Try simple, low-cost fix to keep basement temp perfect

Dowe & Wagner Inc - Try simple, low-cost fix to keep basement temp perfect

Because they’re below ground level, most basements are naturally cooler in the summer. Blow air conditioning into the basement, and the temperature drops from comfortable to freezing. Now this great space for entertainment and relaxing -- whether the kids are playing sports or the adults are watching movies – becomes an uncomfortable environment.

The solution isn’t to raise the thermostat, which would cause the rest of the house to grow too warm. How to regulate?

“Close all your air vents in the basement. But because closed vents still leak about 10-15 percent of air, cover the vents, too. Either tape them to prevent air leakage, or buy a sheet of magnetic paper from the hardware store. Just cut pieces to fit over your vents to keep out the cold air. You may need to tape them in place to secure a good seal,” advises Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin.

He adds that this will also help push the cold air to the upstairs rooms, which are typically warmer than the rest of the house in the summer (partly because upper level windows allow the sun’s warmth inside). Remember to remove the vent covers at the end of summer when the air conditioner is no longer used.

Eppers explains that while basements don’t need more cold air, they do need dehumidification to remove dampness. Water can seep into cracks in the basement’s foundation if there’s not proper waterproofing, which can promote mold growth on floors, windows, walls, and other surfaces. Using a portable dehumidifier helps to draw out moisture. He also recommends a whole-house dehumidifier, which is part of the HVAC system, to combat musty air and moisture issues.

Dowe & Wagner : 11215 Commercial Street, Richmond, IL 60071 : 815.678.3000 :