Being a homeowner is rewarding, but it can also be expensive. You might be trying to find ways to bring down your monthly utility costs and keep a little extra money in your pocket. Did you know that having a properly finished basement can make your home more energy efficient? On top of that, you can also increase your property value — it’s a win-win situation.
In this post, we’ll discuss some things to consider when finishing your basement. Whether it’s a new construction or a remodel, you’ll want to keep efficiency at the forefront of your mind. Alongside contractors, the HVAC professionals at W.G. Speeks can offer offer guidance to help make your goals a reality.
Conditioned vs Unconditioned Basements
When you hear the term “conditioned basement,” people are usually referring to finished basements in climate-controlled homes that are insulated. Even if you’re happy with the comfort level in this area, a home energy audit can identify areas where you can improve even more.
By contrast, an unconditioned basement is one that has been left in its original state. You’ll have a lot more work to do if you choose to even partially finish it, but the benefit is that you’ll be able to oversee the insulation of the walls, floors, and/or ceiling to ensure it meets your standards.
Energy Efficient Basement Windows
You probably won’t have large windows in your basement, but no matter the size, you should try to choose something that’s as energy-efficient as possible. Much of your home’s heat is lost in the basement, but having the right windows can make a huge difference.
It’s common to find single-paned glass in basements, but opting for a twin layer is probably a better choice. It can get cool and windy in Richmond, but when you have double-paned windows protecting your home, the impact of those gusts won’t be as powerful.
Improve Basement Lighting
As mentioned, you likely won’t have large windows in your basement, which means you won’t get a lot of natural light. Lower ceilings can also make it more challenging to keep this area of your home well-lit and comfortable. As a result, you’ll find a lot of track and halogen pot lighting as well as free-standing lamps down there to compensate.
Whenever possible, use longer-lasting LED or fluorescent light bulbs to be more energy efficient. It’s a relatively inexpensive solution that can save you money in the long run. If budget allows, you could also convert those tiny frames into lookout windows to brighten things up.
Insulate Basement Walls
You are going to lose a lot of heat if your basement walls are unfinished. Yes, it’s a bit of effort to insulate them, but you’ll be saving so much money and energy by taking this important step. Even if you don’t plan to spend time down there, it’s worth the investment.
You’ll need to consult with someone about choosing the right type of insulation for your home and climate. If you’re experienced, you could do this yourself but we’ll say that it’s very inconvenient and expensive to have to start over. It’s usually best to speak with a contractor. If possible, you should also consider insulating your basement floors and ceiling, too.
It gets very humid and muggy in Richmond. As a result, basement moisture is an even bigger issue in this area. This can make our homes more susceptible to mold and rot, which can be a difficult problem to fix. It’s best to prevent this type of damage to protect your investment and keep your family safe.
A good basement humidifier can help keep moisture levels under control. You can also take the extra step of installing a whole house humidifier for overall comfort. Dry air is much easier to heat and cool than damp air, so this is a major factor to consider if you live in Virginia.
HVAC Specialists in Richmond
Ready to lower your monthly energy costs, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry — W.G. Speeks has got you covered! We’ve been proudly serving homeowners in Richmond for more than 75 years and we have the experience and expertise to guide you through the process.
Our team of NATE-certified technicians are committed to providing the very best service to our customers. Best of all, we offer a no-risk, free consultation. We’d be honored to assist you as you create a more energy-efficient (and money-saving!) basement in your home. Give us a call today — we’re here to help!