Basement Ventilation System FAQ's

Basement Ventilation System Frequently Asked Questions | More Questions? Call 508-360-3058

Will the Basement Ventilation System get rid of the musty smell in my basement?


Usually within a few hours of installing a Basement Ventilation System, our customers remark how much better their basement smells (no musty smell). This is because the Basement Ventilation System is diluting the musty smell in the basement by changing the air so frequently. We often hear back from our customers that have had a musty smell in the basement “We love the basement ventilation system. It has done all we expected and more.” 


However, after a Basement Ventilation System is installed, it is your responsibility to remove any sources of musty smell or odor such as old, moldy cardboard, carpets that have gotten wet, old clothes stuffed in an unheated, unventilated closet in the basement. This can be illustrated with clothes that have been thoroughly washed, but left in the washing machine and not put in the drier immediately. The excessive moisture starts to cause a musty smell to develop very quickly, and just drying them later will not remove the odor. They must be rewashed and immediately put into the drier.

Why is the Basement Ventilation System better than a dehumidifier?


Love going into the basement to check your dehumidifier and empty the bucket? Didn't think so. Our Basement Ventilation System has NO bucket to empty and requires NO maintenance! Here are some more reasons it's great dehumidifier alternative:

  • It will save on your electrical bill, perhaps $50-$60 or more per month.

  • It will change the air in your basement instead of just re-circulating the same stale air.

  • It never, ever, needs emptying. 

  • It will never freeze up in the winter. 

  • It is safer, healthier and quieter. 

  • It will not heat up your finished below grade basement, like a dehumidifier will in the summer time. 

Will the Basement Ventilation System get rid of the mold in my basement?


NO! The Basement Ventilation System is pretty awesome, but it can't clean your house for you (at least not yet). It WILL however, be your best friend and a powerful ally in your fight against mold! 

Mold needs moisture to grow. Our Basement Ventilation System helps fight mold in at least two ways. One, it keeps moisture from building up in your basement or crawlspace by maintaining 24/7 ventilation and two, it helps pull mold spores out of the house.


It is also important for you to take practical measures to eliminate potential mold problems. Remember, you can reintroduce mold into your basement by walking over dead vegetation outside, and tracking it in, or allowing dead leaves to blow in, or storing gardening materials in your basement. Never, ever allow particleboard shelving to be used in your basement, nor allow old cardboard, books and paper to pile up. 

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Our Basement Ventilation System helps to get rid of the musty smell in your basement!

How does a Basement Ventilation System work?


Moisture becomes heavier as it cools and settles to the lowest point in the home. That is usually the basement, or crawlspace. By pulling the moist, musty air out of the basement or crawl space, it causes the dryer, conditioned air from above, usually the first floor, to flow down and replace the expelled air, acting like a broom in sweeping out the moist, stale musty air and smell. This sweeping action of the air from upstairs is accomplished by putting in a vent from the first floor at a point as far away from the location of the Basement Ventilation System as possible.

In the average home the air is completely replaced about once every 1-2 hours with a Basement Ventilation System installed. To determine the rate of air exchange in your basement, multiply the length X the width X the height of your basement. Divide the result by 200, and this will tell you how many minutes it will take to change all the damp musty air in your basement with a Basement Ventilation System.

Should I leave the Basement Ventilation System on all year?


Yes! The fan is controlled by a humidity sensor. If the humidity in the basement or crawl space is higher than the setting, the fan will run at full speed. When the humidity reaches the desired setting, it will slow the fan down, but will still keep some air moving. So, the unit is left on year-round. It is a “set it and forget it” operation.

If you leave your home to go south in the winter, or have a vacation home, your basement and home will smell better (no musty smell or odor) when you return.

So the principle is totally different from a dehumidifier, and is more accurately called a Humidity & Moisture Indoor Air Quality Control Basement Ventilation System and is the best alternative to a basement dehumidifier

What happens to the water?


You will not see any water since it does not condense and collect water in a bucket like a traditional dehumidifier. Instead, the Basement Ventilation System expels the damp, moist air and the musty smell (like a clothes dryer does) and replaces it with fresher, dryer, healthier conditioned air from upstairs.

Will the Basement Ventilation System increase my heating and A/C costs?


Not at all. Since it is controlled by a humidity sensor, this will not be a problem. 

First of all, heat rises and you are pulling off cooler air at the lowest point (the basement) in the house. Most houses in the winter have a problem with too little moisture and have to put in a humidifier. Also drier air is easier to heat than damp, moist air, so it will be easier to heat the dryer air once the excess humidity is pulled out. If you have to use a humidifier in the winter, set the basement ventilation system at a higher humidity setting than your humidifier.

In an air conditioned house, the air conditioner is acting like a big dehumidifier, and so it would be sending drier air into the basement, and when the basement ventilation system senses the drier air, it will slow the fan down. Also, the reason many people who have central AC in the basement still have moisture problems is because the AC unit stops moving air as soon as the targeted temperature is reached, but this is before all the moisture is removed. So the Basement Ventilation System assists the AC to do it’s job, and drier air feels cooler, and the AC operates more efficiently.

Also, since a basement ventilation system usually saves at least $50 or more in electricity each month vs. a dehumidifier, there is an energy savings from the first month of operation. That's why it is the best dehumidifier alternative!

Where exactly would the Basement Ventilation System be installed?

Since the basement ventilation system needs to vent outside, we first try to find a clear bay between two floor joists, and make sure there are no wires or pipes in the way and check the outside for any obstacles. Although the unit is quieter than a dehumidifier and about the same noise level as a small window fan, we want to avoid, if possible, putting it under the master bedroom.

Can the Basement Ventilation System be installed without a vent from the first floor?

If you absolutely do not want a vent installed in the floor, yes, the Basement Ventilation System can operate without a vent from upstairs. However, it will not operate as efficiently. It is highly recommended at that point to cut off the bottom of the door to the basement at least 1” high to allow some air to flow into the basement. In some installations, an 8” x 10” opening is cut into the stairwell wall into a first floor room, and covered with a finishing air grill on both sides. 


Will the Basement Ventilation System affect my furnace?


You should always respect the furnace's need for a large amount of air for combustion purposes. This is why the Basement Ventilation System is not to be installed any closer that 8’ from a furnace or combustion type hot water heater. Building codes require a furnace installer to allow for a good air supply, and many new combustion type furnaces and hot water heater are direct vented.

Why is the Basement Ventilation System so energy efficient?

Since the basement ventilation system draws less than one amp and uses less than 50 watts of electricity, it costs no more than leaving a light bulb on all the time. Dehumidifiers are small refrigerator compressors and are very costly to run.

What are some other benefits to installing the Basement Ventilation System?


Many replacement window companies have found that when they install new, expensive, tighter, replacement windows, the first winter the customers complain about their expensive windows sweating. Usually after installing a Basement Ventilation System the problem is corrected. 

One remodeling contractor in Maine that installs vinyl siding told of a customer that had a new sliding patio door installed. During the winter, she could not open the door, because an ice dam formed until spring. After the basement ventilation system was installed, she could use her sliding patio door, all winter long.