Are you considering adding some living space below ground or have you recently completed a remodel? If so at some point you’ll need to give consideration to how best to heat and cool this added space. Luckily this is typically a pretty straight-forward decision with the existing home factors making the determination. Things such as the climate you live in, the capacity of your existing HVAC system, the size of the newly finished space and others will dictate the heating and cooling plan.
Tying in to the existing HVAC system is the most common, and generally most affordable, option. A qualified HVAC technician will need to review the current set-up to ensure the system has the capacity to cover the additional space as well as compensate for the generally cooler temperature of the basement. If it’s determined that the existing system can handle the load all that’s left to be done is to install the additional ductwork and vents in the new living space. This is a fairly simple job for the technician to complete if done prior to starting the renovations, or in the very early stages.
If adding on to the existing system proves not to be a viable choice there are two options – either upgrade the unit or add a second system. Upgrading is the preferred method if the existing HVAC system is older and likely to need replaced regardless in the next few years. Adding a second unit may be less expensive as a smaller set-up could get the job done verses a single, much larger one for the entire house. In addition, if space is a concern it may not be practical to add an entire second furnace and air conditioning unit.
Another popular option for heating finished basements is a duct-less, mini-split system. These systems work by placing several indoor air handling units throughout the basement area. These units are then tied together into a single exterior condenser. With this option no ductwork needs to be run, no additional space is required in the basement, and the overall cost can be reduced.
If the basement has already been finished (it’s too late to run ductwork) and heating and cooling have now been determined to be a problem, there are a few options to consider. Many homeowners add baseboard heaters, wall-mounted units or radiant heat systems. All of these options are relatively simple to use, effective in small spaces and fairly economical.
Certainly the ideal option is to have a plan for heating and cooling the basement prior to finishing it but in either scenario Diamond Heating and Cooling can help come up with the best solution and get it implemented quickly and affordably.