Whether you are thinking about, in the process of, or have just finished transforming your basement into a functional space, you want to ensure it will be as comfortable as possible. Finished basements are an excellent way to utilize the existing space in your home but keeping them comfortable depends on different variable than other spaces in your home. In this blog, we address some of the common obstacles that arise when regulating the temperature in finished basements and how to resolve them.
Adding a New System or Upgrading Existing System
- #1: If you have a ducted system, your first option is to expand your current system. You may need to add extra ductwork in the basement and install vents. If your basement is large, it might be best to upgrade your HVAC equipment to a higher capacity in order to accommodate the whole home’s needs, including the basement. This solution is ideal for dwellings with older HVAC equipment that needs be replaced anyway or if the homeowner feels the investment is worth it for better efficiency and even air distribution.
- #2: If you have a ducted system, your second option is to add a ductless mini-split system that only heats and cools the basement. In this scenario, you would have a much more seamless and fast installation process. These systems have an outdoor compressor unit and one or more indoor air handlers. Because the indoor air handlers are only in the basement, you can customize the basement temperature specifically for that space.
- #3: If you already have a ductless mini-split system for the rest of your home, you can expand this system to heat and cool the basement. If your outdoor unit has the capacity to handle the extra indoor handlers, you will need to install one or more in the basement. However, sometimes the existing outdoor handler is already at capacity, and you will need to upgrade that system or, in some cases, install a second outdoor handler.
Finished basements are often more susceptible to moisture-related issues due to their underground location. High humidity levels are not only uncomfortable but can also lead to mold growth and musty odors. However, low humidity can also cause issues like warping of furniture and static-related damage to electronics. Checking the humidity levels in your basement regularly is essential. A Smart thermostat typically includes this information. According to the EPA, humidity levels should be between 30-50%. If you do not have a Smart thermostat or yours does not include humidity, you could purchase a hygrometer or ask your HVAC tech to perform a test. You may need to implement one or more of the following strategies if too low or high humidity issues persist:
- Seal ductwork, leaks, and doors
- Improve ventilation
- Buy a humidifier or dehumidifier
- Add more insulation to your pipes and walls
- Install waterproofing
Insulation and Sealing
Proper insulation minimizes heat loss during colder months and keeps the basement cool in the summer, keeping you comfortable and optimizing the efficiency of your system. There are minimally invasive methods to install insulation to a finished basement, such as foam spray, which requires you to drill small holes to spray insulation foam into the walls. Thankfully these holes are easy to patch and conceal once you’ve added the insulation. However, if you’re just beginning your basement remodel, installing batt or rolled insulation between the joists might be the best option. Consult a professional to find the best method of insulating the space before moving forward.
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If your question still needs answering or you’d like to schedule a consultation, contact the friendly team at Genove Oil & Air, and we’ll help you find the right solution for your home or business.