Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New Haven county, Connecticut
    Posts
    132
    Had a couple places come out to quote me on adding heat to my basement.....23'x17' finished area.

    The quotes were fine and all, but no one mentioned possibly making this part a 3rd zone (already have 2 zones in my house). We have a 3 ton setup. I asked specifically about zoning it, their reasoning was "too much air for such a small space". Can you make a dump zone and dump the extra air somewhere?

    Which leads me to ask........is the unfinshed side of the basement (where the furnace and water heater are located) an acceptable "dump zone"? Wasnt sure if you could (by code, or even by common sense) dump conditioned air back into where the equipment is.

    Firing the furnace completely just for the basement would seem wasteful, but we are down there so little that it wouldnt bother me to do so. The heat would only be on when we are down there, and even then it wouldnt be very high (basically a little extra heat to take the edge off). I was originally thinking an electric baseboard setup, but I found some abandoned ductwork over the basement that would be perfect for a supply, and all that would need to be added is a return.

    Thanks!
    -Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Really when you zone a house with dampers, the zones should have similar loads. A dump zone is a poormans workaround for settting it up properly in the first place. And not a very good one at that.

    You would be far better off having a dedicated duct system for the basement and allowing it to recieve heat when either of the other zones are calling. The control for that area would not be able to call for heat. The dampers would open and close based on the call but thats it.

    If you are not down there very much, a little electric baseboard would go along way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New Haven county, Connecticut
    Posts
    132
    Thanks for the info.

    Our electric company just announced their plans for a cost increase.......not a normal 3 or 4%, we're talking 38%!!!!! Thats why I kinda go turned off my electric baseboard (that and the fact it would take a decent amount of labor to start running the wiring, etc........probably the same amount of labor to just have ductwork added and use the hot air setup).

    There is one supply register down there right now, and its fed off of the first floor zone. Just to get an idea of how it would feel, Ive tried turning up the 1st floor zone t-stat, and then opened the register in the basement. Its not a bad compromise, but once the upstairs satisfies, the basement gets cooler at a faster rate than the first floor, so the basement ends up feeling not so warm (which is what I would expect to happen) but the first floor is fine so the heat turns off and stays off for a while.

    The quotes we got were for a large supply feed directly off the plenum, with a manual damper installed (along with the associated return). We'd fire the first (or second) floor heat, then open the manual damper to get the air flowing in the basement. Not really sure if thats any better or worse than just adding another supply register in the first floor feed (the existing register is in the center of the duct as it travels thru the finished basement, I could add another more towards the end).

    None of the companies that came out discussed these other options. All they did was price out a tap off the plenum and an additional return.

    -Chris

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    Well thats fine too. You just wont have much control over it. The difference is I sugested a thermostat to control that "manual damper". I agree with them, I wouldnt allow the basement to operate the furnace by itself. Come summer time, you will have to close that damper. The damper controlled by the thermostat would resolve that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    I agree with Doc's suggestion of a t-stat controled damper.. Just don't have it control the furnace..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Rochelle Il / Chicago
    Posts
    169
    If you use Arzel, they have a option called slave zone. It allows you to heat or cool a lo demand area with out controlling furnace. If basement on slave zone needs heat, and the zone that's easy to heat / cool calls for heat then both dampers open. when basement is heated to set point, slave zone closes damper and allows main zone to complete heating.

    the only problem with the stat controlled damper is the potential of total system static loss. Your second floor won't be able to heat/cool as well when the damper is open. See Arzel for better explanation about this option. LOL

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Wadsworth, OH
    Posts
    316
    Quote Originally Posted by tomgeer View Post
    If you use Arzel, they have a option called slave zone. It allows you to heat or cool a lo demand area with out controlling furnace. If basement on slave zone needs heat, and the zone that's easy to heat / cool calls for heat then both dampers open. when basement is heated to set point, slave zone closes damper and allows main zone to complete heating.

    the only problem with the stat controlled damper is the potential of total system static loss. Your second floor won't be able to heat/cool as well when the damper is open. See Arzel for better explanation about this option. LOL
    Not sure why the concern about static loss, unless you are adding additional supply outlets for the basement. If so, you should satisfy the basement in short order and then the damper will close.

    I do agree that a slave zone would do well for the basement, I would also consider adding a supply outlet (or two) if needed to get the heat required during the heating cycles available.
    "When you perceive zoning not as a bandage but as an enhancement, you truly understand the dynamics and limitations of forced air heating and cooling"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
    Posts
    3,541
    Quote Originally Posted by tomgeer View Post
    If you use Arzel, they have a option called slave zone. It allows you to heat or cool a lo demand area with out controlling furnace. If basement on slave zone needs heat, and the zone that's easy to heat / cool calls for heat then both dampers open. when basement is heated to set point, slave zone closes damper and allows main zone to complete heating.

    the only problem with the stat controlled damper is the potential of total system static loss. Your second floor won't be able to heat/cool as well when the damper is open. See Arzel for better explanation about this option. LOL
    We install these quite frequently for infrequently used rooms. You don't need to buy a zoning system to do it. All you need is a power closed/spring open damper (Honeywell or Lennox work great). A DPDT switching relay and a thermostat. The thermostat controls the damper only. You most likely need to run a 14" or 16" duct to the room and put multiple registers, best to run it off the end of the plenum to get a buttload of air in there quickly. A return is also very nice to have, not necessary, but nice.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Rochelle Il / Chicago
    Posts
    169
    I'm sorry I must have miss read something. I thought the system being discussed is already zoned and they were looking into adding a third.
    I was simply suggesting that your idea "a very good one" may create inconsistent air flow to other zones and in some homes can be very noticeable.
    So allowing slave zone " your idea" to only heat when a dominate zone calls could reduce this potential problem.
    my suggestion to look into Arzel was because they could give a better explanation.
    I'm merely speaking from a variety of different problems seen with similar stat controlled damper.

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