When finishing your basement in your house, you want to make sure that it is as comfortable as possible, especially if you will be using it on a daily basis. Before you finish your basement you need to take into consideration how you will cool and heat the basement, as basements can be cooler than the rest of the house. If you live in a cooler or very cold climate, heating your finished basement correctly is your biggest priority. Here are some different options for heating when you are finishing your basement.
Most homes that are cooled and heated by forced air usually have the duct work already necessary in the basement to get the forced air down there. If not, you can hire a technician who can do this quite easily, as usually the furnace is in the basement. Even with the forced air heating system, basements still tend to be on the cooler side. They are usually at least a few degrees colder than the rest of the house since they are right on the ground and don’t get direct sunlight. Even if you have forced air heat in your basement, you still may want to consider other heating sources when finishing your basement.
Electric heaters are the easiest and usually the cheapest type of heating source to install in your basement. On the other hand, they can be the most expensive to operate. Electric heaters use quite a bit of electricity and can run your electric bill quite high if they are used all the time. To save on the operation costs of electric heaters, only heat the basement when it needs it or when you plan on using it.
Portable heaters allow you to only heat the space that you are using at that time. They come in several different varieties such as oil-filled radiators, ceramic heaters and radiant heaters. Oil-filled radiators will produce an even heat and are quite quiet. Ceramic heaters are usually powerful even though they are small and compact. Radiant heaters will produce instant warmth and you will not have to wait for it to warm up. Make sure to buy a new portable heater and look for one that has an oxygen depletion sensor, so that it will automatically shut off before building up hazardous chemicals in the basement. Also, watch where you place portable heaters as if they are left on for a long time and placed to something flammable the flammable items can catch fire.
Wood Burning Stove
If you can find an airtight wood burning stove, then it can be an excellent way to heat your finished basement. Although, they can be rather messy, they will give off tons of heat, especially if you have a good wood supply. They do require stoking, ash cleaning and fuel changes so know that you have to take care of them properly before you install one in your finished basement.
Direct-Vent Gas Fireplaces
These type of fireplaces are decorative and also give off a great deal of heat. With direct-vent fireplaces you can see the flames in the fireplace and control how high and hot they get. They come in tons of different sizes, styles and finishes to fit your needs when finishing your basement. You should plan to connect them to a existing gas line in the basement. Another bonus of gas fireplaces is that they do not need electricity to run, so if the power ever goes out in your house, you cans till have heat from the gas fireplace.
Radiant Heating Systems in the Floor
If you plan on finishing your basement floor with tile, stone or hardwood, then consider installing a radiant heating system first. Radiant heating systems in the floor will help warm the floor and also provide warmth to the whole basement room. You can find radiant heating systems at most home improvement stores or if you are having your basement floor professionally installed, most flooring companies will install the radiant heating systems also.