Should I Heat My Unfinished Basement?

There are different heating options available, but what’s the way to heat a basement? No homeowners would want to incur costs on utility bills than inevitable by either choosing an electric heater that is not energy sufficient or has a heating system that has more output than indispensable.

The article discusses all different types of heat sources and forms of electric space available in the market to equip you with how to heat a finished basement in the most effective and cost-friendly manner.

Does Heating the basement keep your home warmer?

Whenever you can’t keep your feet warm even with socks and may want to purchase radiant floor heating in your home to keep your feet warmer, sometimes this may be caused by the cold basement beneath. By heating the basement, you can prevent the cold air from cooling the floor above.

When the outdoor temperature drops to the floor level, the basement can become extremely cold, causing cold feet and legs. Installing a simple heating solution provides natural radiant floor heat with a low cost of installation.

Reasons to Heat your Basement

  • Better living environment: The basement area can be a great living space for your entire family. You can turn it into a games room, children’s playground, or just a place where you can relax and watch a movie.
  • Poor insulation: A basement is inherently a cold place since it is mainly made of concrete and have no insulation to hinder heat loss
  • They don’t experience direct sunlight: The basement mainly contains a water heater, air ducts, and water lines and doesn’t have direct sunlight like most rooms.

Can Heating Prevent Damp and Mold in the Basement

Moss grows in a damp and shady environment making the basement a convenient site for growth. The warm moist air meets the colder foundation walls of the basement enhances the development. A more pleasant space with low humidity can aid in preventing mold growth.

Installing a space heater in your basement with a dehumidifier keeps the temperature and humidity levels right. Eventually, you will save yourself a lot of trouble, effort, and money by not cleaning the dangerous spores.

How can I heat my Basement Cheaply?

Suppose the cold air in the basement rises. In that case, you may increase the heating system, especially if your ducts are not completely sealed and are drawing the colder outdoor air in. by finding the most cost-effective method to heat your basement, you can avoid turning up the temperature in your living rooms thus saving you money on the heating systems bills.

Be Concise with Basement Heating Options

  • It is not only the design you need to ponder when deciding on the appropriate way to heat your basement.
  • For instant heat, the forced air and convection methods are the best for heating the basement. However, the oil radiator heat source is best to maintain a constant temperature, especially during winter.
  • To achieve the desired results, you can have a professional install a baseboard heater, wall heater, or underfloor heating. If you are a DIY enthusiast, then you take up these tasks yourself. 

Unfinished Basement Heating Options

If there is no fireplace installed in your basement and you don’t want to go through great lengths of installing a complete heating system, then worry not, as there are numerous heating options available for your needs.

Although different basement heaters have their advantages and disadvantages, the best part is that their installation is easy and can be done by any DIYer. In case of a permanent solution, you can invite a professional to install it if you don’t have the desire and knowledge to do it yourself.

1. Infrared Space Heater- Radiant Heating

Infrared space heaters act on the same principle of the sun rays that warm the globe while objects in the shade remain cooler. The electric infrared space heater warms the objects on its path directly in line with its rays, for example, the basement floor, furniture, and those sitting in the basement.

Nonetheless, everything not receiving the rays remains cool. Radiant heating is where the objects are warmed directly without heating the air. The light spectrum emitted is absorbed by things like clothes and skin. The brilliant heating form has different output levels, designs, and control settings with variations in the price range.

Infrared space heaters are becoming popular and come in numerous forms like propane, natural gas, and electricity. You can now get a good electric fireplace with realistic flickering flames in your basement.

Advantages

  • It doesn’t change the air quality
  • Provides precise heat
  • Operates nearly silently
  • It is best for directional heating of areas

Disadvantages

  • It can be a fire hazard as they get excessively hot
  • When turned off, it doesn’t hot heat
  • Continued direct use can cause skin problems

2. Oil-Filled Radiator 

It is a form of convection heating where the radiator slowly warms the whole room while maintaining a steady temperature without drying the air, making them healthy and safe. With good insulation fitted in place, this is amongst the best basement heating options.

Convection heating is where the oil is warmed inside the unit to the set temperature. The thermal energy then carries the heat out into the room. Nearly all of these heaters are fitted with a thermostat and switch on and off when required. Once the oil-filled radiators are warm, they are an amazingly energy-efficient heat source choice available.

Using these heaters is the best way to turn the damp and cold basement dry and warm cost-effectively. Of course, the size of your basement in square feet determines the size of the heater best for you.

With many available units, there is something to suit everyone. It can be free-standing or wall-mounted; you plug it into an outlet and enjoy the warmth and requires little or no maintenance.

