Finishing your basement increases your living space, and an HVAC system is essential to making that space comfortable. Nobody will want to spend time in a basement that is freezing cold in the winter or doesn’t have air conditioning in the summer.

Installing an HVAC system for homes can be difficult, but is it possible to do it yourself? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about installing HVAC in your basement.

What is HVAC?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The acronym refers to home systems that circulate air between the indoors and outdoors, as well as keep them warm or cool. Your home’s HVAC system is what keeps you warm and cozy in the winter and blows fresh, cool air in the summer. 

HVAC is also responsible for filtering and cleaning the air inside of your home and controlling humidity levels to keep you as comfortable as possible. Many HVAC systems are interconnected so the furnace and air conditioning use the same blower and vents. Others are separate, or only have either a heating or air conditioning unit instead of having both. 

The HVAC system is generally installed early on in the construction process, ideally before the plumbing and electrical systems have been connected. This is because HVAC typically works through air ducts in the walls and the floor. Systems can also be ductless, which allows for different temperature zones throughout a house. 

Installing an HVAC system into your basement, whether finished or unfinished, requires a few special considerations. Here’s a look at five of them.

1. Integrating With Your Existing HVAC System

Many homeowners finish their basements long after the rest of the house has been completed. This generally means that the upstairs HVAC is fully functional, and the basement may or may not be set up to connect to the existing system. It’s tempting to try and integrate the new basement system into the current HVAC, but this isn’t always possible.

Many systems are already performing at their maximum capacity and wouldn’t be able to handle an increased load. In these cases, the furnace and air conditioning unit might need to be upgraded so that they can handle heating and cooling the extra space. Upgrading your current system can be costly, but it will save money down the road.

Another option is to run a completely separate basement HVAC system, complete with an independent furnace and air conditioning unit. Ductless mini-split systems are an extremely cost-effective approach to this option. They are space-saving and even eliminate the need to run ductwork through a finished basement.

2. Size

The size of the HVAC system plays an important role in its function. Installing a system that is too big or too small will result in efficiency problems, leading to more frequent repairs and less comfortable temperatures. The layout, size, and location of your home will help determine what size of system you need.

What size of unit you get will depend on whether you choose to integrate your basement into your existing HVAC system or decide to keep them separate. Keeping them apart will allow you to purchase a smaller system, but you’ll have to find a place in your home to store twice as many units. 

3. Floor Plan

The floor plan of your finished space will impact the installation of your basement HVAC system. You’ll need a separate and enclosed space in your basement to store your boiler/furnace, air conditioning unit, ventilation system, and water heater. Some floor plans are more flexible than others, allowing you more freedom to choose where to place all of the equipment.

Your basement flood plan will also determine a lot about what type of HVAC you will need. Heating and cooling a large, open space is very different from providing these services to several closed-off rooms. It’s helpful to have a plan of what the layout of your finished basement will be before installing HVAC for this reason. 

4. Location

Your home’s location and climate are important considerations when installing an HVAC system for homes. The outdoor temperatures impact how hard your system has to work to maintain a set temperature indoors.

Homes in temperate climates don’t need to invest as much in power systems because they don’t deal with extreme temperatures. Those who live in climates with more extreme temperature fluctuations, on the other hand, will require more powerful systems to keep up with the temperature swings. 

If you live in a very warm climate, you’ll need a stronger air conditioning system but might not have to worry about heating. Homes in colder climates may rely solely on a heating system without the option for air conditioning. 

5. Style of Basement

Many people don’t consider the style of basements they have when they install an HVAC system for homes. But the truth is that this plays an important role in how well your basement maintains the temperature. 

Below-ground basements, for example, tend to fluctuate less in temperature. This makes them easier to heat and cool, so a smaller system might be most efficient. Daylight and walk-out basements, on the other hand, experience greater changes in temperature and require more powerful HVAC systems to help them maintain a set temperature. 

The number of windows, doors, and exposed walls in your basement all impact the type and size of the HVAC system that will be required to keep a consistent temperature. 

Call Utah Home Remodel Experts Today

There’s a lot to consider when installing an HVAC system in your basement. That’s why the experts at Utah Home Remodel are here to help. 

Our team of professionals has decades of experience remodeling homes, installing basement HVAC systems, and more. Our goal is to provide affordable, helpful renovations in a timely manner. 

We are located in Murray, Utah, and serve homeowners in Salt Lake City, Park City, Riverton, Draper, Sandy, and other areas across the Wasatch Front. If you are in need of an upgrade to your HVAC system or need a new one installed, we’re your go-to source. Contact Utah Home Remodel today for a free estimate!