View Poll Results: Best Next Step

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  • Get a bigger air purifier

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Thread: Dry basement with musty smell

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Lets not get too excited without a couple years of typical year around weather before we celebrate. Normal homes with moisture generating occupants and occasional damp weather systems need time demonstrate how they work.

    Get a couple good %RH meters in the far corners of your home and let the time pass.
    Give us the feed back on how it all works.
    Wish you the best.

    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Thread Starter
    Right, the smell is gone, which was my goal. It was done by installing a compact, quiet, energy efficient, inexpensive device. But let's not 'get excited'. Instead lets wait a few years in hopes that some internet know it all can somehow still claim victory after posting self-contradicting utter nonsense that lacked even common sense. One thing is for sure...I will not be taking anymore 'advice' from 'teddy'. LOL

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Roanoke VA
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    Now you need to have a Home energy audit done with a air quality test. Id be curious to know what your co2 levels are along with VOCs. I did that and it was a real eye opener.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by capecrusader View Post
    Right, the smell is gone, which was my goal. It was done by installing a compact, quiet, energy efficient, inexpensive device. But let's not 'get excited'. Instead lets wait a few years in hopes that some internet know it all can somehow still claim victory after posting self-contradicting utter nonsense that lacked even common sense. One thing is for sure...I will not be taking anymore 'advice' from 'teddy'. LOL
    The main message is keep the space dry to control biological growth. 40 cfm plus natural ventilation is better than most.
    Glad that the problem is solved. Ok maybe I got a little handed on my comments about fire control. I will accept the slap down and I am sorry.

    Keep us posted next summer.

    Thanks for the lively discussion.
    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Thread Starter
    As an update to this thread:

    The ERV continues to work amazing magic in my basement. It is honestly the freshest, best smelling air in the house.

    I have found a negative though--energy use has gone up. This must be due to the dehumidifier needing to run more frequently as new outside air is introduced constantly. I started with the unit a the max setting, 40cfm. Worked extremely well, so I decided to see if 20cfm would be sufficient. It was, at least in the month of November here on the Cape. So, once I saw my energy bill jump up for October (compared to October 2019), I decided to see if the lowest setting, 10cfm, would be sufficient. I have had it running at 10cfm for about a month now and there is no noticeable degradation in smell. It still smells 100% mold/mildew free and, honestly, the freshest air in the house. The air is relatively dry around here in the winter, so I'm not sure 10cfm will be enough when spring comes, but we will see and I will keep this thread updated for people who do searches in the future.

    I cannot stress enough what an amazing impact the ERV made on the air quality in my basement. Highly, highly recommend it.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    29,965
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    How much of an electrical cost did you have?


    Quote Originally Posted by capecrusader View Post
    As an update to this thread:

    The ERV continues to work amazing magic in my basement. It is honestly the freshest, best smelling air in the house.

    I have found a negative though--energy use has gone up. This must be due to the dehumidifier needing to run more frequently as new outside air is introduced constantly. I started with the unit a the max setting, 40cfm. Worked extremely well, so I decided to see if 20cfm would be sufficient. It was, at least in the month of November here on the Cape. So, once I saw my energy bill jump up for October (compared to October 2019), I decided to see if the lowest setting, 10cfm, would be sufficient. I have had it running at 10cfm for about a month now and there is no noticeable degradation in smell. It still smells 100% mold/mildew free and, honestly, the freshest air in the house. The air is relatively dry around here in the winter, so I'm not sure 10cfm will be enough when spring comes, but we will see and I will keep this thread updated for people who do searches in the future.

    I cannot stress enough what an amazing impact the ERV made on the air quality in my basement. Highly, highly recommend it.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

  8. #27
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    Sep 2020
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    How much of an electrical cost did you have?
    as I typed, I knew I should get off my lazy butt and find my electric bill and give you the numbers. Shame on me, but I don't have the bill in front of me and my wife paid Nov/Dec.

