Basements can be very useful in providing additional space not only for storage but also for work and sleep. However, basements are mostly excruciatingly cold, especially during winter. When using your basement more frequently, winters can cause severe problems if not well planned for in advance. Long chilly days and frosty nights may predispose you to a myriad of illnesses like hypothermia, frostbite, and chilblains, among others, that may cost you money and time to treat. Many homeowners seem to face a challenge when it comes to keeping their basements warm, considering the structural complexity of the cellar. Let’s look at a few tricks on how to keep your basement warm during winter.
Making your basement warmer during winter in a cost-effective manner
- Seal off unnecessary openings
- Consider using heavy carpets and floor rugs on the floor
- Add insulators on the walls
- Enhance on ventilation
- Do some cooking in the basement
- Heating your basement warmer during winter
- Use floor heating appliances
- Use of ceiling fans
- Use air conditioning
- Introduce a wood pellet stove
- Install a mantel
If you have used your basement as a storage facility before, then chances are, some cracks and holes went unrepaired. These openings mostly appear where rodents like mice had made it home causing your basement to get too cold during winter. These openings are found around movable areas like the windows or doors. Cracks may also develop on the floor or walls made of concrete. Sealing them off would help lock out the cold.
Basement floors made of concrete and tiles are another cause for extreme chilly conditions. It is essential to wear heavy socks to keep your feet warm. In addition to this, you should consider insulating the floor with heavy carpets and floor rags will help stop the cold from reaching the interior space. When cold surfaces are exposed, they have the effect of cooling the air surrounding them, therefore, making the environment cold. To avoid this, you can use wooden floors, which are poor conductors for your basement floor for adequate insulation. Wooden ceilings would also insulate against concrete roofs.
Your basement’s cold temperatures may be influenced by the type of material used for the foundation. Where stone was the primary building material, there is a high probability that the walls were left bare, considering that space was not made as a living area. Without a surface coating or insulating, these walls tend to make the room cool. To solve this, consider using insulators to lock out the cold from the walls. Where the walls are visible, you should consider covering with drywall or other insulating material.
Ensure that loosely attached windows and door panels are replaced to ensure there are no gaps that might leak in cold air. To improve on the appearance, you can finish it with panelling sheath for a warmer and eye-catching interior.
Lack of an appropriate ventilation system may also lock in cold air in your basement. During warm days, a poorly ventilated basement will not receive adequate warm air from outside, rendering the room chilly throughout the day. A sound ventilation system will not only be useful during winter but also summer when there is too much heat. Since warm air is continuously in motion toward colder regions, the warming process will be natural and would require little maintenance. You can also install larger windows that allow sunlight into the basement during warm days. It would be best if you considered opening the doors and windows during warm days to enhance ventilation and air circulation.
Cooking is another great way to heat the room. Whereas taking all your kitchen equipment to the basement might be impractical, making foods that require roasting or grilling would help warm the environment in the basement. Cooking is an excellent method, especially when you are using the basement for long hours. Doing so will save you a lot of time that might be lost while going up and down to grab a meal. Foods like barbeque, considering that they are not everyday meals, would easily be prepared there. Setting up the coal stove or the grill in the basement rather than the kitchen for this purpose during winter would help warm the space.
Deploying physical heating is a viable option in making your basement warmer. However, it requires structural improvements in your basement to support the heating systems. There are other methods available that you can use for the same purpose. However, they will prove costly to deploy and maintain.
This is arguably the best method for heating your basement quickly. A floor heating system is designed to heat not only the floor but also furniture and equipment in the room. The heat then rises from these surfaces to the air in the place. Another advantage is that you can regulate their heating levels to suit your needs. With a steady electricity supply, these appliances can make your basement warm and comfortable.
Cold air falls, and warm air rises. In this case, basements tend to be chilly while the rest of the house tends to stay warm. The trick is to ensure warm air circulates in the entire home, including the basement. By doing this, you can make use of the heating systems installed in the living area, instead of installing an additional heating solution in the basement.
Air conditioning is arguably the most flexible method of regulating temperatures. They can induce both warm and cold temperatures wherever they are installed. They come in many varieties and specifications; however, for this article; we shall consider those designed to work in cold conditions for heating purposes. The market has no shortage of air conditioner brands. Your budget shall primarily influence your choice.
With a proper air conditioning system, you can easily regulate the temperatures depending on the weather changes to suit your needs. They can also be switched on and off to save on electricity costs.
Burning of wood to provide heat has been practised since time immemorial. You can buy these pellets from the local markets whenever you need them. However, the general maintenance of the wood pellet stove would be high, considering it is another energy-consuming system.
It would help if you also considered the labour intensity of the stove. In case you have enough storage space for the wood pellets, then you have the luxury to purchase them in bulk and avoid making numerous trips to buy. However, you are short of storage facilities, then consider using electric appliances for this purpose.
Alternatively, instead of a wood pellet stove, or a wall chimney, you can opt to install a mantel at a strategic point in the basement. Mantels are automated electric appliances that emulate the traditional chimney. They are fully customizable and can be modified or adjusted from time to time to suit your needs from time to time. They also require little interaction since they operate on a remote control
Above the mantel, you can mount some fine art to make the basement feel more like home. However, as a homeowner, you should consider the energy consumption implications that come with it, since mantels use electricity to operate.
Moving some of your daily activities to the basements is a smart move, especially when you wish to maximize the use of space. However, this move might be a regretted if those cold winters are not foreseen. When using your basement for storage, investing in a warming system may not be logical. However, if you intend to use it as a living area, researching how to warm it during winters should be at the top of your checklist. The method you select shall be influenced by your needs and budget. Consider consulting experts during the entire process of procurements and installation to avoid losses and accidents.