How do I keep my basement warm in the Winter?
Ways to Treat the Heat So It Doesn’t Leave Your Basement in the Winter
In the olden days, basements used to be these drafty and dusty rooms that gave people the creeps. Today, as the world has become more contemporary and forward-looking, basements are seen as cost-effective and comfortable living spaces.
However, it is a well-known fact that basements are one of the coldest rooms in the house. Especially in the thick of winter, particularly keeping the basement warm is challenging, especially if you have an unfinished and cold basement with loose floorboards or uninsulated floors.
So if you are considering creating your universe in the basement but scared to let the cold in, here are some interesting, energy-efficient ways to keep the cool basement warmer.
A Well-insulated Basement is Warm-up 101
Without insulation, all the efforts to keep the cold out will be nothing but an uphill battle. Insulation reduces the rate of heat transfer, preventing the cold from depleting the warm indoor air. To add insulation to keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
In a finished basement, irrespective of whether your foundation is built of stone or cinder block, the concrete walls are covered by an interior wall made of drywall or, in some cases, panelling. If you are lucky and the interior basement walls are visible, you can simply append an additional insulation layer by framing in the basement with drywall. However, if your basement already has interior walls, your only option is to add additional spray foam insulation. But don’t worry, both ways can work wonders and keep the heat in.
Locate Cold Spots One by One
From the ceiling to the basement walls and every corner, slowly scan the entire room using a thermal camera to locate the cold spots.
Thinking about why go through the trouble of buying a thermal camera to induce heat? Well, don’t worry; the ROI on the thermal camera will be offset by the amount you’ll save on electricity by addressing the cold spots in your basement. Once you know the areas where your basement is colder than the rest of the room, add insulation or sealing cracks. And voila! You’ve got yourself a well-insulated basement.
When in Doubt on How to Keep the Chill Out – Replace the Drafty Windows
Cracks or gaps in the windows or floorboards are the evil that lets the cold breeze in. To prevent the freezing air from seeping in, carefully seal any openings using extruded foam insulation or any other appropriate building material. You can also replace the windows with fiberglass insulation to ensure minimum heat loss.
Pro tip: If you have an egress window, depending upon its age, you can also replace it with a double-pane or other energy-efficient variants to make your basement comfortable living space.
Radiant Floor-heating – The One-Stop Solution
One of the most traditional yet efficient ways to keep both the air and your feet warm is radiant floor-heating. It is a heating system that is installed directly underneath your floor and requires electrical wiring to circulate hot water beneath a floor to warm the cement. And if the cement is warm, the entire house will have a more pleasant temperature.
There’s one and only one drawback to installing a basement floor heating system – it can only be instated while constructing the house from scratch. However, retrofitting an existing basement is also possible but not as simple. Why? Because in most cases, the cement floor needs to be removed and re-poured to accommodate the tubing.
Spruce Up and Warm-Up at the Same Time with Heated Floor Rugs
Flooring is the foundation of any room, but a carpet is the one that makes the room warm and fuzzy and classy and contemporary.
The common problem with unfinished basements is that they have a cold, concrete slab floor, which is why they feel cold and chilly. To keep your feet warm, lay throw rugs on trafficked areas to insulate the floor from the cold. For additional insulation, you can consider covering the entire concrete floor, wall-to-wall, with a carpet.
Pro tip: Basements usually flood in the rainy and snowfall season. So before investing in a high-quality rug, consider how dry your basement space remains. If it does not, resolve that issue first before laying down a carpet.
Let the Sun Shine Inside
Let your room be kissed by the sun; after all, it’s FREE! This way doesn’t cost a dime and will give you a lot of sunshine in the form of natural insulation. All you need to do is keep the walkout doors closed (obviously, as it’s cold and breezy outside) and the shades open on basement windows where the sun shines through.
This will ensure solar heat is constantly coming in all day through the windows, keeping your room just a little warmer. And, you can see a noticeable difference in temperature spikes from day one.
Want to Say Cost-effective? An Oil-filled or Electric Space Heater is Your Best Bet
Happiness is staying inside on a cold morning with a hot cup of cocoa and a warm hug by the heater.
If you need an additional blast of heat only during certain months during the year, investing in a high-quality oil-filled or an electric space heater is a fantastic way to keep the cold out. This can warm up your space without costing you an arm and a leg.
A couple of things to avoid while using an electric baseboard heater – make sure you use it for a limited time or in a smaller room; otherwise, be prepared to pay a huge electric bill as these are far away from energy efficiency as possible. And second, pay close attention to the instructions and make sure to unplug it when you leave the room to avoid fire dangers.
Are you ready to crank up the temperature by a couple of notches? Try these simple yet effective and incredible ways to keep your basement warmer in the winter months. But make sure to check and re-check the insulation requirements of your building before installing alternative radiant heat sources.