Basements represent some of the most underused home space for families in Utah. Because these underground lairs are often the most difficult to heat, they tend to be forgotten during the colder winter months. However, keeping a basement warm isn’t as much of a challenge as you might think. With a few DIY updates or even an added vent from your furnace repair company, you can double your usable home space and stay warm all year long.
- Update Windows: Before you make any major changes in your basement, it’s best to start at the windows. Windows that aren’t properly sealed will not only let in cold air, but moisture, too. Moisture leads to cold, damp basements as well as mold and mildew growth. If you can, replacing the windows is ideal—otherwise, sealing them against water leaking in is best.
- Insulation: Depending on whether or not your basement is finished (and how finished you want it to be), you may be able to put up some foam-board insulation. This works especially well if you’re dealing with concrete walls that have no other adornment.
- Seal Leaks: Drafty basements tend to be much colder than the ones with air-tight seals. Look for areas where cold air is coming in (around windows and doors, where the joists meet the foundation, and other areas exposed to the outdoors). These can often be sealed with caulk or foam spray insulation.
- Carpet and Furniture: Nothing is colder than an empty, warehouse-like space. Install carpet or lay down carpet tiles. Buy a few throw rugs and place them in the main room. Do the same with curtains, heavy wall hangings, and plush furniture. These items will not only keep the basement warmer, but they’ll also make it much more livable.
- Expand Your Furnace: One interesting thing about basements is that even though it is often where the furnace is kept, it never receives a share of the heat. That’s because a good HVAC system uses well-sealed ducts to take the warm air to the rooms you use every day. Adding a vent or building onto the ductwork to provide heat to the basement isn’t something you should do on your own, but this is something you can have done during your annual furnace inspection.
- Space Heaters: Some people rely on portable heaters or space heaters that plug into the wall to heat spaces like a basement. This can work, but isn’t recommended if you have any concerns about safety or energy efficiency. Because these heaters should only be used when an adult is in the room—and because they use electricity rather than your existing furnace system—they tend to be a drain more than a benefit.
Basements aren’t always easy to heat, but they can be well worth it once winter rolls around and everyone is spending more time indoors. With a few upgrades, you can make your basement cozy and comfortable all year round—and maybe even double the size of your living space in the process.