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  • Basement Heating, pleas help!!

    Hi everyone, first post on this forum but have been viewing all the helpful info here for the past 6 months or so. Thanks!!

    I'm building a 3 level house and using a Heat Pump to heat and cool the main and upper level of my home. My question is, what would be best to heat the basement? Its going to get rented out. Electric baseboard or should I get a small gas furnace installed for the basement? Electric baseboard is cheaper to do but I'm worried my electric bill will be super high??? What do you guys think is the best way to go? Plan on living in this house for many years. Basement area that is getting heated is about 1500 feet.

    Thanks again for any and all help. Its greatly appreciated!!

  • #2
    Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

    It used to be a rule that gas heat was cheaper than electric. These days, that rule isn't so hard and fast. Heating fuel costs are very volatile and will probably increase. That's made electric heat a viable alternative. Personally, my crystal ball hasn't worked for the last 50 years, so your guess is as good as anyone's. Electric heat carries less danger of CO2 poisoning, but higher danger of fire. If you mitigate the chances of fire/combustion by getting a good quality electric baseboard, and have it installed professionally, you may be better off.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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    • #3
      Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

      VASandy wrote: ". . .Electric heat carries less danger of CO2 poisoning, but higher danger of fire."
      I wouldn't recommend putting gas anything in a rental unit, especially if your family is also living in the house. You never know what type of tenants you might have. And, as VASandy said electric has the possibility of starting an electrical fire.

      Personally, I would you use either hydro baseboard or hydro in-floor heating. Either can be put in with a recirculating pump (keeps water costs down), and you don't have explosion (gas) or fire (electrical) risks.

      With the hydro options you could also have a pressure drop shut-off put in. Just in case of a water leak, so your basement won't flood. Even at that, I would take a little water in the basement over CO2 asphyxiation or fire!
      Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
      Historic Renovations, Restoration, & Custom Log Homes


      I Beat The Competition Hammersdown!

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      • #4
        Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

        Pardon my ignorance But how would I run the risk of my tenants catching my house on fire with a gas forced air furnace?

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        • #5
          Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

          storing combustibles "paints, solvents, cleaners" in the furnace closet is a good one.


          Originally posted by The Rich Dude View Post
          Pardon my ignorance But how would I run the risk of my tenants catching my house on fire with a gas forced air furnace?
          No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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          • #6
            Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

            Originally posted by The Rich Dude View Post
            Pardon my ignorance But how would I run the risk of my tenants catching my house on fire with a gas forced air furnace?
            Any open flame (pilot light) could go out and cause CO2 asphyxiation for the tenants or your family, or as MoJo stated, fumes from combustible solvents, etc. could cause a combustion fire.

            I don't know the insurance laws in your areas, but where I live, you're not allowed to have anything gas, with the exception of the furnace, in a rental house/unit unless you (the property owner/landlord) carry a separate, min. $1,000,000 liability policy on the property.
            Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
            Historic Renovations, Restoration, & Custom Log Homes


            I Beat The Competition Hammersdown!

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            • #7
              Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

              Originally posted by The Rich Dude View Post
              Pardon my ignorance But how would I run the risk of my tenants catching my house on fire with a gas forced air furnace?
              The same risk as having a match in the house, a short in a lamp cord, the sun shining through a piece of glass on to something combustible, a burner left on under a frying pan, or anything else that might cause a fire. Come on people, get real. There are millions of gas furnaces in this country that never cause a problem. Just be sure that it is properly installed.

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              • #8
                Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

                The actual furnance itself wouldn't be in there part of the suite. I would have it as part of my mechanical room in the basement with a carbon monoxide detector near by so that if it did go out I would be notified.

                So heres the questions. Is heating a 1100 square foot basement with electric baseboard more expensive than heating it with a gas furnance if both gas and electricity cost the same??

                Thanks for all your help everyone!!!

