Cold Basement Solutions: Different Heating Options

A common situation for many homeowners is a chilly basement. It’s located fully or partially below surface level, so there isn’t much thermal assistance to warm up this space. Central heating systems are also often not designed to provide a comfortable level of warmth down there.

To keep your basement warm and comfortable there’re a few options that you can consider.

cold basement solutions

One cold basement solution is the installation of radiant floor heating. The basement floors are usually the coldest places in the house. So you can install this in-floor heating, which will help to eliminate the chill in the basement.

Another option is to insulate below-grade basement walls. However, it’s worth mentioning that these two solutions will give minimum effect. For more effective results, it’s better to insulate cold entry points into your basements, such as windows, ducts, vents, and pipes, and to consider supplemental heating systems, such as the following.

Expansion of the Existing Heating System

If you’re using a central hot water boiler, a good solution to warming up the basement would be to expand this system. Choose a baseboard heater or a radiator for your basement and tie them to your existing boiler. You will also need to install a thermostat to control the heat separately in the basement area.

But if you’re using a central forced air furnace, you will need to install new air pipes off the existing ducting system. Also, if you’re trying to heat a basement that is already finished, getting access to the ducting will be limited. Moreover, the temperature control would still be done upstairs from the main thermostat, so it would be difficult to maintain optimal temperature in the basement.

Get a Vented Gas Heater

One option is a pellet stove or a wood burning stove. A medium sized unit can heat up to 1750 square feet, which should be enough to heat an average sized basement. You can install the heater yourself, though it’s not exactly an easy job since it also requires the installation of venting outside. Pellet stoves and wood burning stoves not only provide heat but also provide a very cozy ambiance. However, with wood burning stoves there’ll be a bit more hassle with cleaning up the wood ash all the time.

Get an Electric Heater

For this solution, you have a few options:

  • Heat pumps. This product is also called a ductless air conditioner and is considered a good supplemental heat source. It provides unobtrusive, quiet and efficient heat. And also gives you excellent temperature control. Another benefit of a ductless heat pump is that you can also use it in the summer for cooling the air.
  • Electric baseboard heaters. This is another simple solution to heat the basement. However, keep in mind, though the upfront cost is comparatively affordable, they’re quite costly to operate.
  • Radiant heaters. These units are installed on the walls. They’re usually more efficient than baseboard heaters. They also look unobtrusive and provide quiet operation.
  • Portable space heaters. If you’d rather just heat one area of the room, you can consider getting a portable space heater. There’re also some space heaters that are capable of heating an entire room, but they usually cost more. Their advantage is their portability, as you can move the unit with you around the house depending in which you are at the moment. This will help to save on the electricity.

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