I have a pretty odd two floor duplex apartment with one of the rooms practically being a basement. I have previously had problems with mold, and in general the air isn't great in the basement. So I was wondering what are the best options to improve the airflow in these rooms? I was thinking of getting a fan to at least get some airflow, because I don't think it would be easy to get any some sort of air intake installed.

I have one window in this room, but I don't think it would be easy to turn that into an air intake. There are some ventilation holes just under the window, but they do not seem to do much and I don't think having the window open 24/7 is a good alternative, especially not during the winter.

The apartment I am living in was renovated when I moved in, but as I live in Versailles, France these buildings are probably over a hundred years old. It tends to get very humid as well, especially during the summer which doesn't help.

How can I improve the air flow in this basement?

  • Are you allowed to put additions on the external parts of your house eg. roof or wall? just checking as some places have caveats on what you can do to external parts and this would limit suggestions,
    – UNECS
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 13:02
  • I can unfortunately not put any external parts on the outside. :(
    – eandersson
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 13:11
  • Not leaving this as an answer because your climate may not allow something like this but I know they work Really well!house fan Otherwise a of dehumidifier?
    – UNECS
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 13:23
  • I already have an dehumidifier running, but was hopping that if I got a better ventilation solution going I wouldn't need one. It doesn't really improve the air anyway, just prevents the mold.
    – eandersson
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 13:32

2 Answers 2


If it's a really old house, that might actually work to your benefit as old houses usually are not well sealed when compared to new homes which are practically air tight.

There's a couple components to what you are trying to accomplish:

  1. Air circulation - A ceiling fan will probably do the trick for a single room. If the house is conditioned via forced air, another option might be setting the furnace fan to be always on instead of only on when heating/cooling. This will help keep the air circulating throughout the house (and through the furnaces filter).
  2. Humidity - If its really bad, a dehumidifier will likely be required.
  3. Fresh air - In all likelihood, you are probably getting a decent amount of fresh air through the cracks in the walls and elsewhere already (seeing as it's an old house). If you are not, the simplest solution is to open a window ocasionally. If this is not an option (ie: winter) then the furnace fan trick I mentioned in (1) migtht help too.

Some other options are:

  1. Some household plants might also help with the air quality - talk to your local garden center to see if they have any ideas
  2. Air ioniser (or negative ion generator) - I can't backup any claims made by these devices, but some people claim they work well.
  3. Install a small HEPA filter
  • Thanks a lot Steven. You got me a few thins I can try at least. :)
    – eandersson
    Commented Apr 30, 2012 at 12:22

If it gets really humid, then you really don't want unconditioned air flow. That will just bring more humid air into the basement. I'd start with a de-humidifier.

Mold issues could also be a sign of water issues more than anything. That's an entirely different problem and likely out of your hands if it's not your building.

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