Basem*nt Too Hot—Why And How To Fix This - (2024)

Making sure the rooms of your home are comfortable to be in is essential. Have you started to notice your basem*nt feel hot while you're down there and have no idea what's going on? Well, we've done plenty of research and have all of the answers waiting here for you. Let's check them out.

The main reason a basem*nt will start to feel hot is that a leak is present. You may also have water underneath your home, which can cause a hot, humid inside climate. Considering that excess moisture can lead to mold, structural problems, and even future health concerns, figuring this out soon is essential.

As we begin, we will cover all things basem*nts and discuss how to fix a hot interior climate. Whether this is ongoing or you haven't noticed issues before, we're here to offer some help. With that said, let's get right into this post!

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Is A Basem*nt Supposed To Be Hot?

No, it's not common for a basem*nt to feel hot. Typically, the basem*nt will feel slightly different from the rest of your house, but this shouldn't be major.

Considering that heat tends to rise, your basem*nt should be a bit cooler, if anything. That said, there could be a leak or underlying water below your basem*nt's structure, which will cause it to feel hot and humid.

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Furthermore, ignoring this dramatic climate change could lead to severe structural and health-related problems developing later on, so you want to get on top of it.

What Temperature Should A Basem*nt Be?

Depending on the weather outside, the temperature in a basem*nt will vary throughout the year. If it's winter, you want to keep your basem*nt between 55 and 60 degrees.

If it is summertime or you live somewhere warm, you want to keep your basem*nt under 80 degrees. Of course, that is a vague suggestion, so if you prefer to keep your basem*nt in the 60s or 70s year-round, you certainly can.

Regardless of the weather, you don't want to let a basem*nt get too warm, as this is when problems will start.

Do I Need To Air Condition My Basem*nt?

Although it isn't technically required, it is good to air condition a basem*nt. Besides the fact that you don't want your basem*nt feeling muggy during warmer months, installing an AC system will ensure mold, mildew, and other dangerous bacteria isn't able to make your home their own.

On top of that, having air conditioning is great for making your basem*nt livable. Doing this will also allow you to safely store important items down there without them becoming heat/moisture damaged.

Additionally, air conditioning systems help combat humidity levels in the basem*nt, so you can't go wrong installing one.

How Can I Cool My Basem*nt Without AC?

A portable air cooler is the best way to cool down a basem*nt without air conditioning. Not only will this help lower the temperature, but it can also prevent too much humidity from forming.

Brands like Evapolar advertise themselves to work incredibly well for basem*nts, so that may be something to consider.

Regardless of the portable AC brand, you want to make sure you have a place to vent your system, so it doesn't end up blowing more warm air into your basem*nt.

COMFYHOME Evaporative Air Cooler

This portable air conditioner has a tower fan design, oscillates, features a 15-hour timer, offers a humidifier function, and gets down to 65 degrees.

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Follow this link to see it on Amazon.

What Temperature Should An Unfinished Basem*nt Be?

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For those with unfinished basem*nts, try to keep yours at or above 55 degrees. Considering that an unfinished structure will get colder/warmer than one you insulate, your basem*nt could have trouble maintaining a comfortable climate.

That said, we recommend using rugsand even roughed-in insulation to help keep it warm through the winter. Furthermore, you can also try using a portable AC as we mentioned above for warmer months.

Regardless of whether your basem*nt is complete or not, you want to make sure it doesn't get above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Should You Heat An Unfinished Basem*nt In The Winter?

Yes! It is generally a good idea to heat your unfinished basem*nt through the winter. Like we said above, unfinished basem*nts tend to have trouble keeping their temperature, so imagine how cold yours could get if it's freezing outside.

That said, we recommend insulating the ceiling in your basem*nt so your heater doesn't need to work overtime. Even insulating the ceiling can make a huge difference and shouldn't cost more than $1.93-$4.39 per square foot.

What Should I Do If My Basem*nt Is Humid?

If you notice your basem*nt feels humid, this can be a problem. Typically, excess moisture in the basem*nt can lead to mold and other bacteria/fungi growing regardless of whether it's finished or unfinished.

Most often, damp basem*nts will have a strong, musty odor, so if you smell something unusual, there's probably a serious issue at hand.

Luckily, you can usually clear the humidity up using a high-power dehumidifier, so that's a great solution to try.

Is It Normal For A Basem*nt To Feel Humid In The Summer?

