Q My home has a concrete slab floor which, despite carpeting, is quite cold. Is there something I can apply to the floor to make it warmer before I replace the carpet? L. Kuta Lansing, Ill. I suggest you use either one-half or three-quarter-inch dense urethane foam padding, such as Omalon made by the Olin Corporation, or a competing product. You can reach Olin at Space 1869, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, Ill. 60654 (telephone 312-329-1390). The padding should make a major difference in the warmth of the floor. To the real estate editor:
In a recent column, Mr. Schooley's question about a heating problem might be answered with consideration of something I used many years ago; namely, a cloth partition.
It was necessary to provide an air-conditioned area within rented industrial space in which erection of permanent partitions was not desirable. We found that wholly adequate separation of the air-conditioned area was obtainable by hanging lightweight fabric from the high ceiling and tacking it to the floor. It was not necessary to make seams to join adjacent sections, although that might have afforded some gain in efficiency.
From a practical standpoint, it was necessary only to minimize the movement of air between the controlled and the uncontrolled areas.
Although I have not tried it as a means of preventing waste of heat in a high-ceilinged space, I see no reason this principle of restricted air movement should not offer an inexpensive and adequate solution to Mr. Schooley's problem. There will, of course, be some transfer of heat through a cloth barrier, but the important thing is restriction of convection flow.
Especially in churches, the use of fans for circulating either heated or cooled air is often a source of discomfort to some members of the congregation. But preventing air movement to keep the heat in the lower parts of the auditorium should achieve the desired saving in fuel costs without producing discomfort for those who find drafts objectionable.
The use of a fabric ``ceiling'' offers the further advantage of improved acoustics. Most churches have reverberation problems in their auditoriums. Lowering the ceiling by means of a flexible barrier is bound to effect an improvement. An architect who is knowledgeable in acoustics could probably offer valuable advice. Clarence W. Metcalf Spotsylvania, Va.