I work out of my home in an office in our finished basement. The room is always cold whether it's the middle of winter or the middle of summer. I often run a cheap space heater (especially) in the winter but that tends to take a long time to warm up the room and ultimately causes over heating, especially when the furnace kicks on.

Primarily: How can I maintain a consistent temperature (ie 68-70 degrees) all year long?

Secondarily: Should I insulate the ceiling space above the office to reduce heat loss to the master bedroom above?

Some details:

  • My office is roughly 14x14 w/ insulated walls

  • Office has a large window 6x6 facing North-East (walkout basement) and is a "wing" off of the main structure, the windows are ~6 yrs old Pella double-pane

  • There are two heat/AC vents in the office served by the same duct, when these kick on the room gets HOT (or cold) very quickly but the heat dissipates after a few minutes.

  • The ceiling of the office is NOT insulated but is finished/painted, there is a roughly 2 foot space between the ceiling and the next floor which I have good access to. Directly above my office is the master bedroom which is also always cold.

  • Home has 2 zones for heat/AC, one for the 2nd/top floor bedrooms and one for the main floor (the basement is on the main floor zone but the thermostat is on the main floor)

  • My office is carpeted (the rest of the basement is not), I would like to replace this w/ hardwood

  • Is the 2 foot space above the office open to the rest of the basement, or is it enclosed on all 4 sides? Can you detect any air movement up there? Other useful information would be when the house was built, if the office is in an addition that was added later. Pictures (from the outside) or diagrams never hurt either. Almost forgot - does the wall insulation extend all the way to the bottom of the bedroom floor above or stop at the ceiling?
    – Comintern
    Apr 12, 2014 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


The room in question is fairly large and has several heat loss factors. Not withstanding the fact that the room sits on the cold basement floor, has large windows etc., the main problem is that the temp in the room is not thermostatically controlled properly. The only thermostat and heat zone is on the main floor and controls heat based on temps in the main living space. Your typically closed bedrooms and lower level rooms will never heat or cool at the same temps as the room the thermostat is monitoring. If you really want to have accurate temp control, it may be necessary to install zones. One zone for open living areas (kitchen, dining, living spaces) , a zone for bedrooms, and a separate zone for the office level. Without separate zones, you cannot monitor and adjust temps in the areas isolated from the living space.

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