Adjusting Your Heating Vent to Better Heat a Basement Adjusting Your Heating Vent to Better Heat a Basement

What You'll Need
Permanent Marker
Screwdriver

Adjusting a heating vent in a single room of your home can help keep your basement warmer. Due to several factors basements generally tend to be cooler than other areas of the home. Frequently, this is largely due to basements being unfinished and having little or no insulation, so the cold air seeps in through walls and windows. Heat rises, and so this is a common issue when it comes to heating a basement. Depending on the situation of your particular home, a single step, or a combination of several, can help to keep the basement warmer in those cold winter months. Attaining the correct balance in your heating and cooling system is not difficult, but it does take a little experimentation. You will need the following items to address this dilemma.

Step 1 - Open Intakes

Air intakes are usually positioned towards the floor, in the walls located in various parts of the home. The purpose of the air intake is to route the cold air at the bottom of the room to the furnace to be heated and returned as warm air. Some intakes need to be opened in order to function properly, and when trying to regulate the heat, this is one of those times. Open any air intakes that you can find.

Step 2 - Locate Dampers

Many heating and cooling systems are configured with duct work. Typically the heat from the furnace travels from the furnace through the trunk, then into ducts, branching off again and  then routed to individual floors of  the home. Many ducts have dampers in them that can be adjusted to regulate the amount of heated air that is delivered to each floor of the home. The dampers are usually located where the rectangular heating ducts coming from the furnace trunk branch off into smaller, round ducts, and may have a handle or screw with a wing-nut to alert you to their presence.

Step 3 - Adjust Dampers

To adjust the dampers, simply move the handle or turn the screw to the desired position. To reduce the delivery of warm air, close the damper by adjusting the lever or screw to where it is perpendicular with the direction that the duct is running. To open it all the way, adjust to where the slot on the screw or handle is parallel with the duct. You can also open or close the duct partially to adjust the heat flow further. Since heat rises, first try closing the dampers to the top most floors of the home. Continue to adjust the dampers until the desired result is achieved, then mark the ideal settings with the permanent marker on the duct work.

Step 4 - Adjust Registers

Most heat registers in individual rooms have a knob, that when turned, will either open or close the register. In rooms that are not frequently used, closing the register will block much of the heated air and thus route it to registers that are open, thus maximizing efficiency.

Step 5 - Change Furnace Air Filter

Changing the furnace air filter regularly will ensure that the furnace is able to perform optimally. Simply open the access panel, slide out the old, insert the new, and close the access panel.

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