Creating a basement that’s welcoming and warm is a great way to add value to your home. It increases your living space substantially, giving you additional room for recreation, a home office or gym, or extra bedrooms.
Unfortunately, many of us find our basements too cold to enjoy comfortably, especially in the winter months. Heat rises so the upper floors of your home will naturally feel warmer. Basements can also have extra moisture, which contributes to them feeling cool and damp.
Before you give up on your basement, here are some tips to help improve heat distribution to the lowest areas of your home. If you’re still feeling chilled while chilling in the basement, contact your local HVAC experts at Whyte Ridge. We can help you optimize your heating, cooling and air conditioning system to keep all areas of your home comfortable year-round.
Improve your insulation
It can be helpful to add insulation in the basement, where builders often rely on the natural insulation of the surrounding earth instead of adding additional layers to exterior walls.
Although this option can be expensive, the temperature regulation can save you money on your heating and cooling bills by protecting your home from outdoor fluctuations in temperature. Start by building a standard wall frame against the exterior concrete walls to fill with insulation, then seal it over with a vapour barrier and apply your drywall over top.
Check your windows
Another common area for the cold to enter your basement is through older windows. Make sure yours are sealed properly to prevent cold air or moisture from getting in. If you have single pane windows, consider upgrading to double or even triple pane ones to add extra layers between your basement and the outdoor elements.
Add sources of heat
An easier solution to boost the comfort level in your basement is to add a heat source, like an electric space heater. This is a quick, convenient option, but if you want to use your basement more than occasionally, you’ll likely find yourself unpleasantly surprised by the increase in your electric bill.
Radiant heating that’s installed between the concrete and your flooring is a more efficient method of adding heat to the basement. Because the warmth radiates upward, radiant flooring effectively heats the entire room, if you’re willing to install new flooring.
Improve forced air circulation
If you want to enjoy the same kind of convenient on-demand heating that warms the rest of your home, consult our HVAC experts to improve the forced air circulation in your basement.
Forced air heat vents allow for distribution of warmed air, but basements have fewer heating vents and they’re often located in inefficient places. You may be able to use existing ducts to add extra heat vents, creating more even distribution of heated air. This is a reasonably affordable and easy option to increase the comfort level in your basement.
If existing ductwork doesn’t extend to the areas where you need heat vents, our HVAC professionals can advise you on adding additional ducts. This costs more, because the materials are expensive and it involves cutting into walls and ceilings, but it can be an excellent long term solution to keep your basement warm, increasing your home’s value and utility.
Your HVAC technician will be able to accurately measure the capacity of your existing HVAC system using British Thermal Units (BTUs). Your system will need to be bigger than what’s currently required in order to add vents or ducts without losing efficiency.
Maintain your HVAC system
No matter what approach you take to keeping your basement warm, it’s a good idea to have your HVAC system regularly maintained. Our experienced technicians will make sure it’s working at optimal capacity and efficiency. Simple fixes, like cleaning your ducts to remove buildup and changing your filter every three months, will also help your system to operate reliably and energy-efficiently.
Don’t let your basement go unused this winter. A little insulation, additional heat, and a visit from your local HVAC specialists at Whyte Ridge can go a long way to making it as warm and comfortable as the rest of your home.