Escape from the Cold! Basement Heating Ideas to your Rescue!
The winter is officially here! Are you going to stop using the chilly basement for the next couple of months? Well, renovate the space and consider different basement heating solutions to solve the problem of freezing basements. From ducting the area to installing a new fireplace, there are many energy-efficient ideas to ensure a warm and toasty living area for your family.
Now, that Thanksgiving is over! The season of winter is here. It’s time to bring out the sweaters from the closet. Also, it is time to ascertain the heating needs of your home, especially the basement. If it is exceptionally chilly in the basement, you need to consider ways for keeping it warm and toasty for the coming winter months.
Learn the Best Heating Ideas to warm up the Basement
If you are struggling to keep the basement warm even with proper insulation, do not worry. When the basement is prone to flooding, there is the risk of damaging the insulation and ruining the purpose of installing it in the first place. So, it is essential to hire a waterproofing expert to solve the basement flooding issues.
Once you are assured of zero water seepage in the basement, focus on keeping it warm and comfortable. There are many basement heating solutions available in the market. Here are a few common ideas that are guaranteed to make you feel cozy in the freezing winter months.
1. Ducting the Basement Area to make it Comfortable
If you want to tap into the existing HVAC systems of your house, you should consider installing supply and return ducts in the basement. Through proper ductwork, cold air and warm air will travel to the basement and keep the area well-ventilated. Before installing ducts and vents in the basement, you must consult a licensed HVAC technician. It is because you will be adding several square feet of new area to the current system. It may not be able to accommodate the additional requirement. You may require to supplement your HVAC system to ensure proper heating and cooling of the basement.
You may have to pay $35-$55 per linear square foot for installing new ducting in the basement. Consider the cost of upgrading the HVAC system as well as installing the ducts and vents in the basement. Compare it with other options and then, make a well-thought decision.
2. Considering a Fireplace for a Finished Basement
One of the easiest ways to solve the heating problems in a finished basement is a fireplace. It is energy-efficient, easy to install and gives you the opportunity to provide more character to the basement. You can opt for ventless electric fireplaces that are green and offer a zero-emissions heat source. Or, you can choose the traditional wood-burning models or gas fireplaces. Installing a wood/gas fireplace requires a professional who can take care of vent pipes and gas systems. Make sure that you adhere to the fire safety guidelines of your city.
An open-hearth, wood-burning fireplace with custom mantel involves stonework that makes the renovation project expensive. You can expect to pay $7000-$10,000 for the installation. A gas fireplace can be installed in $3000-$4000. An electric fireplace is the least expensive option starting from $1000. But, before making a decision, consider your operating costs on the basis of your usage and area of the basement.
3. Buying Heaters to Kill the Chill
When you are in the market for buying heaters, you will have plenty of options to choose from. You can select hard-wired heaters or portable space heaters to solve the heating problem in the basement. Choosing the correct basement heater depends on your purpose of using the area. If you are going to use the basement for only a couple of days, it is best to choose from portable electric, ceramic or infra-red space heaters. For converting the basement into a “rec room”, you can opt for more permanent options such as baseboard heaters that can be installed at floor level without any need for additional ducting.
If you have a working chimney in the basement, a wood-burning stove is also an option that you can consider. The smell of burning wood will add an aesthetic appeal to the basement.
4. Installing a Radiant Heating System for a Cozy Place
Radiant heating systems (hydronic and electric) offer substantial benefits over other forms of heat generation. The ancient technique of heating the floor promises green energy and even heat distribution. Installation of PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) tubing in the floor provides cost-efficient heating in comparison to convective forced-air-heating systems. If you are going to use the basement as a rental unit, gym, home office, etc., it will require a constant source of heat. And, it makes sense to hire a licensed professional to install radiant heating system in an unfinished basement.
When installing a new radiant heating system, the hydronic system is more expensive than an electric one. The cost of an electric radiant heating system is $5 to $7 per square foot. On the other hand, the expected cost of a hydronic or water-based system is $6 to $16. However, the operating cost of a hydronic radiant heating system is low if you already own a boiler.
Heating the Basement in Winter: How to choose the Right Option?
Choosing between different basement heating ideas and finding the best combination for your home can seem like an arduous task. Every basement is different and so are its heating needs. What works for your neighbor, may not work for you. So, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced basement renovation contractor who can give you accurate and valuable information. Take some time to think about your requirements and the future use of the basement. Then, discuss your requirements with the expert and let him know your budget to give you the best solution.
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