Having a basement means that your home has lots of versatility. You can use this area for storage, or you can convert the basement to increase the footprint of your home and create a usable space. Regardless of how you use the space in your basement, one of the most important considerations is ensuring the basement has enough ventilation. Here is an overview of the different ventilation options available to help you get the best ventilation for your basement possible.
Why Does Your Basement Need Ventilation?
According to home Guides, the basement is the room that needs the most thought when it comes to ventilation. This is because the basement can gather bad smells, moisture problems, indoor pollutants, and mold. Without ventilation, poor air quality can lead to ill health. in some cases If you have a kitchenette or bathroom in your basement, then you also need something to release the steam, and if you are using the basement as a workshop, you may need to release harmful fumes. In addition to the safety benefits of having ventilation, it can also leave your basement smelling fresher. It is also important to note that adequate ventilation is a stipulation of building regulations in many countries, so you need to check that your ventilation meets at least the minimum requirements.
Permagard says that ventilation for basements is divided into two categories; natural ventilation and mechanical ventilation. The former describes sources that provide natural air without the use of power, such as windows, door, and open staircases. The latter describes the addition of products that require power to mechanically ventilate a space.
What Are the Different Ventilation Options?
There are many different ways that you can ventilate your basement. Which you choose will depend on many factors, including the depth of the basement, its design, how it is being used, your budget, and your personal preferences. Home Advice Guide says that some of the most common forms of ventilation used in basements include:
- Windows – If the top part of your basement extends above ground level a little, then the best ventilation solution to use is windows. Having narrow windows across the top edge of the basement on opposite sides should give good airflow. Another benefit is that they add natural light to the basement. The downside of windows is that they will only provide ventilation when they are open. If the weather is bad and you need to keep the windows closed, then ventilation is poor.
- Open staircase – Most building regulations consider an open staircase with no door between the ground floor level and the basement as sufficient ventilation. However, as soon as a door is added at either end of the staircase, you will not have enough ventilation in the basement.
- Extractor fans – An extractor fan is fitted into the wall. They serve the purpose of removing smells and moisture from inside the basement and replacing them with fresh air from outside. Some modern models have sensors that can detect humidity in the air when it reaches a level that you have predetermined.
- Air bricks – These are a special type of brick that allows the air to flow through the walls. If you are just having the basement built, you can include these as part of the construction. On the other hand, if your basement is already in place and you are converting the space or simply trying to improve the ventilation, it is possible to add these bricks in later.
- Ceiling fans – This is a quick and simple way of circulating air in a basement, but they are best used in conjunction with another source of ventilation. As the name suggests, these fans are fitted to the ceilings and they are often combined with a light source. Therefore, they have a dual purpose.
- Dehumidifiers – Strictly speaking, dehumidifiers are not a form of ventilation. They simply remove moisture from the air. However, it is worth noting that you should consider having a dehumidifier in addition to your ventilation system. This is especially the case if you have a bathroom or kitchenette in your basement, as using these will add moisture to the air.
- Combinations – In most cases, you will probably need more than one type of ventilation. This is especially the case if you have a large basement, you are converting it into a living area, or you have divided the basement into multiple rooms with different uses.
Should You Fit Ventilation Yourself?
Unless you have the building experience needed for fitting natural ventilation or the electrical experience for fitting mechanical ventilation, you should not attempt to fit your basement ventilation yourself. When you are having a new home built, the builders will ensure that the basement has sufficient ventilation to meet with building regulations. However, you should discuss the different options available to you with them. They can also advise you in terms of your budget. When changing the use of your basement or you are converting it into a livable space, you should consult with a professional. They can advise you of the best type of ventilation to use. It is possible that you may need to use several forms of ventilation, especially if you have a larger basement or a basement that is divided into separate rooms. It is important that your ventilation is planned properly and fitted expertly for safety reasons.
Basement Ventilation – The Final Verdict
If you have a basement in your home, then ventilation is essential regardless of how you plan to use this space. There are both natural and mechanical ventilation options available, although you may need to use a combination of both. A professional can advise you about the options that are best suited to your home. It is vital that the ventilation is fitted properly by experts to ensure that it is safe and meets any building regulations in place in your area.