Although your basem*nt shouldn't ever be too humid, it is normal to feel a bit wetter in the summer. Typically, the summer months will have the highest percentage of moisture in the air, so expect that to affect your home.

However, if you notice condensation forming around the windows in your basem*nt, or water pooling anywhere, this could mean something more serious is happening.

Do I Need A Dehumidifier In My Basem*nt?

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We recommend purchasing a dehumidifier for the basem*nt if you live somewhere humid. Especially for those with unfinished structures, having a dehumidifier alongside AC can combat summertime moisture and keep your home mold and mildew free.

According to Basem*nt Systems, using a dehumidifier in the basem*nt can also get rid of musty odors in your space, so that's a bonus.

Many newer dehumidifying systems will include a humidity meter, which can alert you if your space gets too wet, so we recommend finding one with that option.

What's The Best Dehumidifier For A Basem*nt?

Although there are endless options for dehumidifying systems, some brands stand out more than others. A couple of notable dehumidifier makers include Frigidaire and LG.

Specifically, Frigidaire's High Humidity 50-Pint Capacity Dehumidifier is a favorite among critics. LG's PuriCare 50-Pint Clear Bucket Dehumidifier also stands out according to a list by Good Housekeeping, so we stand by that recommendation.

Again, you don't have to go with a name-brand dehumidifier to see the climate in your basem*nt improve, although we do think those systems will work better and longer.

Frigidaire High Humidity Dehumidifier

This dehumidifier holds 50 pints, has a built-in pump, continuously drains, and operates in temperatures as low as 41 degrees.

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View it on Amazon here.

LG PuriCare 50-Pint Dehumidifier

This dehumidifier holds up to 50 pints, works in spaces up to 2,500 square feet, has a clear water tank, and has an automatic shut-off feature.

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Check out this product on Amazon here.

Where Should A Dehumidifier Go In The Basem*nt?

Ideally, you want to place a dehumidifier somewhere centrally located in the basem*nt. Especially if you have a super humid space, it's a good idea to keep your dehumidifier towards the center of your basem*nt.

Of course, you'll need to plug your appliance into a wall outlet, so make sure to find a spot where that is safe.

You could also try running an extension cord to your dehumidifier if you want it farther away from a wall/outlet, so that's an idea to consider.

What Can I Use Instead Of A Dehumidifier In My Basem*nt?

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If you don't want to buy a dehumidifier, there are alternatives for the basem*nt. Essential Home And Garden recommend using baking soda or rock salt for the basem*nt, so those are ideas to try.

To use these, place about one cup of baking soda/rock salt in a container. Let this container sit for 3-4 weeks, and then replace it with a fresh cup.

You can also try using a fan or air conditioner to reduce humidity, so if replacing baking soda or rock salt doesn't sound like something you want to do, we recommend trying one of those systems.

To Wrap It Up

Whether you spend time in your basem*nt or avoid it, knowing what climate to keep yours is essential. From what we found, the basem*nt shouldn't get too hot. If this happens, you could have a leak or water underneath your home.

To fix this, we recommend using air conditioning or a dehumidifier. Cool air keeps moisture levels down, as does a dehumidifying system. We also think using heat in the basem*nt through winter is a good idea, along with insulation.

Regardless, make sure to have your basem*nt be at least 55 degrees in the winter and below 80 degrees throughout the summer/year, and don't be afraid to try a drying alternative like baking soda or rock salt.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related HVAC posts below!

How To Hide The Furnace In Your Basem*nt [Inc. Unfinished One]

How Can I Make My Basem*nt Warmer In The Summer?

Does A Basem*nt Ceiling Need Insulation?

Basem*nt Too Hot—Why And How To Fix This - (2024)


How do you cool down a hot basem*nt? ›

Basem*nts and Bears, Oh My!
  1. Budget-friendly options for cooling a basem*nt include installing window air conditioning units. ...
  2. Other low-cost options include floor fans or a box fan. Box fans will also fit into an open window and help to push warm basem*nt air to the outside.

What causes a basem*nt to be hot? ›

If you find yourself wondering why is my basem*nt hot in the summer, there are a few potential causes, most notably, improper ventilation, excess moisture in the air, and cracks in the foundation.

Does heat in basem*nt affect upstairs? ›

Even if you don't spend a lot of time in the basem*nt, keeping it warm will make a difference in other parts of the house — particularly the rooms right above it. We talked about the same phenomenon when we looked at bonus rooms above garages.

