up too fast and shuts off the boiler.

    Piping the zone as an extension of one of the other zones shouldn't be a problem at all -- provided everything is piped correctly. The water within the pipe really doesn't pay much attention to how high or low it is. What you do want to avoid is creating any more high points than need be -- you obviously need to have one somewhere! -- but there's no need to make life difficult by having two or three.

    Now if the system isn't piped for power purging and isn't piped so that the circulators are pumping away from the expansion tank, yes, it could be more difficult to keep air out. But that's not a result of the new section in the basement -- that's just poor piping.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • dvi2020
    dvi2020 Member Posts: 34
     I appreciate the clarification. Thank you Jamie!
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,715
    Is the basement floor insulated? If not it will always be cool / cold.
  • Ctoilman
    Ctoilman Member Posts: 105
    Without knowing much of your home layout/configuration I'd consider a used large used cast iron radiator plumbed off the boiler header.  That way the radiator gets flow across it when any of the other zones call for heat.  Plumb with monoflo tees and a gate valve so you can modulate the flow in the radiator or even shut it off completely.  A used radiator can be found on FB Marketplace or most plumbing companies have them laying around.