Advantages

  • It covers a large heating area
  • It doesn’t dry out the air in the room
  • Portable
  • It is energy efficient
  • Low noise

Disadvantages

  • Hot to touch
  • More extensive modules without wheels can be heavy and difficult to move

3. Ceramic Space Heating 

These heaters are available in various types, shapes, and sizes. Some modules will give you the latitude to place it on the basement floor or install it on the wall to provide efficient and effective heat.

Some models are convection only, while others offer the latitude of a fan-assisted ceramic space heater when you prefer to heat the room a little faster. These heaters are convenient and easy to use as they require no installation; you plug in the outlet. Furthermore, it is lightweight and portable and can be moved from room to room quickly and easily.

These are PTC (positive temperature coefficient) heaters. It uses a ceramic that, when heated, acts as a metal element. The heater sends warm air current into the room through thermal energy. As the cold air is drawn into the unit and circulated, the air passes over the ceramic element and is warmed.

Advantages

  • It is safe even for young children as it doesn’t get hot
  • It is lightweight, compact, and portable hence can be moved easily and quickly.

Disadvantages

  • Not ideal for large areas
  • If not convection or fan-assisted, the heater is slower to heat the room
  • Requires a surrounding space to guarantee a good airflow through the unit.

4. Fan-Assisted Heaters

These heaters warm the room with the principle of ceramic space heaters but employ metal elements in ceramic space. The cool air is sucked in, circulated the element to heat, one warmed fan blows the warmer air out and into the room.

Advantages 

  • Provides instant heat
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight and portable
  • It doesn’t get hot; hence cool to the touch
  • It is an ideal floor heater

Disadvantages

  • It is not practical in large areas
  • Requires space to allow for airflow
  • Objects can block heat

5. Propane Heater

These heaters don’t use electricity as a power source. The propane heater uses liquid propane to fuel the heat. The primary benefit of using a propane heater is that it produces the hottest heat level and is 20% cheaper to operate than an electric space heater.

These are the most portable space heaters you can have in your basement as there are no constraints to a power outlet and can continue operating even when the electricity goes out in your home.

For the heating system process, the propane heaters warm up the room as the infrared heaters by emitting electromagnetic waves into the air to heat objects nearby.

Advantages 

  • It is portable
  • It doesn’t require electric power to operate
  • It is the hottest heater available
  • Cheap to operationalize

Disadvantages

  • Requires fuel to operate
  • Has a higher risk of fire and explosion
  • Some heaters emit carbon dioxide making not every unit recommended for indoor purposes.

6. Baseboard Heating

The baseboard heater is available in various types and can be as advanced or simple as you would like. You are at latitude to get the simple plug-in electric baseboard heaters. These full-fledged electric models hardwire into your circuit box, gas floorboard heaters connected to your existing gas line.

Advantages

  • It is available in many options
  • They came in numerous lengths
  • It can be a long term installation system or portable unit

Disadvantages 

  • It is slow to heat up
  • Doesn’t use a fan to spread heat
  • The plug-in units can have an unsightly cord.

7. Wall Heaters

These heaters are new in the market but are rising in popularity. These basement heaters don’t take up any floor space and come in both convection and radiant heating systems. Depending on the unit you adore, you can power by gas or electricity. 

Advantages

  • It is not restricted to one type of heating
  • It doesn’t take up floor space
  • It has available Wi-Fi models
  • It can operate on electricity or gas
  • These heaters can heat large rooms

Disadvantages

  • They don’t heat large spaces
  • It requires tools and technical expertise to be installed

8. Radiant Floor Heating Systems

These heaters use electric resistance cables to produce heat. The popular style of basement heating solution features cables laid in thin mats. You can install the mats under most flooring materials like tiles, wood, and laminated floors.

After installation, the mats are connected to a thermostat controller where you can select the temperature setting. The warmth rises evenly from beneath with a radiant heated floor, making the basement temperature uniform from top to bottom.

Advantages

  • It is an energy-efficient heating option
  • Comfort
  • It is safe
  • Performs with all floor coverings
  • It doesn’t take up space in the room
  • It is effortless to operate

Disadvantages

  • Requires much time to install
  • Expensive to install
  • Potential floor height issues 

Conclusion

Although different basement heaters have their advantages and disadvantages, the best part is that their installation is easy and can be done by any DIYer. In case of a permanent solution, you can invite a professional to install it if you don’t have the desire and knowledge to do it yourself.

Installing a space heater in your basement with a dehumidifier keeps the temperature and humidity levels right. A more pleasant space with low humidity can aid in preventing mold growth. Eventually, you will save yourself a lot of trouble, effort, and money by not cleaning the dangerous spores.

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