Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    4
    Post Likes

    Question Advice for heating & controlling humidity in basement room underneath garage

    Hi, first post here and looking for some advice. I have a room underneath an attached garage. It's about 20x25 in size, walk-out on one side, fully finished with carpeting and insulated drop ceiling, but no HVAC. This is in Iowa, and the house was built in 1963.

    I'm going to be turning the space into an indoor workshop in the coming months, but it has two main problems:

    1) High humidity during the spring/summer, especially when it's rainy. The workshop is for electronics, so this will be an issue. (It's always around 70-75 degrees during spring/summer, so cooling is not really needed per se.)

    2) Very low temperatures during the winter, getting down to about 40 degrees.

    Here are the HVAC-relevant characteristics of the room.

    1) The utility room with the HVAC system is only about 6 feet away, although there is a staircase between them. The other half of the basement is a mother-in-law apartment with its own HVAC system separate from the rest of the house, but the utility room houses both HVAC units. (I can provide a diagram of this if it would be helpful to visualize.)

    2) When we insulated the ceiling, we did find that there was a ceiling vent above one of the panels that was blocked off. I am not sure if the duct is connected to the apartment HVAC system (the apartment is just on the other side of the wall closest to the vent), connected to the main HVAC, or if it's been disconnected entirely.

    3) There is an old gas heater built into the far wall, about 4 feet tall, that dates to the 1960s or 70s. The fan on the unit works, but the heater doesn't. The only apparent issue with the heater appears to be the gas valves, and I talked to a contractor who said he could probably find replacements. He thought that as long as we also replaced the copper gas pipe with PEX then we could probably get it running again. If we decide not to use it, though, we'll want to tear it out entirely since it has a vent going outside which is always wide open and is the cause of a lot of the cold during the winter. If it's active and pumping air outside then this is less of an issue.

    4) The walk-out portion of the basement does have several windows, so there is the possibility of getting a window unit.

    So, given all of this... what do I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Mount Holly, NC
    Posts
    7,762
    Post Likes
    Ultra-aire 70 pint dehumidifier.
    The TRUE highest cost system is the system not installed properly...

    Find a HVAC-Talk Contractor by clicking here

    Click below to BECOME a pro member
    https://hvac-talk.com/vbb/forumdispl...ip-Information

    Do you go to a boat repairman with a sinking boat, and tell him to put in a bigger motor when he tells you to fix the holes?

    I am yourmrfixit

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    4
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by vstech View Post
    Ultra-aire 70 pint dehumidifier.
    Would that be overkill as a whole-house unit rated at 1800 sq ft? Can you provide any more information on the benefits of it? I'd still need to do something about the heat as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    9,767
    Post Likes
    My guess is that the lower levels of this home could use a central ducted dehumidifier during the 3 mild seasons of the year.
    Or you add small free standing dehus as needed.
    Measure the %RH in the basement areas as the outdoor dew points rise. 50%RH is ideal for these spaces. A ducted unit adds a small amount heat as it removes moisture from the air.
    Keep us posted.
    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    4
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    I do have a free-standing dehumidifier/AC that has a window duct attachment. If I got a condensate pump then I could pipe it across the room to a sink. I think I'll just fire that up for the humidity this summer and then see if I can get the wall heater fixed before winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    27,208
    Post Likes
    Ideally a basement should have in floor radiant heat. but that can and almost is expensive.

    Do not use the wall heater, do not attempt to get it repaired. Something that old should be scraped. I'm surprised a contractor would even consider using it.

    A small mini split, is probably all thats needed to keep it warm and comfortable with T B's whole house dehumidifier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    4
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    A small mini split, is probably all thats needed to keep it warm and comfortable with T B's whole house dehumidifier.
    Do mini splits stop working or lose effectiveness below a certain outdoor temperature? Iowa routinely gets to zero during the winter, average is maybe in the 10s and 20s from December through February and sometimes into March.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    27,208
    Post Likes
    -10 to -15 on some models

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Billington Heights, NY
    Posts
    21,625
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Do not use the wall heater, do not attempt to get it repaired. Something that old should be scraped. I'm surprised a contractor would even consider using it.
    Old doesnt mean bad. If the HX is good then there's NO reason to not utilize what one has, especially if new parts make it inherently safer.

    If it's millivolt it can even be used in no power situations, where a mini cant unless there's a generator.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Contracting Business
HPAC Engineering
EC&M
CONTRACTOR