How to Heat & Cool a Basement


Basements are typically completely below ground, or mostly below ground. If the basement is unfinished, which means there is no official heating or air conditioning connections, furnishings or completed walls, this area may be difficult to heat or cool. During summer months, a basement may heat up, especially if the area has multiple windows, and during winter months it may become uncomfortably cold. To heat and cool a basement, several items available at home improvement stores are needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Ceramic heater
  • Pellet stove
  • Wood pellets
  • Window air conditioning unit
  • Floor fans
  • Install a ceramic heater in one corner of the basement and another ceramic heater in the opposite corner. Ceramic heaters work to increase heat distribution within a home by utilizing a fan that blows heated air out of the heater. This heat circulation ensures warm air is delivered throughout the basement. Ceramic heaters are ideal for larger basements due to the heated airflow.

  • Purchase a pellet stove and have it installed in the basement. Pellet stoves are powered by small wood pellets and are able to deliver expansive heat throughout a room. It is important to note that pellet stoves are expensive and require professional installation. The stove also requires a chimney, an insulated pipe that is run outside, and a small fresh air intake is typically tied to it. If you wish to reduce your electric bill, a pellet stove may cost more upfront, but the annual energy savings will help repay the investment.

  • Install a window air conditioning unit if the basement has a window. These portable air conditioners install within most window frames and are able to cool a wide variety of room sizes. The size of the basement will determine the size of the air conditioning unit. These units do not require professional installation and may be removed during winter months to prevent cold air from entering the basement.

  • Place floor fans, or box fans, in two corners of the basement. While floor fans may be a loud alternative to window air conditioners, they are cheaper than window units, easier to install than ceiling fans and provide relief from hot summer days. Floor fans are available in a variety of sizes and styles at home improvement or design retail stores or through online merchants.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install a dehumidifier in the basement during warm months, as the mixture of warm and cool air may cause high indoor humidity, which promotes mold development.
  • Do not place ceramic heaters near furniture or other items, as the high heat expelled from these devices has the potential of starting a fire.

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