My family and I bought a house about a year ago in Northern Vermont. The house is self is about 110 years old. It has four bedrooms (three upstairs), one bath a large dining room and a very large living room and kitchen.
One thing I would like suggestions on is our basement, but first let me describe it and our home. We have a basement about 30x25 which sits primarily under our living room, dining room and a small room dedicated as an office (you can walk around in this space). Then there is a shoveled out crawlspace that stretches 20-25 feet for access to our plumbing, water main and sewage (we are hooked up to town water/sewer). This crawlspace runs under the kitchen, bathroom and wash room.
The floor is dirt with granite blocks as the wall/foundation. There is one basement window installed. In the basement we have a 275 gallon oil tank with a oil fired hot water heater and forced hot air oil furnace (probably at least 25 years old).
The living room and dining room have hardwood floors and the kitchen and wash room are linoleum and the bathroom is tile.
Our furnace died in the middle of the winter and we were able to install a pellet stove (this was something we were planning to do next year, but we did it this year). The pellet stove keeps the house around 66-72 depending on the temperature outside. We have fixed the furnace, but it is now on standby and backup heat since the pellet stove is doing so well heating the house (at a low cost may I add).
Now for the insulating questions...Would insulating the basement ceiling do anything? I have read conflicting opinions on this. Will insulating alleviate a cold floor on the first floor? Will insulating help prevent the cold penetrating from the basement?
Also, should I worry about covering the walls and floor in the basement? If so, what should I do/ use? We have been in the house for less than a year, but I am certain moisture is coming from the dirt floor and the walls (with the warmer weather we have had, the walls are 'sweating'). Should I worry about some sort of vapor barrier to control the moisture?
Any advice would be great and much appreciated.