Best Heaters For Your Basement: 2021 Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: August 3, 2021

If your home has a basement, what do you use that space for? A lot of homeowners, sadly, underutilize this valuable space, typically keeping it as just storage. Basements can be great as a rec room, a studio, a gym, a work area or a guest bedroom.

The first question in turning your basement into valuable functional space is how do you heat it? Keeping your functional basement warm especially during cold seasons is important. You don’t want your pipes to burst and don’t want your fingers and toes to feel nearly frostbitten every time you head downstairs!

Read on for more ideas on ways to keep your basement area useful and comfortable!

Comparison of the Best Basement Space Heaters

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Enjoy personal heating instantly with unit’s 5120 BTUs
  • Gets rid of frequent refilling with permanently-sealed oil reservoir
  • With multiple heat settings, adjustable thermostat and timer customize your heating
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  • Energy-efficient unit that warms the home without adding to your bills
  • Infrared heater keeps the air clean since it doesn’t combust toxins or fuels
  • Keeps the air moisturized by maintaining the humidity
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  • Powder-coated finish makes the unit durable against scratches
  • Easy to install and lasts for long
  • Reliable unit that quickly heats up the room with convection heat
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  • Caster wheels add to the unit’s portability
  • Comes with several security features such as auto shut-off and overheat protection
  • Works quietly and heats rooms of up to 1000 sq. ft. quickly
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  • Features an LED display which makes monitoring easy
  • Dual heating system circulates the heat, heating the room quickly
  • With 5100 BTUs, it can heat rooms as big as 1500 square feet
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  • Highly versatile unit, ideal for daily use
  • One-touch shut-off and automatic ignition makes it easy to use
  • Economical option that helps you save money by heating only occupied spaces
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  • With 50,000 BTUs, it can heat areas of up to 2800 sq. ft.
  • Comes with one-year warranty for peace of mind
  • Equipped with features like programmable thermostat and auto ignition
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What Are Your Goals?

There are many ways to utilize valuable basement space. However, most basements are not insulated originally. This results in exceptionally lower temperatures than the rest of the house, especially in cold weather. How do you warm your basement enough to keep it comfortable and useful?

If what you have in mind for your basement is a rec room or a home “bar”, you can create a cozy atmosphere with an electric wall-mounted fireplace heater. These will give you easy, instant heat for areas with limited space.

Photo credit: nymag.com

Fitness buffs may want to use their basement space as a home gym. A great way to heat a workout space is by using a garage heater. Garage heaters are durable and may be mounted to the ceiling, leaving you with more space for your gym equipment. Garage heaters offer high heat output, energy-efficient high-voltage options, and wider room coverage. Take note that electric garage heaters are safer bets than propane or kerosene heat.  

Basements are also great as workshops or hobby rooms. Utility heaters will keep workshop basements comfortably warm during the winter months. Portable electric heaters are inexpensive investments and come in a variety of styles, sizes, and heating capacities. Again, unlike propane heaters, electric heaters remove the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire or burn injuries.

You can also turn your basement into a library if what you need is a quiet place to work or if you need a home office. A great way to heat space like this is with a traditional electric fireplace. This adds to the beauty and ambience of your personal home office space without the soot, ash and smoke from wood fireplaces. Fireplace electric heaters are easy to install and can warm areas up to 400 sq. ft.

A more sophisticated recreational space for the family will most ideally have an electric fireplace built with a media console. Not only will these warm areas of up to 400 sq. ft., but they can hold a television, a media player, speakers and the like easily.

Another great idea for basement space is a spare or guest bedroom. Electric fireplace stove heaters are perfect for basement bedrooms and these combine the safety and convenience of a modern space heater with the traditional charm of a vintage cast iron stove.

Photo credit: barqyar.com

Adding Ductwork

If you have a forced-air heating system, you may want to consider making your basement a new “zone” for heating. This could require adding some additional ductwork to direct heat to the parts of the basement where you need it, especially if you’ve divided the area into rooms.

Of course, you have to keep in mind the capacity of your furnace. Generally an HVAC system is sized appropriately for the space it’s intended to heat. So if there were no plans to heat the basement when the system was first installed, it might put a strain on the furnace to try to add the basement. Of course, hot air rises, so the effect is mainly going to be felt in the basement itself.

