The basement is often one of the coldest places in a house because this area usually has less insulation and is highly impacted by convection current, which pushes hot air to rise and cold air to sink. During winter, the temperature in your basement can reach a point where it already compromises the comfort and function that the area provides. That is why it is crucial to have proper insulation and energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to prevent this from happening. You can also employ multiple ways to help regulate your basement temperatures. Here, we enumerated valuable tips to help keep your basement warm during winter.
Should basements stay warm in winter?
Basements need to stay warm throughout the year to prevent a cold basement issue from arising. A cold basement will not only ruin your comfortable basement environment but will also become an inviting spot for molds. When warm air collides with the cold foundation walls, moisture increases, leading to mold growth. A chilly basement also reduces the energy efficiency of your house because the cold air in your basement results in heat and energy loss among your water lines and ductwork.
Related: How to Deal with Molds in Basement
Reasons Why the Basements Keep Getting Cold
Basements can be damp due to the condensing water vapor on the concrete foundation, the seeping groundwater through the concrete flooring, or a flawed HVAC system. When moisture in the air rises, your basement feels much colder because the humidity drives our body heat away. The approach for keeping a basement dry is to control humidity from the inside, prevent outdoor moisture sources from penetrating, and prevent humidity from condensation.
As mentioned earlier, convection current pushes hot air to rise and cold air to sink. Since the basement is your home’s lowest part, it consequently becomes your home’s coolest part.
Absence of Direct Sunlight
Typically, a crawlspace does not receive any direct sunlight, which is vital in making basements warmer. The natural sunlight during a sunny day in the winter months can already help raise the temperature in your house.
Best Ways to Keep Your Basement Warmer in Winter
Have a Good Insulation
The most crucial step to keep your basement warm in winter is to have good insulation. Without basement insulation, all other efforts you make to keep your basement warm are futile, as insulators are the primary agents that slow down the rate of heat transfer in your basement.
There are various insulation products available in the market that you can use to keep your basement warm. You can use insulation batts if your basement has framing studs. Insulation batts are pieces of fiberglass batt insulation that are easy and convenient to install.
Another type of insulation is foam board insulation, which is suitable for an unfinished basement. This variety of insulation has excellent insulation capabilities. Not only is it resistant to moisture that keeps your basement as a dry living space, but it also acts like drywall and has a higher R-value per inch of thickness compared to typical insulation batts.
If you have a finished basement, you can also utilize spray foam insulation. Spray foam can provide your basement with maximum insulation and noise reduction because it also serves as a barrier to airborne sounds.
Add Home Heating Units
Sometimes, infrastructure improvements may not be enough. It may also be necessary to add some home heating units to make your basement become a comfortable living space.
You can install additional heat vents to resolve any comfort issues. Moreover, you can add a radiant heat system for your basement floor, which circulates heat beneath the basement floor and warms the cement with heat. You can also use hydronic heat, a heating system that makes hot water circulating in pipes under the basement floor to supply heat.
Electric baseboard heaters and electric space heaters are also now becoming popular options because not only do they function as effective heat sources, but they also help lower down your house’s energy expenses.
Install Carpet or Use Rugs
The type of flooring in your basement affects the way heat is retained in your crawlspace. Concrete, tile, and wood flooring are unable to hold heat efficiently. Installing carpets or using rugs will help absorb heat, especially during winter. For best insulation, make sure that your carpet or rug has thicker piles and is made from wool material. If you also have enough resources, you can consider investing in a wall carpet because it can help prevent enormous heat loss in your basement.
Replace Existing Basement Windows and Walkout Doors with Energy Efficient Ones
Single-glazed glass windows and walkout doors let lots of heat escape from your basement. You can replace them with double-glazed ones for better insulation. Air can also escape through the window’s edges, rim joists, and seams between the floor and basement ceilings. You can use spray foam sealant or silicone to seal these openings. Spray foam sealant provides better insulation than silicone. However, silicone sealants can better adapt to the shrinking and expansion of building material.
Tips to Remember When Dealing with Cold Basements
Find the Cold Spots
Finding the cold spots is the first step to manage heat loss in your basement. Once you have pinpointed where the cold spots are, you can begin installing additional insulation or sealing cracks in your basement.
Maintain the Right Humidity Level
During summer, the humidity can be awful. However, during wintertime, humidity becomes essential. When you have a properly working HVAC system, you can maintain the proper humidity level and immediately notice the difference in comfort.
Keep the Furnaces in Good Condition
Furnaces help keep your basement warm. If you do not keep your furnaces in good condition, the above-listed tips will be rendered useless. When you are faced with issues regarding your furnaces, immediately contact experts who can help you fix the problems.
Make Basement Better to be in During Winter
Install a Fireplace
Installing a fireplace in your basement can help provide glow and warmth in the area, especially on a chilly winter evening. A fireplace can also make your basement warmer and inviting, where you can share intimate moments with your family and loved ones. Fireplace design ranges from gas fireplaces, wood fireplaces, and electric fireplaces.
Have Fancy Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans help air move throughout the house and force air down, especially if installed in the stairwell area. There are various ceiling fan designs you can choose from to match the overall aesthetic of your basement. Ceiling fans can also help add to your home’s energy-saving improvements.
Play with Light Fixtures
Winter can make everything gloomy. When you play with light fixtures, not only do you illuminate your basement, but you also add warmth to the area. There are various kinds of bulbs and light fixtures available in the market.
Still don’t know how to keep your basements warm in winter? Ask a basement remodeling contractor.
If you are looking for a professional remodeling contractor, you are already in the right place. Paragon Remodeling has provided top-notch basement remodeling services in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland areas for over 15 years. We ensure that our basement remodels ideas and services will make your investment worth it. The projects we work on are not just renovation projects for us. We want to provide you with the comfort, warmth, and safety you deserve.