Can I Install A Furnace Without Ductwork In My Basement ?

I have to assume a couple of things here. My first assumption is that this would be an unfinished basement and you want the cheapest way to heat your basement. Second, that you want to just add some warmth in the winter to make the area more comfortable for projects and adding some heat to that floor above.

Then yes, it is very feasible to add heat with no or limited ductwork in an unfinished basement. In fact it can be a very simple installation that could even add some better filtering to a basement area. But you should know that furnaces like a little bit of static pressure that is created by that duct work.

I was working on a unit in a basement today. It had a gas furnace with air conditioning and ductwork. There were and no vents cut into the ductwork in the basement for heating. It would have been a piece of cake to add a register or two and warm that basement a few degrees. It was chilly. If you asked me “do you need HVAC in a basement” I would say “yes”. Especially if there is laundry down there.

A lot of basements are just naturally damp. Having any type of heat in a basement aids in drying and warming the floor above. It doesn’t take a lot of heat either, just enough to take the chill off. In the summer that’s another story. We used to retreat to the basement in the summer to escape the heat.

The furnace in the above image is electric and the airflow is downward, meaning it is drawing air from the top and dumping air out the bottom grille onto the floor. The filter is just laying on the top which gives you a lot of options as to the type or thickness of filter you want. The thicker the better.

But electric furnaces can be turned in any direction. Up, down or horizontal. Hanging one from a ceiling is a great way to keep the floor neat and tidy. You might bump your head though. Keep it to the edge of the room.

Just to reiterate, electric heat has a tendency to dry the air also. A benefit that can help a lot of basements.

You can buy sheet metal plenums, sometimes called cans, pre-made or go to a local sheet metal shop and have them custom made. A good shop will even have some ideas for you to aid in installing this job. Or according to the size furnace you have and depending on what’s available at Amazon you might be able to take advantage of some free shipping

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Chad Peterson

Chad Peterson is a veteran of the HVAC industry since 1977. "I like to explain heating and air conditioning problems in a way the average home owner can understand. "

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