Some Other Options

Whether or not your basement is “finished”, this space will always be a few degrees colder than the rest of the house. The reason for this is because it is underground – there is not much natural light coming in and it is enclosed in a cement foundation. And of course, as we mentioned above, heat rises. Supplemental heat for the basement keeps it warm, comfortable, and most importantly, functional all year long.

For any basement, the best supplemental heating option is an electric floor-heating system. A layer of cork, real or synthetic, is attached to the concrete slab to prevent absorption of radiant floor heat. 

Special electric floor-heating installation goes on top of that. Finally, the flooring material is put in place. Floor-heating systems can be easy to install and can complement a forced air system.

Other options include space heaters or installing a hydronic floor-heating system. A hydronic floor-heating system involves plastic tubing with hot water running through it to heat the room. These systems are effective but expensive to install. They require a boiler and pumps to operate. Also, the tubing is thicker and so will likewise raise the floor more substantially than an electric floor-heating system. That can be a major concern since most basements aren’t that high to begin with.

Space heaters are generally easy to use and inexpensive. They are not as capable of evenly warming an entire basement, especially those with larger areas. But they offer a great alternative for smaller areas. It’s important to take proper safety precautions, of course.

Photo credit: ec21.com

Best Basement Space Heaters

When used safely (ie, directly plugged into a power outlet and not to an extension cord and kept at least 3 ft. away from combustible drapes, bedding, or furniture), a space heater will keep this space of your home comfortably warm. Here are some of the best space heater models perfect for any type of basement.

Best Overall and Best Electric Heater For Basement

DeLonghi TRD40615E Radiant Heater

De'Longhi DeLonghi TRD40615E Full Room Radiant Heater, 27.20 x 15.80 x 9.20, White

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): N/A

Power (watts): 1500

Dimensions: 16.4×10.3×26.1″

Weight: 26.6 pounds

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Review

Delonghi’s Radiant heater has a revolutionary design that efficiently heats cold rooms with 25% more radiant surface heat. It circulates warmed air throughout the room, producing maximum heat with a low surface temperature. It has 1500 watts of heating power and silent operation.

The Eco-Plus function selects the ideal power level based on the current room temperature, resulting in 20% – 40% energy savings. The heater is best for medium to large rooms (up to 250 sq feet).

Along with the high-quality steel assembly and permanently sealed oil reservoir, this heater has an adjustable thermostat, a timer, and multiple heat settings. The smart-snap wheels make it easy to move from room to room.

Bottom Line

This is a well-designed and efficient heater for medium to large rooms, with plenty of bells and whistles for feature loving users. It is portable and the oil in the sealed reservoir doesn’t need to be refilled.

Pros

Wheels for Mobility

Oil Never Needs Refilling

Adjustable Thermostat, Timer, and Multiple Heat Settings

Thermal Cutoff, Anti-Freeze Setting to Help Prevent Freezing Pipes

Cons

Reliability Problems in Some Cases

Some Customers Complained of Clicking Sounds

Best Energy Efficient Basement Heater

LifeSmart 6 Element Infrared Heater

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): N/A

Power (watts): 1500

Dimensions: 13.58×11.42×15.75″

Weight: 13.3 pounds

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Review

This Lifesmart Infrared heater is ultra-efficient and suitable for a large room. It has six quartz infrared elements, three energy savings settings, a remote control, and dual timer settings that can be used to turn the unit turn on or off up to 12 hours ahead.

The heater has an eco setting for energy efficient heating and E Z glide casters for moving the heater from room to room easily. This heater also has a revolutionary new design that effectively and efficiently heats room air with convection and also has 25% more radiant surface to quickly warm people in the room. The thermal chimneys provide maximum heating while ensuring a low surface temperature.

The anti-freeze setting allows the unit to automatically turn on when the temperature drops below 44 degrees Fahrenheit. Safety features include rust-resistant, durable metal construction and overheat protection. The best part is that all electrical components are warrantied for one year.

Bottom Line

With plenty of great features like a remote control, efficient design, and safe to touch surface, this heater is a fine choice if you have pets or children in the house. It combines both radiant and convective heat to keep the room warm and does it while keeping your bills low.

