Your basement may not be a dungeon, but it is housing some not-so-good things that eat away at natural resources and your budget. Follow these tips to make your basement as energy efficient as possible to help the Earth and your wallet.
Choose the Right Furnace
If your furnace is not the right size for your house’s square footage, you essentially are burning money. Yes, new furnaces do cost money to purchase and install, but overall, you use less energy and save more money over the years. This means you can turn up the heat a little and not freeze while reading or watching television.
Check to see if any of the ductwork is leaking or falling apart. You can fix some leaks with duct tape or HVAC tape; other repairs may require expert handling.
A poorly insulated basement lets in cold air and doesn’t retain heat. So, add insulation if there isn’t any and consider adding more to your existing insulation if necessary. Look for a higher R-value (heat-retention value) if the basement lacks insulation. An energy assessment done by a professional is a valuable resource to help determine where insulation needs to go and how high the R-value should be.
Seal Cracks and Fix Drafts
Gaping doorways, drafty windows, and wall and foundation cracks contribute to cold air coming into the basement. If you have all four, put on some gloves and a warm hat before venturing downstairs as it will be frigid. These issues are symptoms of waterproofing failure. Water expands the soil outside the foundation, applying pressure to walls and the foundation, which could crack. Doorjambs and windowsills can shift when a foundation shifts. If you fix the foundation, the gaps won’t get worse.
Fix doorways and windows with weatherstripping. It’s not permanent, and it won’t block emergency fire escapes. For door bottoms, you also might invest in door sweeps or draft blockers.
Close the Door
It’s likely that at some point as a child, you were yelled at to close the front door because it was freezing outside. Obviously, you were letting in cold air and letting out warm air. The same is the case with doors leading to the basement and doors inside the basement itself, such as closet doors. If the doors don’t latch easily, or you have trouble latching them or can’t get them to catch at all, this likely means the doorjamb is off-kilter because of foundation problems.
Change the Bulb
Energy efficient light bulbs and light fixtures are far more prevalent than they use to be. Take advantage of this and update the lighting system in your basement. Opt for LED light bulbs, which are several times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last much longer.
Air Condition Without an Air Conditioner
Moisture in the air makes a room humid. During the summer, when air moisture is higher, run a dehumidifier. Drying out the basement can make it feel cooler, so you won’t have to run your air conditioner. If your basement has high humidity, it’s a good idea to call in a basement waterproofing expert to determine from where the added moisture is coming.
Waterproof Your Basement With Acculevel
Family owned and operated Acculevel is staffed with experts skilled in basement and foundation waterproofing and repair. If cracks are feeding cold air into your basement, we can fill them. If the foundation has shifted and is affecting doorjambs and windowsills, we can fix that, too. We believe in honesty and only doing what needs to be done. If you live in the Midwest and are looking for a specialist to repair and waterproof your basement and/or foundation to make it more energy efficient, call us at (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected].