If your home has a basement and it does not have an existing ventilation system, you may have had to face some problems. If a basement does not have a proper system in place to ventilate the air, over time, it can accumulate a number of different smells and odors. These unpleasant smells can accumulate in the basement for a number of reasons.
There can be moisture problems, growth of mold, humidity, condensation and the build-up of various gases if the basement has equipment such as; water heaters, clothes dryers, boilers, washing machines etc. Solvents, automobile accessories, paints and cleaning supplies also all release their component chemicals into the air at a slow but steady rate.
Without proper ventilation, all these odors and gases have no place to go to and they will keep on accumulating and apart from causing a smell problem, the basement can actually become a toxic and poisonous place, becoming a danger to anyone who goes down there without a gas mask.
There are a number of solutions to this problem, all of which involve various methods of ventilation. In this article, we will present to you a method which is so easy that you can implement it yourself. Read the following instructions and follow them in order to make your basement free from any kind of atmospheric or environmental problems.
#1. Purchase an exhaust fan and a vent for your basement
You can buy a vent and an exhaust fan from any hardware store. You can get these and any related equipment from your local hardware store at very affordable rates. To find out the size of the exhaust fan that you need to get, measure the area of your basement (in feet) and multiply that by 1.1. Take the value that you get and get an exhaust fan that has the CFM rating of the same value (or higher).
#2. Decide a good location to install the ventilation system
If your basement has a furnace, installing the ventilation system near it would be ideal. This is because if it is near the furnace, all the fumes and smoke from the furnace will go directly into the vent and none of the fumes will spread out into the room. The vent and fan should also be high on the wall. This is to ensure that the exhaust fan is well above floor level. Use a marker or pencil to draw a square on the wall. This square will designate where the exhaust fan will be installed.
To start, drill a small hole to act as a reference. Then go outside and identify the location in the wall where the vent will direct the air out from the basement. This location will be where the exhaust vent will be installed.
#3. Install the exhaust fan
Inside the basement, take your drill and drill a few holes along the square that you drew previously. While doing this and afterwards as well, be sure that you are wearing safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying shrapnel and electrical sparks. Use a hand saw to cut along these holes, eventually forming a space large enough to place the exhaust fan.
Once the space for the exhaust fan has been formed, use a screwdriver to screw in the exhaust fan and mount it along the wall.
#4. Install the vent
Now go outside to install the vent in the area on the wall that you marked as a reference previously. Follow the instructions that came attached when you purchased the exhaust fan and the vent. These instructions should be easy enough to follow.
Use a caulking gun to seal any gaps between the vent and the wall with latex caulk. Take extra care to seal the edges of the vent using fiberglass insulation. This will prevent outside air and insects from entering the gaps and finding their way into the basement.
#5. Connect the wires
This is the last step for the entire procedure. The exhaust fan and the vent have been installed and now the only thing left is to attach the wiring to allow them to start functioning. Before starting this step, turn off the main power to your house using your home’s circuit box, to prevent any electrical accidents from occurring. Once the power is off, connect the wires to the exhaust fan in the basement and connect the other end of those wires to the basement electrical switch box.
After you have connected these wires, insulate and secure them by covering any exposed part of the wires with electrical insulation tape. Now turn on the main power and test whether the exhaust fan works or not. Once it is running smoothly, go outside and stand near the exhaust vent to check if the air from the basement is getting ventilated or not.
You can perform a test to determine the effectiveness of this ventilation system by lighting a scented candle, or incense, inside the basement and turning on the exhaust fan. Then go outside and stand next to the vent. If you smell the scent of the candle or the incense odor blowing out from the vent, your ventilation system is a success.
Congratulations. You have solved the problem of basement ventilation by yourself. You can now enjoy your basement without having to worry about choking to death because of built up gases and odors.
If you’re interested in setting up a basement bathroom exhaust fan, check out the video below: