Thinking About Finishing Your Basement?

What to Consider for Your Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

Do you have an unfinished basement? Don’t let all of that unfinished space overwhelm you and keep you and your family from gaining the space you need to enjoy your home to the fullest. Finishing a basement is a large home improvement project, but it will offer a great return on investment, about 70% actually. And finishing the space you already have will cost less than adding on to your home.

Whether you’re going to hire a general contractor or you’ll be tackling the renovation on your own, you’ll need to consider if your current heating and air conditioning systems can accommodate the extra space and how to keep their components accessible when you develop a floor plan.

Keeping HVAC Components Clear

Most unfinished basements house HVAC components. When you design your floor plan, you will probably want to enclose your appliances for aesthetic purposes, but you shouldn’t close them off completely. Anytime a gas furnace or other gas appliance is kept in a confined space, that space must be properly ventilated per gas code requirements. You can find that information in the National Fuel Gas Code http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards?mode=code&code=54 (make this link clickable in national fuel gas code).

Protecting your family and yourself in the event of future problems by planning a mechanical room, which offers enough space for technicians to work around the equipment, is a very smart idea and could be a possible requirement in regards to your local building codes.

Will Your Old HVAC System Work Properly?

To determine if your current system can handle the extra demand, you can look to the system’s model number. Heating and air conditioning equipment is sized in tons, as in BTUs, not pounds. There are 12,000 BTUs per ton. A model with ‘024’ or ‘24’ in the number is a 2-ton unit. ‘030’ or ’30 equals 2.5 tons, ‘036’ or ‘36’ equals 3-tons, and so on.

If your home’s existing HVAC system is not the capacity needed after finishing your basement, you have two options: to upgrade your system, or add a second heating and cooling system which will condition the space of the basement only. This decision is based on personal preferences.

Basement Air Quality

Basements are known for having moisture issues. You will want to implement moisture control solutions, such as taking proper drainage and waterproofing measures to keep moisture out and preventing mold growth. Our professionals can help you find the proper solution for your home.

Call W.G. Speeks Today

We can provide the expert guidance and quality services needed to help you finish your basement. For more questions about finishing your basement or about any of our other services, call us at 804.276.2800 and see why W.G. Speeks has been the reliable Richmond, VA heating and air conditioning experts since 1943.