Finally Finishing Your Home's Basement? What Are Your Most Efficient Heating and Cooling Options?

If you've recently begun construction on your home's basement to convert it to an extra bedroom, recreational room, or just a large storage room, you may be excited about the possibilities that await you in your new space. However, heating and cooling an entire additional floor of your home can put strain on your existing heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system and cause your energy bills to rise substantially if your home's HVAC system is older or inefficient. Read on to learn more about the most energy-efficient heating and cooling options for a newly finished basement. 

To heat an always-cold basement:

Many homes with basements constructed below ground level don't need to worry too much about cooling in the summer; the natural cool temperature of the earth combined with residual cold air from the upstairs registers is often more than enough to keep your basement at a comfortable temperature without adding additional registers to your HVAC system. However, you'll need some way to quickly and inexpensively heat your basement during chilly winter days when it's tough to keep the rest of your home at a comfortable temperature. 

  • Electric space heater

An inefficient space heater can actually cost more in energy expenses than many of its larger companions, but choosing an energy-efficient space heater (like a radiant heater that relies on a conductor and fan to disperse heat throughout the room) can make a cool downstairs area toasty warm instead. A space heater provides a particular bonus for those who plan to utilize their newly finished basement as a movie theater or television-viewing area, as you won't need to inefficiently heat a large area when you're only occupying a small part of it. 

  • Radiant water heating

If your water heater is already located in a basement closet or out-of-the-way corner, installing radiant heating that pumps hot water through pipes laid around the perimeter of the room may be a quick and efficient way to heat your basement. Radiant heating is by far the most efficient heating method, as it results in the least heat lost through leaks in ductwork or baseboard heat that flows straight up to the ceiling. Installing radiant heating around the edges of the room and placing a ceiling fan in the center of the basement to distribute warm air can go a long way toward keeping the entire floor a comfortable temperature.

To cool a warm, stuffy basement:

For basements that are sufficiently warm during winter but tend to stay warm during summer as well, having a source of cold air that doesn't rely on the other HVAC ductwork in your home is key to comfort and cost savings. 

  • Ductless mini split

A ductless mini split is a type of air conditioner that runs on an outdoor condenser unit and funnels air through a cooling tube, providing you with cold air without requiring you to hook up additional ductwork or add registers to your home's HVAC system. You'll be able to install the vents anywhere you'd like cold air in your basement, from a bedroom to directly over the couch where you watch television. 

  • Portable air conditioner

A portable air-conditioning unit operates similarly to a window unit, but instead of ventilating through the entire back of the unit, air ventilates only through a thin and flexible exhaust tube. This allows you to move the air-conditioning unit throughout the basement (as long as the exhaust tube will reach a window or hole in the wall) to provide you with a personal source of cool air no matter where you are in the room. 

Talk to a professional such as One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning for more ideas and information. 

About Me

Remaining Comfortable In Your Home after Completing a Major Renovation

In a few, short months, my spouse and I will begin the construction process to build a much needed addition onto our small home. The addition will include a den and a master suite. But because our home will be much larger after the building process is complete, we will need to update our HVAC system. After speaking with our knowledgeable HVAC contractor, we’ve decided to purchase a second heating and air conditioning unit for our home. This additional unit will be considerably smaller than our current one. It will only heat and cool the new addition to our house. On this blog, I hope you will discover the best options for heating and cooling a home after building an addition onto it.

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