What’s Lurking In Your Basement’s Air Supply?
The basement can be one of the most challenging rooms to keep adequately conditioned. It might be the coldest part of your home. It might feel damp as you take each step down.
And what’s that funny smell?
Whether your basement is finished or not, water can be a problem. Because your basement is below ground, water can be a part of your daily life. Even if your home was built correctly, the moisture content of the air could be a lot higher in the basement. Where there’s moisture, there’s the potential for biological growth.
If you are going to finish your basement, it has to be properly waterproofed. It also means paying attention to the items you install. Pay particular attention to the levels of humidity in the air. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a whole house dehumidifier to keep the basement humidity level between 30 and 50 percent.
Humidity isn’t the only thing to pay attention to. Radon can also be a hazard. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is colorless and odorless, and can be harmful to your health. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, killing about 21,000 people each year. You should test for radon gas in your basement if you use it as living space, and ensure your safety from dangerous levels.
Don’t think you’re safe if your basement is unfinished. Many people use unfinished space to store chemicals such as paints, solvents, and even gasoline. These fumes can pollute the basement space, and ultimately impact the air supply that travels throughout your home.
Finally, pay attention to how your basement is ventilated, heated, and cooled. Unfinished basements rarely are fitted with proper ductwork at the time of construction. If it was finished, was it built correctly? Did the contractor get the proper permits, use the right materials, and install everything up to code? If not, you could be paying the price.
If you notice problems with your health that simply won’t go away, it might be time for an audit. One of our technicians would be happy to come out and evaluate your home, ensuring your HVAC system is set up correctly and doing its job. Safety is always the number one concern.