Pros

Portable

Energy Efficient

Good Safety Features

Uses Both Convection and Radiant Heating

Cons

Plug Can Overheat

Reliability Issues Reported by Some Customers

Best for the Money

Cadet Manufacturing 05534

Cadet F Series 48 in. Electric Baseboard Heater (Model: 4F1000-1W, Part: 05534), 120 Volt, 1000 Watt, White

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): N/A

Power (watts): 1000

Dimensions: 48×35.56″

Weight: N/A

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Review

The 05534 120-Volt White Baseboard Hardwire Electric Zone Heater is Cadet’s most popular baseboard heater. It provides reliable and quiet convection heat. That heat is transmitted continuously and evenly.

Pros

Built with 25-gauge steel, guaranteeing durability and longevity. The 05534 requires a thermostat

For optimum comfort use a Cadet electronic wall thermostat or you may choose the convenience of a built-in BTF model thermostat

Cons

Holds its temperature fairly well once achieved, although at times it seems to take too long to get to that point. Also, it may not respond adequately to actual environmental temperature fluctuations

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater

Dr Infrared Heater Portable Space Heater, 1500-Watt

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): N/A

Power (watts): 1500

Dimensions: 13.0×12.5×17.0″

Weight: 19 pounds

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Review

Dr. Infrared Heater’s advanced heating system delivers great heat production. It manages to do so without drawing more energy than the competition and spreads the heat with a high-efficiency blower.

Dr. Infrared Heater can deliver an average of 250°F at a heat transfer rate of 3.5m/s to your space versus the competition that can do typically 155°F at 2.2m/s. Of course, that doesn’t mean your room gets to that temperature – that’s the amount that will be spread throughout the room. So don’t worry that you’ll be creating a sauna or frying egg on the basement floor!

The company claims that this is the first unit to feature a dual-heating system to maximize the heat-transfer rate. It combines the energy efficiency of infrared heat with the comfort of convection heat. This helps heat your room fast and comfortably without leaving hot spots and cold spots.

Pros

Efficient heater with decorative qualities

Equipped with a 12-hour automatic shut-off timer, IR Remote Control, and a high pressure-low noise blower

Cons

The heat transfer rates, while not bad, don’t go far beyond the competition

Homegear Infrared Heater

Homegear Compact 1500w Room Space/Cabinet Heater

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): N/A

Power (watts): 1500

Dimensions: 17.0×12.0x13.0″

Weight: 12 pounds

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Review

This heater packs has a surprising amount of heating power for its size; 1500W / 5100 BTU, which is sufficient for heating up rooms up to 1500 square feet. It comes with a digital thermostat that can also be used via the remote control. The dual heating system, containing both Mica and Quartz Infrared heating tubes, and a quiet, but efficient blower fan, produces and circulates heat very quickly. It is ETL certified and has overheat protection for safety.

Bottom Line

While this heater has great features like a remote control, dual heating, and plenty of heating power, the main reason to opt for it is the compact size and speed with which it warms up rooms.

Pros

Overheat Protection

Remote Control Included

Quick to Heat up the Room

LED Display for Easy Monitoring

Cons

Clicking Noises in Some Cases

Some Customers Complained That it Heats Ineffectively

Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6 Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater

Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6B Indoor Kerosene Convection Heater, 23000 BTU, Black

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): N/A

Power (watts): 1000

Dimensions: 17.5×27.0x17.5″

Weight: 32 pounds

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Review

The Dyna-Glo RMC-95C6 Indoor Wick Kerosene Heater generates 360º of convection heat. It’s perfect for home spaces like garages, workshops, enclosed porches, basements, warehouses and enclosed porches.

Rated at 23,000-BTUs, the RMC-95C6 can heat an area up to 1,000 sq. ft. for 8-12 hours, depending on the kerosene grade used and the quality of the wick.  The RMC-95C6 includes a manual shut-off knob and a safety tip switch that automatically shuts off the heater if it is bumped or knocked over.

Find out more about kerosene heaters here.

Pros

Compact and slick

Measures 12.6” x 17.52” and stands 26.97” high

Dependable, perfect for daily or emergency use and comes with a 1-year limited warranty that protects against defects in materials and workmanship

Cons

Users love the RMC-95C6 for its easy installation, although it does require routine maintenance

Best Space Heater For Large Basement

Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22

Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22- 50,000 BTU

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): 2800

Power (watts): N/A

Dimensions: 24.0×25.0x32.5″

Weight: 55 pounds

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Review

The Comfortbilt Pellet Stove is EPA Certified and has a 50,000 BTU rating guaranteed to heat an area of up to 2,000 sq. ft. It has auto ignition, a programmable thermostat and a powerful blower with 86% burn efficiency.

