You’re finally ready to put the finishing touches on your home and complete your basement into a more livable space. This also adds value to your home. The problem is you have no idea about heating, cooling, ventilation, or humidity control. That’s where professional contractors come into play.
You might be burdened with questions of cost, location, who might install and service your system, and how it can affect your energy bills. It’s natural to wonder whether you can expand your current system or if you need to add a completely new unit. Or is it even worth adding HVAC at all?
The Short Answer is Yes, Absolutely.
The obvious reason is to keep your new basement addition climate-controlled. But a having a system in place will also help control the humidity in your basement. Depending on your location, many basements already have a moisture problem. Having that monitored will help reduce the chance of mold and keep the air purer. This will ultimately keep the basement comfortable for your family and guests.
Poor work or lack of heating and cooling won’t do anything but harm your home’s equity. Having a professional contractor come out and evaluate, design, and install a system can help in so many ways.
Ductless Mini-Split (wall unit)
Ductless mini-splits are a great, cost-effective option for smaller basements. Because no ductwork is needed, there’s hardly any construction necessary to get these units installed. These are easily controlled, usually with a remote, but oftentimes will not be able to tie into your smart home thermostats.
Expand Your Current System
Another cost-conscious option would be to expand your current system into the basement. Now, depending on the capacity of your unit(s), this might be your best bet. It would certainly be cheaper than a new full unit but could require a bit of construction to extend the ducts and install vents. If your existing system is on the older side (eight or so years), it might be best to skip this option.
Full Unit Installation
For larger, more intricately laid out basements, a full system with ducts and multiple vents would be more efficient. The initial cost would be greater than the previous options. However, in the long run, the reach of a full system would benefit your home and wallet. You’d have ducts run in each room from a central unit, and while they’re expensive the units they make now are super-efficient.
Get Plenty of Quotes!
When getting quotes from HVAC companies, get a few. No fewer than three, and preferably five or six. Each company operates differently and many will recommend their version of what they want to sell you. Try and find a company that will give you multiple options and will explain the process to you in regular terms, not just HVAC jargon.
The actual cost is going to vary wildly depending on a few factors:
- Climate zone
- Type of install/expansion
- Availability of parts (and labor)
- Size of basement
But taking those factors into consideration you can expect to pay anywhere from $7,500 to $15,000 for a 2,000 square foot basement. Smaller would likely be less, and larger would definitely be more. Just keep in mind that each house is built differently and an HVAC install to custom-suit your needs will have a very specific price tag. Regardless of what price you get quoted, do your homework and make sure they’re not trying to oversell you. Some people are in the service industry for service, some are in it for pure profit. It’s not always easy to know which is which. But this one tip can help you out – you can heat/cool about 500 square feet per ton. So if your basement is 2,000 square feet and the salesman is trying to push you a 10-ton unit, check yourself and get another quote.
Finish It Your Way
Just know that basement work is never easy and it’s rarely cheap. Keep your wits about you, get multiple quotes, and ask as many questions as you can. You know your basement better than any contractor does, so be sure they meet all of your needs. After all, this is your investment, make it worth it. For more basement tips, give Stephenson Construction a call – (404) 348-0108