How to Heat Your Basement This Winter

How to Heat Your Basement This WinterHeating your basement becomes an issue if you want to use that space for anything other than storage. Basements are notoriously clammy and chilly due to cold concrete walls and floor. Heat naturally rises up out of the basement and, of course, an underground basement doesn’t receive any sun exposure to add warmth.

Tests have shown that temperatures in an unconditioned basement lag more than two months behind temperature changes outdoors. Even when it’s summer upstairs, it’s still winter down in the basement. No surprise, then, that heating your basement may be both a priority and a challenge.

Here are some possible solutions:

Extend Ductwork

Your home’s HVAC ductwork may be routed through the basement already. Tapping into existing ductwork is the most direct way to heat the basement. However, the volume of airflow through ducts, as well as other heating system capacity specs, are based on the size of the living space upstairs—not including the basement. Adding additional square footage may unbalance your system. The fact that the controlling thermostat is located in the warmer upstairs also presents another issue. You’ll need professional heating expertise to get this right.

Install a Ductless Heat Pump

This compact system is composed of a downsized outdoor heat pump unit at ground level behind the house and a low-profile air handler down in the basement. No ductwork is required and the two units are connected by only a narrow refrigerant conduit that needs a three-inch opening to the exterior. The ductless heat pump provides effective, efficient heat in winter down to outdoor temperatures in the 20s, using only electricity to power the system compressor and blower fan.

Consider Baseboard Heaters

Electric heaters mounted to the baseboards in a finished basement provide easily-installed, basic heat at relatively low purchase price. For adequate heating in a typical basement, you’ll probably need a 240-volt unit, which will require an electrician to install.

For professional help making choices about heating your basement, contact Paitson Bros. Founded 95 years ago here in Terre Haute, we’re still helping Wabash Valley homeowners stay comfortable in all seasons.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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