LESLIE: Samuel in Delaware can find The Money Pit on WDEL and you’ve got a question about heating up your basement. Tell us what’s going on.
SAMUEL: Well, since there’s no heat source down there I was thinking of getting a pellet stove that would take care of the heat in the basement; unless there’s a better idea.
TOM: How much time are you going to be spending in the basement, Sam?
SAMUEL: Well, I plan to pretty much live down there since all our other rooms are taken up by the rest of the family. (Leslie chuckles)
TOM: (chuckling) OK. Well, in that case then perhaps that’s a fine idea. Pellet stoves burn very, very clean and very efficiently and as long as they’re vented properly I think that they’re very safe.
Typically, in a basement, your options are to extend the existing heating system. If that’s not possible you need to add supplemental heat and the easiest supplemental heat to add to a basement is electric resistance heat. Now normally we would not recommend electric resistance heat because it’s so expensive. But in a basement you don’t have to use that heat very much. You don’t have to use it, you know, but maybe two or three months of the year at the most and you probably don’t even have to use it that much within that period of time because the basement does remain somewhat warm just by virtue of the fact that it’s insulated by the earth around it. However, if you’re going to be in there as a living space; you’re going to be spending a lot of time in there; it’s not a recreational space that’s partially used; it’s really a space you’re going to use an awful lot, then definitely a pellet stove is a fine idea.
We hope that helps you out.
SAMUEL: Yeah, it does. Thanks.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.