How to Heat a Concrete House (7 Effective Tips)


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If you live in a concrete house, you have probably experienced chills in the winter, even when the heat is on. This difficulty staying warm occurs because concrete is poorly insulated, which allows cold air to easily enter through the walls. Fortunately, a few simple steps can help you stay warmer on those cold winter nights.

Want to know how to heat a concrete house? Here are 7 effective tips for heating up your concrete home:

  1. Insulate the interior. 
  2. Insulate the exterior.
  3. Try insulated curtains.
  4. Use a space heater.
  5. Cover your walls and floors.
  6. Try radiant heating.
  7. Seal your windows and doors.

To explore these tips and learn why they are successful, keep reading!

1. Insulate the interior.

The reason concrete houses get so chilly is the lack of insulation provided by concrete walls and floors. Adding some insulation to your concrete house will help keep hot air inside and block cold air from entering.

There are several types of insulation you can use to insulate your concrete house. Rigid plastic board insulation provides moisture-proof insulation and firm. This method is the most space-efficient.

To install rigid board insulation, you will need to air-seal your walls to prevent moisture leakage. Then, install adhesive to the back of a rigid foam board and attach wood-fastening strips to the top of the insulation. Once the strips of insulation are secured to the concrete, nail the drywall to the secured strip and use tape to seal any gaps. 

Overall, installing insulation is relatively simple, but you should consult building authorities before you proceed to ensure you are meeting your building’s requirements. For an in-depth guide to installing insulation on concrete walls, visit this site with resources from the Canadian government.

2. Insulate the exterior.

Adding insulation to the exterior of your home is another great way to keep it warm. Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) is a type of insulation that can be added to the outside of an existing concrete wall to keep it warm. 

Keep in mind that installing exterior insulation will require permission from your building manager, as it increases the perimeter of the building by about 3 inches (7.62 cm).

Outside insulation is usually installed by a contractor, who will begin by applying a vapor barrier and foam board over the concrete wall. Then, they will add the basecoat and topcoat. The topcoat will be the new exterior of your house and can be customized to your satisfaction. 

3. Try insulated curtains.

In all houses, hot air easily exits the room as cold air enters through glass windows and doors. 

In fact, up to twenty-five percent of your hot air can escape through the window. However, this heat exchange may be more noticeable in your concrete house, where heat is already difficult to keep inside. Insulated curtains can prevent this exchange and keep your windows from worsening your heating problems.

Insulated curtains block cold air from entering your home while also keeping heated air inside. A thick layer of foam inside the curtains helps insulate the window area, and, as an added benefit, these curtains can keep your house cool in the summer by blocking hot air from entering when you keep them closed during the day.

The curtains can even be left open on sunny winter days to allow sunlight to enter and warm the room. Closing the curtains for a few hours at night will prevent winter air from entering and maximize the heat inside. Covering your windows with insulated curtains, especially at night when the air is coldest, can help keep your concrete home warm. 

If you are interested in trying insulated curtains, these NICETOWN Thermal Insulated Curtains are a great start.

4. Use space heaters in problem areas.

Space heaters provide immediate warmth to their close surroundings. Installing space heaters in the coldest areas of your house can provide some quick warmth in problem areas. Although space heaters are not likely to heat your entire concrete house, they can provide relief for chilly sections and provide relief when you most need it.

Some space heaters, such as this Homegear 1500W Electric space heater, are made specifically to heat large rooms. Putting this type of space heater in your sitting room or bedroom when you are inhabiting it will keep you warm, especially if you sit closeby.

5. Cover your walls and floors.

If you live in an apartment, you may not be allowed to install insulation in your walls. Alternatively, you may not have the time or money to spend on insulating. If you are not able to install complete insulation on your walls, try covering them to provide other insulation.

Hanging banners, paintings, and photos can provide some insulation between the cold walls and your home’s interior. Large tapestries, especially if they are made of thick fabric, help keep your home cozy, and you can even use a wool quilt for maximum insulating power. Finally, wool rugs will keep your feet and the floor warm while keeping cold from radiating through the room, as the cold floors tend to make the rest of the room feel colder.

6. Try radiant heating.

Radiant heating is a great way to heat concrete. Radiant floor heating involves installing heat panels beneath concrete or in between concrete and finished floors. Heat radiates from beneath the floor, heating the room as the room’s air absorbs the floor’s warmth. 

Furthermore, radiant floor heating systems save money because they are more energy-efficient than traditional heating systems. Traditional convective heating systems emit heat at one location in the room, losing heat to the surroundings and making large rooms or rooms with poor insulation (such as concrete rooms) difficult to heat. Radiant floor heaters cover the entire space to keep the area warm.

Overall, these radiant heat systems are perfect for concrete houses because they evenly heat the whole room, helping prevent heat loss due to poor insulation. 

7. Seal your windows and doors.

Cold air can enter your home through the small cracks between the windows and the walls. Furthermore, cold air also seeps under the crack between the floor and the door. One way to prevent this occurrence is through window sealing.

Sealing your windows and doors involves covering the cracks that allow cold air to enter and heat to escape. Two easy ways to seal your windows and prevent this unwanted cold air from entering are draft stoppers and weather stripping.

Draft stoppers are thick insulation tubes placed directly in front of cracks to block wind and cold air. Some draft stoppers, such as the Evelots Door/Window Draft Stopper, can hang to block all sides of your windows and doors.

Weatherstripping involves cutting weatherstrip tape to fit your window’s size, then taping the edges of the window to create a physical barrier to air’s entry and exit. Try this thick All Profile Weather Strip Tape to seal your windows and doors if you are interested!

Conclusion

Trying to stay warm in a poorly-insulated concrete home can be frustrating. Hopefully, these seven tips will help you and your family stay warm this winter. Remember, the most effective and long-term solutions to heating your house are installing insulation and radiant floor heating. 

Another great way to prevent up to twenty-five percent of heat loss is to purchase insulated curtains. Although these are the most impactful methods, space heating, window sealing, and wall covering can drastically improve your ability to keep warm and face the chilly winter months in your concrete house.

Jake Alexander

Jake is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania who enjoys writing about science and sports. When he's not writing for Temperature Master, he can be found watching the NFL or playing basketball with his friends.

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