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                • #9
                  Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

                  The Rich Dude wrote: [b][i]". . .Is heating a 1100 square foot basement with electric baseboard more expensive than heating it with a gas furnance if both gas and electricity cost the same?? . . . .Thanks for all your help everyone!!!"
                  Utility costs vary depending on where you live, but in a lot of areas electricity can be cheaper than natural gas. You should check your area for gas -v- elec. utility rates.

                  As far as installation costs gas -v- elec., depends on how much labor it will take to install each of the systems. As far as material costs, elec. baseboard is usually more than forced air, but your best bet is to get at least 3 quotes for elec. and 3 quotes for gas from 6 different contractors.

                  My question is; why not use hydronic (water) baseboard heat?

                  "I would use either hydro baseboard or hydro in-floor heating. Either can be put in with a recirculating pump (keeps water costs down), and you don't have explosion (gas) or fire (electrical) risks.

                  With the hydro options you could also have a pressure drop shut-off put in. Just in case of a water leak, so your basement won't flood. Even at that, I would take a little water in the basement over CO2 asphyxiation or fire!"
                  Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
                  Historic Renovations, Restoration, & Custom Log Homes


                  I Beat The Competition Hammersdown!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

                    Originally posted by CARPENTERDON View Post
                    Any open flame (pilot light) could go out and cause CO2 asphyxiation for the tenants or your family
                    .
                    They havent made a standing pilot appliance for resi. heating that doesnt have a pilot safety shut off device for about 50 years. Further more, if the pilot DID go out and gas continued to flow out, it wouldn't cause Carbon dioxide(?) OR Carbon Monoxide asphyxiation. You'd be more concerned about blowing up.

                    Originally posted by CARPENTERDON View Post
                    My question is; why not use hydronic (water) baseboard heat?
                    You have to heat that water with something. Either electricity or gas. (I doubt solar or geo is an option for a rental) Like Pipestone said, gas appliances RARELY cause safety isuues, especially if maintained. The safety controls are in place for a reason. Maybe you should be giving advice on carpentry, not heating.
                    West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                    Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                    www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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                    • #11
                      Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

                      I probably deal with 5 pilots that go out every week, the thermocouple is the simplest most reliable device for shutting off gas flow to an appliance. You ever see one that allows a gas valve to stay open? I haven't. 180 second guarantee shut off. Then there is the flame sensor, sure they cause a few headaches when they get old and dirty, but they always err on the side of safety.

                      No need for uneducated fear mongering.

                      Hey did you know houses are built from wood, which has known to be extremely flammable.


                      This guy actually just said

                      "Any open flame (pilot light) could go out and cause CO2 asphyxiation for the tenants or your family"

                      That's one of the stupidest, most hilarious statements I have ever read.


                      Ok, now I'm done. Rack me.
                      West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                      Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                      www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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                      • #12
                        Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

                        bigPipe09 wrote: "I probably deal with 5 pilots that go out every week, the thermocouple is the simplest most reliable device for shutting off gas flow to an appliance. You ever see one that allows a gas valve to stay open? I haven't. 180 second guarantee shut off. Then there is the flame sensor, sure they cause a few headaches when they get old and dirty, but they always err on the side of safety.

                        No need for uneducated fear mongering.

                        Hey did you know houses are built from wood, which has known to be extremely flammable.


                        This guy actually just said

                        "Any open flame (pilot light) could go out and cause CO asphyxiation for the tenants or your family"

                        That's one of the stupidest, most hilarious statements I have ever read."
                        I get soooooo sick and tired of people getting on these forums and posting disparaging remarks about others and posting unfounded information on topics that they apparently know absolutely nothing about.

                        Besides being a carpenter of 35 years experience with a well versed background in structural engineering and architecture (I am not licensed/registered in either), having learned and studied both from my mom's boss (a registered Arch. & S.E. w/58 yrs. exp.), since the age of 12, and working with some of the best Mechanical Engineers in the business for the last 25+ years. I, as well, spent 11 years as a volunteer Paramedic/Firefighter. As such, I have seen a number (don't know exact count) of Carbon Monoxide poisoning cases and even a few CO deaths over my 11 year career.

