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Cellar ventilation

The basement is an obligatory part of any living space, whether it is a small private house or a solid cottage. It can store food, construction or other materials, etc.
And like any room in the house, the basement needs ventilation.
Ventilation in Tokio or in Kiev, ventilation in New York or in Bogota may have its own nuances, but there are general principles and patterns for each specific room in any locality. In this article we will discuss the general patterns of ventilation of basements.

Cellar, as no other room can become a repository of unpleasant odors, dampness, mold. Often basements are used for household chemicals, paints, solvents, automotive products and detergents. In non-ventilated space, these chemicals accumulate and form toxic environments. Basement ventilation provides removal of contaminated or frosty air and inflow into it fresh air from the street.

There are two basic types of cellar ventilation: natural and coercive, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Cold moisture from the ground percolates through the floor and walls. When it encounters warm basement air, condensation is released. Condensation creates a smoky, sour smell, and if it is not removed in time, it stagnates and produces a fertile soil for various fungi and spores of mold. Some of their forms are toxic and dangerous to human health, and such as, for example, black mold, can exacerbate or cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks and flu symptoms. In order to prevent the formation of fungi, it is necessary first of all to reduce or eliminate any influx of water or dampness, and ventilate the basement. The constant influx of clean, fresh air inhibits the growth of mold and fungus.

Natural ventilation creates a movement of natural air flows, but this type of ventilation is effective only for cellars with windows or special channels, located in a special way, with the ability to open and close and regulate the degree of their opening, as well as under certain temperature conditions of the environment. While the natural method saves energy, it requires high physical costs and constant control. To achieve the best results, windows or channels must be in front of each other.

If the basement is always wet, the natural method is likely to be inadequate, and may require a mechanical ventilation system or even a dehumidifier.
Mechanical ventilation uses ducts and openings to remove moisture and provide fresh, external air. This type of ventilation system can be as simple as placing small window fans in opposite windows, and more complex, with the installation of exhaust fans, with strapping air ducts or connecting to existing ventilation ducts.
Today, many homeowners choose artificial ventilation, because it offers wide opportunities for automation and, accordingly, ease of management.

For most cellars of small and medium sizes, this is an inflow fan on one side of the foundation and an exhaust fan on the other end. Fans can be installed within the existing window openings, or require special openings cut in the ground parts of the basement walls.
The easiest way to automate ventilation involves the humidity sensor. After the sensor detects a certain moisture content, fans are switched on and the moisture is extracted, or (i) fresh air is supplied until the moisture content in the cellar decreases. To suppress the growth of mold and fungi in the basements, it is necessary to maintain an environment in them with a humidity below 60%.

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