Published: January 3, 2018


It’s common to move into a home with an unfinished basement with hopes of finishing it later. When the time comes, one of the most important points to consider is how you’re going to heat and cool your newly finished space. Being comfortable is essential to enjoying your finished basement and using it year-round. Installing the correct HVAC system for your basement also adds value to your home.

You probably have several questions, so here are a few items to consider first:

Designing a floor plan for your current and new HVAC system

Most unfinished basements are home to your furnaces, air handlers and other HVAC equipment. When developing a floor plan for your new basement, be sure to take into consideration where your current HVAC system lives. Be sure to consider aesthetics and functionality when enclosing your appliances. The most common option is to design a utility room to house the HVAC system. Be sure to take note of the gas code requirements when creating a space for your HVAC equipment and any gas appliances. Find an HVAC contractor who can help you with local building codes and requirements.

Adding to current system vs. needing a new one

We strongly recommend bringing in an HVAC professional to help you determine the best course for you. In some cases, the current HVAC system is capable of heating and cooling the newly finished space. If not, your options are to either upgrade your current system or add on an additional system to heat and cool the basement separately.

If you choose the path of adding an additional unit to your current system, you still have a few options. One is ductless heating technology, also known as a ductless mini-split system, which works independently of your main HVAC system, don’t require ductwork to be run and can be designed specifically for your newly finished basement. A ductless system can be designed to provide either air conditioning only or air conditioning and heating both. Choosing to upgrade your current system will likely require you to run ductwork to your basement living areas, adding additional costs. It’s important to work with your HVAC professional to get accurate quotes ahead of time and understand exactly what must be done in order.

Choosing the appropriate system and size for heating and cooling

This comes down to personal preference and options to match your needs. As we mentioned, mini split ductless heating options are popular, and we also recommend consulting with an HVAC professional before making your final decision. A contractor will be able to help you determine the right size unit you need to heat the space. They will perform an industry calculation to determine the specific BTUs necessary for your space. Remember every house is different.

Being mindful of indoor air quality

Basements get a bad reputation for having moisture problems. It’s important to protect the health of your family by being mindful of indoor air quality in your newly finished basement. Work with your HVAC contractor to determine the best option for installing a dehumidifier, exhaust fans, proper drainage and waterproofing equipment. These will work to keep your air clean and keep moisture out while preventing the growth of mold and mildew.  

Finishing your basement can completely change the feel of your home while adding a new space for your family to enjoy. Ensure your family is the most comfortable in your newly finished basement by installing the correct heating and cooling systems, so you can enjoy the space year-round. Questions or ready to take the next step? Don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re happy to help!