Why is my dehumidifier making my basem*nt hot? ›

a dehumidifier takes the latent heat from the water vapour in the air and converts it to sensible heat which increases the tempurature of the air which you feel, plus it adds a little heat of it's own while running the compressor and fan motor. so getting a more expensive unit won't help with the heat.

How do you fix a hot and humid basem*nt? ›

Fixing basem*nt leaks and humidity

Some people opt for a dehumidifier, which on its own is a temporary solution. If the moisture is a result of leaking pipes, you can quickly fix it by calling a plumber. You can also install a ventilation system to take the air and moisture out of your house.

How can I cool down my basem*nt without windows? ›

How to Cool a Windowless Room
  1. Install a quality ceiling fan. ...
  2. Install a through-the-wall air conditioner. ...
  3. Use two fans to circulate and remove hot air. ...
  4. Shut off appliances and lights. ...
  5. Close your doors. ...
  6. Extend your current HVAC system. ...
  7. Use a ductless air conditioning unit. ...
  8. Purchase a portable air conditioning unit.
Jun 30, 2021

What is the ideal temperature for a basem*nt? ›

In the summer your basem*nt will probably stay cooler than the rest of the house, but keeping it at 80 F or lower will help suppress humidity and mildew. Ideal Basem*nt Temp: 55 F to 60 F in winter; less than 80 F in summer.

What causes basem*nt walls to sweat? ›

Condensation occurs when moisture-laden warm air strikes a cold, dry surface, such as a basem*nt wall or window. A similar thing happens with cold water passing through copper pipes, as the metal pipe is usually much colder than the surrounding air.

Will my basem*nt stay cool in the summer? ›

In the summer, the basem*nt is often cooler than the outside air. In the winter, the basem*nt is often warmer than the outside air. The theory holds that unheated, uncooled basem*nts generally follow the area's annual temperature. Your level of comfort is a different matter, though.

Why is my basem*nt hotter than outside? ›

As you are heading down to your basem*nt, you notice that your basem*nt is as bad as the hot wasteland you experience outside. Why is that? A basem*nt that is exhibiting unnatural heat typically means that there is a problem with the ventilation or insulation.

Do basem*nts regulate temperature? ›

Yes, basem*nts are built underground, which can help to keep the temperature steady all year. But because heat rises, that steady temperature is often colder than most folks would prefer in winter—especially if your HVAC system isn't up to the challenge of heating a multi-story house.

Will closing basem*nt vents downstairs help cool upstairs? ›

It's a common misconception that closing vents in one area of your home redirects airflow to other areas. For example, closing vents in an unused area of the home sends more hot or cold air to areas in use. Closing vents does redirect air — just not to where you want.

What happens if humidity is too high in basem*nt? ›

Molds and mildew can grow in damp carpets and beneath wall coverings. Finishing a basem*nt without first dealing with the moisture problems can result in making health conditions worse and lead to significant damage as well. Basem*nt water problems are solvable, but there is a cost to doing it right.

Should you run a dehumidifier in the basem*nt all the time? ›

Just remember, you do not need to run your dehumidifier all the time — in fact, it is not environmentally friendly or cost-effective to do so. You'll only need to operate it during periods of high humidity. With this in mind, you may not need to install a permanent piece of equipment.

How do I know if my basem*nt is too humid? ›

One of the simplest ways to tell if your basem*nt is too humid is through smell. If your basem*nt has a musty odor, it could be due to excessive moisture in the air. As moisture builds in the air, mold and mildew will quickly grow.

Can I put an AC in the basem*nt? ›

No problem! Evapolar air cooler – AC unit for the basem*nt doesn't need a window to let the hot air out. However, make sure you keep the door open to allow air circulation and prevent humidity due to the humid nature of basem*nts.

Should you run AC in your basem*nt? ›

Whether you have an unfinished cellar for storage or a fully-finished man cave or rec room for a basem*nt, cooling is a must in the summertime. Even if you're not down there too often, air conditioning affects your comfort and air quality throughout the rest of your house.

Will a dehumidifier cool my basem*nt? ›

Dehumidifiers are designed to remove excess moisture from the room – not cool the air. You will feel more comfortable with dry air because the muggy, heavy moisturized air is gone. But dehumidifiers themselves don't cool your air.

Where does heat escape in a basem*nt? ›

Basem*nt Walls and Floors

20% of home heat is lost through basem*nt walls. This is due to the foundation of your basem*nt walls and the cement slab being poorly insulated. The best solution for this is to finish your basem*nt if it's cement (which most of them are), or provide more insulation around the walls.


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