Finishing your basement will give you a place to hang out with friends, watch television, or play games. You may even be able to build an extra bedroom or bathroom into your basement. But with these improvements comes the need for heating and air conditioning. There are a few options to explore when it comes time to add heat and air conditioning to your finished basement.

Extend Your Central HVAC System

Talk to an HVAC contractor to see whether they can add a few more ducts to your home in order to bring some heated/cooled air into the basement. Whether or not this is feasible will depend on the layout of your current ducts. The new ducts may need to be exposed to avoid taking down any walls in your basement, so decide whether this look is acceptable to you. Keep in mind that since you'll now be heating or cooling more space, you may also need to upgrade your furnace and air conditioner to larger, more powerful models.

Install a Heat Pump

If extending your current HVAC system is not an option -- or not an affordable one -- then you may want to consider installing a heat pump. Since basements usually self-regulate their temperature to some extent, thanks to the constant temperature of the soil surrounding the foundation, you won't need a ton of heating and cooling power. A heat pump alone can generate enough heat and cool air to maintain a comfortable temperature in the basement. A heat pump just mounts on the wall. In the basement, it would be placed at the very top of the wall that's above ground. It is operable via a thermostat on the unit itself.

Use Portable Units

If you live in a rather moderate climate, your basement may not actually get too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. You may only need heating or cooling on the hottest and coldest days. If this is the case, just invest in a portable space heater and a portable air conditioner that vents out a window. Keep them easily accessible so you can use them as needed. This is certainly the most available option if you only need minimal heating and cooling.

If you're not sure which approach is best for your basement, have an HVAC contractor, like one from Pristine Air Conditioning Corp, come look over the space; they can make some recommendations and give you an estimate.