How Do I Keep My Basement Warm in the Winter?

Seasons might change how you feel about your basement. 

On a hot, humid, Midwest summer day, a basement is a great retreat. Once a relaxing spot, it’s now an icebox and has lost its comfort appeal as winter comes.

I’d say don’t let the cold stop you from enjoying the big game or family movie night. But how do you keep your basement warm and cozy in the winter? Read on to find out.

How Can I Make My Basement Warmer in the Winter?

Use these tips to make your basement more comfortable. 

  • Install Insulation – Most basements need it during the winter. The amount of insulation you’ll need will depend on where you live, your energy efficiency, and the room’s size. Check with a professional if you’re not sure what to do. 
  • Seal leaks – Drafty areas of your home will affect the basement the most. Check for gaps or holes in the walls, the floor, and the ceiling. Use weatherstripping, caulk, or other materials to seal them up. 
  • Keep windows closed – This is a no-brainer, but it needs to be said. Open windows will let the cold air flow right in.

What Is the Most Efficient Way to Heat a Basement?

Technically, you can heat a basement in any way. But depending on your power source, you may want to consider these options.

  • Oil-fired furnaces – Oil-fired furnaces are the most efficient basement heat source. They produce 15,000 BTUs per hour, which is more than natural gas furnaces. One downside is that they need regular maintenance.
  • Electric furnaces – Electric furnaces are the most efficient way to heat a basement. They can produce up to 12,000 BTUs per hour. This will be enough to keep your basement warm while being energy efficient.
  • Natural gas furnaces – These are the most popular basement furnace. And they come in three types.
  • Oil-fired furnaces – These are similar to the ones used for above-ground houses. They produce 15,000 BTUs per hour.
  • Electric furnaces – Electric furnaces are the most efficient way to heat a basement. They can produce up to 12,000 BTUs per hour.
  • Boilers – These are a big investment. But they can be very efficient.

How Much Does It Cost to Add Heat to a Basement?

The cost of adding heating to a basement will depend on several factors.

  • The type of heating system you’ll use – The most popular types of basement heat are electric or natural gas furnaces. Oil-fired furnaces are less common. They tend to be more expensive than the other two.
  • The size of your home – The smaller the home, the less it will cost to add basement heating. This is because the heating system will have less ground to cover.
  • Your energy efficiency – The more energy efficient your home is, the less it will cost to heat your basement.
  • The quality of the installation – The installation quality has a huge impact on the longevity of your furnace. You don’t want to have to replace it every year.

Also read: Can a Damp Basement Affect Upstairs?