This pellet stove works best when vented, which can of course be complicated from the basement. Preferably, you’ll want to install a vent pipe or chimney that runs from the unit up through the ceiling and rafters to the roof line – but of course you can tie it into an existing system. Most pellet stoves are vented horizontally directly through the wall to the outdoors.

Pros

Standard 1-year warranty

Many highly satisfied users citing excellent performance for the price

Great air flow compared to other stoves in its class and burns cleanly and efficiently

Cons

None

The Best Heaters for Your Finished Basement

A finished basement is likely already fitted with supplemental heating. Here, let us take a look at some great heater models as the perfect final touch for any finished basement.

Best Portable Heater For Basement

Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater

FRIGIDAIRE FFRS1022R1 10000 BTU 115-volt Slider/Casement Room Full-Function Remote Control Window Air Conditioner, 10,000, White

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): N/A

Power (watts): 1500

Dimensions: 6.0×3.7×9.2″

Weight: 1 pound

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Review

The Lasko 754200 delivers 900-watts to 1500-watts of comforting warmth, this small-but-mighty heater will take the chill out of your room — quietly.

The 754200 features manual (adjustable thermostat) controls and a self-regulating ceramic element. It has three Quiet Settings (High Heat, Low Heat, Fan Only) and is built with automatic overheat protection for safety.

Pros

Fitted with a convenient carrying handle for great portability and comes fully assembled with a 3-year limited warranty

Cons

Overall, this product is satisfactory, although it could use actual temperature indicators and tip-over safety shut-off

Best Basement Wall Heater

Stiebel Eltron CNS 100-1 E

Stiebel Eltron 233586 CNS 100-1 E Wall-Mounted Convection Heater, 1000W, 120V, 17-1/2' W x 17-3/4' H x 3-15/16' D

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): 250

Power (watts): 1000

Dimensions: 4.0×17.5×18.0″

Weight: 9.7 pounds

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Review

The Stiebel Eltron CNS 100-1 E is a stylish 1000-watt wall-mounted convection heater. Its built-in thermostat makes it a perfect stand-alone heating unit in bathrooms or small-sized bedrooms. The CNS 100-1 E comes with a built-in overheat protection for every user’s peace of mind.

This unit works through natural convection, so there’s no warm breeze blowing across the room. The CNS 100-1 E allows for cool air to flow through the bottom, warm it with its heating element and silently release it as it rises out of the top.

Favorite features are its quiet warmth and ease of use, though its compact size doesn’t help instant or quick heating. Overall, the CN 100-1 E has excellent reviews.

Best Basement Gas Heater

Mr. Heater Vent Free Blue Flame

Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater MHVFB30NGT

Specifications

Coverage Area (sq ft): 750

Power (watts): 1000

Dimensions: 23.75×11.25×27.0″

Weight: 26.8 pounds

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What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the customers have shown the utmost satisfaction with the functionality of this product. Its power and durability are the main attractions. Also, most gas heaters are difficult to install, but that is not the case with Mr. Heater. People have found their installation quite easy.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This Mr. Heater unit is a vent-free blue flame heater that stands out because of its built-in thermostat and no gas odor. It has a built-in ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor) System. It is available in three variants with 10,000, 20,000, and 30,000 BTUs, giving users the chance to choose a model according to the space they wish to heat up. Moreover, it comes with mounting brackets, fasteners, and an optional blower fan.

Bottom Line

Summing up, this unit is excellent for warming up rooms that do not warm well. It can heat about 750 to 1000 square feet of area. You can take its full advantage either by mounting it on the wall or by placing it on the floor.

Pros

Easy to install

Parts are cheap and easy to replace

Does not require the use of electricity

Consists of an automatic low-oxygen shutoff system

Comes with a battery-powered electronic ignition system

Cons

Unsuitable for altitudes of 4,500 ft above sea level

Not for use in bathrooms and recreational vehicles

What Size of Space Heater Do I Need for My Basement?

The size of a space heater for your basement depends on the insulation of basement walls and the climate of your region. Considering reasonable insulation, a 1000 square foot basement area will need a 1000-watt electric space heating unit. 

