7 Heating Solutions for Your Finished Basement

November 10, 2020

Most homeowners prefer to make use of each space in their house. A finished basement adds value to the property and gives you a little more space. You can use it to create additional living quarters, a movie room or an office space.

Irrespective of where you reside, the basement tends to be the coldest part of your house. Therefore, you’ll need to make various adjustments to make it more comfortable. Heating options will depend on your needs and preferences. Here are various solutions that you can consider.

1. Add a Fireplace

A gorgeous fireplace not only adds to your basement’s visual appeal but also warms the space. It would be best to install a gas or electric fireplace rather than using the traditional wood option. You can still consider the wood pellet stove, especially if you enjoy a more rustic theme. It’s a more environmentally friendly option. The fireplace uses some clean, slow-burning and recyclable pellets from renewable sources. However, some people find the ashes a bit inconvenient.

The heating method requires a chimney to remove the produced carbon dioxide. Fireplaces are relatively easy to install, and you have a lot of options to consider. If you want a customized look, you can opt for the masonry fireplace. Alternatively, if you are looking for a cost-effective solution, consider a prefabricated one.

Nonetheless, if your basement is too large, a fireplace won’t efficiently keep the entire space warm since the walls may prevent the heat from reaching other areas. Therefore, you may want to combine this heating option with others.

2. Extend Your Existing HVAC System

If you installed your HVAC unit before completing your basement, you can still modify it to heat the cellar using additional vents. However, there are a few factors that you’ll need to consider. Have a professional examine your system to determine whether it can support the extra load. Some of the main determinants are age and size.

If you have an older unit, chances are it’s already working at full capacity, and increasing the cooling space will push it beyond its limits. On the other hand, if the unit is too small, it might not have the capacity to work on additional spaces. In this situation, you can either upgrade your system to a larger size or install a new HVAC for the basement.

If the technician determines that your existing unit can support extra spaces, it will only take a few steps to extend it. The process is even simpler if the basement is unfurnished. It involves attaching extensions and registers at the main supply, then concealing the return and new ducts within the ceiling joist. This heating option will also help increase your house value.

The thermostat’s placement will affect the heating, especially if you position it on an upper floor that receives rays of sun. Still, you can control the entire house from a single panel if you use a programmable thermostat.

3. Use Space Heaters

A portable space heater is a very efficient and cost-effective way to heat small-sized basements. It’s very cheap to purchase and doesn’t require installation. You plug it directly into an outlet, and there is no need for a technician.

Further, you can move it from one point to another with ease based on your requirements. However, it would help if you used them with caution and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Still, it’s a less effective solution for a huge room.

4. Consider Radiant Heating

You can also install panels in the walls and floor to keep the basement warm even in the coldest months of the year. If you are willing to remove the flooring, you may want to consider this heating option. You can either use hydronic or electric floor heating.

Hydronic is a water-based system whereby a tube of hot water flows beneath the floor to heat the surface. The lines quickly pass throughout the entire room, and they hold heat for a long time.

On the other hand, the electric option involves using an electric coil stretched on the entire floor. The tube is connected to an electric radiant heater to warm the surface using radiation heat. The basement will remain warmer than in hydronic.

5. Use Baseboard Heaters

It’s an electric-powered heater installed alongside the bottom parts of your basement walls. They provide sufficient warmth around the perimeter of a room. Besides, this option disperses heat better than the space heaters, but they also work well in smaller rooms.

Baseboards don’t require special ductwork and include a relatively low cost. Another outstanding aspect of this heating option is that it allows you to sequester heat in the required areas. You can even control it with a thermostat or turn it off when need be.

Unfortunately, this heating option can take up quite a bit of space, limiting your furniture placement options. You will also need to seek an electrician’s assistance to wire the heaters into the power supply circuit.

6. Buy an Electric Heater

An electric heater is a heating system that uses electrically powered coils and fans to distribute the heated air in the surrounding areas. You can choose to maintain a specific temperature or even switch it off once the room warms up. Thus, an electric heater ensures uniform heating across the entire basement, and you can control it using a centrally located thermostat. However, this option is ineffective if you wish to heat a specific section of the cellar. The energy travels everywhere, and you can’t focus it on a particular area.

7. Insulate Your Walls and Floor

After picking any of the above solutions, it would be wise to make your basement more energy efficient by sealing in the warmth and keeping out the cold. The best way to do this is by installing insulation on the walls and floor. Seek various options like EPS, XPS or mineral wool to improve your heating method’s effectiveness.

Further, consider using the Dri-core insulation for your finished floor. It’s a basement subfloor that insulates the surfaces to keep them free from moisture leaks. The insulation comes in different finishings, and you can easily choose one that matches your style.


If you have had a problem heating your house basement, the above guide provides numerous heating options. Every cellar is a little different, and your choice highly depends on heating needs and space size. You might consider installing a fireplace, especially if you have a chimney. Besides, most homeowners prefer using radiant heaters. If you are looking for a budget-friendly solution, space heaters may be your best option. You can also consider extending your existing HVAC.

For whatever basement heating solution you may be looking for, reach out to Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning. Our company provides reliable services in Seattle, Bellevue, Newcastle, Carnation, Kent, Olympia, Edmonds, Coupeville, Yelm and the surrounding areas.

Our team of experts offers a list of other services, including heat pump and boiler installation, furnace installation and replacement and free energy consultations. We also provide advice on how you can improve your energy consumption. Moreover, we offer routine AC maintenance, emergency heating repair and all types of residential electrical work. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and enjoy our top-notch services.

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