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How to Choose the Best HVAC System for a Finished Basement

finished basement hvac

After you have spent the time, energy, and money finishing your basement, the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable while you are spending time in your new living space. This means that you will need to make sure that your HVAC system provides heating and cooling to your basement. Cates Heating and Cooling has a few tips for choosing the best HVAC system for your finished basement.

Adding on or Starting New?

In some cases, you have the option of adding on to the HVAC system that you are already using. In other cases, you will need to get a separate HVAC unit to heat and cool the basement or get a new system that can handle the additional output that will be required since you have added more space to the unit.

If you are lucky enough to have an HVAC unit that can handle the new space without an addition or complete upgrade, then you don’t have to worry about either of these issues.

Adding On

Adding a second heating and cooling unit is a great way to get additional heating and cooling power for your newly finished basement. While there are many times that you may choose to just add on to your existing HVAC system, one of the best reasons to stick with a secondary system is if you have recently upgraded your HVAC system.

If you decide to add on, you need to consider the type of HVAC unit that you want to use and how you need to prepare for it. If you are going to need ductwork, then you will want to make sure that is in place before you start to run the new HVAC system.

One option could be ductless mini-splits, which are essentially small heat pumps. These systems provide both heating and cooling, but they do require both an indoor and outdoor portion that is connected by tubing that carries refrigerant. Many homeowners are unaware that these systems can be used both above and below ground. Ductless mini-splits need to be wall-mounted.

Baseboard heaters are another popular option for basement additions in areas where heating is the main need. You will need one baseboard heater per room, and they can take a while to properly heat the space. However, if you just need to provide extra heat in the basement, these are an easy option that won’t cost much.

To discuss other options with a professional, contact Cates Heating and Cooling at 913-888-4470.


If you want to be able to heat and cool your home all from one central HVAC unit, your best option will be to upgrade your HVAC system. Additionally, if your current system isn’t running efficiently or is constantly breaking now and needing repairs, then you will want to upgrade the unit.

Purchasing a new HVAC unit will save you money in the long run, even though the upfront costs will likely be higher than adding on a secondary system. When you upgrade your system, it is very important that you work with a professional HVAC technician to make sure that you are getting a system that is the proper size for your home. You will need to include the square footage of the entire space that you want to heat and cool.

Keep in mind that you will need to have ductwork professionally installed to ensure that there are no problems during the installation and no leaks.

Sizing an HVAC System for Your Finished Basement

Keep in mind that size is important when it comes to selecting an HVAC unit. To determine the proper size you need, you should work with an HVAC professional. If you are upgrading or using an add-on HVAC unit, make sure that you determine the correct size of the new area you are going to heat and cool. In the case of an upgrade, you will need to add the new square footage to the previous square footage you were already supplying HVAC services to. Knowing the exact square footage is very important.

Where to Put an HVAC System in a Finished Basement

If your existing HVAC system is in an unfinished part of the basement or a utility closest, you might be limited to where you can add a new system. Keep in mind the place you want to put the HVAC unit. If you are looking at central air, you want to keep the unit out of sight. For other types of AC units, you might need to place them in the rooms that they will be responsible for heating and cooling. In these instances, you will want to be sure that you choose a location that isn’t distracting or in the way. Working with a professional can help eliminate the worry associated with proper HVAC unit placement.

Dealing with Air Quality Issues

Basements often come with certain air quality issues. Dust can accumulate in the basement quite quickly. Additionally, moisture is more of an issue in the basement. When you finish your basement, moisture control systems should be used to protect your family and the basement itself. A whole-home dehumidifier is the best way to solve moisture problems in your finished basement.

When it comes to properly heating and cooling your newly finished basement, you should always work with a professional. Contact Cates Heating and Cooling today at 913-888-4470 to discuss your options and make sure that you are making the best decision for your home.


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