I have a three-unit apartment building in Illinois. It has one upstairs apartment and two downstairs apartments. They're all heated with baseboard heating.

The two downstairs tenants are complaining that their energy bill is sky high (300 for 600sqft) . One of them has a drop ceiling that I just ended up insulating not too long ago. Above the drop ceiling is another apartment. I'm not sure that the insulating did anything.

Now I'm wondering if it has to do with the basement ceiling not being insulated. I have not insulated the basement ceiling because I don't want the pipes to freeze down there. I've heard that insulating the ceiling will not allow the hot air from the apartments to flow into the basement. I want to start sealing off the areas that don't have water pipes and just insulating those areas. Then leave the other areas that have the pipes uninsulated but I'm unsure if it will help at all to keep the heat upstairs or not.

I also don't know if the areas that don't have insulation will get enough heat from the apartments above to keep the pipes from freezing. I also have a crawlspace that one of the apartments is above and I'm not sure how I'm going to insulate it since I’m unable to crawl in there. I thought about blowing insulation, but I'm unsure what the outcome would be if moisture were to get into the crawlspace.

  • Is the baseboard heating electric or hydronic? Jan 30, 2023 at 0:57
  • 1
    Electric baseboard heating Jan 30, 2023 at 1:24
  • Generally, insulating basement ceiling is more about barefoot comfort than about saving energy. Might make sense to look at air sealing first. Standard observation that utilities in the US may offer free services to help determine best energy-saving measures, sometimes with substantial discounts on recommended remediations.
    – keshlam
    Jan 30, 2023 at 13:25


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