                        After all, why do you think they invented CO monitors, and the fact that they're so prevalent in homes today?

                        Now, I do NOT make "stupid" or "hilarious" statements. I make statements from experience and anecdotal facts. So, please, don't go and make a sincerely informative post sound so trivial. I try to educate those that ask questions about such topics as is in this very post. Personally, my first and foremost concern is for the OP's family and there well being.

                        For my next point; when renting, you (the landlord) never knows what type of tenants you will have, be it in a rental property or when renting out a portion of your own family's home. It is better to err on the side of caution, as opposed to throwing caution to the wind and taking unnecessary risks!

                        Below are the current statistics for 2008 from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

                        Incidence (annual) of Carbon monoxide poisoning: 25,000 annual cases of home exposure in the U.S.

                        Incidence Death Rate: approx 1 in 2,400 or 0.04% or 113,333 people in U.S.


                        Statistics: American Journal of Emergency Medicine (03/2009)
                        Last edited by CARPENTERDON; 04-28-2010, 10:39 PM.
                        Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
                        Historic Renovations, Restoration, & Custom Log Homes


                        I Beat The Competition Hammersdown!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

                          I'm not the one posting about topics I have no idea about. I'm a master gasfitter, the fact you've worked with mech. engineers obviously hasn't helped you out much.

                          Explain to me how a pilot going out on an appliance is going to cause CO2 poisoning? Natural Gas isn't CO2. Not to mention the oldest of old appliances have safety shut off devices built in.

                          It doesn't impress me one bit that you quote the American Journal of medcine about Carbon Monoxide deaths. I know that CO can be very dangerous and deadly, but has nothing to do with any of the points I made.

                          If you want to "educate those who ask questions" try doing so with factual information. Not 2nd hand jib jab you overheard in your moms kitchen in 1972
                          West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                          Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                          www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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                          • #14
                            Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

                            bigPipe09 wrote: "I'm a master gasfitter"
                            5 years experience and you're a master gasfitter???? 5 years is still an apprentice!!

                            And, Mr. Master Gasfitter, why do you think that they make carbon monoxide testers/sensors a requirement in new homes, and that they be retrofitted (as code requirement) in older homes being sold, prior to the sale??

                            Whether you choose to believe it or not, carbon monoxide DOES KILL PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES. . .PERIOD!!!!

                            Whether through an extinguished pilot, gas line leak, etc. IT DOES HAPPEN!!!

                            I don't give a royal s*@t if you're a master gasfitter or not, appliances DO FAIL, and it can have every safety thing-a-ma-bobbie on it. They have and do fail!!

                            Next you're going to say that Radon doesn't kill people either??!!

                            I lived it and have seen people killed from faulty stove pilots, water heater pilots, etc. die from carbon monoxide asphyxiation!

                            I've seen people using their gas oven to try and heat their homes, the pilot goes out, for one reason or another, and they die from asphyxiation, or the pilot goes out on their water heater and they, well same story. . .

                            Everything made by man is prone to failure, it happens, maybe not every day, but is it worth the risk? I guess for you it is, but I choose to err on the side of caution!!
                            Last edited by CARPENTERDON; 04-29-2010, 05:01 AM.
                            Dimensional Carpentry & Custom Woodworking
                            Historic Renovations, Restoration, & Custom Log Homes


                            I Beat The Competition Hammersdown!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Basement Heating, pleas help!!

                              Sorry I should update my profile info, I've been in the trade since I was 14, I'm now 24.

                              It doesn't take a master gasfitter to know that there's a difference between Carbon Monoxide and Carbon dioxide. I learned that in 8th grade science new jack, I would think someone "studying" under an engineer could figure out that much.

                              I also "SEEN" (Apparently you weren't paying attention in English class either) Electrical fires and car accidents, doesn't mean you shouldn't use lights or drive cars.
                              Not usually one to engage in pissing contacts, but remove your head from your peehole and come back when you know what you're talking about
                              West Trail Mechanical Ltd
                              Service. Commitment. Expertise.

                              www.westtrailmechanical.ca

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