Adding HVAC to Your Basement
If you’re thinking of finishing your home’s basement, you need to take into consideration how you plan to heat and cool it. As you may know, basements tend to stay colder than other parts of the house as it’s buried beneath the ground so finding a comfortable temperature is challenging. One problem you will need to solve is to determine if you should extend your current HVAC system or install a new one.
Should you extend the HVAC system you have?
To best determine if your heating and cooling system is reliable enough to adequately service and ventilate your basement, it’s best to call in a certified HVAC technician. Sizing a furnace or air conditioner is calculated based on square footage/ton of capacity. However, contractors also take into consideration your home’s insulation values and other building practices to determine the correct size of equipment to better balance its performance and potential cost.
If your contractor determines your current HVAC system is capable of servicing your basement, it’s safe to tap into the main HVAC trunk and install vents and a return system into your walls or ceiling. Be mindful that the new ducts should have dampers, so they aren’t stealing all of the heat and air conditioning from the rest of your house.
Do you need a new HVAC system?
If your specialist determines your current HVAC system isn’t up to the task, you will need to add a secondary heating and cooling element to your finished basement. A new heating and cooling system can cost $7,000 on the low end! It will also take up additional space and require you to add new circuits to your electrical panel.
You also have the option of replacing your existing system with a larger one that can handle the extra space- which is also expensive. You can expect to pay at least $10,000 or more, but you will save space and money as you won’t have to hire an electrician.
Other options to consider are a gas fireplace, wood-burning stove, electric baseboard heating or even radiant heat. However, if you opt for new or upgraded heating and cooling system the certified technicians at Colorado’s own, Steam Pro Inc, can help you save on energy costs by keeping your system clean!