To answer the question; “Why does my basement smell?’, you must first understand that each and every day, 24 hours a day, you have air and gravity in your home. These two things are combining around the clock to make your basement smell bad.
The basement is the lowest part of the house so most bad air settles there
Let us start with the premise that clean pure fresh air is dry, has nothing added to it and weighs zero. When we introduce something into the air, the air now becomes heavier because of the additive, and gravity comes into the picture. Think about looking toward the window with a ray of light coming in, you can see all the dust particles and other things in the air. Gravity is settling these particulates to a lower place.
This dust will eventually settle on some furniture and you will take out the Lemon Pledge to clean it. When you spray the Lemon Pledge on the furniture some of it goes in the air and moves around until gravity brings it to settle at a low place. You have just brought chemicals into the basement air.
Basement smells are created by Indoor Air Pollution and Humidity
Indoor Air pollution is defined as: the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms. The World Health Organization states that 2.4 million people die each year from causes directly attributable to air pollution, with 1.5 million of these deaths attributable to indoor air pollution.
While there are many factors contributing to the air pollution or IAQ in your home, lets take a closer look at Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Humidity.
VOCs are organic chemicals that evaporate from the compound (liquid or solid) and enter the air. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic solvents. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and to some degree, when they are stored.
You should be very aware of the chemicals that you bring into your home because many of them will end up in the air that you breathe.
Next is humidity: We introduce humidity into the air by breathing, cooking, bathing and doing the laundry. The humid air is heavier than dry, clean air so gravity settles the humid air in the basement. In the warmer months, the outside air brings humidity in with it, and if it is not conditioned from the air with Air Conditioning, it will settle in the basement.
The types of problems that come with all of that trapped moisture are mold and mildew, as well as other biological pollutants, and pests. Mold and mildew grow in dank, damp environments, and insects love it too. Everything we have done to keep the energy (i.e. Heat and A/C) contained in the home, also keeps moisture contained in the home and leaves no intentional escape for bad air.
To minimize the risk, increase ventilation
The additives are condensed in the basement air because it is mostly stagnant. The condensed bad air must be diluted if not removed altogether. Therefore the movement of air out of the basement brings in new air to lessen the concentrations of contaminates and improve Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). This is known as ventilation. Ventilation is necessary to maintaining good IAQ.
When it comes to removing humidity and Indoor Air Pollution you need a ventilation system that works year round. The E-Z Breathe Ventilation System works 12 months a year and not just in the warmest months. This whole house ventilation system is a device that expels the dampest, most humid & contaminated air from your basement to the outside. It replaces the air in the basement with fresher air from the upper floors four to six times per day automatically with no bucket to empty or filter to replace.