Winter is here, which means one thing for most areas – extreme cold in the home and even colder conditions in the basement.
So, many people will be thinking about ways to heat the basement. A few are already ordering baseboard heaters and radiant heat flooring.
Both of these are excellent heat sources in the basement. Some are also thinking about more portable heating options, including space heaters, stoves, and fireplaces.
The choice is yours. But, if you’re still in the “planning” phase, we think you should consider portable heaters. Read on to learn why and how to pick the best portable heater for the basement.
k from the above list. We’ve keenly evaluated all five heaters and can verify that they are some of the best for basement heating.
However, if you have time (we hope you do), it’s always nice to learn more about basement heating and basement heaters so you can make an informed choice when you’re ready to buy. The following are some of the things you want to know about as you head out shopping.
Benefits of Heating the Basement
A basement is typically a cold place, even during the warmer months. According to multiple studies, internal ground temperatures tend to be consistent at 55°F (13°C) both in the summer and winter.
However, as the freezing temperatures engulf the home during winter, the basement may become colder as temperatures in the main home drop.
Heating the basement, alongside the rest of the home, when the temperatures drop below 16°C is a good idea for the following reasons;
- Prevent heat loss: This is, by far, the biggest reason why you need to heat the basement in the summer. Although warm air rises, the basement can still cause a big drop in your heating efficiency. Indeed, some studies suggest that the basement accounts for 20% of the home’s heat loss in the winter.
- Prevent draft: You don’t want a situation where you occasionally experience a dash of cold air blowing through your home from the basement, do you? If so, heating the basement is a must. Otherwise, prepare to battle the cold drafts every few days.
- Reclaim underused basement: Many people avoid or underutilize the basement because of poor climatic conditions. Basement heating also allows you to make better use of the basement around the year. You can even turn it into a home office or your private library once there’s sufficient heating and air conditioning.
- Prevent mold and mildew: The poor air conditions in an ill-maintained basement can quickly create the perfect mold and mildew conditions. These microorganisms are linked to several health issues, including allergies and asthma. They can also cause respiratory tract and lung issues.
What Temperature Should I Keep My Basement in the Winter?
General recommendations for winter thermostat setting are 72°F (22°C) to 68°F (20°C) if someone is in the home in the daytime and 66°F (19°C) to 62°F (17°C) if everyone is away during the day or hen you’re asleep at night.
For the basement, it would be advisable to go with the latter settings (66°F to 62°F) when you’re not using the area and the standard 72°F to 68°F when using the space. Remember that you need the right temperatures for your body to function normally.
What’s the Best Type of Heater for the Basement?
You can always extend the furnace ductwork to heat the basement. This allows you to heat the entire home from a single source. However, not many families have taken up this option for various reasons.
Under such circumstances, the best solution to basement heating becomes portable basement heaters. Fortunately, there are several portable basement heating solutions to consider. The four main options are as follows;
There are two types of baseboard heaters – electric and hot water. For the basement, electric baseboard heaters are the better choice.
These heaters use electric resistance. Cables inside the heating unit warm the air, pushing it out of the unit. Simultaneously, cold air enters the unit from the bottom to be heated.
A thermostat continuously tracks heating levels in the room. Once the air entering the baseboard reaches the thermostat setting, the baseboard heater turns off until it’s needed again.
Baseboard heaters are one of the best ways to heat rooms individually, especially rarely used spaces. They are also very efficient.
Portable Space Heaters
Portable space heaters are heating units that you can carry from one room to the next with ease. Many of them even have handles for easy mobility.
Most space heaters are electric-powered, though a reasonably large number run on propane. Some are also powered by kerosene and oils. They are typically powerful enough to warm even a large basement.
Gas and kerosene models are especially very powerful, with some rated at 60,000 BTU or higher. The propane and kerosene models are typically set on the floor or a unique stand, while most electric models hang on the wall or ceiling.
Space heaters stand out for their versatility. Your basement space heater can be used in many other settings, including camps, RVs, etc.
Stoves and Fireplaces
Stoves and fireplaces are other excellent choices for basement heating because these two add something other heaters don’t have – ambiance!
Stoves for the basement can be wood-burning or gas-powered. Many people prefer wood-burning units because of the extra charm. However, you must be ready to source dry wood and clean the stove often.
Fireplaces are another excellent choice, though they are less potent than stoves (the standard wood stove is 3x more powerful than the average fireplace).
Whichever option you choose, remember that these two options come with substantial maintenance requirements, unless you opt for electric fireplaces.
Radiant Floor Heaters
Finally, radiant heat flooring systems supply heat directly to the floor or panels in the room’s wall or ceiling.
