Basements are a fantastic additional space in a home. They’re perfect for extra storage, creating a family area, even extra bedrooms. One thing many basements have in common though, is that they’re often chilly. Why are basements naturally cold and how can you heat a chilly basement? It’s actually quite simple.
Basements are naturally colder. This is due to the fact that they’re mostly concrete so the moisture and cold from the earth surrounding it is absorbed and held. Basements can be cold when insufficient insulation was used in their finishing. There’s a lack of direct sunlight hitting most basements which will prevent natural heating too. And finally, hot air rises. So, whether you have forced air, electric baseboard heaters, or something else, the heat generated will find its way upwards, leaving the downstairs spaces cooler, even if the house is set to 72°F/22°C.
There are several options for heating a cold basement. If this is part of a renovation, knowing that the basement will be chilly is great, it can be prevented with extra insulation, and you can add an extension of the current ducting to allow for forced air heating, and even include radiant in-floor heating. Although, these are all very expensive additions to a renovation if not planned for.
If the basement is already finished there are a few options. The addition of zone heating like a fireplace – whether it’s electric or gas, electric baseboard heating, and plug-in space heaters. Electric fireplaces can be wall-mounted, heat spaces up to 400 – 800 Sq. ft, and are eco-friendly and cost-effective. A gas fireplace is a little more expensive, but the ambiance and value to a home are quite incredible. Baseboard heaters tend to be money hogs and aren’t very efficient, and it pays to be cautious with plug-in space heaters as they can also consume a lot of energy and can be dangerous if left unattended.
What is Zone Heating?
Zone heating is when you heat the room that you are in with an alternative heat source. Considering households spend 80-percent of their time in 20-percent of their home it makes economical sense to turn the furnace down and heat those most lived-in spaces with an alternative heat source. This can save hundreds of dollars on energy costs and lowers a home’s carbon footprint.
The best way to heat a cold basement is actually the addition of a Ductless Heat Pump. These units are highly energy-efficient and provide heating and cooling all year round. They are energy star rated and easy to use with the included remote control. While the initial cost is a little higher than other options, this is still less invasive than a full reno and far cheaper than getting radiant floor heating.
There is nothing better than a cozy and comfortable space to spend time with your family and friends. Ensuring that your most-used areas are nice and comfortable no matter what season it is, is easy. Don’t forget to add extra throw blankets (you can never have too many), and try adding area rugs, even over the carpet, to increase comfort for those toes. How do you ensure your basement isn’t chilly? Share your secret technique, your renovation story, or even just photos of your beautiful spaces on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtags #ColdBasement, #CozyBasement, and #NapoleonHVAC.