What Is The Ideal Temperature For A Basement?

A basement adds functionality to a house. Setting the right basement temperature benefits the whole family. But there might be problems when the temperatures change. We have consulted with the experts to help you set the ideal temperature for your basement.

The ideal temperature you set for a basement depends on the season. For the colder months, keep your basement's temperature around 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. During summer, keep the temperature below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Aside from the changing seasons, the temperatures vary if there is any insulation for your basement. Insulation helps regulate the basement temperature.

It would benefit your family if you set the ideal basement temperature. Extreme temperatures can cause physical and health hazards that you must avoid. Too hot or cold temperatures also affect humidity levels and energy consumption. Read further to learn more about setting the ideal temperature for your basement.

Interior of a mid century themed basement with dangling lamps, a pool table, and carpeted flooring, What Is The Ideal Temperature For A Basement?

What Temperature Should My Basement Be?

The ideal range of the basement temperature is around 55° to 80° Fahrenheit. The temperature range maintains the functionality of the basement. Temperatures vary depending on the existing conditions of the basement. Discover below the factors affecting the basement temperature:

1. Basement Finishing

There are two types of basement finishing. The type of finish tells how much you can regulate the basement temperature. The type of finish also determines if you need to add temperature regulating systems in the basement.

Finished Basement

Finished basements have warmer temperatures than unfinished ones. A finished basement has similar systems to other floor levels. Heating, insulating, and other electrical systems are present to control temperature. With existing systems, you won't have a hard time regulating the temperature.

Unfinished Basement

An unfinished basement with wooden framing for the partition and unplastered walls

For an unfinished basement, it will be colder due to the concrete slabs. You will need to place rugs or any rough-in insulation to keep the basement warm. A cold basement will take time to warm up without any insulating system.

2. Type Of Season

The type of season affects the basement temperature. For finished basements during the colder seasons, keep the temperature at 60° Fahrenheit. If you have an unfinished basement, set the temperature around 55° Fahrenheit.

In the summer, keep the basement temperature at most 80° Fahrenheit or lower. Higher temperatures cause an increase in the humidity level. With high humidity, mold and mildew will thrive. The growth of harmful microorganisms creates a health risk for your family.

3. Insulation

Spray foam insulation on the basement ceiling

Last but not least, you will need to get the proper insulation for your basement. The need for insulation depends on the use of the basement. Fluctuations in the temperatures might cause damage to stored goods. If your purpose is for rest or recreation, a too warm or cold temperature will not be suitable.

Here are some benefits of insulating your basement:

  • Prevents heat loss
  • Minimizing moisture to create a breeding place for molds and mildew
  • Conserves energy
  • Better comfort for the family

To achieve the right temperature, check out some insulation options for your basement.

What Is A Good Humidity Setting For A Basement In The Summer?

Aside from temperature, you need to set the humidity on a suitable level. In the summer, keep the humidity level around 40 to 50%. Normal humidity levels help maintain your basement's condition.

During summer, the temperatures can be too hot. Humidity levels are higher in warm air. With high humidity, the moisture level is also high. Moisture is the enemy that causes problems in your basement. The excess moisture results in the following:

  • Spreading of molds, mildews, and air-borne allergens
  • Breeding of bugs and pests
  • Rotting of wood fixtures
  • Decaying or chipping of painted ceilings and walls
  • Preventing evaporation inside the basement

These problems will persist if you don't act right away. Learn how to decrease moisture in your basement in the next section.

How To Minimize Moisture In The Basement

Getting rid of moisture is a tough job to do. But do not worry because there are things you can do to maintain the normal moisture levels. Follow these tips to reduce moisture in your basement:

  • Draw out the moisture with a dehumidifier.
  • Use exhaust fans to improve the airflow and get rid of moisture.
  • Deep-seal your basement concrete slabs and walls to avoid water seeping inside.
  • Spray a basement insulation foam made of polystyrene. You can also seal the insulation joints with special foam tape.
  • Do not store too much in your basement. Box cardboards attract moisture, which is ideal for microorganism growth.
  • Clean your basement regularly. Places where water can accumulate, like the windows, pipes, and tiles, should always be dry.

After doing the tips above, you need to monitor the humidity level. Use a hygrometer similar to the product below to check the humidity levels in your basement.

Check out this ThermoPro indoor hygrometer on Amazon.

How Cold Is Too Cold For A Basement?

Interior of a contemporary basement with a white ceiling, red walls with huge landscape picture frames, and a huge beige colored sectional sofa

You might also worry about your basement getting too cold during winter. Although naturally cold, basement temperatures will not go lower than 40° Fahrenheit. Unfinished basements will be too cold in the winter. Your finished and insulated basements can also be cold due to uninsulated parts.

Take note that the basement is below ground level. Colder air retains underground because it is heavier than warm air. Aside from the weight of the cold air, no sunlight heats the area. Also, the high moisture and humidity cause the basement temperature to drop.

Should I Heat And Cool My Basement?

Yes, you should heat and cool your basement. Every time seasons change, you need to adapt to the warm or cold conditions. In the summer, it will be hot, and you might want to keep the basement cool. Likewise, for colder months, you can heat the basement to avoid the chilly temperature.

Here are the reasons why you need to control the temperatures of your basement:

1. Comfort

The first reason is to keep your basement comfortable for the family. Your family activities will go on as usual with a suitable temperature.

During the winter, your basement can be too chilly. You can heat the basement to reach the ideal temperature. In this process, the floor above draws the cold air up. As a result, the house becomes warmer and suitable for the usual family activities.

The same goes if you want to make your house cool. The hot summers might not be comfortable for any activity inside the house. The heat can interrupt your sleeping or resting time.

By adjusting the temperature, you can do anything you want comfortably.

2. Energy Efficiency

To reach a suitable temperature for the entire house, change the basement temperature. By doing so, you will not need to heat or cool the floors above the basements. Setting your temperature from the basement also reduce energy consumption. With low energy usage, you can save on power bills.

You can use an HVAC system to regulate the temperature of your basement. With an HVAC, you only need one machine to heat and cool the area. An HVAC also maintains the humidity levels to keep a suitable dwelling place.

3. Health And Safety Concerns

Basements are common for storage or as an extra room for family members. If the basement is not in good condition, your family's health and safety might be at risk. A musty, moldy, or degraded basement is not suitable for your family activities.

As part of your house, the basement should always be clean. If there is mold and mildew, these microorganisms can make you sick. There might also be bugs that carry harmful bacteria. In low humidity basements, the lack of moisture causes dry skin and respiratory illnesses.

The basement walls and floor can deteriorate and create hazards. Too much heat causes cracking and breaking of the walls. For colder months, the excess moisture can warp wooden fixtures. You will need to heat or cool the basement to avoid damage and danger.

In Closing

The ideal basement temperatures range from 55° to 80° Fahrenheit. Basement temperatures vary due to the type of finish. An unfinished basement is colder than a finished one. Also, the changes in seasons and any installed insulation systems affect the temperature levels.

You can heat or cool the basement to distribute the temperature to the upper floor levels. Keep the temperatures at the normal level to avoid health and safety problems. Setting the right basement temperature helps you achieve a cozy and comfortable home.

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