    From memory, I'm going to say it was $30-$50 increase for the month. Enough to make me notice--we are not there a lot in October so the bill might have gone from $70 to $110 or something. Honestly it is easily easily worth it to me but it was noticeable. Also, no way to know for sure it is due solely or even mostly to the ERV but it makes some sense. What is needed is a few months comparing year over year with actual numbers, not from my memory. Next time a bill comes in I will update this thread with kwh/month comparing Oct/Nov/Dec/Jan year over year.

    We had some friends over a couple weeks ago and all the kids were in the basement...went down to make sure they weren't killing each other and my friend commented on how fresh the air smelled (had not bored him with the details, yet). My wife, knowing me and my OCD battle with the basement air quality, just laughed because she knew he was about to get a blow-by-blow.

    After my explanation/demo of the system he went home and ordered the same setup for his finished basement.

    These things will be ubiquitous in finished basements before too long IMO.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
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    I find it amusing that a homeowner claims to have learned more from “The Internet” about IAQ and dehumidification in a few weeks or months than Teddy Bear.
    *********
    https://www.hvac20.com/ High efficiency equipment alone does not provide home comfort and efficiency. HVAC2.0 is a process for finding the real needs of the house and the occupants. Offer the customer a menu of work to address their problems and give them a probability of success.

    Find contractors with specialized training in combustion analysis, residential system performance, air flow, and duct optimization https://www.myhomecomfort.org/


    Site member map HERE!

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  11. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    13
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by kdean1 View Post
    I find it amusing that a homeowner claims to have learned more from “The Internet” about IAQ and dehumidification in a few weeks or months than Teddy Bear.
    Just go back and read how many times he contradicts himself. Now that amuses me Complete and utter nonsense.

    You don't need to have a lot of time in an industry to recognize when someone is making stuff up as he goes along . And, while I understand where you're coming from, one of the most important abilities any of us can have is to know when to say "I don't know" or "I'm not sure". Clearly he did not know what he was talking about, that much is objective fact at this point.

    It's important for all to remember that common sense is king, and, ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. The emperor has no clothes.

  12. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    Really cool thread I'm learning a lot. I've run into situations like this fairly often.

    "If you hate bleach for some reason you can rent (or build: I built both of mine) an industrial strength ozone generator and eliminate the cleaning step one above."

    Mikey do you think a basic ducted air-scrubber with ozone would do the trick for something like this? Or is that not enough. You figure if he needs ozone for his basement he might as well duct it in for his whole house while hes at it.

  13. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
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    From what I’ve read, ozone is bad for humans and houses.
    *********
    https://www.hvac20.com/ High efficiency equipment alone does not provide home comfort and efficiency. HVAC2.0 is a process for finding the real needs of the house and the occupants. Offer the customer a menu of work to address their problems and give them a probability of success.

    Find contractors with specialized training in combustion analysis, residential system performance, air flow, and duct optimization https://www.myhomecomfort.org/


    Site member map HERE!

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  15. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
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    I've been reading up on them. I figured for this application it might be practical. I'm still trying to figure out how he set up his fresh air. Having a hard time visualizing it through text. Did he just duct the return side of the dehumidifier into the return duct then put in a fresh air intake somewhere off the return? Cape post some pictures next time your out there.

  16. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by JehanDM View Post
    Mikey do you think a basic ducted air-scrubber with ozone would do the trick for something like this? Or is that not enough. You figure if he needs ozone for his basement he might as well duct it in for his whole house while hes at it.
    I would recommend NOT using ozone in a home. Ozone is a respiratory irritant and it reacts with other chemicals in a home to create secondary products that are also harmful.

    Even if it is only used one time in an unoccupied home at high concentrations, ozone can cause harm to the home by breaking down rubber and soft plastic. In the presence of humidity, it can form hydrogen peroxide and cause bleaching.

    Besides, killing mold with a shot of ozone doesn't address the underlying problems that caused it to grow in the first place! Mold will only grow back.
    Ian Cull, PE, CIH
    Indoor Science
    Chicago, IL

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