Basements, on the whole, often tend to be musty, damp spaces that suffer from damp and humidity. Temperatures in basements are often uncomfortable due to this, and these uncomfortable conditions can move upwards into the rest of the house.
There are numerous basement ventilation fans available on the market today, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Each of them serves to extract stale air from the basement and bring in fresh air. How well they do this depends on the size and capacity of the fan itself.
When choosing a basement ventilation fan, you should consider the ventilation needs of your basement, as well as the size of the basement. These factors, among others, will significantly influence your ventilation fan choice. It’s important, however, that you make the correct choice for your needs, as this may be the deciding factor between a livable basement and one that is not.
Why Do Basements Need Ventilation?
Your home’s basement is often a smelly, damp area with a stale and musty smell, and this is often due to seasonal water issues, water drains, sump pits, or a simple lack of ventilation. To eliminate odors and reduce the humidity in your basement, it’s extremely important to ventilate the space properly.
Harmful substances such as radon can move upwards from underground, sometimes building to harmful levels in your basement and then moving into the rest of your home.
Basements are also often the place where chemicals are stored. So with time, these chemicals can also begin to dissipate into the air around them, slowly building up to levels that can make the space uncomfortable and/or unlivable, potentially causing harm to the inhabitants of the building.
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Because the ground surrounding a basement is often far cooler than the temperature inside the basement itself, this can lead to condensation, which, in turn, can lead to excess moisture levels within the basement.
If this moisture is trapped in the basement space, it will start to form small pools of water and can further attract problems such as insects, mold, and wood rot. Some types of mold (specifically black mold) can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and ‘flu-like symptoms in some individuals.
A sufficient supply of fresh, clean air is the best way to ensure that mold and mildew cannot grow.
If your basement happens to have windows built-in, this is a great start in ensuring that there is some form of ventilation for the space. There are other options such as small airconditioning units, box fans, floor fans, or dehumidifiers which can also assist in ensuring the basement is sufficiently ventilated at all times.
There are, however, a multitude of extraction fans available, which will ensure that your basement is sufficiently ventilated, keeping excess moisture at bay along with potentially hazardous chemicals and any other potentially harmful items.
The majority of basement exhaust fans feature humidity sensors that are able to activate when the humidity reaches a certain level, ensuring entirely economical use of the fans at all times.
What To Consider When Choosing Your Ventilation Fan
There are a number of important considerations to make when choosing which ventilation fan is best for your purposes. Firstly, what is the size of your basement? This will be a major deciding factor in choosing the right fan as some exhaust fans simply cannot cope with ventilating a larger basement space.
On the other hand, you also wouldn’t want to purchase an unnecessarily large and heavy-duty ventilation fan for your space when a smaller and more economical version would adequately perform the same job.
Some systems incorporate a ventilation fan on one end of the basement with an exhaust fan on the other end. There are some fans that are manufactured with an intake and exhaust on the same unit, ensuring ease of installation, but not necessarily the best ventilation results.
Some fans can simply be installed within the existing window cavities of the basement, while others may require openings to be made through the above-ground sections of the basement walls. The ease of installation mentioned here makes a substantial difference to the choice of fan for the individual.
Whether you want or need a humidity sensor for your basement fan is another deciding factor, as some of these fans come standard with this useful feature.
This allows for simple automation, and as a result, does not require that you need to manually turn on the fan when required, nor does it require that you have to leave the ventilation fan running at all times.
When the sensor detects that the moisture content in the room has reached a certain level, the fans will switch on and ventilate the air in the basement until the moisture in the basement has been reduced to an acceptable level.
In order to prevent the growth of mold and mildew, it is recommended that the humidity levels be kept below 60% in the building at all times.
To ensure a ventilation system that works most efficiently and effectively for your chosen space, it should be properly designed and well-thought-out. It depends, in a big way, on the actual size of the basement as well as the presence of any other items or appliances in the space.
Ventilation Fan Types
There are currently four different types of ventilation fans available. Ceiling-mounted fans connect to the external environment through air ducts which usually run through a false ceiling. These are put to good use in kitchen environments because hot air created in the kitchen will naturally rise up towards the ceiling.
Wall-mounted fans are connected directly to the outside through a hole in the wall that is created specifically for the ventilation fan. As long as there is an outdoor space on the other side of the wall in which the fan is being installed, these fans will sufficiently be able to ventilate any small space.
Inline ventilation fans are installed between air ducts, and these are another great option for basement ventilation.
Combination fans, on the other hand, are somewhat of a hybrid between the aforementioned fans and usually boast a host of features that allow them to efficiently ventilate most basement spaces.
Airflow capacity is a major consideration for your basement fan selection, and this is measured in cubic feet per minute. The size of the fan being used determines the CFM, and resultantly 1 CFM is needed in order to sufficiently ventilate one square foot of a room.