And if you are planning to buy a gas heater, then 30,000 BTUs will be sufficient for an area of 1000 square feet. 

In the case of poor insulation, you might require a more powerful heating unit. Remember to take into account all the factors before selecting your heater so that you will not have to face any problems afterward.

Photo credit: pickadvisor.org

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Space Heater in the Basement

As it is with every other product, the use of space heaters in basements, too, comes with its positives and negatives, a brief summary of which is mentioned below:

Advantages

Listed below are the reasons why using a space heater in your basement can be benefiting:

A Cozy Environment

It keeps your environment cozy and comfortable so that whenever you are working in the basement, you won’t get frustrated because of your cold fingers or numb legs.

Prevents Frozen Pipes

It can prevent pipes from freezing. Frozen pipes can burst and lead to higher expenses for restoration. Instead of that, it is better to invest in a good-quality heater.

Easy to Install

Moreover, space heaters are usually compact and easy to install, leading to minimum efforts when mounting them.

Great for Small Spaces

Compact space heaters are an excellent choice for small basements where it becomes difficult to install large heating systems.

Disadvantages

Unfortunately, some disadvantages, too, are associated with the use of space heaters in basements. These include:

Cause Oxygen Depletion

Space heaters use up the oxygen in one’s basement and may cause problems like sleepiness, headache, and nausea if the basement becomes too oxygen-depleted. They can also dry up your skin if excessively used.

Conclusion

Basement heaters are among the first things you need if you plan to turn your valuable basement into a functional and comfortable space. Before the best basement heater is decided on, one needs to seriously consider the size of the area, whether or not the basement is “finished”, the intended use of the space and, as always, safety controls of any heating unit.

Hopefully, this review has been helpful to everyone who is seriously looking into adding more depth, space and function to their homes.

People Also Ask

Buying heaters is a very difficult task since you have to take a lot of precautions for safety and decide which kind of heater would be suitable for a particular place. In this portion, the most frequently asked questions are answered where you can clear your mind from any doubts you may have regarding heaters for your basement.

How Much Space is Needed Around a Basement Heater?

Generally, a three-foot zone should be left around the heater. Kids or pets should not be allowed to enter this zone. Also, any flammable or sensitive objects like paint jars, curtains, furniture, and other objects that can be damaged by heat should be kept three feet away from the heater.

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Space Heater in the Basement?

To determine the cost of running a space heater in the basement, let’s see our options. If we take into account the average electricity rate, it will earn $2.82 per day to run an electric space heater for 16 hours. Natural gas costs $4.48 per day to operate a gas heater.

Which Heat is Better, a Hot Water Radiator or Space Heater For a Basement?

This depends on a person’s own choice, and preference as both hot water radiators and space heaters have their advantages and disadvantages.

Space heaters only heat the room they are placed in while hot water radiators can work centrally. Now, if you want to heat the whole house, the latter is better, but when the heat is required in your basement only, the former will be a better choice to save energy.

Will Putting a Space Heater in the Basement Help the Whole House?

The maximum heat that most space heaters can produce is about 5,100 BTU/H (BTU per hour). Homes typically have central heating systems with a capacity of 50,000 to 100,000 BTUH. So, a single space heater placed in the basement cannot heat an entire house.

Can I Use a Propane Heater in My Basement?

Yes, a propane heater can be used in a basement. A positive point about them is that they will not require electrical installation. However, if they are only needed in the basement, then buying a smaller and cheaper unit will be a smart thing to do.

Should I Heat My Basement in Winter?

Many people believe that since basements are rarely used, it’s a wastage of time and money to warm it up. However, that’s not the case. Heating your basement can help retain the warmth in the main level for your feet, and reduce the chances of mold growth.

Are Infrared Heaters Good For Basements?

Infrared heaters are good for basements because they keep the air clean from any chemicals or toxins and maintain humidity. They also save costs compared to other types of heaters as they are energy-saving and efficient. They are also healthier as they do not reduce the level of oxygen in the room.

What Temperature Should I Keep My Basement in the Winter?

Since mildew and mold can grow in the basement if the weather is extremely cold, it is important to regulate the temperature and keep it warm and moist. The ideal temperature for a basement in the winter is 58-degree to 60-degree Fahrenheit.



My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.