| By Glenn Haege. (Used by permission)
Dear Glenn: We just finished our lower level walkout basement. We have one high-efficiency furnace for a 2,600 square-foot house, excluding the lower level. It is freezing when the air conditioning is on, and very, very cold when the heat is on.
We would like to use the rooms, but the temperatures are too extreme. Is there a company we can call to help us with the temperature in the lower level? Do we need to get a new furnace for the lower level, even though all the ductwork is already in place?
Dear Marlene: I'd maximize the basement insulation, seal the ducts and rim joists and install a direct-vent fireplace. Robert Carey, Infrared Services of Michigan, (810) 329-9033, www.ismichigan. com, has a new division that specializes in sealing ducts and insulating rim joists. Sealing the ducts will help put the cold where it is supposed to be and stop it from leaking into the basement. Also, ask if he can insulate the ductwork.
Aladdin Fireplace Design Center, (248) 475-0667, can show you how a direct-vent fireplace will heat and dry out the humid basement air while adding charm and ambiance to the basement.