Question Update: We now know that the problem is Carbon Dioxide; any suggestions on what could be consuming oxygen and producing Carbon Dioxide would be great!
We rent an old farm house that has recently been renovated, the cellar has been tanked, it would be perfect as an office, but I'm out of breath just typing this question.
It seems that either a build up of some other gas is excluding the oxygen. Does anyone have any ideas? It doesn't seem normal!!
I'm guessing it's oxygen (or lack of) as I'm unable to even light a match in the cellar.
It does seem to be worse when it's wet weather.
There is NO obvious source of gasses, as the house has electric heating, cooking and hot water
We've had the Environment Health monitoring the Cellar and the rest of the house for some weeks now. They have now served a prohibition order preventing us from using the cellar. They recorded levels approaching 10%, today we have had a surveyor at the house appointed by the landlord and they initially speculate the source could be soot used in the foundations. Any thoughts?
An insepector from the local council has installed a data-logger, whilst he was in the basement he took a reading that I've attached below. When this reading was taken the air felt poor, but by no means the worst it's been, a candle wouldn't stay alight. An breathing during conversation seemed laboured. It looks like the assumption of displacement doesn't look correct, there's more to it. Here's the readings:
Gas - Reading (Normal)
CO2 3.3% (0.04%)
O2 17.5% (20.8%)
Other 79.2% (unchanged?)