They are called radiant heaters because the transfer of heat is by radiation rather than convection. In radiant heating, heat is delivered directly from the hot surface to the people and objects in the room via infrared rays. When the heat source is located under the floor, the setup is called radiant heat flooring.
Radiant heat flooring is the most efficient solution on this list – even more efficient than baseboard heaters. It also doesn’t disturb air and allergens like forced-air systems. The units can be hydronic (water-based) or air-heated, or electric.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Propane vs. Natural Gas vs. Electric Baseboard Heaters, Which is Better? All three have their pros and cons. Most people prefer baseboard heaters because they are easy to install and use. They are also extremely efficient. However, propane and natural gas heaters are more powerful.
- What’s the Best Size Space Heater for the Basement? It depends on the heater type you choose. You need 10 watts per square foot for baseboards and other electric heaters, thus 4,000 watts for a 400 square-foot basement. If you prefer fuel heaters, you need about 25 BTU per square foot.
- How Do I Prevent Heat Loss in the Basement? Through insulation. The basement is one of the least insulated areas in the home. Consider foam insulation, spray foam insulation, and batt insulation.
Best Portable Heater For Basement
1. Dr. Infrared Model DR968 Portable Space Heater
- Can heat up a large room with Auto Energy Saving Model With High and Low Feature. Tip-over protection and Overheat protection
- Dual Heating Systems featuring infrared quartz tube + PTC with 12hr automatic shut-off timer
- IR Remote Control, High Pressure Low Noise Blower with Noise level 39 dB super quiet. Heating can cover for a large room.
- Electronic Thermostat: range 50 to 85 degrees. Caster Wheels and lifetme filter
- Weights 24 lbs and uses 12.5 Amps of Power. 1500 Watts.Electric Cord 72 inch long
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- Power source type: Corded Electric
The Model DR968 from Dr. Infrared is a dual-heating system that combines PTC and infrared quartz heating elements to keep the home warm without burning a hole in your pocket.
It uses a high-velocity low-noise blower to distribute heat throughout the house thoroughly and is certified by the UL for use in the US and Canada.
The 24-lb heater’s key features include a noise output of <37 decibels, an electronic thermostat for easy temperature monitoring, and an IR remote device, so you don’t need to leave your sofa when changing the heater settings.
The heater also features a 12-hour automatic shutoff timer and comes equipped with multiple safety features, including overheating protection and tip-over shutoff.
- Powerful 1500-watt heater
- 72-inch long cord included
- State of the art 7-inch blower
- Caster wheels for mobility
- 3-year warranty
- No smart control
- Not much ambiance
2. Lasko 755320 Ceramic Space Heater
- 2 Quiet Settings - including high heat and low heat plus an Auto setting make this electric space heater ideal for warming up an area in your home or home office. With widespread oscillation this heater distributes warm air throughout the room
- Adjustable Thermostat - with digital display allows you to adjust the heater's 1500 watt ceramic heating element. With an easy to read digital temperature display you can select a wide range of temperatures in Fahrenheit or Celsius
- Remote Control & Built-in Timer - allows you to adjust the heater's temperature, timer, oscillation and more from a distance. While the easy to program timer allows you to select 1 hour to 8 hours, in 1 hour intervals
- Built-in Safety Features - overheat protection ensures the space heater does not overheat even if left on for an extended amount of time. While a cool touch exterior keeps the heater cool to the touch even after running for hours
- Fully Assembled - allows you to take the heater out of the box and have it working it minutes. Simply plug the heater into a wall outlet, adjust the thermostat, and enjoy the warmth from your new Lasko space heater
The remote-controlled Lasko Model 755320 is another exceptional portable heater to consider for your basement. It’s a 1500-watt heater with two heat settings – LOW and HIGH.
But, it has something most space heaters don’t – widespread oscillation. This innovative technology allows the Model 755320 to efficiently deliver heat to every corner of the room without any noises.
It, too, has a programmable timer so you can plan your heating. For instance, you can use the timer to get the basement heated by the time you arrive. An adjustable thermostat allows you to monitor and control heating levels in the area closely.
The tower heater stands at 23 inches and features multiple safety features, including overheat protection, a cool-to-touch housing, and an automated ceramic element. It is ETL listed.
