Should A Basement Door Be Opened Or Closed In The Summer?

Summers can be very hot and humid. Doors and windows might be opened to let in some fresh summer air. But if you're a homeowner with a basement, you might be wondering if the same thing applies. We did the research to bring you the answer.

In the summer months, keep the basement door and the windows closed when using a dehumidifier. If you're using an air conditioner in your basement, keep all doors and windows closed as well.

There are several types of basements, but having your basement door open when running your AC is a no-no. You could have your door open if you prefer not to use dehumidifiers or air conditioners. Continue reading as we elaborate on the benefits and drawbacks of keeping the basement door open or closed.

Elegant and bright interior of basement with carpeted flooring, blue walls, recessed lighting and a small entertainment area, Should A Basement Door Be Opened Or Closed In The Summer?

To Open Or Close A Basement Door?

Basements can be completely or partially in the ground. Ensure that you understand the type of basement you have.

Let's see the benefits and drawbacks of having the basement door open. Frugal homeowners will be pleased to know that these pros and cons go for most (if not all) basements.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of An Open Basement Door

The benefits of keeping your basement door open include:

  • In areas where the summer is dry and less humid, keeping the basement door open means you don't use a dehumidifier.
  • The colder air in the basement (if not insulated) will rise up and cool the upper-level rooms of the house as it circulates.
  • An open basement door will save you money on electricity bills.
  • Moisture won't settle on the walls in your basement. Open the basement door to allow airflow and circulation. Open the basement door early in the morning or in the evening when the air is cooler.

The drawbacks of having your basement door open are as follows:

  • If you have a lot of moisture in the basement during summer in areas where the humidity is high, open basement doors may cause the basement to become moist and damp.
  • If you have an air conditioner or dehumidifier running in another room, an open basement door will bring in a lot of humid air. This will cause the dehumidifier to work harder.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of A Closed Basement Door

Whether you have a basement that is completely or partially in the ground, there are some advantages and disadvantages of having the basement door closed.

When you close your basement door, you allow either of these two conditions:

  • In humid areas, you stop the flow of warm humid air from the basement to the rest of the house, which doesn't overwork the air conditioners or dehumidifiers installed in the house.
  • You stop the draft from the basement. Cold drafts may cause overall discomfort.

Closing your basement door may have these disadvantages:

  • Closed basement doors lead to poor air circulation in your basement, which in turn may cause mold to form on the basement walls.
  • When you close the basement door, you might find that the air is musty. You'll need to have proper ventilation to avoid the buildup of smells and odors in the basement.

Why Is My Basement Cold In The Summer?

The fact that basements are situated underground (completely or partially) makes them colder than any other part of the home. Dirt is a good insulator.

You might have water seeping through the concrete foundation, making the basement damp, and thus colder. Basements hardly receive any sunlight and warmth which means that there is no heat build-up during the day.

As you might know, cold air always goes down to the lowest level it possibly can (and, conversely, heat rises). The lowest level in your home is the basement. Here's where all the cold air in the house will accumulate.

Should I Close The Door When Using A Dehumidifier?

Yes, you should! A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air in the room. So, keeping the basement door closed when using a dehumidifier is a must.

When the basement door is open, constant warm moist air will flow into the house. This will cause the dehumidifier to overwork.

Note: If you regularly use a dehumidifier in your home, ensure that you vacuum and clean the rooms regularly.

Should A Basement Door Be Closed In The Winter?

If your basement door is partially or not insulated at all, then you should keep the basement door closed in the winter. Uninsulated basements tend to be very cold in the winter months.

Cold air will rise from the basement to the upper floors of the house. You'll have to warm the house more, and this will significantly increase your electricity bills.

What's The Best Material For A Basement Door?

You can pick a wooden or glass door for a basement door. To be sure that you have made the best choice of material for your basement door, you need to consider the following:

  • If the basement door is an exterior or interior door — If you are installing an exterior basement door, you'll have to pick a solid and strong door. The best materials are steel, solid wood, or fiberglass. Install wooden doors as the interior basement doors.
  • The safety and security of your home — For exterior basement doors, pick solid wood or steel basement doors that are secure and can have a lock installed on them. Interior basement doors might only need a safety lock to keep pets and children away from the basement.
  • Whether or not you need light in the basement — In case you don't have a lot of natural light in your basement, install glass basement doors to brighten the space.
  • The type of basement that you have — This is another important aspect that will affect the type of basement door that you should choose. A basement that's completely underground, with no windows, might need a glass door to allow in light. On the other hand, a basement that isn't completely underground might need a steel or solid wood door.
  • Durability and weather resistance — If you have an exterior basement door, it must be durable. Solid wood and steel doors last longer and can stand extreme weather conditions. Interior doors might have to endure high humidity from the basement.

In Closing

If you live where the summer months are very humid, you'll need to use a dehumidifier. When using a dehumidifier or an air conditioner, ensure that you keep your basement door and windows closed.

A closed basement door will help you get the best from your dehumidifier without breaking the bank with power bills. Open your basement door if your region has dry summer air. The warm dry summer wind will help dry any dampness that might be in your basement.

Uninsulated basements are colder all year round, especially basements that are completely in the ground. You might consider insulating your basement to reduce the cost of heating your home in the winter months.

Now that you have a basement in your home, you might want ideas on how to utilize it or keep it habitable. Check out the following posts:

How To Get Rid Of Sewer Smell In Basement Bathroom

How To Make A Basement Apartment Brighter

One comment

  1. Great article, thank you. Now the next question. Now that I have my basement door closed, do I also close the basement HVAC return and exhaust vents?

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