How to Keep Your Basement Warm in Winter
Making full use of the basement is becoming a much higher priority for many people of late.
Everything costs more, so many people are choosing to optimise their existing spaces because potentially extending their property, or even moving house, is no longer a viable option.
In many homes, the basement is the prime candidate for home and living improvements.
The vast majority of basements, however, are not suitable for habitation during the winter months for one simple reason – they are [insert expletive] FREEZING!
Of course, there are measures one can take to improve the warmth of the basement, like adding carpets or improving the insulation, but in many cases, this won’t be enough to make it livable. To do that, you must do as the MLB’s best fast-ball pitchers have done for decades… Bring the heat!
For the best tips and ideas to keep your basement warm in winter, please keep reading!
How to Make a Basement Warmer
There are two elements (pun very much intended) involved in making a basement warmer and keeping a basement warmer in winter; resisting the cold, and bringing the heat.
Let’s start with fighting the cold.
Having good insulation is one of the highest priorities for heating a cold basement. This usually involves insulating the walls with foam and insulating the framing studs with insulation batts made of fibreglass.
Sealing Cracks and Gaps
Basements are prone to cracks and gaps in all parts of their infrastructure because they are subjected to lower temperatures than the first-floor level and above-floor levels on a regular, long-term basis.
You should take time to identify any cracks or gaps in the walls, doors, or windows and seal them with an appropriate sealing agent such as caulking or expanding foam.
A tremendous amount of heat can be lost through the floor, particularly if it is made of material not conducive to retaining heat, such as concrete.
In such cases, adding carpeting or rugs will diminish the amount of heat lost to the floor.
Insulating, sealing cracks and adding carpets isn’t enough to keep your warm basement!
Heating the Basement in Winter
Now that we’ve looked at some of the quick fixes aimed at fighting off the cold, we need to look at bringing heat into the equation.
Despite the improvements that things like insulation and carpeting will bring to your efforts in heating the basement in winter, they are limited and insufficient in and of themselves.
If you really want to make your basement habitable over winter, you need to acquire a heat source.
Basement Heating Ideas
There are many kinds of heaters for basements, and one of the most common in recent years has been space heaters.
You could consider using a space heater, but in most cases, this won’t be an adequate solution because space heaters are
- Expensive to run
- Will not heat the basement space evenly
- Take a long time to warm up and reach the target temperature
- Pose a significant fire risk
Basement Radiant Floor Heating
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best way to heat up a basement is with basement radiant floor heating.
How Does Radiant Floor Heating Work?
Radiant floor heating is installed underneath your basement floor.
Electrical radiant floor heating works by sending out infrared waves evenly throughout the entire basement, heating every surface and object in the room.
What are the Benefits of Radiant Floor Heating?
This is a bit like asking “what are the benefits of being rich?” but let’s give it a shot
- Radiant floor heating is more efficient at heating any space, including the basement
- Because radiant heat heats the room, not the air, no energy is lost during heat transfer.
- There is no scheduled maintenance and practically zero risk of needing repair
- It doesn’t take up any space
- Is incredibly easy to install taking literally a matter of hours in most cases
- Can be fit under any size and shape of floor
- Is suitable for most floor surfaces (tile, wood, carpet, composite)
- Is sustainable and a fantastic way to help achieve a net zero home
Should I Heat my Basement in Winter?
If you intend to spend any significant amount of time in the basement over winter the answer to this will quickly become self-evident.
However, even if you don’t, keeping your basement warm over the winter months will also benefit the house itself such as maintaining the plumbing and pipework.
What else can I do to Keep the Basement Warm?
Other steps you can take to keep the basement warm are to check for drafts and make sure all doors and windows are shut at all times.
You might also want to consider getting a programmable thermostat if you already have central heating in the basement.
To keep your basement warm in winter you should
- Check for drafts and seal any cracks in the walls or gaps in the door/window frames
- Add or improve the existing insulation
- Lay down rugs or carpet
- Procure or install a heat source that can heat the basement efficiently and economically
We hope that this article has been informative. As you can see keeping your basement warm over winter is certainly achievable, and it can be done quickly and inexpensively if you choose the right way to go about it.
If you are considering getting a radiant floor heating system for your basement and would like more information on what they do and how they work, you can find further details and information in this article.
Until next time, stay safe – and stay warm!