Now that you have chased the spooky out of your basement by upgrading it, you might notice that the living space is still cold. Basements are completely or partially in the ground and can't escape the effect of natural insulation from dirt. As a homeowner, you will have to look for ways to heat it up! To answer how cold a basement can be and how to warm it up, we've asked the experts, and here is their assessment.
A basement can get as cold as 40–50 degrees Fahrenheit when not insulated or heated in any way. It makes your heating system go on an override. A finished basement can get very cold as well if it has drafty windows and doors. Ideally, temperatures in the basement shouldn't drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Do the following to keep your basement warm:
- Insulate the basement (if not yet insulated).
- Insulate the first story.
- Seal off drafty windows and doors.
- Keep your heaters and radiators clear.
- Install quality vent flaps.
- Warm the foyer in the basements.
- Put in a fireplace.
- Decorate with warm colors and shades.
There seems to be a lot of work to be done. If you follow these suggestions, you will have a basement that will serve its purpose at a minimal cost. Keep on reading as we break down each point on how to keep your entertainment room, game room, or living room in your basement apartment warm.
How To Warm Up A Basement
To save money on heating bills, you must make it a priority to warm up your cold basement. Cold basements reaching 40–50 degrees Fahrenheit suck the warmth from the rest of the house.
Before you start heating your basement, you must find out how the cold is getting in. Arm yourself with a thermal camera and go around the basement to locate the cold spots.
After pinpointing the problem, use either of the following suggestions to rectify it and get rid of the cold. Then you can do the following:
Insulate The Basement
A basement is partially or completely buried in the ground, and it gets little to no natural heat from the sun during the day. Therefore you have to heat it artificially.
When you complete construction, ensure that you insulate the type of basement that you have as much as possible. Use heat-retaining construction materials on the basement walls and floor.
Insulate The First Story Properly
To stop the heat from escaping, see to it that the first story is well insulated too. Technically speaking, the first story floor is the basement's ceiling.
It will reduce your energy bills because you will use less heat to keep the first story and basement well heated.
Seal Off Drafty Windows And Doors
The cold draft can easily find its way into any room when the windows aren't sealed properly. In basements, ensure that the windows are well-sealed, especially in the winter months.
Keep Heaters And Radiators Clear
After sealing the windows and doors, turn on the heaters and radiators during the colder months of the year. Since radiators and heaters are often located at the bottom of windows, ensure that the curtains aren't covering them.
Move the furniture away from the radiators and heaters to allow warm airflow. Avoid putting wet clothes to dry on heaters and radiators.
Install Quality Vent Flaps
Ventilation is key in any basement and the home in general. Therefore, purchase quality vents for your basement that will function properly.
Poor ventilation keeps the moist damp air in the basement making it colder than necessary. Keep the vents clean and clear of any dust to avoid getting hay fever when in the basement.
Warm The Foyer
You can warm the foyer that leads to your basement in the cold months. Use tiles that retain heat or floor heating. You could also put a radiator or heater to warm any cold wind coming from the outdoors. This will help keep the heat inside and reduce the power bills.
Invest In A Fireplace
As a homeowner, you should invest in a fireplace. Depending on your basement, choose and install a fireplace that will keep the basement warm. There are a variety of fireplaces in the market.
Install an open or closed, coal or electric fireplace with the help of a professional in your basement. A professional will consider the ventilation of the basement before picking a suitable fireplace.
Decorating With Warm Colors/Shades
To make your basement feel warm and cozy, you should decorate it with the appropriate colors and shades. Paint the basement walls with shades of cream whites, warm yellows, or blues.
Throw pillows, rugs, carpets, and blankets of warm or brighter colors and shades will create the necessary ambiance. Have bright accent accessories such as paintings, vases, or photos in the room.
Lots of lighting will brighten the room in the absence of wide windows. Free-standing lamps, wall sconces, and ceiling lights will do the trick.
Why Is My Walkout Basement So Cold?
Walkout basements can be very cold because the cold air sinks while hot air rises. Walkout basements are ground-level and when the outside freezes, it's bound to make the temperatures in the basement drop.
Another factor could be that your walkout basement doesn't have a foyer or the foyer isn't properly insulated. This will be the cause of the dipping temperatures too. Certain types of floor tiles can contribute to the walkout basement being forever cold.
Drafts from windows and doors in a walkout can be a menace in the basement. The cold never leaves the basement no matter how much you heat it.
How To Make A Finished Basement Warmer
A finished basement that is cold can get you angst because after tedious renovation you haven't gotten the desired results. This might make you abandon the basement area and consequently lose additional living space.
To resolve this issue you should use a thermal camera to locate the cold spots before making any further attempts to warm the basement. Once you clearly understand where the problem is, use the above suggestions to warm up your basement.
How Do I Keep My Walkout Basement Warm In The Winter
The basement can be a cozy living space and for it to be functional in winter you will have to make it warm and habitable. There are a few steps that will help reclaim your walkout basement.
Depending on how cold your walkout basement is, you might want to do some or all of the things in the list below:
- Check the humidity level in the walkout basement, and maintain the right humidity level.
- If you have a furnace installed make sure it is in good working condition. In the absence of a furnace, invest in a good fireplace for your basement.
- To avoid the ground-level cold claiming your walkout basement, get a professional to install a good floor heating system. An extra heating system will help keep the cold winters at bay.
- Eliminate drafts by sealing any air leaks and windows. Use spray foam on your windows against any drafts.
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5. To maintain the heat on the heated floors, use rugs and carpets on the basement floor. Quality carpets and rugs will keep the floor of your walkout basement warm in the winter and can be easily put away in the summer.
6. Choose visually warm colors and shades to enhance the warm feeling in the basement.
Will A Dehumidifier Make A Basement Warmer?
A dehumidifier doesn't make a basement warmer. It isn't a heater. Remember that the sole purpose of a dehumidifier is to remove the moisture from the basement which could cause mold.
As the dehumidifier removes the moisture, the heat from the air compressor will make the room feel warmer by 10-15 degrees.
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Basements can be very cold even after an upgrade which can be very frustrating for any homeowner. Once you have pointed out where the cold is coming from with the help of a thermal camera, start additional insulation where necessary.
To eliminate the cold, use any of the suggested methods to warm your basement. Whichever way you choose to warm your basement, don't stop halfway. Ensure that you complete the process and reclaim your game room, living room, or basement apartment.
Read the following posts before constructing or upgrading your basement:
Are Basement Apartments Cold? Are They Cooler In Summer?