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IAQ Concerns If You Have a Basement

Woodbridge, VA, basements are prone to poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Even worse, polluted basement air can rise up to invade the upper floors.

Signs That Your Basement Air Might Be Polluted

Basement air can be ten times more polluted than air in the rest of the house. Even clean, finished basements are vulnerable to indoor air pollution. In fact, most IAQ issues in Woodbridge, VA, homes originate in basements and crawl spaces. Symptoms of a polluted basement include:

  • Excessive dust
  • A stale, stuffy smell
  • Bacterial growth on walls and floors
  • High humidity

What Causes Basement Air Pollution?

Construction materials such as gypsum wall board can absorb moisture and cause bacterial growth. Unfinished basements especially can contain a large amount of dust, dirt and debris that support the growth of dust mites. Improperly installed dryer vents can contribute to poor IAQ by creating excessive moisture. Poor basement IAQ can also be caused by stored paints, chemicals and pesticides that release pollution into the air slowly over time. Convection hot water heaters can malfunction and release gas that contaminates the home.

How Is Basement Air Cleaned Up?

In many cases, excessive moisture which supports the growth of microbes is the biggest issue in polluted basements. A dehumidifier can solve that problem. Where VOCs and other chemicals or excessive dust are to blame, high-MERV air filters with a rating between eight and 13 can trap these pollutants and remove them from indoor air. Another possible solution is to install a whole-house ventilation system to move stale air out and bring fresh air in. An energy recovery ventilator can even prevent pollutants from entering the home.

If you suspect that the air in your Woodbridge, VA, basement may be polluted, have it tested by a qualified HVAC service technician. Untreated IAQ problems get worse over time. To learn more about IAQ or to schedule indoor air quality testing, visit Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning or call (703) 491-2771 .

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