Although basements offer a nice, cool retreat during the summer months, they’re often so frigid during the winter months that they’re rendered unusable. This drastically cold temperature will leave any homeowner wondering, “What gives? Why is my basement always so cold?” And, even more importantly, “How can I warm it up?”
Why Basements Are Cold
First, let’s tackle the question of why basements are so cold. There are many things that contribute to low basement temperatures. The simplest answer is that heat rises. Therefore, the highest floor of the house will be the warmest, and the lowest floor will be the coldest.
Along these lines, a lack of sunlight leads to cold temps. Above ground, the home features multiple windows to let sunlight in, which will naturally warm up a room. As a result, the thermostat will more easily reach the set temperature even though the temperature in the basement is significantly lower. Because it is underground, a basement lacks this solar heat source and isn’t able to make up for it via the central heating system. That means it’s going to be significantly colder than the rest of the house.
Plus, all that snow and ice outside isn’t helping. If your home is surrounded by 2 or more feet of snow, it’s going to make your basement drastically colder. And even once the weather warms up, it still takes your basement some time to catch up. According to an About.com article, it takes approximately 69 days for the exterior base of a home’s foundation wall to reflect the outdoor temperature. That means you could be experiencing winter temperatures in your basement during the springtime!
These factors are among a handful of reasons why basements are always the coldest part of the house. But it doesn’t have to stay that way!
How To Warm Up A Cold Basement
There are a few different ways to heat up a basement. Some of the most common methods are with a fireplace or space heater. However, fireplaces are very difficult to install after the house has already been constructed, and space heaters come with a flurry of hazards if they are used improperly. Instead, we encourage homeowners to consider radiant heating.
By adhering a cork underlayment to the cement floor and installing electric radiant heat on top, you can take advantage of the same “heat rises” principle that caused your basement to be cold in the first place! By heating your basement floors, you can fill the gap left by your forced-air heating system. Heat will rise from the floor up, ensuring that your basement is just as warm as the rest of the house.
For those who like the idea of a fireplace but don’t have the ability to put one in their basement, a radiant panel is your dream come true. It performs just like a fireplace, but it mounts easily to the wall! Radiant panels are available in a range of colors, sizes and shapes to suit the size and décor of any basement. You can use them for supplemental heat with or without a floor heating system. All you need is an electrical outlet and an empty wall (Note: You also have the option to hardwire a radiant panel depending on the product you choose.).
By investing in radiant heat, you can overcome the common reasons why basements are cold and make sure that yours is warm, inviting and — most of all — usable!
For more information on the radiant heating options available to you, visit www.warmlyyours.com.