If you're planning a basement renovation so your family has more room to spread out, don't forget to think about climate control. You'll want the basement to be comfortable during both the hot and cold months of the year. Here are three options for you to compare.
1. A Portable Air Conditioning Unit
A window air conditioner might not work in a basement, but a portable unit might. It won't be the ideal way to maintain climate control, but it would be the easiest and least expensive.
Some portable air conditioners also double as heaters, so you could use one all year when needed, and turn it off when not in use. A portable air conditioner needs to vent to the outside, and positioning the unit close to a basement window might be challenging.
2. Extend Your Current HVAC
Don't assume your current central air conditioning system can handle the added load of cooling your basement. Basements often require more effort to cool since humidity is a potential problem. The strain on your air conditioner could cause the rest of your house to suffer.
The only way to know if you can add ducts and include your basement in the heating and cooling of the rest of your house is to have an HVAC contractor perform calculations based on the size of your HVAC and the square footage of your basement.
3. Install A Separate Ductless Heat Pump
A good solution for climate control in your basement could be a ductless heat pump. A heat pump provides both cooling and heat, so your basement will be comfortable all year. A heat pump operates independently, so it won't affect your current HVAC, and it doesn't need any ducts to operate.
A ductless system is also ideal for basement installation since it doesn't need a window. Only a small hole is needed so the lines from the condenser outside can reach the blower mounted on the wall in your basement. The unit is operated by remote control, and you can adjust the temperature to save money when no one is in the basement and adjust the setting again when you're ready to watch movies or entertain guests.
Cooling and heating a basement can be challenging, so it's good to get professional help. You'll want a system that controls both temperature and humidity and that doesn't affect the climate in the rest of your house. Plus, cost is an important factor too. Talk to a contractor about the best way to supply air conditioning and heat to your basement so you can enjoy your new living space in comfort.