Heating Your Basement
Basements can be used for various purposes, laundry, storage, bedrooms, home office space, and more. They can also be a cool retreat from the summer heat. But when the weather gets colder, the cool chill of a basement is much less desirable. If you want to spend any time in your basement in the winter, you need to heat it.
How Can I Heat My Basement?
One of the effective ways to heat your basement is with a fireplace, if you have a full functional fireplace. But a fireplace can be expensive and difficult to install. For those people who do not have a functional fireplace in their home, there are still options for warming up the basement. Portable heaters are available in many types and styles. Among the different options include a heavy duty electric heater, baseboard heaters, ceramic heaters, fan heaters and propane space heaters.
- Heavy duty electric heaters are used to heat larger areas. They are capable of heating a room to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Economical and easy to handle, the heating element heats the oil, which in turn heats the air surrounding it. Heavy duty electric heaters have no exposed elements, so it is safe to touch.
- Electric baseboard heaters have an heating element that warms the air passing through it. Warmer air rises up the heater, while the colder air is pulled down to be heated. They are good for room by room heating. Baseboard heaters do not require much space and do not require any ductwork. They are a good choice for basement heating in homes that are newly constructed or remodeled. Baseboard heaters are easy to install in just about any kind of space. They are quiet and draft free and make it easy to control the temperature in each room.
- Ceramic heaters work by using a fan to push the air over a ceramic heating element. A huge grill that oscillates the twin heating elements give the heater the ability to heat up a larger area. Ceramic heaters also come with a foot switch, tip-over switch, built-in air filter, overheat sensor and an anti-freeze setting.
- Fan heaters use a fan to push air over a heating element. This function therefore reduces the thermal resistance between the heating element and the surroundings, heating an area more quickly.
- Propane heaters are good for smaller basement rooms, around 300 square feet. They radiate heat using propane gas as its fuel. They do not require electricity or ductwork. It also warms objects and people before it warms the air.
A Few Safety Tips Regarding Space Heaters
- Place heaters on the floor NOT on the furniture or tables, where they may fall, dislodging or breaking parts in the heater, which could result in a fire or shock hazard.
- Do not use heaters in wet or moist places, unless is it certified for that purpose. Damage or corrosion to parts of the heater may result in a shock hazard or fire.
- Be sure that the plug fits snugly in the electrical outlet you are using. A loose plug can overheat, resulting in a fire.
- Do not place a rug or carpet over the cords, doing so can cause the cord to overheat causing a fire
- If your heater breaks, take it to a qualified repair person. Do not attempt to fix it yourself.
- Be sure that all your unvented gas-fired heaters are equipped with an oxygen depletion sensor. This sensor detects a reduced level of oxygen around the heater, and shuts it off before a hazardous amount of carbon monoxide accumulates. Heed the warnings about the dangers of carbon monoxide that are labeled on the heater.
- Have your gas heater and venting system installed and inspected by professionals according to local codes.
- Make sure that gas-fired heaters are vented properly
- IF YOU SMELL GAS, DO NOT TRY TO LIGHT THE APPLIANCE. Do not touch any electrical switches, or try to use the phone. Open a window or door and leave the area immediately. Then go to a neighbor and call a gas service person or fire department to alert them of the leak.
- Equip your home with at least one smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector per floor.
- Be sure you keep at least one dry-powder operative, ABC-type fire extinguisher in the home at all times.
- Keep areas around heat sources free of papers, trash and debris which may catch fire.
About Lisa E. Sousa – Get more basement remodeling tips and ideas at Fix My Own Basement.com.