If you’ve been dreaming of finishing your basement, making decisions can be an exciting venture – one being whether to install air conditioning.
An air conditioning (AC) unit can help reduce humidity levels in your home and prevent mold growth. Before selecting an AC model, consult with a professional on size and ducting issues.
Do you need help installing an AC unit in your basement or any other location in your home? Don’t hesitate to contact a professional HVAC contractor, like one of the team members at River Valley, for the best results.
1. Energy Efficiency
Installing an AC in the basement can help reduce energy costs by lowering your home’s temperatures when no one is around and then starting again once people return home.
Air conditioners in basements can also help regulate humidity and reduce mold and mildew issues, as humidity in this environment tends to collect, leaving behind unpleasant odors as it evaporates and creates breeding grounds for bacteria.
A ductless mini-split system is the most energy-efficient way to cool a basement, using an indoor air handling unit and exterior compressor to maintain comfort all year round.
Working without ducts eliminates potential energy losses associated with leaky ductwork. Additionally, ductless systems make for outstanding solutions in newly finished basements as they require no modification of existing HVAC systems or additional ductwork installations.
2. Reduce Humidity
As it lies below ground level, basements tend to be cooler than other rooms of a home and more conducive to humid environments like those found indoors. This lower climate creates the ideal environment for mold and mildew growth – which not only causes an unpleasant odor but may be dangerous to household members who suffer from respiratory ailments or allergies.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), mold thrives when the humidity levels in your home are too high. When this happens, its spores spread into the air, potentially leading to eye and skin irritation, wheezing, and sinus infections for those most at risk.
There are multiple solutions to reduce humidity levels in a basement, including dehumidifiers – available at most hardware stores – or installing vent and fan units; both projects may be completed independently, but contact an HVAC professional for the best results.
3. Improve Air Quality
Air quality in basements can be an ongoing problem. Damp and humid interiors foster mold growth and mildew proliferation, which not only mar the look of rooms but also create unpleasant odors. Furthermore, this pollutant could affect household members’ health by creating allergenic reactions or respiratory issues.
Removing the musty smell and improving the indoor air quality in your basement requires proper ventilation. While window units may help, their use may be restricted due to space considerations (primarily fire safety issues), and they tend to be more expensive than alternative cooling solutions.
An HVAC system designed for multiple zones provides individual control of temperature in every room of the house. However, when adding one to this level of your home, it is essential to consider existing ductwork size and layout; otherwise, ductless mini-split solutions may also work effectively in basements.
4. Add Value to Your Home
An unfinished basement can add living space and value to your home. Still, without air conditioning, it may become unusable during summer months, leading to electronic items deteriorating due to increased humidity levels.
Installing an air conditioner in your basement will make it more usable year-round, increasing its usability throughout the year. Various HVAC systems can provide heating and cooling to a basement; however, the most suitable is usually ductless mini-split systems as they don’t require ductwork – making them perfect choices for basements with windows.
Other types of air conditioning systems available for basement use are egress window units, portable air conditioners, and whole-home dehumidifiers. To find the right system for you and your basement’s unique characteristics and square footage, as well as any potential gas appliances or electrical considerations, consult a professional. They will take into account each factor involved.