Gym? Man cave? Workshop? When you have a basement, you can turn it into anything you want without interfering with the setup of the rest of the house. The challenge is to keep it cool — literally. How do you select among the best cooling options for a finished basement?

Basements come with a set of unique challenges when it comes to cooling. There are quite a few criteria to consider when you pick the best item for cooling a basement. It is not just about lowering the temperature. You need to consider ventilation, windows, space… We want to make sure you have all the information before you install anything!


Best portable cooling devices

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The more info you have, the more comfortable you will be. We have analyzed the top cooling options for a finished basement — let’s dive in.

Our Top Pick

1. Evapolar air cooler — the best way to cool a basement.

Why do we love it?

  • Zero installation is needed! Just plug it in and let it do the job.
  • No windows? No problem! Evapolar air cooler doesn’t need a window to let the hot air out. However, make sure you keep the door open to allow air circulation and prevent humidity due to the humid nature of basements.
  • This excellent cooling option is 100 times less power-consuming than a regular AC system. Evapolar air coolers consume only 7-10W. Yes, to cost-effective solutions!
  • 100% natural cooling method — enjoy the fresh, healthy air in your basement.
  • It is the best item for cooling a basement because it does three things at a time: cools, humidifies, and purifies the air.
  • Ultraportable. If you want to take your cooler to another room, to your garage, or simply to store it for the colder time of the year, it takes almost no space and is super easy to transport.
  • It is the most personal way of cooling. If you happen to like it colder, simply direct the airflow at yourself without disturbing the others. We stand by Evapolar being the best way to cool the basement because it creates your cool bubble without freezing the whole room.
  • Evapolar devices are very quiet. You can enjoy the game, some alone time, or do the work in your basement without any noise distractions.
  • USB-powered — if you lack sockets in the basement, you can connect Evapolar devices to a power bank.

We have cross-checked other top cooling options for a finished basement.

2. Upgrading your Existing HVAC System

One of the most obvious solutions for cooling your basement could be extending your existing HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) System.


  • You can control the temperature in the whole house with one single thermostat.
  • Simple to use.
  • It can increase the value of your house in the future, especially if you are adding to an HVAC in an old house.

Possible setbacks:

  • In some cases, you may need a construction permit to extend onto the HVAC system.
  • Extra ductwork can interfere with the design of your basement.
  • Often, your basement will have other temperature requirements than the other rooms, which is why one thermostat can be an issue.
  • If you decide to go with this option, the main thing to consider here is: Is your current HVAC system strong enough for the extra load?

If the answer is ‘yes’, you can build onto the HVAC system you already have.

If the answer is ‘no’, you can either upgrade your existing system or add a supplementary one for your basement only. We recommend consulting a contractor to ensure he gives you the correct quota for the area that needs cooling and your current system’s load.

3. Ductless Split System

An independent ductless mini-split system is another cooling idea for the finished basement, especially if your current HVAC system doesn’t allow add-ons.


  • Easier to install than an add-on to an HVAC system.
  • The compressor is outside, so the cooling process is quiet.
  • It has a thermostat, so you can adjust the temperature of the basement the way you want

Possible setbacks:

  • Cost. Even though ductless split systems are often called ‘mini’, their price is as high as a traditional AC system.
  • It is crucial to size correctly. Unlike an air cooler which you can simply move to the place of your liking, a ductless split system is in one place. If you get the sizing wrong, it can lead to overusing electricity, system overwork, wasting energy, and inability to control the temperature.
  • The indoor part of a ductless mini-split system is mounted, it might interfere with the décor because it’s visible.

4. Portable Air Conditioner

One of the best basement cooling options that come to mind is a portable air conditioner. You can move them from room to room or store them away when summer is over.


  • Easy to set up, doesn’t require installation.
  • Easy to store and move around.
  • Effective for cooling one spot due to the director airflow.

Possible setbacks:

  • Noisy. Make sure you check out the low-decibel models as many people complain about the sound of the portable ACs.
  • If the portable air conditioner comes with a hose, you need to place it next to the window, which also blocks the lower part of the window.
  • Most models are impossible to use in basements without windows.

When it comes to picking the best option to cool down a basement, each house has its requirements. However, there is a list of things in common to consider when you are picking a cooling solution.

  • The area that needs cooling. This one will vary based on each house and its needs, which is why we think that a portable air cooler is one of the best options for cooling a finished basement. It cools down your personal space without interfering with the rest of the room.
  • Electricity consumption. Adding onto your HVAC system or installing a ductless mini-split system can raise your electricity bill total.
  • Natural cooling. Often basements are already lacking air circulation. You don’t want to add Freon cooling to that.
  • Humidity. If your basement is located 100% below ground, you may also consider a cooling solution with a dehumidifier or a separate device to reduce humidity.
  • Budget. The first question that pops in mind when it comes to housework is: “How much?”. The answer will depend on the area, amount of work to install the cooling solution, and other criteria.

Choosing the best cooling system for the basement is as important as choosing one for any other room in the house. Basements also come with their particular challenges: lower temperature, humidity, lack of lighting, lower ceilings.

A customized cooling solution can turn out to be pricey, primarily because basements are not precisely standard rooms. We recommend going for a portable, easy to install, and eco-friendly solution: a portable air cooler from Evapolar. Inexpensive and easy to take care of, Evapolar air coolers will cool down your personal space in the basement.

People also ask (FAQ):

1. Is a fan a good basement cooling option?

Since fans only blow around hot air without cooling it, we don’t recommend using it in a basement. You need a solution that cools down the air and purifies it (like an air cooler or a split system).

2. Which option is the best in terms of energy consumption?

Evaporative air coolers by Evapolar consume 100 times less energy (7,5W) than regular split systems. If you are looking to save on electricity, we recommend air coolers. They can even work on a power bank.

3. How much will a cooling item cost?

A good quality portable air cooler starts around 100USD, while a personal split system can go up to five-digit numbers.

4. Do I need a dehumidifier with the cooling solution?

It depends on your basement, its isolation, and its location. The best way to figure it out would be to measure the humidity in the basement and let a professional give you advice based on the result.

5. What is the most eco-friendly option for cooling a finished basement?

An evaporative air cooler would be the greenest solution. It uses evaporation for cooling and consumes very little electricity as well.

6. Which basement cooling option is the most efficient?

It depends on what you mean by ‘efficient’. If your goal is to get the whole space to a freezing temperature, a ductless split system, an extension or an upgrade to your HVAC system can be an option. If you want to create a personal cooling area for one during hot weather, the portable air cooler will get the job done.