- Powerful 1500-watt heater
- Easy-access digital control panel
- Two heat settings, 8-hour timer
- Multiple safety features
- Arrives fully assembled
- The slim design makes tip-overs easy
- The surface tends to get hot
3. AmazonBasics Portable Eco-Smart Space Heater
- Elegant wood finish portable space heater with adjustable electronic thermostat and easy-to-read LED display (measures 13 x 12 x 16 inches; weighs 23.5 pounds)
- Includes over-heat sensor for safety
- Adjustable temperature setting from : 65- 85 ℉
- Four infrared heating elements with 750W and 1500W power settings as well as ECO-Smart setting for energy savings
- Includes remote control (batteries not included)
- Can heat rooms up to 1000 sq ft (standard 9 foot ceiling height)
- Backed by Amazon Basics 1-year limited warranty
With Amazon now making a range of home appliances, including HVAC systems, you should also always check out their products to see if you can find a good deal. In this particular case, this Model DF1501 would be an excellent place to start.
Lightweight at just 23.6 pounds and very compact at 15 x 12 x 15 inches fits most small spaces. But, it’s still very powerful at 1500 watts.
Two heat settings mean you can always save energy. You can also take advantage of the 12-hour timer to program your heating. The remote control is available for convenient control.
This dual-heating system quartz tube + PTC heater is recommended for spaces up to 1,000 square feet. The quartz tube can last 80,000 hours of use.
- Elegant wood finish
- Easy-read LED control panel
- Overheating protection
- An ECO-Smart setting for energy saving
- Includes remote control
- The 1,000 square-foot recommendation seems exaggerated
4. Mr. Heater Corporation MH18B Portable Propane Heater
- 4, 000, 9, 000, or 18, 000 BTU per hour
- Heats up to 450 sq. ft.
- Hi-Med-Low heat settings
- Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS) and accidental tip-over safety shut-off
- THE USE OF UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS WITH THIS HEATER ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED, MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, AND WILL VOID THE .
- This unit no longer comes with an included fan assembly or switch
So far, we’ve only looked at portable electric heaters. However, not all basements are organized enough to operate with a standard electric heater.
For instance, if you store your basement tools, the basic electric heater cabinet just won’t cut it. That’s when a rugged propane heater like the Model MH18B from Mr. Heater comes in handy.
For one, electric heaters depend on electricity. When there’s a blackout, they become useless. This propane heater doesn’t need electricity, making it an excellent choice for emergencies. Secondly, it’s sturdy enough to withstand the occasional fall. Above all, it’s very powerful at 18,000 BTU (highest heat output on this list).
You don’t need to worry about safety as accidental tip-over shutoff and oxygen-depletion protection is built-in. The manufacturer recommends it for spaces up to 450 square feet.
- Powerful 18,000 BTU heater
- Hi-Med-Low heat settings
- Features swivel regulators
- Connects to a 20LB cylinder
- Fan no longer included
- A bit pricey at over $140
5. De’Longhi Oil-Filled Radiator Space Heater
- DURABLE & MAINTENANCE-FREE: Patented, high-quality steel assembly and the permanently-sealed oil reservoir never needs refilling
- RADIANT HEAT: 1500 watts of heating power for quiet, full room comfort
- PERSONALIZED COMFORT: Customize to your heating needs with an adjustable thermostat and 3 heat settings
- PATENTED THERMAL SLOTS: Unique thermal slot design maximizes heat flow into the room while maintaining a low surface temperature
- PEACE OF MIND: Features a thermal shutoff to prevent overheating
- STAY COZY AND SAVE ENERGY. Carving out a comfortable room, desk, or other cozy spot for work, focus, and learning is more important than ever. Add this heater to your designated space to keep it cozy—optimizing productivity and turning an unexpected challenge into an energy-saving win
Finally, the De’Longhi Model TRH0715 is a unique kind of radiant heater known as an oil radiator. These units dissipate heat into permanently sealed oil, which then gently radiates the heat into the room. A key advantage of oil radiators is efficiency – they are exceptionally energy-efficient.
This particular model stands out for several reasons. For one, it’s a 1500-watt heater that generates tons of heat. Secondly, it features a high-quality patented steel assembly for extended use.
An adjustable thermostat allows you to closely monitor heating levels, while an easy-access control panel at the front enables easy heat control.
This heater is incredibly quiet, as is characteristic of oil radiators. It also features multiple safety features, including thermal heating to prevent overheating, an anti-freeze setting to avoid frozen pipes, and a cool-to-touch surface.
- Gentle, healthy radiant heat
- Exceptionally energy efficient
- Adjustable thermostat
- Anti-freeze settings
- Multiple safety features
- 3-year warranty
- The surface gets very hot
- No remote control
If you’re short on time, feel free to pick
Basement heating is a must if you want to keep the rest of the home warm throughout the winter. Otherwise, draft and heat loss through basement walls can nullify all your heating efforts in the rest of the house. Fortunately, there are several basement heating solutions to consider, many of which are inexpensive.