Noise is naturally another consideration when choosing a basement extractor, especially if the basement is going to be used as a living space in any way. Some basement fans, especially the older models, tend to be extremely noisy and can make for an uncomfortable experience in any room while the fan is running.
Thankfully, due to modern technology, the newer fans produced today tend to be far quieter and noise-efficient.
Airtitan Series of Basement Extractors
The Airtitan series of basement ventilation fans produces a line of high airflow fans, which are specifically designed to ventilated areas such as crawlspaces, basements, and garages. These areas are particularly prone to trapped moisture in the air, and so it is important that they are properly ventilated to ensure problems do not occur further along the line.
These fans feature a program controller which measures temperature and humidity. They are also able to adjust airflow automatically based on whatever parameters you have set for the fan.
The Airtitan series has been specifically designed to reduce noise as well as reduce electricity consumption, making them an environmentally-friendly choice for your basement. Additional features include an eco-mode function as well as timers and alarm alerts to ensure efficient functioning at all times.
Airtitan ventilation fans have been designed to withstand any harsh environment in which they are placed, ensuring that proper ventilation can always occur irrespective of harsh weather conditions. A steel enclosure ensures a strong and durable exterior, meaning the unit will be far less prone to incurring damage.
The Airtitan units are IP44 rated, which means that they are fully protected from water and dust, and each unit is made up of two DC fans which ensure excellent airflow while keeping noise to a minimum.
Here are some suggestions based on what your needs may be…
Best For Quiet Operation: AirTitan T8 Basement Ventilation Fan
The Airtitan T8 is part of the AirTitan series of basement ventilation fans. This well-designed fan allows for efficient ventilation of the majority of basement spaces, provided they are not overly large.
The design is somewhat aesthetically pleasing, with a stainless steel frame that is not only good-looking but also extremely heavy-duty and highly functional. A programmable controlling unit ensures that airflow is properly regulated at all times.
One of the biggest advantages of this specific fan is its extremely quiet operation capabilities. Due to the use of a DC-motor, this extractor is able to operate extremely quietly, making it a great choice if noise is a major consideration for your space.
This is especially important if the basement space is being used as part of your living space, and any noise from a ventilation fan would potentially interfere with daily life in the space.
Bear in mind that despite its heavy-duty nature, this fan is not suitable for use in larger spaces.
Check the current price for the fan on Amazon.
Best for Energy Efficiency: Tjernlund X2D Xchanger Reversible Basement Fan
This basement fan is designed in a fashion more akin to the air-vent type of fan. This fan is somewhat different from others on the market in that it features two separate fans on the same body structure, with the fans having the ability to be reversed in order to adjust for different usages.
When compared to other dehumidifiers that usually require around 1000 watts to operate, this fan is extremely energy efficient. It is able to create an airflow of around 90 CFP per minute using only 40 watts of electrical supply.
This makes it a great option if you are hoping to make use of an extractor fan for your basement while keeping electricity costs down.
Three separate modes of function, all controlled by remote control, allow for exhausting air from the room, supplying fresh air, or alternatively doing both simultaneously. This versatility makes it a great option for your ventilation purposes.
Check its current price on Amazon.
Best For Small Spaces: AirTitan AC-ATT3
This fan features a high-quality aluminum frame, as well as a programmable controller and IP-44 rated fans, which means water and dust should not cause any major issues. This fan is able to maintain control over humidity levels as well as temperature and can fit into almost any space, however small.
Other features include a thermostat, fully customizable fan speeds, and a dehumidifier control, all accessible through an LCD display. The size of this fan and its 120CFM capacity for airflow means that it can only work in spaces around 120 square feet.
Therefore, while this fan is an excellent option for small spaces, it will not be suitable for use in any space larger than 120 square feet.
Check the current price on Amazon.
Easiest To Install: Tru North Vent Company Garage Vent 300 CFM
This fan is primarily designed to be used in garage spaces, but it can also be used to good effect in basements. This vent is extremely easy to install and switches on automatically when the humidity in your basement reaches a certain level.
Once the humidity has reduced to an acceptable level, the fan turns off again. This fan is not, however, suitable for use in large basements, making this an important consideration.
Check it out at Tru North here.
Whichever option you decide to go with when choosing a ventilation fan for your basement, you can be assured of a great solution that will not only make the conditions in your basement more livable but will ensure that the damp conditions in the basement do not cause further issues such as mold growth.
A basement ventilation fan is a worthwhile purchase and is an extremely good investment for your home. The addition of this device will ensure that odors are eliminated, humidity is reduced and controlled, and issues such as wood rot, mold, and insects do not become a problem.
More articles about basements you might like:
- “How to Frame your Basement Ceiling for Drywall”
- “How to Finish your Basement Without Using Drywall”
- “A Guide to Finishing your Basement Stairs”
- “Does a Basement Apartment Add Value to your Home?”
- “Is Vinyl Flooring Good for Basements?”
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