Posted on 04/10/2012
Whether you use your basement on a regular basis or you simply use it as a space to do laundry, this underground area of your home can become a big energy waster. Many people assume that levels with few or no windows have a reduced risk of energy leakage. However, the basement is no different from other rooms in your home - this space can allow both heating and cooling costs to rise throughout the year.
There are a couple of ways that you can transform your basement from dark and damp to inviting and green. Underground areas are typically cooler than the rest of the house - to make yours more warm and inviting, think about bringing in a professional to install radiant floor heating. This can not only make sure that the flooring is comfortable underfoot, but help you reduce your reliance on heating oil throughout the year. Furthermore, radiant heat can easily be installed under concrete, making it ideal for a basement.
Energy Star reports that another way to make sure your basement is as environmentally-friendly as possible is to maintain your HVAC system over time. This means removing excess dirt and debris, as well as replacing filters regularly. Depending on your system and its age, you can save up to $200 on your energy bill annually by taking these tips into consideration.
In general, you should try to make sure that your basement is properly sealed to prevent any energy leaks, whether it's a high-traffic area or used sparingly. Bringing in a professional to conduct an energy audit can help you hone in on any seepage occurring in the room. Upon being sealed, you'll notice a difference in the money you are spending on heating and cooling, and you will also feel less of a need to crank your thermostat.
Finally, make it a point to reduce the humidity level in your basement. Many underground spaces are musty and damp, which is not only irritating to allergy sufferers, but can eat away at the structure of your home over time. Look for an Energy Star-certified dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from your basement and maintain the comfort level in the space. Taking these type of environmentally-friendly precautions can make your basement and home a more sustainable place.
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