Basement Heating - How to Keep it Warm for Family Use

In many homes, the basement is an afterthought – a space that is largely used for storage. For other homeowners, however, it is an important addition to the space and comfort that the house offers: a place to put a family room, a playroom, an office or a second suite. Either way, if your basement is cold, you may not want it to remain that way, whether for personal comfort or to keep your possessions in a climate-controlled environment.

Of course, before you can find a solution to keeping your basement warm, you need to identify why it’s cold in the first place. We all know that warm air rises, so the rooms at the bottom of the house can suffer, but there are ways to warm them up. Here are some tips from HVAC experts for identifying the problem(s) and fixing them accordingly:

Inadequate Insulation

Proper insulation for the walls helps keep rooms warm, but basements can often be an afterthought during construction – especially in old homes. If your basement isn’t insulated properly, it’s easy for heat to escape. There are various insulation options available, such as blanket or foam board insulation for an unfinished basement, and loose-fill or spray foam products for a finished basement. Insulation comes with an R-value; the higher R-value, the better the climate control and better energy efficiency for your home, but it generally also means higher cost.


Heat can escape through places other than the walls. Doors, windows, pipes and ductwork are other places where it’s easy to discover heat leaking out of the basement. Consider insulating vent flaps and ducts leaving the basement and seal all doors and windows.

Dearth of Vents, Poor Circulation

Your basement may have been designed for storage, not for habitation, so it may have few registers to allow for heat flow or inadequate ductwork to allow for proper heating. Without upgrading your heating system, there are some quick fixes. You can leave your furnace fan in the ON mode to move the air through your home, forcing cold air up and warm air down, which is the opposite of what happens naturally, since cold air is heavier than warm. You can also instal ceiling fans to move air throughout the house and force warm air down. Fans are energy efficient and fairly quiet in comparison to some other options.

Undersized Heating/Cooling System

Your HVAC system should be adequate for the heating and cooling needs of your home, including the basement. An HVAC professional can assist you in assessing the existing system’s capacity. If it’s inadequate, you can upgrade your system by replacing it with an entirely new one, or you can add a second system to your basement.

If your system is new and working well, adding a second system might make the most sense, but, if your house and your heating system are old, an upgrade might be practical. HVAC technology has changed over the years, as has energy efficiency. Previously, for example, a gas furnace that operated at 80 per cent efficiency was standard, but, today, there are models that claim 98 per cent efficiency. 

In either case, make sure that the size and design of the ductwork match your HVAC system or you can introduce new problems. You’ll also want to ensure that any changes you make are in accordance with building codes. You’ll want to be sure that you have enough ventilation to accommodate the system.

So, a cold basement needn’t be a life sentence. Contact your HVAC professional for help in warming things up and enjoy!

We will be happy to discuss heating options for your home with you.

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© Next Day Home Services Inc. 2020Privacy PolicyTELEPHONE: 604.897.3411ADDRESS: 201-19049 95a Avenue, Surrey,BC V4N 4P3

© Next Day Home Services Inc. 2020Privacy PolicyTELEPHONE: 604.897.3411ADDRESS: 201-19049 95a Avenue, Surrey,BC V4N 4P3