Watt, Why & How e-Newsletter


Going Underground: Keeping Your Basement Warm This Winter


Source: www.energystar.gov
If you are like many homeowners, your basement contains a lot of space that gets little use in winter because it is colder than the rest of the house. Did you know that heat loss in your basement may be adding to your energy bill as well? Fortunately, there are a variety of things you can do to make your basement a more inviting place to spend time and reduce your heating costs as well. Start by examining your basement; check for cold spots, mold, and other sources of potential heat loss. The following tips can help:


Add insulation. A properly insulated basement can save you money on heating and provide a dry, comfortable living space. A variety of insulation types are available. For an unfinished basement, blanket (batt) or foam board insulation is a good choice, while loose-fill or spray foam products can be used to add insulation to an already finished space. R-Value measures the thermal performance of insulation products. To determine the appropriate insulation level for basement walls in your area, see R-Value Recommendations from the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Seal air leaks. A substantial amount of warm air can leak out of gaps and cracks in the rim joists (where the joists in your basement meet the foundation), as well as plumbing and wiring holes on outside walls. Caulk is best for sealing gaps or cracks that are 1/4 inch or less. Use spray foam insulation to fill gaps from 1/4 inch to approximately 3 inches. Fill larger gaps with cut pieces of batt insulation.

Check crawl space. If you have a crawl space, make sure it is properly sealed and insulated. See Crawl Space Insulation from the U.S. Department of Energy for more information.

Install carpet. Basements often have cement or tile-covered floors. If you do not have moisture problems, consider installing carpet in basement living areas. This will give the floor warmth and feel better on your feet. For work rooms and laundry rooms, consider putting a rug down with a pad underneath.

Replace windows. If you have old, cracked, single pane windows in your basement, you are reducing comfort and increasing your energy bill at the same time. Replace old windows with glass block or ENERGY STAR certified high-performance windows. If you choose not to replace your older windows, seal them from the outside with caulk and winterize them from the inside using a window insulation kit purchased at your local hardware or do-it-yourself retailer.   

Add a heating vent. You can tap into your existing ductwork and install a vent to add central heating to your basement. You might also want to consider a return air vent in finished areas. It is possible to do this yourself, but you may want to consult a heating and cooling professional; tapping into existing ductwork may have an impact on the performance of your overall heating and cooling system.  

Use space heating. If you do not want to add vents for central heating, electric space heaters are a great way to add supplemental heat in smaller areas, such as a laundry room or work room. For a finished space, an electric fireplace is a good option. They combine the warmth and beauty of a traditional fireplace without the mess and they can be turned on and off instantly.

To help make sure your entire house stays warm and cozy throughout the season, see Is Your Home Ready for Winter?.

Appalachian Power offers a free home energy assessment. A professionally trained energy specialist will come to your home and help you assess how much energy your home uses and evaluate what measures you can take to improve efficiency. 

More From APCO

Sign Up Now Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Learn more

Download our new app

How We Restore Power Learn more

How We Restore Power

Learn more Create Your Own Emergency Outage Kit

Create Your Own Emergency Outage Kit

Visit AEP.com
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the AEP Terms and Conditions. View our Privacy Policy. © 1996-2019 American Electric Power. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)


This Privacy Policy applies only to AppalachianPower.com and the Appalachian Power customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.apco). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of AppalachianPower.com or the Appalachian Power customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.


By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to Appalachian Power’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to Appalachian Power (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for Appalachian Power);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

Appalachian Power uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, Appalachian Power reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.


Appalachian Power takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from Appalachian Power may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

Appalachian Power reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

Close ×

Sign Up For Alerts

Subscribing to APCO alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Win an Xbox One with Alerts!

Enroll in alerts to be eligible to win. Subscribing to I&M alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Loading video...