There are so many factors to consider when renovating your basement, but you might not be thinking about how to heat a basement. With its below-grad position, the basement is usually several degrees colder than the rest of the house, so it’s important to consider how you’ll maintain a comfortable temperature for you and your family so you can enjoy this extra bit of livable space.
If your basement is currently unfinished, there are many options to heat your basement. With access to existing ductwork and other systems, it’s a fairly straightforward process. But if your basement is already finished and cooler than you want, there are some less invasive strategies you can use to have your space warm and toasty. For this blog, the basement renovation experts at Harmony Basements have put together a list of the top heating methods to keep your basement warm all winter long.
Extend Ductwork Into Basement
The best option for many homeowners is to extend existing ductwork so it can use your existing system to heat the basement. An HVAC professional can help you map out where the new ducts should go so you will get the most efficient and comfortable heating experience possible. Harmony Basement contractors also know how to keep the ductwork out of the way so it won’t affect the flow of traffic in the basement.
If you are extending your ductwork, you might also need to invest in a new furnace. This is because your old furnace was installed without taking into account the extra heat that would be needed to keep your basement in a climate-controlled state. HVAC professionals like the ones at Harmony Basements can help you determine the right model of furnace that can achieve your desired results without driving up the cost of your energy bills. You can even put your basement on a separate thermostat to ensure you only heat the parts of your home that you’re currently using.
Hardwire Baseboard Heaters
If you’re not interested in tapping into your existing HVAC system or your home doesn’t have HVAC for heating, a good alternative is to go with electric baseboard heaters that are hardwired into your home’s electrical panel. You can install as many units as you like and each one has its thermostat providing customized temperature controls for each area of the basement.
You’ll need to consult an electrician to determine if your home’s existing electrical panel can accommodate the electricity necessary to power these heaters. The other downside of electric baseboard heaters is that they can take up some space, they are not the nicest things to look at, and if you live in Ontario you’ll be paying a lot of money on your hydro bill each month for this item.
Wood Pellet Stove
A wood pellet stove is a charming addition to any basement and a great source of heat. It burns specially manufactured wood pellets and the hot air created by the burning is blown throughout the basement by a fire. The whole unit is powered by a typical 110V outlet which makes it a great choice for so many homeowners.
The trickiest part of installing a wood pellet stove is ensuring that you have proper ventilation for it. The stove produces carbon monoxide and you need a professional to ensure that this is properly vented to the outside to prevent harming anyone in the home. Classic and traditional-looking, wood pellet stoves don’t always fit in with every homeowner’s design and aesthetic. But in the right situations, they can create a refined and cozy vibe to your basement.
Space heaters are the simplest basement heater option. Many people use space heaters in offices, university residences or apartment buildings if they need additional heat. They plug into a regular outlet and a fan starts blowing heat throughout the room. There are no electricians or HVAC installers required for this type of heater.
Even though they’re the cheapest and easiest heat source to use in a basement, space heaters are also the least efficient. There are other, more efficiently designed heaters such as micathermic heaters that look like a TV hung on a wall. There are also portable radiators that remain warm for several hours after running and continue to give off heat.
Combine Heat Sources
If your current HVAC system isn’t powerful enough to heat your basement, the experts recommend closing registers on the upper floors of the home so all heat is directed into your basement. It might just do the trick. Even if it feels like there’s just a little bit of heat coming through the vents, don’t be discouraged. After enough time the furnace will be able to make your basement less chilly. You could also consider parking your HVAC system with electric baseboard heaters. Working in tandem, the two heat sources should be able to keep the environment of your basement at a comfortable temperature.
In setting yourself up for your success, you could also ensure that all of your basement’s insulation is done properly, energy-efficient windows are added and the right kind of insulated subfloor is installed. All of these factors can go a long way to ensuring that your home’s HVAC system — and other heating devices — can keep your basement warm in an efficient manner.
Did you enjoy those basement heating ideas? The best way to heat a basement depends on a lot of factors and that’s what the basement renovation contacting team at Harmony Basements are here for. No matter what type of home you have, we can work with all types of situations and budgets to come up with the base basement heating situation possible.
All of our professional technicians are fully licensed and insured to work in your basement. You don’t want to risk an important project like this on someone with barely any experience. Heating is a complex element of home renovation and should only be in the entrusted hands of a certified pro. Call Harmony Basements today to book your free consultation.