HVAC for your Finished Basement

As the housing market continues its upward recovery, more and more homeowners are upgrading their current homes including, finished basements to make them more comfortable and more “livable.” And studies show finishing an existing basement to increase usable living space is one of the most popular upgrades in homes of all types and all sizes. After all, converting an existing space is a much more “budget-friendly” option compared to adding an entirely new space, and it’s also a great way to increase family time and make your home a haven for family members of all ages.

Lots of things make a space more livable, and for most people considering a basement upgrade, their first thoughts are for the more “visible’ aspects of the upgrade — things like finished walls, comfortable flooring, adequate lighting, and of course, great furniture that fits the space. (And maybe a suitable spot for a home theater.) But as important as those are for creating a space that’s unique to your needs, you also need to think about the underpinnings that keep your new space comfortable all year round. And that means you need to consider upgrading your HVAC system to handle the new space.

Because basements are located primarily below ground, balancing the heating and cooling needs of the space can be a bit of a challenge. And depending on the size and other characteristics of your new space, as well as the capability of your current HVAC system, you’re going to have two options: Expand your current system or add a new system to handle the basement.

New Install vs. Extending Your Current HVAC System

Most people give little thought to their HVAC systems: As long as their rooms are cool in the summer and warm in the winter, that’s all they worry about. But the fact is, when your HVAC system is installed, your contractor spends a lot of time “sizing” the system for your home to ensure you get the heating and cooling you need as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. That means that when you add a new space, your current system may not be able to handle the new load placed on it, which means your entire home can be “short-changed” when it comes to heating and cooling.

So the first step in adding heating and cooling to your basement is to have your current system evaluated to determine if it’s up to the task. If your current system can handle the demands of your new space, your contractor usually can tap into the system to add new ductworks that can serve your basement space without “robbing” heating and cooling from your upstairs spaces.

If your current system isn’t up to the task of heating and cooling your new finished basement space, you’ll need to install a new system, and here you have two more options: Install a dedicated system for your basement space or replace your entire system with a new system that can handle your entire home. Which to choose? Your heating contractor can be a great resource for helping you sort out the pros and cons; adding a dedicated system might be less costly, but it will take up more space and you’ll have additional electrician fees to set up the new wiring. Replacing your entire system is, perhaps surprisingly, often more affordable, and it means you’ll only have one system to maintain. Plus, a new system usually can be tied in to your existing electrical system so you save on electrician fees.

Patriot Air HVAC Solutions

Patriot Air can help homeowners find solutions for making their new living space comfortable in all seasons. Plus, we can help you explore all your options for a custom HVAC solution that’s tailored to your needs, your lifestyle, and your budget. Call Patriot Air at (609-298-5109) and schedule a home evaluation today.