Why Should I Care About The Air In My Basement?

Basement Ventilation: The Foundational Link To A Healthy Home

As human beings, we breathe – inhale and exhale – about 10,000 to 70,000 times every day just to sustain life. Not really surprising, but what is surprising is how little attention, we  pay to the quality of air we are breathing. We as North American’s spend countless hours and billions of dollars deciding on the food we eat, beverages we drink, the lotions we put on our skin and the effects they have on our health and well-being. However, until very recently with the COVID-19 pandemic we spent very little time discussing the quality of the air we breathe in our homes.

If we are inhaling air into our lungs 10,000 to 70,000 times a day, doesn’t it make sense to at least consider the quality of air we breathe?

breathe in breathe out - ez breathe ventilation

So, let’s take a moment to consider what IS in the air we breathe. How is the air I am breathing effecting my home and health? We now know that much of the transmission of the COVID-19 virus is happening among people living under the same roof. How can we better understand this?

What is Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)? Term to describe “the physical and chemical characteristics of air inside buildings including airborne constituents with special concerns for the impact on occupant health and comfort” Airborne constituents include:

Temperature – Humidity – VOCs – Allergens – Particle Counts – Bacteria – Building Materials – Type of Construction – Exchange Rates – Occupants – HVAC – Insulation – etc.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, tells us that “The air in the average American home is a minimum of 5 times (and can be as much as 100 times) more polluted than outdoor air.” There are quite a few reasons for this…from the off gassing of toxins we use in building our homes such as glues, epoxies, resins, varnishes, upholstery, carpets, paint fumes, formaldehyde, and other VOCs to the type of foundations our homes are built on, basements and crawlspaces, add in the many pollutants we bring into our house plus our quest for insulation and energy efficient upgrades to the mix and we’ve got quite a toxic cocktail of indoor air quality! 

For homes with basements, indoor toxins are greater than for those homes without basements. Unfinished and finished basements both create risks for toxic exposure throughout the whole home. A recent study indicated that foundation walls, due to their porous nature “absorb 10-15 gallons of water vapor per day, which is responsible for up to 80% of the home’s indoor moisture, and can accelerate the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew as well as attract bugs, spiders and pests.”

We can all agree that it is important to control water leaks and water entry, from the basement into the rest of the house. Additionally, controlling mold is important as this toxin, will place your family at significant health risk. The humidity and condensation in the basement is what most often creates a mold risk. 

stack effect - ez breathe ventilationAdding the “Stack Effect” (the movement of air into and out of home) to this dynamic exaggerates the introduction of toxins from the basement into the home.   

The rising warm air draws air in through either open doors, windows, or other openings and up from basement.

Actively drawing dirty basement air into the living environment above is detrimental to providing a healthy indoor environment.

 

How Ventilation can help…

The good news is you can do something to combat this growing health concern and further protect your family from breathing bad, contaminated air.  Even better news is that it does not include major home renovations or serious lifestyle changes…by simply increasing the home’s air exchanges YOU can make a difference.

Helping to reduce the natural stack effect (tendency for basement/crawlspace air to rise up into the living space) YOU can improve your indoor quality. This will also provide a path of escape for the bad air to exit which will further prevent polluted indoor air from accumulating to unhealthy levels and entering the living environment. By exhausting that bad air out and increasing air exchanges you can dramatically improve the indoor air quality…and the health of the occupants!

It’s really a very simply solution to a complex problem. By increasing the ventilation rates in the home sourced at the lowest part of the foundation, you will see a reduction in indoor allergens,  airborne contaminants, viruses, humidity levels, trapped gasses and pollutants, as well as all of those nasty chemicals we introduce into our indoor environment every day. 

85 percent reduction - ez breathe ventilationCreate a fresher, cleaner, drier indoor air environment naturally, without expensive air filters, air cleaners, scrubbers, etc. When you increase ventilation there is no need for any harmful air fresheners, sprays, plug-ins, candles, chemical masking agents or fragrances. These synthetic compounds do nothing to improve the air quality and oftentimes add dangerous chemicals further polluting an already compromised air quality. 

If we need to breath up to 70,000 times per day just to sustain us, it’s probably a good idea to be sure that the air we are inhaling is the healthiest it can be to support us in being the healthiest we can be!

To Learn more about how the EZ Breathe Ventilation System can:

  • Improve indoor Air Quality
  • Reduce allergens
  • Monitor humidity levels
  • Remove pollutants
  • Reverse natural stack effect
  • Prevent Ice damming
  • Protect your home and health
  • Create a healthy and happy home!

Visit us at www.ezbreathe.com or call us at 1.866.8227328