As you know, basements are underground. This leads them to be much colder than the rest of the house simply because of their location. They are surrounded by concrete and earth. This means there is moisture and lower temperatures plus of course, hot air rises leaving the basement as the chilliest are of the home. There is a reason dark, cold basements feature so often in horror movies!
If you are planning a new home and want to put heating in from the start or want to add heating to an existing basement you will want to do so cost effectively and make sure it is energy efficient at the same time.
Why would you need to heat your basement?
There are a few reasons why you should heat your basement. Even if it is an area you don’t particularly use much it is important to the rest of your house. You might find that by heating your basement effectively you actually make your utility bills more efficient.
Heating basements is energy efficient
Water lines and ductwork that are located in the basement will lose heat from the cold air in that area. Cold air can come in through improperly sealed ducts cooling the basement further and then this cold rises up through the house. The logical response to this is to turn up the heating in the upper house increasing the heating bill. Heating the basement effectively could end up reducing bills in the home and making the whole house more energy efficient, especially in winter months.
Protecting the health of the home
Mould grows during colder months such as winter. Windows are left closed and this leads to an ideal situation for mould to grow especially in the basement. If your basement has a must odour then this can be a tell tale sign that you have mould.
As the cold air cools the basement it also cools the floor above leaving you with cold feet. You can obviously wear thick socks but it would be nicer to have warm floors wouldn’t it?
Insulating your basement
As a homeowner, you want to make sure you heat your basement as well as possible, but don’t spend a fortune at the same time, otherwise you’re throwing all your money down the drain. If you have a finished cellar that has been heated, let us know before you even think about spending a ton of money on it. First, you have to optimize your cellar for unnecessary heat losses. To heat the basement effectively, you need to heat it efficiently, not just spend tons of time and money.
Before heating, you want to insulate and waterproof the basement. This helps retain heat, keep out the cold and moisture. If you are unsure of how to go about this then consult a professional. Check on Google for someone in your area and ask neighbours for recommendations.
Heating the basement
Now you have an insulated basement that is already saving your money and protecting the home. What about heating it in a cost effective way?
If you insulate properly then you might find that the heat generated is enough to make your basement and the rest of the home perfectly comfortable. When you tackle the issue of cellar heating, consider how you can save the hot air that is already available and then how efficiently you can add additional heat. If you find that the home’s heating costs are increasing, look where it appears that most heat is leaving the house to see if you can insulate it better. Unfinished basements can be heated in winter, but you must be careful that they are insulated.
What if the insulation isn’t enough?
You may find that the cellar and some of the house is still not warm enough so you will need to look at other options.
Wood pellet stoves don’t require gas or electricity and circulate warm air so they are energy efficient. The disadvantage is they need to be vented with the smoke going outside.
Baseboard heaters plug in and run off of electricity. They are portable but they take up a lot of floor space.
Existing duct work. This makes sense as the ducting is already there but it is difficult to direct the heat.
Space heaters. This is one solution where you can put heat where you want it. They are portable and very inexpensive to buy as Best Space Heater for Basement (2020 Reviews Updated) show. They can be poor at energy efficiency sometimes so it is important to look for one with low energy consumption.
Choosing the right heating will be down to your budget and size of basement. Using existing ductwork can increase the value of the property but using a space heater is an inexpensive purchase and can be moved around the home if needed.