As a homeowner, it’s natural to want to make use of every square inch of your home. A finished basement can add value to your property, and give you a little more space to stretch out. Whether you use it for recreation, as a movie room or additional living quarters, you’ll want to make sure that the temperature is as comfortable as the rest of the house. Here are some of the best heating and cooling options for a finished basement.
What Are Your Needs?
The most important first step you can take is to figure out exactly what you need. How often will you be using your basement? Are there bathrooms and/or bedrooms down there? Will it be used by children and/or seniors? Do you have pets? There’s a lot to consider!
Once you have a clear idea of your needs, you’ll be better able to choose the heating and cooling option that works best for your home and your family.
How to Heat Your Basement
Because they are below ground, it can be harder to heat a basement than to cool one. Additionally, you may have to be more vigilant of humidity levels because this lowest level of a home tends to retain moisture, putting it at risk for mold and mildew.
When choosing an option, you’ll want to consider your budget, how the basement is going to be used and whether you can build on existing structures.
- Extend Your Existing HVAC System. One of the easiest ways to heat your basement is to build on your existing system. After confirming that your HVAC is powerful enough to take on a heavier workload, you’ll need to add additional ductwork to direct air flow to your basement. A benefit to this is that, if you’re using a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to control the whole house from one panel.
- Add a Fireplace. Another possibility is adding a fireplace to your basement if you already have a chimney in your home. You can choose between wood-burning, gas or electric models. Of course, if your basement is large, this may not be enough on its own to keep the entire space warm.
- Radiant Heat. Did you know that you can install panels in your walls or flooring that will emit heat and keep things cozy during the cooler months? Relatively easy to implement and affordable, this option is definitely worthy of consideration.
- Ventless Gas Heaters. You’ll just need a gas line to install a ventless (or “vent free”) gas heater in your basement. While quick and easy to use, some people have concerns about their safety. As a result, they aren’t legal everywhere, so it’s best to check with your energy company or fire department.
- Space Heaters. A budget-friendly option is to buy some space heaters to provide instant warmth to your basement. They can be utilized without needing to remodel, but must be used with caution. Always follow the specific safety guidelines of whatever product you buy.
Again, how you choose to heat your basement will depend greatly on your needs. While some options may require an initial monetary investment, they may be better in the long-run. Do your research and be sure to make safety a priority.
How to Cool Your Basement
Basements tend to be naturally cooler than the rest of the house, but during the hot, humid months, that alone may not be enough. If you’re looking for better ways to beat the heat, here are some options:
- Extend Your Existing HVAC System. Again, if your current HVAC unit has the capacity for the additional space, you can extend it by installing ductwork and registers in your basement to keep things cool. If your system is insufficient, W.G. Speeks can help you with an upgrade!
- Ductless Mini Split System. As the name suggests, the mini split system does not require you to install ductwork, making it a convenient option. With the condenser unit located outside the home, the indoor components can be placed in the ceiling or on a wall.
- Portable Basement Air Conditioner. Need a quick, budget-friendly option? Pick up a portable basement air conditioner. The unit can be placed on the floor and will take up very little room, but it may not be the most efficient. Additionally, make sure you choose a model that can cool the space required. If your basement is large, you may need to buy more than one.
W.G. Speeks Can Help!
For more than 75 years, we’ve been helping homeowners in the Greater Richmond Region with their heating and cooling needs. We understand the unique climate in Virginia, and can provide guidance for making things comfortable in your basement and the rest of your home.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our NATE-certified technicians will assess your needs, create estimates, and install the products you need for efficient, effective cooling and heating solutions year round!