The basement of your home is an underground space that can absorb moisture from the ground. Heat and humidity from electrical appliances may also cause moisture accumulation in the basement.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you remove moisture and ventilate your basement. By ventilating it, you can ensure that outside air is brought into the crowded basement and that the musty odor is driven out.
Excess moisture can cause a musty odor as well as mold and mildew growth. Inhaling mold spores can cause serious respiratory problems as well as diseases such as asthma and allergic reactions. Radon gas, which can cause lung cancer, is also found in the unfinished basement. As a result, ventilating the basement is advised to protect your and your family’s health.
Reasons Why You Should Ventilate the Basement
Here are some benefits of ventilating the basement.
- No moisture damage: The risk of moisture damage is high in a poorly ventilated basement. The case is worse if the area you are residing in is humid. A damp basement can cause appliance damage, crumbling foundations, and mold. It can be, however, prevented with the help of ventilation.
- Reduce Radon gas: Radon is an invisible gas mostly present in the basement. This gas is emitted when uranium decomposes in soil and rock. This gas is linked a cause lung cancer and other serious respiratory issues. Basement ventilation is the best prevention of this gas emission.
- Quality air: Installing the correct ventilation allows the fresh air to enter the basement. If left neglected, it can cause a musty smell that will make your basement a health hazard.
- Eliminate Black mold: Another sneaky hazard that comes with moisture is mold and mildew. Molds are formed when the basement is poorly ventilated. When you inhale black mold spores, you can be the victim of allergic reactions and respiratory issues. However, if you install a proper ventilation system, you can solve both moisture and mold problems.
- Less expense: The furniture, appliances, and other objects are subjected to moisture in the basement. The moisture can damage these items, which can increase your expense. Proper ventilation can save you a lot of money by avoiding moisture.
Passive Method for Ventilating a Basement
There are simple ways to dehumidify your basement without mechanical installation. It is an easy and comparatively inexpensive remedy for proper ventilation. A passive ventilation system allows fresh air to enter to replace the musty and dirty air. You also do not need to worry about moving parts and operation costs. With basic maintenance knowledge, you can ventilate the basement while saving electricity and reducing carbon monoxide gas emissions.
How To Ventilate a Basement
Here Are Easy Ways To Ventilate the Basement Naturally.
Open Basement Windows and Doors
The main idea of the window is to let the natural inflow of air. So, open up the windows of the basement as well to ventilate it. Open the window once a day to let the fresh air enter the space and stale air exit. You can keep the door open as well. It will allow natural air inflow inside the basement.
Only open the windows if the weather is sunny. Make sure to close it in the rainy season. The basement rainfall can damage the appliances and furniture and make the carpet wet.
Attach window latches on the window to ensure security. It will make the window only partly open, and anyone will not be able to open it from outside. Install window screens to prevent leaves and critters like ants, gnats, mosquitoes, and spiders from entering your basement.
Install Large Windows in the Basement
You need to install large windows in your basement if it has only small ones or none. You can update your old window screen and attach new ones if the windows are rusted and damaged. Install new ones if the basement needs them. It will ensure more air passes on the interior basement area.
Egress windows are one of the smart choices if you want to enlarge the window. This window will allow sunlight and fresh air to enter the basement, making it brighter and full of life. It can also be a safe escape in cases like fire and other emergencies.
However, installing egress windows is no child’s play. You need to have proper knowledge about attaching it. Remember to install windows regular or egress in a well-protected from harsh weather. Make sure to call a professional if you do not know about installing them.
Install Air Purifier in the Basement
The air purifier has activated carbon filters that trap musty odor in the basement and provides fresh air. This way, it makes your basement lively and breathable. Place the air purifier in the basement and let it work. You will notice a huge difference in the basement air quality.
While purchasing air purifiers, ensure the device has High-Efficiency particulate air(HEPA) filters. This filter captures mold spores and other dust particles roaming around in your space. There is a high chance of getting rid of mold in the basement with an air purifier installment.
