How to Make Your Basement Energy-Efficient

Here are some upgrades you can make to your basement to help make it more energy-efficient, cozy, and welcoming while keeping energy efficiency in mind.

Many homeowners overlook the basement when deciding which parts of your house should receive energy efficiency enhancements. Most likely, neither the first place you choose to invest in home renovation projects nor the first place you choose to spend your time is there. However, the basement offers many options for repairs and improvements that can reduce your energy usage, and the potential for savings is much greater if you’ve neglected it in the past. Continue reading for important energy-saving advice for your basement that will lower your utility costs and help you save money.

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Install Energy-Efficient Windows

When deciding what lighting is appropriate for the basement, keep things green in mind. Energy-saving fluorescent lights or LED house lights are the most energy-efficient lighting options for the home. Electricity-efficient light bulbs last three to twenty-five times longer than conventional bulbs while using 25% to 80% less electricity. Of course, turning off the lights when leaving the basement is another excellent approach to reducing your energy usage. Natural light and a brighter paint hue can also help brighten this area. Just make sure to install basement windows that are energy efficient. Walls painted with a lighter tint might reflect light rather than absorb it. Consider utilizing solar tubes to bring sunlight into the basement if there aren’t enough windows. “Sun tubes” are a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way to provide natural light in the basement.

Properly Insulate And Keep It Dry

After resolving the basement’s excessive moisture problem, the air quality will also improve, and it will reduce the wear and tear on the carpet, furniture and other items in the basement. Mold and fungus can form on the carpet and the walls when there is constant moisture in the air. Inadequately placed gutters and downspouts, fractures around the foundation that allow water and humid air to enter, unvented clothes dryers, improperly sealed windows and flooding are some of the main causes of moisture inside basement walls. It becomes simpler to maintain proper humidity levels if the moisture problems are resolved. The following are some effective energy-saving alternatives for maintaining a comfortable humidity level in your basement:

  • Total-House Humidity Control System. Installing a whole-home humidity management system that is connected directly to your HVAC system is the best option to control humidity levels if your basement is connected to the rest of your home through ducting and in-home access. Together with the heating and cooling systems, the dehumidifier/humidifier helps regulate the temperature and humidity in the entire house.
  • Examine the insulation. A poorly insulated basement can allow vermin in, resulting in frigid floors in the winter and a room that is abnormally hot or cold, increasing energy costs. Have a professional check the insulation levels in the attic, basement and crawl space while they’re there.
  • Utilize bathroom exhaust fans, and vent your dryer. When taking a shower, utilize exhaust fans to direct the moist air outdoors rather than allowing it to condense inside the house. Simply opening a window won’t do the trick and might even worsen the situation by letting in extra moisture. Install a fan that is ENERGY STAR rated and has a humidity sensor and timing switch for easy control and to prevent excessive usage. Additionally, be careful to vent the dryer outside. The moisture released from the clothing as it dries shouldn’t immediately return to the basement.

Look at Lighting Options

By nature, basements have insufficient lighting. Since their low ceilings and inadequate natural lighting are commonplace, track or halogen pot lighting solutions are a must. For a cheap upgrade, swap out these light bulbs for long-lasting fluorescent bulbs or LEDs. Consider performing a larger basement makeover to convert egress windows into lookout windows. More windows will let in natural light, reducing the need for electricity and improving the comfort of the area. With its fresh perspectives, you’ll be astonished by how much more time you spend in your basement.

Eliminate Air Leaks

Look throughout your basement from floor to ceiling for any cracks or flaws in the wiring, pipes, vents, windows or doors that could be causing air leaks. Caulk can be used to fix small gaps, while insulating spray foam can be used to patch holes up to three inches in diameter. Larger holes should first be sealed with insulating spray foam before being closed off with foam board. Don’t forget to look for gaps where the house frame meets the cinder block or cement foundation at the uppermost portion of the basement wall.

Safety Tip: A contractor should take care of any sealing of your home’s rim joists or band joists, which are the perimeter structure. It is recommended to engage a contractor to check combustion appliances, such as a gas or oil-fired furnace, boiler, water heater and clothes dryer, are correctly vented after you have finished any type of significant home sealing project.

Install Warm Flooring

When high-quality flooring is installed over an insulated subfloor, a thermal barrier is created between the flooring and the cold concrete, providing a comfortable surface and avoiding the growth of mold and mildew. The basement will feel warmer underfoot and require less heating in the winter if the floor is warm.

Upgrade Your Appliances

If your home has a bathroom or laundry room in the basement, modernizing the equipment in these areas will increase the energy efficiency of your house. Purchase a new, low-flow toilet to replace the old, water-sucking one, and an ENERGY STAR washer and dryer. Although the initial cost may be high, you’ll start to save energy right away. Of course, by spending the extra money upfront for high-efficiency models when it comes time to replace your furnace and water heater, you may achieve ever greater monthly savings. Hire a professional to install any new heating and cooling units because a poor installation can shorten the equipment’s lifespan and diminish efficiency.

Encapsulate the Crawlspace

If your home was built in the 1970s or earlier, the crawlspace in your basement may be causing energy-draining humidity issues. Because of the venting in the crawlspace, moisture from the outside can enter the home, making your air conditioner work harder to dry out the air inside. Your cooling costs should be reduced by simply covering the crawlspace with plastic sheeting to halt the influx of dampness.

Hire a Professional

Hire a trained contractor to do diagnostic testing at the start and end of your basement renovation project if you have the resources to do so. A contractor can check to see if your basement is properly insulated, offer suggestions for improvements, and install equipment. Additionally, a contractor can assist with project planning to ensure that these upgrades are carried out properly and consecutively. If improvements are not made in the proper order, they may have an adverse influence on one another and become less effective. For example, treating basement moisture concerns before sealing cracks and insulation This might easily result in the introduction of rot and mold and affect indoor air quality.

Your finished basement will be useful, attractive, and energy-efficient thanks to Valor Home Services. To find out more, call us right away. Homes in the Greater Metro East Area are served by us.