If you are purchasing a home with not only a functioning and newer HVAC system, but also a fully finished basement, the possibilities are endless. A guys/girls only cave, a second living area for the in-laws to get away from you with, or an apartment for a moody teenager, you name it.
However, before you go signing your life away and contemplating that home arcade bar, there are a few crucial items to consider before doing so. Dropping the ball at this part of the house hunting process can prove to be very costly and in some cases, completely beyond reason to maintain due to circumstances outside of your control.
So since we’ve already discussed the importance of checking the HVAC system before buying a new home, it is now time to see if your finished basement passes our HVAC checklist.
HVAC Checklist: Finished Basements
- Have a professional appraiser inspect the basement. They will be able to check whether or not the finished basement is up to code, and inform you of any violations that they see.
- Check the date for when the HVAC system was installed. Depending on when the basement was finished, the HVAC system may have been built with the new living space in mind.
- Inspect the furnace filter and HVAC system. Be sure that these are in working order and that the filters are not overtly clogged.
- Check the air for mold or mildew. Sometimes, mold and mildew can leave a faint stain behind, but the one thing about it that can never be masked is the smell. An overt aroma of mildew can indicate a number of possible problems as well as cause havoc for those who suffer allergies.
- Check the humidity level of the whole basement. An excess of moisture could indicate a broken pipe and/or poor ventilation. Either one can be expensive, but a combination of both is a downright nightmare, so be sure that those humidity levels are not a result of either or.
- Inspect the existing insulation. No matter when it was installed, checking the insulation in a finished basement is always a good idea. Any sort of rot or other signs of the elements taking over can be considered in your decision whether or not to buy.
Maintaining Adequate Ventilation in a Finished Basement
Some of these may be considered by some to be common sense, but regardless of your background, nobody likes dealing with a flooded or otherwise swamp-inspiring basement. So in the interest of protecting you and your loved ones from a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide, please be sure to:
- Close all foundation vents during heavy storms and winter months to avoid flooding and freezing pipes, respectively.
- Open all foundation vents in the summer to prevent the buildup of moisture under the house or in the basement.
- Inspect the filter on your HVAC system every 6 months or as needed.
How FAMCO Can Help
Headquartered in Meridian, Idaho, FAMCO is one of the largest manufacturers of HVAC and roofing equipment in the Pacific Northwest. We serve anyone from the one-off hobbyist to full scale construction jobs. We have a vast array of ventilation products to serve every need, including keeping your basement moisture-free. If you have any questions about any of our products or services, feel free to get in touch. We’d be more than happy to help.