Finishing a basement is a lot of hard work, but it's also exciting. If you're in the midst of this process or have it marked on your calendar in the near future, make sure you're also accessing the cooling needs of the newly finished space.
Investigate Permit Requirements
Before you move forward with any plans, it's critical for you to research the local permitting requirements regarding cooling units for basements. In some areas, you must obtain a permit if you plan to install a separate cooling unit. If you bypass this step, you could be forced to remove the unit and pay a fine.
It's always best to go about the process the legal way to avoid the extra heartache. The reason it's best to perform this step first is that the permitting process can sometimes take weeks or months to complete, so it's best to get a head start.
Examine the Existing Unit
Examine the existing cooling unit you have installed for the rest of your house to find out if it's sized to accommodate the basement. The average basement spans the entire floor area of the upper level of a house, and if you've finished the entire basement, you're likely adding 1 to 2 times your existing square footage to your cooling needs.
All cooling units are sized based on BTUs, which is an energy measuring tool that notates the amount of heat the cooling unit can remove within a given number hours. If your existing unit doesn't have a high enough rating, your basement probably won't be as cool as you'd like. Investing in a separate unit is a better solution.
A part of finishing a basement is covering up all the utility and raw areas in the space. However, while you plan out your design, don't forget to also make room for a utility closet. If you install a new unit for the basement, at some point, a technician will need to access the unit to perform maintenance.
If you don't allow extra room around the perimeter of the cooling unit, it might be hard for the technician to access the unit. Too little space around the unit will also create issues when it comes to ventilation and could cause the unit to overheat.
When you're ready to install a new cooling unit for your basement — reach out to an AC installation service. From the type of unit that would work best for your climate to the size unit you need, a technician can handle all your concerns and installation needs.