Asked on Dec 27, 2017

How to warm up a slab home, besides infared floors?

Juliana Cruz
by Juliana Cruz


I bought a 1950's ranch slab home in Massachusetts three years ago, and I can't seem to be able to warm it up. The house has forced hot air heat, new insulated windows, newly insulated walls and attic. Still house is cold? I really need some advice on how to keep a house warm without central heat. Please help....

  19 answers
  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Dec 27, 2017

    Is it because the floor is cold? Or is the house itself cold? It could be an issue with your furnace or your thermostat. I'd have them checked first. If it's definitely your floors that are cold, or your furnace and thermostat are good, click on the link below for some more ideas. Some of them are not for force-air heat, but keep scrolling. Wishing you the best & Happy New Year!

  • Karen Tokarse Karen Tokarse on Dec 27, 2017

    Go to and order a heated carpet pad for the size of your carpet. They work GREAT! I have one in my bathroom and it heats the whole room.

  • Wendy Wendy on Dec 28, 2017

    Terra Cotta Pot heaters!

  • Emily Ann Emily Ann on Dec 28, 2017

    I too live in a ranch slab home with forced hot air heat, in NJ. Forced hot air heat is uneven; it is either on or off. It's noisy and blows the dust around. I don't like it and miss the baseboard heat of my previous home. We have to live with it. Wall to wall carpet with a good padding helps. We have wood floors so we wear thick socks and slippers.

  • Barb Brown Barb Brown on Dec 28, 2017

    It looks like you have laminate flooring. If you take up a board in an area that won't show or can be hidden, you'll see if the floor is insulated. It just may have a vapor barrier and nothing else. Or no vapor barrier at all as the worst case scenario. If it is that, take that board to a flooring place (Lumber Liquidators are in your area?) and match it. Get 2 boxes and a roll or two of vapor barrier. Make sure to measure out the room you are doing to get the square footage. Get that amount of rigid board insulation. Take up as much flooring as you can without breaking it too much (hence the extra flooring for oops). Lay the barrier down first and tape the seams really well. Lay the panels down next, tape them as well. Then re-install your laminate. We have slab floors in the South, so this is a common problem when the carpet gets ripped out and replaced with laminate.

    • Juliana Cruz Juliana Cruz on Dec 28, 2017

      Thanks, yes do have the vapor barrier installed underneath the laminates, but still is cold. Then, the rest of the house has ceramic tiles..

  • Gwen Kurth Gwen Kurth on Dec 28, 2017

    If you can crawl under house,insulate it there.ask the lumber yard what you will need ,the kind of insulation and tools.probably a staple gun and may be able to rent them?..

  • Candee Candee on Dec 28, 2017

    add some flooring covering the concrete like particle board then a good grade of floor covering then use area rugs it will be warm in no time

  • Robert Robert on Dec 28, 2017

    Look into CoReVac heating. Its infra red and warms what the rays reach.

  • Russbow Russbow on Dec 28, 2017

    No one has mentioned the attic insulation above your ceiling. Check it. What is the recommended R value there. Here, in Montana, I have R70. I find it very odd that everyone wants to add more heat, and not a word about that attic.

    • Juliana Cruz Juliana Cruz on Dec 28, 2017

      The attic was recently insulated with blown-in insulation...and also added some vents...

  • Mary Mary on Dec 28, 2017

    Two tips:

    1. buy a humidifier... one that has a cool mist coming out, not hot. Cool mist should be invisible to the eye. It will put a mist that you can not feel, into the air, and the heat from the furnace will heat up the mist, making the house much warmer, sort of like a sauna affect. I live in Minnesota, and for the past 4 days, our temps have been between a high of 7 below to a low of 23 below. I have a humidifier that holds about a gallon of water and I keep it on 24/7 in the winter. Mine does use a filter and I go thru 2 each winter. ($20 total for the filters) I keep my humidifier on the highest output. I have a digital one that I can put in a temperature for it to reach, and it never reaches that temp, which is good, as it then stays on all of the time. If you get one, try it for a week, then shut it off for 2 - 3 days. You will find out how much colder it is without using it. You can also boil water at a small boil, filling the pot so it doesn't run dry, and you should be able to feel how much warmer it got when the pot was boiling water... like a humidifier. Don't buy a warm output humidifier as the minerals in your water, will appear on your furniture as a white dust.

    2. We have Minnesota Power and Light as our electricity company, and they have a program where they come out to your home and do tests to see where heat is leaking out of the home. It's free, so I would call your electricity company and ask them if they have a program like that.

