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Heating a Basement

Finished basements can add a significant amount of living space to a home. But most basements can be more than 10 degrees colder than the other floors of your home. If you’re planning to use your basement as functional space, then you need to consider how you’ll heat it during the colder months. Here are some great solutions for keeping your basement warm.

Extend the ductwork

If you have a forced-air system to heat your home, then you may be able to extend the ductwork to heat your basement. Keep in mind that with this option, you will be heating up the whole house, not just the basement. So if you turn up the heat when you’re downstairs for movie night on a cold winter evening, you’ll be turning up the heat in the whole house. While extending the ductwork can be one of the most obvious solutions, it isn’t necessarily the most energy efficient.

Install permanent baseboard heaters

Another solution for heating your basement is to install hardwired baseboard heaters. This allows you to heat just the space you’re occupying, and each room in your basement can have it’s own heater. These heaters require you to hardwire them into the supply circuits. One downside is that they take up wall space so you won’t be able to put any furniture in front of them. But they can be individually controlled, which make them a great option for infrequently used basements.

Use plug-in baseboard heaters

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of hiring an electrician to install permanent baseboard heaters, then you can use plug-in models for your basement instead. You can move these units around to find the best places for them, but keep in mind that they do take up wall space like the hardwired units.

Use space heaters

Space heaters are probably the easiest way to heat your basement in cold weather. They are inexpensive and can be plugged into the wall. There are many kinds of space heaters on the market today, and some are more energy-efficient than others. Never leave a space heater on when you are not in the room, as it can be a fire hazard.

Install a fireplace

You can install a fireplace to help heat your basement, but this is certainly the most cumbersome choice. You can choose a wood-burning, gas-burning, or wood pellet stove. These will provide wonderful ambiance but can be a challenge to install. It will need to be installed by an expert and vented to the exterior of your home.

Install radiant-heat floors

Finally, a cozy option for heating a basement is installing radiant-heat flooring. These types of floors can be easy to install and used with just about any floor covering. You will, of course, need to remove all furniture as well as baseboard trim prior to installation, so the job can be labor-intensive. Radiant-heat flooring is completely silent and evenly warms the entire floor. It is becoming more and more popular in homes today and can be a great solution to heat your cold basement during fall and winter.

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