Health officials advise us that one of the most effective ways of reducing the spread of Coronavirus infections is improving ventilation in our homes and offices. While we concentrate on encouraging fresh air in other house areas, we usually forget the basement. Although you probably don’t spend much time in your basement, the little you do could lead to health issues unless you start ventilating it more. So, here are some tips to improve basement ventilation.
1. Installing Regular Windows
There is a reason houses have windows; they are not just there to allow natural lighting, but to help in the circulation of fresh air. However, for them to be effective, the windows have to be strategically placed. According to Home Guides, using windows to ventilate the basement requires a lot of work because you have to monitor the change of weather. This method also works best if the windows are installed opposite each other to follow that natural draft.
2. Adding Egress Windows
Safety also needs to be adhered to in a basement, hence install egress windows, which are big enough for an adult to fit in if there is an emergency. However, they are not for emergency exits only; egress windows also play a big role in keeping the air quality optimal. Unfortunately, if your basement does not have them already, it will cost you a substantial amount to install them. According to basement Guides, egress window installation will have you parting with around $8,000; the amount being high because it involves cutting through the house’s foundation. You should note that any habitable rooms in the basement, such as bedrooms, are required by building codes to have an egress window.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that basements have less than 60% humidity to hinder mildew and mold growth. Some basements are prone to moisture accumulation; hence having a sensor is advisable. Once the humidity reaches a certain level, it triggers the fan to vent the air and increase circulation, thus reducing the air’s moisture content. Dehumidifiers also enable the removal of excess moisture to keep humidity at optimal levels. They are efficient if placed on the floor instead of elevating them, and by eliminating dampness, they consequently get rid of stale air.
Whole-house fans cool the basement better when placed near windows because their strong suction pulls outside cold air and exchanges it with the hot air in the room, which escapes through the roof. You can also opt for exhaust fans, which work by pushing stale air out of the basement and creating a difference in pressure such that fresh air is pushed into the basement. Sometimes, it is necessary to install different types of fans for efficient ventilation.
5. Air Purifiers
Air purifiers are great even in a basement that does not have windows. They have the advantage of being portable, so wherever you are in the basement, you can improve that particular spot’s air circulation. The devices work by sucking air into the unit and then filtering it through several filters, thus improving the quality of air in the basement. They not only have the benefit of improving ventilation, but they also reduce pollutants in the air by trapping microscopic particles of mold, mildew, and bacteria, among others.
6. Using an Air Conditioning Unit
Sylvane advises men on different ways to keep their man cave cool. Among the many tips is investing in a portable air conditioner. With electronics being cramped up in the basement, the air can become stuffy, and ventilation is possible with an AC, but you will also need to have a window to vent out the stale air. You can incorporate the air conditioning unit into the HVAC system, or it can be stand-alone. Stand-alone units are great for windowless basements because they recirculate air without mixing it with outdoor air.
7. Get Rid of Musty-Smelling Items
No matter how many times you leave the doors and windows open or install air conditioners and fans, if your musty-smelling items are still in the basement, you will still be hit by that nasty smell of stale air. Usually, the basement rarely gets enough air. As a result, whatever you have stored in the basement accumulates stale air; thus, the room becomes stuffy. You can set aside specific days to air out whatever is in the basement and leave them in the sun to soak in the fresh air. That way, even when you return them into the basement, they will introduce clean air into the space.
8. Organize the Basement
Home Detoxing offers a few tips on improving the ventilation in your basement, and one of them is throwing away the unnecessary things \ stored down there. We have a habit of using the basement for storing whatever we do not need, and before you know it, you barely have room to walk around and start thinking of a sale. Before it gets to that point where your boxes are gathering dust and triggering allergies, improve the air circulation by throwing away the unnecessary items and keeping the basement clean.
9. Open Doors
While this may seem like an obvious option, not many of us leave the basement door open. We are guilty of always locking the basement and only opening it when we need to get something in or out of there. As a result, minimal air circulation happens. Leaving the door open regularly helps in introducing fresh air into the basement while the stale air escapes.
10. Using Porous Materials
You can introduce porous materials into the basement. Charcoal is a natural product that traps odor-causing particle. If you cannot get your hands on it, consider buying bamboo charcoal air-purifying bags. You will have to leave them outside monthly to clear the charcoal pores and make them reusable.