It’s winter and that means one thing in most areas: it’s colder. Really colder in some places. And while we all know that heat rises, those of us who have basements can’t help but wonder — should we be heating our basement? Even if a basement is rarely used, it does seem to make sense that you would heat it in order to improve the overall comfort of your home. The experts at Paul Davis have been asked this question multiple times, so we’ve decided it’s time to weigh in on the subject.
In short, you should indeed heat your basement in cool and cold climate areas. Whether or not you use your basement isn’t the question. While heating a space that isn’t often used may seem like a waste, there are important facts to consider. These relate to personal comfort, health and safety, and overall efficiency of your resources.
Comfort: As humans, we’re creatures of comfort. In summer we prefer to cool down and in winter we can’t help but wish we were warmer. Some of the coldest air found in your home tends to be in the basement. When this cold air rises, it is drawn across the floor of the main level, causing cold feet and other comfort problems. To battle this, you could wear really warm socks–but you could also heat your basement. By doing so, warm air instead of cold will be drawn up and you’ll have a much more comfortable home.
Health and Safety: It may surprise you to learn that even cool temperatures can trigger mold growth in your basement. This is because warmer, moister air in your home can collide with cold foundation walls, which increases moisture and the likelihood of mold. However, when you heat your basement, those foundation walls remain warm and reduce the chances that mold will grow during the winter months.
Energy Efficiency: When the air in your basement is cold, this can actually result in the loss of heat within basement water lines and ductwork. While this may not seem terribly important, this loss of heat can draw cold air in from outside if your ducts aren’t properly sealed. Not only does this make your basement colder, it also means that the upstairs rooms in your home drop in temperature as well. Ultimately, most people crank up their furnace when this happens, resulting in higher heating bills than if they’d simply heated their basement.
Heating your basement may not seem like a great idea–especially if your basement is underutilized. However, heating your basement can actually save you quite a bit of time, money, and headaches, so be sure to consider giving it a try this winter.