We have received a number of questions recently about HVAC systems and whether a basement apartment needs to have a separate heating and cooling system. The answer is no.
There is no restriction regarding a “shared” HVAC system in rental housing as long as the requirements for the minimum heating and cooling are met, i.e., heating minimum of 65F at night, 68F during the day in all occupied space; cooling must be able to maintain the interior air at least 15F cooler than the outdoor temperature.
Note: The construction code does not require air-conditioning, but if installed it must be maintained.
Several people have asked whether space heaters are permitted or more specifically if the basement seems to stay cooler, can you augment the basement heat without having to set the upstairs temperature higher to compensate. While space heaters need to used properly and safely, they are perfectly ok to use. Ultimately the “shared” HVAC system needs to have the capacity to maintain the minimum temperatures to meet code.
Hope this is helpful and as always feel free to post any questions, clarifications or comments. Thanks again.
- Mike Rupert, DCRA