You have finally finished that basement that you always wanted, but you are wondering how your home's original heating and cooling system can serve your finished basement.
It is an important consideration with a finished basement to maintain a comfortable temperature, regardless of how you choose to use the new space. Here are the best options for heating and cooling in your finished basement.
How will the space be used?
One of the questions you will need to answer when considering the best option to heat and cool your finished basement is how will you use the space. This matters because it gives an indication of how often the area will need heated or cooled air. Is this just a large, finished room or a livable space?
Once you have made these determinations, you will have a better idea of how to consider your heating and cooling options that will work best for your needs.
Heating options for your finished basement
Depending on how much of your basement is underground, it can be more difficult to keep it warm than it is to keep it cool. A partially underground basement may get some heating help from windows built into it, while a fully underground basement typically will be cooler than the rest of the house. That means it can be more difficult to heat in the winter. A fully underground basement is also susceptible to moisture, so it is important to vigilantly monitor for mold and mildew in the area.
As you consider the best heating options for your finished basement, think of how you are using the space and what you are willing to spend to maintain a comfortable temperature in the area. For example, if the finished basement will serve as a living space for one or more family members, you will want to provide a comfortable temperature for a longer period of time each day.
Expand your home's HVAC system
An easy way to provide heat to your finished basement is by tapping into your existing HVAC system for your home. You will want to ensure that your HVAC system is capable of serving a larger area in your home now that your finished basement is complete. It is best to consult with an HVAC professional at Comfort Systems to discuss the demands on your system and what it can handle.
Your finished basement will need ductwork that must be added to your existing HVAC network. This will ensure heated air is circulated into the finished basement.
Add a fireplace
In particularly cold areas, you may decide it is feasible to add a fireplace to the finished basement for heat. This is possible in homes that already have a chimney, although there may be options to add a fireplace to the finished basement in a home that does not have an existing chimney. There are different options to consider when it comes to fireplaces, including wood burning, gas or electric. If the basement area is large or there are multiple rooms, the fireplace you choose may not provide enough heat.
Install radiant heat
In smaller basement areas, it is possible to use radiant heat panels in the walls or flooring to provide heat. These panels can be installed easily and they are reasonably priced. But you will want to consider whether the radiant heat will be sufficient for the finished basement, depending on how much time you will spend there and how the space is being used.
Ventless gas heaters
Another option to heat your finished basement is a ventless gas heater. These units generate an impressive amount of heat for their size, but your home must have natural gas to consider this option. You also will want to ensure that your community doesn't have local ordinances restricting the use of ventless gas heaters, which are considered a safety concern in some areas.
Small space heaters that are portable also provide an option for finished basements. These heaters typically generate enough warmth for smaller areas, but are not as energy efficient as other options. They also are not ideal for use over a longer period of time. They also should not be left unattended. But if you only need to keep an area in your finished basement heated for a short period of time, space heaters can be an affordable option to consider.
Cooling options for your finished basement
It is not as difficult to keep your finished basement cool because it generally stays cooler than the rest of the house. But just as you must consider heating options, you need to decide the best way to maintain a comfortably cool temperature in your basement for those hot summer months.
Expand your home's HVAC system
This is the best option, but also the most expensive option. However, it will provide the most comfortable temperatures possible. Consider the cost for installing the new ductwork and for tapping into your existing system, whether it is large enough to handle the additional space. Talk to the professionals at Comfort Systems to consider an upgrade, if necessary.
Ductless Mini-Split System
Depending on the size of the space, you could install a ductless cooling system in your finished basement. The mini-split system relies on a condenser installed outside the home. The unit's indoor components typically are installed in the basement ceiling or wall. There are limitations, however, for this system, depending on the number of rooms in the basement and the size of the area being cooled.
Portable cooling units
Small cooling units, similar in concept to space heaters, can help keep an area cool. But just as space heaters only help a small area, the same is true with portable cooling units. These are not energy efficient and they typically can't handle large areas.
Contact the professionals at Comfort Systems to discuss the best heating and cooling options for your finished basement.