Avoiding your basement this spring due to some nasty smells?
You’re not alone! Managing the air quality in residential basements is not an easy task.
The unpleasant odours in your basement can come from many factors – including mildew, stale air, VOCs, poor ventilation, mould etc.
And if you’ve carpeted your basement, you’ll probably have an even stinkier experience! Capillarity causes moisture to come up through the foundation of your home. This moisture can then dampen your home and create the perfect environment for mould growth, dust mites and mildew.
But with the right basement air purifier, you don’t have to worry about harmful allergens, chemicals, toxins or stinky smells!
Air purifiers remove these harmful contaminants and release clean air into your basement.
But which air purifier is best?
If you want to stop avoiding your basement, this article is for you! We explore common basement air quality problems, why they exist and how to remove them with the right air purifier.
Three Common Basement Air Quality Problems
Your basement can be many things – a recreational room, man cave, craft room, extra bedrooms. Even a downstairs apartment! But what it should never be, is home to VOCs, dampness, stinky mould and musty odours.
Where do these contaminants come from? And why are they so common in your basement?
If you’ve ever noticed a musty, earthy odour coming from your basement, you’ve encountered one of the first signs of mould growth.
As mould grows, it emits gases that circulate the basement air and embed into surrounding fabrics. This embedding is what causes your carpet, couch and curtains to reek.
Other signs of mould include moisture problems, deteriorating paint and varying health symptoms.
Health Symptoms of Mould:
- Itchy eyes or skin
- Stuffy nose
- Asthma symptoms
- Shortness of breath
What causes mould to grow?
The perfect environment for mould growth has six elements:
- Mould Spores
- Food (organic materials)
- Warmth (not too cold and not too hot)
If you’re concerned about mould in your basement, go through the above list again! Don’t forget to place a checkmark on each element present in your basement.
Did you end up with six checkmarks? If so, you’ve got yourself the perfect home for mould growth! (Probably not quite the achievement you were aiming for…)
VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Ever wonder why homeowners choose to use plant-based or all-natural cleaning products? Many traditional cleaners and disinfectants are sources of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are dangerous gases that can cause both short and long-term negative health effects.
Varying Health Effects Of VOCs:
These gases are also released by organic chemicals, including those found in:
- Air fresheners etc.
Even craft glue, permanent markers and building materials emit these gases!
Why are VOCs likely found in basements?
First of all, basements typically have very poor airflow. So VOCs have little opportunity to exit your home.
Secondly, homeowners tend to store many old and unused items away in deep closets in their basements – out of sight and mind! But these half-empty paint cans, leftover crafting supplies and extra cleaning products can release VOCs whether in use or not.
According to the EPA, some levels of VOCs are roughly 2-5 times higher indoors than they are outdoors. And it doesn’t matter whether you live in a rural community or a suburban one, like Hamilton, Ontario.
P.S. VOCs can also release a strong and unpleasant odour – contributing to an unpleasant basement smell.
Do the carpet, couch, blankets or pillows in your basement feel damp? This is usually due to high humidity, or moisture, in your indoor air.
How Does High Humidity Damage Your Home?
- Mould Growth
- Poor Indoor Air Quality
- Warped Wood
- Peeling Paint
- Stained Walls
- Rotting Wood
- Smelly Odours
Besides these damages to your home, there’s your health to think about too! If you have allergies to dust mites, fungi, mould or bacteria, then high humidity is definitely your enemy. It can cause these allergens to grow and multiply in your home!
There are many other factors to consider when exploring the culprits of poor basement air quality. But for the sake of this article, we’ll keep the list short. And now that you know the top 3 concerns, you can start thinking about a solution!
The Best Air Purifier For Your Basement
If you’re like us, hearing about all the potential growth and stench lurking in your living space probably makes you shiver with disgust.
But thankfully, the right air purifier can help reduce these poor air quality culprits – giving you safe, clean air once again!
So, what is the best air purifier for your basement?
Although many successful air purifiers exist, just any air purifier won’t do. It needs to be powerful enough to deal with biological pollutants, odours, mould and germs!
That’s why we recommend choosing a basement air purifier with these three specific components:
- A HEPA filter,
- Carbon filter and
- UV light technology.
A True HEPA filter is one of the most powerful pieces of home air quality equipment. It can remove 99.97% of air pollution – including mould, dust and pollen at a size of 0.3 microns!
But this type of filter cannot remove gasses and odours. For that, you’ll need a carbon filter.
A carbon filter is an incredible tool for basement air quality. It can remove gasses, odours and VOCs!
If you’re struggling with unpleasant odours in your home, this component of your air purifier is imperative.
But while a carbon filter can remove both gasses and volatile organic compounds, it cannot kill germs. That’s the job of UV light technology!
UV Light Technology
Ultraviolet Light (UV) Technology has the power to kill both germs and mould.
Instead of trapping them in a filter, this type of air purifier destroys these harmful particles – eliminating them from your air entirely!
An air purifier with all three of these components will be practically unstoppable in the battle against your poor basement air quality.
Looking For Other Ways To Help Improve Basement Air Quality?
- Install a Whole House Ventilator.
- Install a Whole House Humidifier.
- Drain eavestroughs away from the foundation of your home.
- Dry out your basement.
- Keep your downstairs windows closed.
- Check for cracks and gaps In your walls, ceiling and window seals.
Take Advantage of Our Spring Cleaning Deals!
Have you started your spring cleaning yet?
For the entire month of May, save 10% on our Air Duct Cleaning Services and get $100 OFF our Whole-House Indoor Air Quality Equipment installations!
*Offers to expire on May 31st, 2022.
*Cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions.
Shipton’s CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton Is Your Basement Air Quality Expert!
At Shipton’s CleanAir Solutions, we care about your health and the health of your home. Want to learn more about improving your basement air quality? Give us a call!