Basement ventilation systems are extremely important. Stagnant air poses health issues, for one thing. Damp, settling air can be the cause of a bad case of black mold. Since hurricane Katrina, everyone understands the health risk that poses.
If mold does invade the basement, there is nothing else to do but jump right into mold remediation before the health impact on the homeowners gets any worse. Another potential health issue is radon. The first step to determine if a problem is present is to employ a radon gas detector.
What Level of Basement Ventilation is Called For?
The answer to this question really depends on what the basement is going to be used for. If it’s only to be used for storage, heating and cooling functionality will probably not be a prime requirement. In this case, air circulation and the means to remove basement humidity is the main concern.
If this is the case, the decision is simplified. What’s called for is ductwork, a few exhaust grills, and at least one, perhaps two exhaust fans. A house dehumidifier may also be called for. Air is exhausted through the roof or on the side of the house.
If basement refinishing is in the cards to convert the basement into a living space, either bedrooms or a basement home theater, a more sophisticated version of indoor climate control is called for. This will incorporate heating and cooling components. The equipment is basically the same air conditioner and furnace set up used in the rest of the home.
Basement Ventilation Systems by bustmold
When is the Best Time to Install Indoor Climate Control?
The best scenario is one in which the home is in the construction phase. If this is the case, the architect working with the engineer can design the capacity of the ventilation equipment. They’ll use the home’s square footage as a planning parameter and incorporate the basement into the home heating and cooling system along with the rest of the house.
With a home that is currently occupied, it will be necessary to retrofit. First, flexible ductwork or steel ductwork must be installed in the basement. Then it will be necessary to add the required additional heating and cooling units. But this is a good time to ask this question, “How old and energy efficient is the current system?”
If the system is relatively new and has a good SEER rating, it’s probably best to add a dedicated indoor climate control system for the basement. However, if the system is getting a bit long in the tooth, it’s not as energy efficient as it could be.
This presents a golden opportunity to replace all the heating and cooling units with one that will save money every month on energy bills. In some areas, the homeowner can even reap a US federal tax credit.