a Basement Ventilation System Work?
Moisture becomes heavier as it cools and settles to the lowest point in
the home. That is usually the basement, or crawlspace. By pulling the moist,
musty air out of the basement or crawlspace, it causes the dryer,
conditioned air from above, usually the first floor, to flow down and
replace the expelled air, acting like a broom in sweeping out the moist,
stale air. This sweeping action of the air from upstairs is accomplished
by putting in a vent from the first floor at a point as far away
from the location of the the BVS as possible.
In the average home the
air is completely replaced about once 1 or 2 hours with a BVS installed.
To determine the rate of air exchange in your basement, multiply the
length X the width X the height of your basement. Divide the result by
200, and this will tell you how many minutes it will take to change all
the air in your basement with a BVS.
Why Is a
Basement Ventilation System Better Than A De-Humidifier?
It will save on your electrical bill, perhaps $50-$60 or more per
It will change the air in your basement instead of re-circulating
the stale air.
It never, ever, needs emptying.
It will never freeze up.
It is safer, healthier and quieter.
It will not heat up your finished below grade basement, like a
de-humidifier will in the summer time.
Do I Leave The Unit On
Yes! The fan is controlled by a humidity sensor. If the humidity is higher
than the setting, the fan will run at full speed. If the humidity reaches
the desired setting, it will slow the fan down, but will still keep some
air moving. So, the unit is left on year-round. It is a “set it and
forget it” operation.
If you leave your
home to go south in the winter, or have a vacation home, it will smell
better when you return.
So the principle is
totally different from a de-humidifier, and is more accurately called a
Ventilation and Humidity Control System and is the best
alternative to a de-humidifier.
What Happens to the
You will not see any water since it does not condense it like a
traditional de-humidifier. It is instead removing the moist air and
replacing it with dryer, conditioned air from upstairs.
Will It Affect
Anything on the Outside of the Vent?
There are no bad effects of the air blowing
Won’t It Increase My
Heating and AC Costs?
Not at all. Since it is controlled by a humidity sensor, this will not be a
problem. First of all, heat rises and you are pulling off cooler air at
the lowest point in the house. Most houses in the winter have a problem
with too little moisture and have to put in a humidifier. Also drier air
is easier to heat than moist air, so it will be easier to heat the air
once the excess humidity is pulled out. If you have to use a humidifier in
the winter, set the basement ventilation system at a higher humidity setting
than your humidifier.
In an air conditioned
house, the air conditioner is acting like a big de-humidifier, and so it
would be sending drier air into the basement, and when the basement
ventilation system senses the drier air, it will slow the fan right down.
Also, the reason many people who have central AC in the basement still
have moisture problems is because the AC unit stops moving air as soon as
the targeted temperature is reached, but this is before all the moisture
is removed. So the humidity ventilation system assists the AC to do it’s
job, and drier air feels cooler, and the AC operates more efficiently.
Also, since a basement ventilation system usually save at least $50 in electricity each month
as compared to a de-humidifer, there is an energy savings from the first
month of operation.
unit be installed?
Since we need to vent out the 6” round pipe, we first try to find
a clear bay between two floor joists, and make sure there are no wires or
pipes in the way and go outside to check outside for obstacles. Although
the unit is quieter than a de-humidifier and about the same noise level
as a small window fan, we want to avoid putting it under the master bed.
Some people can hear the hum of motors when their head hits the pillow.
Can The Unit Be
Installed Without a Vent From The First Floor?
If the owner absolutely does not want a vent installed in the floor, yes,
it can operate without a vent from upstairs. However, it
will not operate as efficiently. It is highly recommended at that point
to cut off the bottom of the door to the basement at least 1” high to
allow some air to flow into the basement. In some installations, an 8” x
10” hole is cut into the stairwell wall into a first floor room, and
covered with a finishing air grill on both sides.
Will The The
Affect My Furnace?
You should always respect the furnaces need for a large amount of air for
combustion purposes. This is why the BVS is not to be installed any closer
that 8’ from a furnace or combustion type hot water heater. Building codes
require a furnace installer to allow for a good air supply, and many new
combustion type furnaces and hot water heater are direct vented.
Why Is The MBS
So Economical To Run?
Since the unit draws less than one amp and uses less than 50 watts of
electricity, it costs no more than leaving a light bulb on all the time.
De-humidifiers are small refrigerator compressors and are therefore costly
Will the Unit Get
Rid of The Mold In My Basement?
NO! Mold is ubiquitous, it is everywhere, and is a natural decaying
material that contributes to the recycling of organic material. Mold out
of control, and in excessive amounts can be detrimental. In all cases of
extreme mold contamination, super simple and economical measures were not
taken due to either distaste for “work” i.e. normal, regular, cleaning
practices, being penny wise and pound foolish in not addressing water
leakage or intrusion problems, or improper use of storage materials in
However, since mold
needs moisture to grow and prosper, we help you to keep moisture from
building up in your basement, crawlspace, by maintaining a 24/7
ventilation. Just as it is your responsibility to keep an eye out for
crabgrass and dandelions on your lawn, and take measures to keep them
from multiplying, your basement environment is your regular
responsibility. However, many customers have noticed an improvement in
their basement with the use of a basement ventilation system. Remember, you can keep
introducing mold into your basement by walking over dead vegetation
outside, and tracking it into you basement, or allowing dead leaves to
blow into your basement, or storing planting and gardening materials in
your basement. Never, ever allow particleboard shelving or plywood to be
used in your basement, since that imports mold spores. Mold thrives on
cellulose and cardboard and books, etc., are 100% cellulose. Shame on you
if you have your basement filled with the aforementioned items and wonder
why you have a mold problem.
However, a Basement
Ventilation System is perhaps the most effective tool at your disposable
in the fight against mold. It will help pull mold spores out of the house,
and keep them from hanging around and multiplying.
If you have a serious
mold contamination, you must either undertake a good thorough cleaning,
fix any water leaks, including replacing any water damaged materials,
including the carpet, and/or calling in a mold remediation company.
Remember, it is your vigilance and diligence that keeps you from getting
to that point.
Ventilation System Make The Musty Basement Odor Go Away?
Usually within a few hours of installing a system, people remark how much
better their basement smells. This is because a BVS is diluting the
smell existing in the basement by changing the air so frequently.
However, after a BVS is installed, it is the owners responsibility to
remove the sources of the odor such as old, molding cardboard boxes, rugs
that have gotten wet and are now mold cultures, old clothes stuffed in an
unheated, unventilated closet in the basement.
This can be illustrate
with clothes that have been thoroughly washed, but left in the washing
machine and not put in the drier immediately. The excessive moisture
starts to cause a smell to develop very quickly, and just drying them
later will not remove the odor. They must be rewashed and immediately put
into the drier. Or they must be hung outside to allow the natural ozone in
the outside air to give them that fresh air smell. It may also be
necessary for the owner to wash all the walls and floor with a solution to
kill mold that cannot be seen, but is contributing to the odor. Dirt crawl
spaces should ideally be covered with a cement dust cap or 6 mil plastic
The most common word
we hear back from many of our customers that had musty basements is “We love
the basement ventilation system. It has done all we expected and more”
Other Side Benefits to Installing a BVS?
Many replacement window companies have found that when they install new,
expensive, tighter, replacement windows, the first winter the customers
complain about their expensive windows sweating. Usually after installing
a Basement Ventilation System the problem is corrected.
contractor in Maine that installs vinyl siding told of a customer that
had a new sliding patio door installed. For the following winters, she
could not open the door all winter long, since an ice dam formed until
spring set in. After the basement ventilation system was installed, she
could use her sliding patio door, all winter long.