    I can send you a link to the humidifiers I have.(it cost around $60 and comes with 1 filter) I have a 2 story home plus a basement, so I use one upstairs in the hallway and one downstairs in the living room, and I can safely and comfortably keep my thermostat at 64 to 66 degrees and no one gets cold. Best of luck to you and your family!

    • Juliana Cruz Juliana Cruz on Dec 28, 2017

      Thanks for all your help, and suggestions. Can you please send me the link to the humidifier please?

  • Cindy Cindy on Dec 28, 2017

    I believe your problem is with the insulation somewhere in your home. I read that you believe your insulation is adequate but I would have it ALL checked out. It might be poor insulation in your walls. I wish you well. I live in Illinois and it is below zero right now.

  • V Smith V Smith on Dec 29, 2017

    Here's the thing. Where ever your heat ducts are the heat will only go up from there. The slab cannot be heated and will remain pretty close to the same temp all year long - nice for summer bad for winter. That rug buddy heater sounds interesting. If you don't want space heaters sitting out in your room, I would suggest that you add auxiliary heat in the form of electric baseboard either hardwired or on an outlet. There are some filled with oil or something else that really do radiate with heat. If you have access to gas and you have a fireplace, consider a vented gas insert with a fan. If you have access to gas and no fireplace look into a Rennai gas heater they don't have to be vented and you can buy them for natural gas or propane. The only way to help alleviate you problem is to get heat in to the lower part of the room.

  • Mary Mary on Dec 30, 2017

    The 2 that I have are both the same model... one is 4 years old and the other is 2 years old, and I bought both of them at Walmart. I guess they upgraded and now have a newer model of the one I have... it's almost identical, except that I paid $59.99 for each of mine, and now the newer model is more expensive. Given that, if one of mine should bite the dust, I would still buy the newer model. Since Walmart usually sells out of their humidifiers in the stores, you can order one online from Walmart if your local Walmart does not have any left. Just keep the email they send you, so that if you want to bring it back, all you need is the email as a receipt. Walmart also always sells out of the filters... DON'T buy filters from Walmart. I buy mine at If you sign up at Holmes website, they send you emails when items are on sale. I buy about 6 filters and get them much cheaper than Walmart's prices. (Holmes has good sales thru out the year) Every month, I turn the filters in the humidifiers upside down, and then they last much longer. This link is for the newer version of what I have. If you don't like it, Walmart has fantastic returns. Best of luck to you!

  • Libby Libby on Jan 01, 2018

    Juliana, I have a home in the Tennessee Foothills near the Smoky Mountains. It's a slab home. The downstairs can be comfortably warm as it's underground on the one side. However, the cement floor is ice cold. It is cold even when the rest of the area is warm. Im wondering if your slab will remain cold no matter the rest of the changes (?) which you won't know until after you've tried them.

    Previous owners laid down carpet and padding. Oh how I loath the thought, but, really may be a good solution.

    Tile is cold under foot year round, even here in my Florida home... brrrr where you are!

    Duraflame has portable INFRARED heaters that blow out just inches from the floor. May add comfort to an area.

    Please post when you've found solutions? Thank you

  • Steve Moury Steve Moury on Oct 01, 2018

    Hi Juliana I am also in Lawrence, have a home built in1959 and on a slab. Just built a 4 season porch on back and looking for ideas on how to keep my cement floor warm. Did you end up finding a solution?

  • Shru Shru on Apr 08, 2019

    Hi Juliana,

    What did you end up doing? This winter was horrendous for us in NJ.. I am sure it was worse in MA. Bought the house in fall and newly replaced all the floors to Laminate. I wish I had seen your Q before laying down the floor.

    Please let me know what worked for you. Thanks in advance!!!

  • Marypugh Marypugh on Feb 26, 2020

    I just bought a house and have the same problem. I did research and learned that the perimeter of the slab needs to be insulated. I have found the materials to do it but not a contractor that does it.. According to a government site, to do this on an 1800 square foot house will take $50-60 off your heating bill annually. To do it means digging up the ground around the foundation adding poly,a rock base then the below grade sheathing. I can only guess that there will be a mess to deal with and expense that doesn’t benefit the savings, unless you plan to live there a long time. I found that there are carpet pads that actually insulate, since my house also has laminate floors, wall to wall carpet is not an option so I plan to use area rugs with the insulated padding under them. I do plan to air seal my attic. There is a lot of benefit to have that done. It can be a DIY project so I am in the process of getting it done myself. Good Luck! Thank God our winters are short where I live.


  • Royale Royale on Nov 08, 2020

    i have lived in a slab home in va for 30 yrs. there is no reasonable way to warm a slab home. floors will always steal heat from the home. best solution is think about how easy it is to cool the home in summer.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Mar 31, 2022

    I would try to carpet some of the floors it might help