Eventually, the hot Alabama weather we are experiencing will subside, bringing cooler temperatures. We all know that winter is generally a time for staying indoors, but there is one part of the house that is known for creating major heating problems: your basement. For those who use their basements on a regular basis for more than just storage or laundry, fall and winter can be problematic seasons because basements can be a pain in the you-know-what to keep warm.
How can you solve your basement heating woes? Check out our tips below to get things warmed up in no time.
Check for Leaks (Water and Air)
The very first thing you should do to create a warm, comfortable basement is check for water leaks and air drafts. The former can be problematic for a few reasons. First, water leaks create a damp environment, which means humidity, and generally that leaves people uncomfortable. But not only does humidity mean a generally uncomfortable environment, it can also mean mold and rot problems.
Check all pipes and water connections for leaks, as well as your basement windows. Also make sure your sump pump is working, and that a backup is available in the event of an emergency. Basements are notorious for flooding, so any preventative measures are going to go a long way towards keeping things comfortable.
Once the water is under control, it is time to check for drafts. If you have spider webs in your basement, you likely have drafts. Finding and correcting these issues will help to keep the warm air from escaping your basement.
Upgrade Your Windows
Has it been awhile since you last upgraded the windows in your basement? If so, it might be time to do some checking on the current condition of your windows, as well as some research on the options that could offer better insulation choices for your space. There are a lot of windows out there specifically made to be incredibly energy efficient, and these choices will help tremendously to keep your space warm in the cold winter months.
If upgrading your windows isn’t currently an option, then do a thorough double-check for drafts and seal any spaces that are letting in air. There are also film and cover options that offer a temporary solution for preventing warm air from escaping through drafty windows.
An unfinished basement, especially one with exposed concrete walls and floors, will have a hard time retaining heat. Once you have dealt with any air or water leaks, it’s time to get insulated! Spray foam or foam board covered by drywall are your best bet for interior basement insulation, and helps to maintain a warmer environment.
If your home has a crawl space, consider adding insulation there as well as a vapor barrier to better control moisture in this space.
As mentioned above, exposed concrete isn’t doing your any favors when it comes to heat retention in your basement. If you haven’t yet finished your floors in your basement, consider using carpet – it helps to retain heat and keep your basement comfortable. For those who are worried about the potential for water damage in a basement area, carpet tiles are a good option. If there is a problem, only the tiles affected will need to be replaced.
If you have finished floors such as tile or hardwood, rugs can still help to retain heat without the need for a full floor replacement.
Add Some Heat
One of the most obvious solutions to keeping your basement warm is to add a heating source, but this can also require a little work depending on your HVAC system. Sometimes it can be as easy as just adding a few vents into your basement, but other times the process can be a bit more involved. If you intend on using your basement routinely as an extension of your current living space, then it may make sense to add direct heating into the space.
For those who only use the basement occasionally, a space heater may be a good option, but only if there is a commitment to using it safely. Many space heaters on the market now come with automatic shut off based on time or if the unit is tipped over in order to prevent home fires, but event these safety measures aren’t fail proof. Space heaters should only be used when a person is in the room, and should be turned off completely once everyone has left the space.
Want a warmer basement? Give us a call at (205) 871-8111 to discuss your options!