But, this product is not the best choice if your basement is very spacious. The range and area it covers are relatively smaller and only work for small spaces.
Utilize a Dehumidifier or a Box Fan
A humid basement is a cause of mold and mildew growth. Invest in a dehumidifier if you want to solve this issue. It is effective equipment that reduces mixture in a space. It works by drawing humid air through its cooling coil; the moisture then turns into liquid that you can discard manually. Plug it in and manage its settings and let it do its work. This method, however, can consume electric energy in your house.
You can rent it in hardware stores if you cannot afford it. It comes in different sizes according to its capacity.
However, box fans can be useful if you don’t have a bigger moisture problem. It might offer a powerful method of air circulation in the cellar. The airflow will remove the moisture in the area. It does not directly affect the humid basement but somehow helps eliminate it. This is a useful tool to evaporate the wet carpet in the basement as well.
If you are trying to use a dehumidifier and a fan simultaneously, it might work and can be helpful. But, connecting them at the same level can be overwhelming. You need to have a good equation and knowledge to make it happen. It can be a bit noisy as well. Additionally, it can increase the energy output.
Mechanical Ventilation for the Basement
The passive method to ventilate the basement can be handy for the short term. The radon gas can sit into the original concentration after 12 hours of dehumidification. Natural ventilation depends on the exterior temperature and weather. It can be a huge drawback in the colder and rainy weather. It is when you should opt for mechanical installation. Suppose you are willing to spend money to save your basements. Then here are some ways you can do it.
Extending the HVAC System in the Basement
The HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It works by drawing the cold air from inside the home through the central AC system. The air passes through the filter and cools it till it reaches the desired temperature.
While expanding the HVAC system, plan the right size and capacity of the basement. Attaching it in the wrong way can create whole new problems for you. In case the HVAC system does not meet the capacity of your heating and cooling system. You can expand the system or add a second one. It is recommended to upgrade the HVAC if the basement is old and the system needs frequent repairs.
You need to call experts and certified technicians to install or expand it. Make sure to use a service plan from the construction company and make periodic maintenance.
Most forced-air systems have dehumidifiers that make your basement moisture-free. Installing the HVAC system is a great investment if the air in your basement is stale. It also adds to the property value of your home.
Install Exhaust Fans
An exhaust eliminates the stale air from your basement and forces the fresh air to enter inside. This system works magic if you don’t have windows in the basement.
The humidity caused by heaters, washing machines, and other appliances creates heat and humidity in the basement. Installing the exhaust fan and ventilation will eliminate the condensation and channel natural air.
Suppose you have proper knowledge about the vent installment procedure. You can do it on your own. Exhaust fan and vent systems are easily available in hardware stores. Purchase them, and you are good to go. Make sure to purchase the correct fan that has a good CFM rating.
Call a professional if you do not know the installment process. Experts will have the right equipment and knowledge about them. Keep in mind that it is going to cost you some expenses.
Heat Recovery Ventilation(HRV) To Control Radon Gas
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that can cause serious diseases like lung cancer. Therefore, the best way to reduce this gas is to call a professional and install an HRV system. The HRV system is proven to reduce radon gas in your house.
HRV is a mechanical ventilation system that uses stale air in the exhaust fan and heats the incoming outdoor air. This system increases the house’s natural ventilation and saves energy. Expect lower electricity bills while installing this system but expect high bills while installing it.
While installing it, contact only certified contractors who can safely install the radon reduction system according to the basement need. Speak with several other professionals and choose one with expertise in the system.
The natural ventilation system is a great way to ventilate the basement to enjoy cleaner and fresher air. Go for the passive methods if you don’t want your utility bills to hike. But, remember that the excess humidity and moisture can damage your basements’ foundation. It is wise to install mechanical ventilation to ensure your basement protection and durability. Once you properly ventilate the basement, it will become a lively part of your threshold.