How Can I Cool Down My Basement Without AC?

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Some basements feel like large ovens due to the lack of proper air conditioning systems. Without an AC, a basement can be relatively unlivable. You might be wondering if there's a way to cool down my basement without an AC. For your convenience, we did the legwork to bring you the answer.

A basement without a dedicated AC can take advantage of different methods to cool the space. Some choices to lower the temperature in basements include:

  • Close the doors and windows.
  • Use a fan blowing cool air.
  • Create a cross breeze.

Cooling down your basement may not require an expensive AC. You can use some relatively inexpensive solutions to reduce the temperature of the space and make it more comfortable than before. Keep reading to learn more about how to cool down your basement without depending on a costly cooling system.

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Cooling A Basement Without An AC

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Providing cold and comfortable air in a basement doesn't necessarily mean adding an AC. Some homeowners might not have the extra cash for basement remodeling projects that involve installing large cooling systems. Following these tips below will help cool down a basement without an AC:

Close The Doors And Windows

Basements with windows can maintain relatively cold and comfy temperatures by keeping the entryways shut. Close these openings to trap cool, cozy air and prevent sunlight from entering these spaces.

This option is more applicable, though, for homes in sunny climates, especially since 77 percent of sunlight can enter through open windows.

Use A Fan Blowing Cool Air

If you have a spare electric fan, you can create a DIY portable air conditioner for your basement. You only need two empty water bottles, a utility knife, a fairly strong tape for this project, and a pen or a needle. After gathering those items, follow these steps:

  1. Cut halfway the bottom portions of the two empty water bottles with the utility knife.
  2. Poke holes into the water bottles. The holes should be in the larger, uncut portions and should be about ¼ inches apart.
  3. Tape or tie the water bottles upside-down behind the electric fan. The bottles should be on both sides of the back of the fan.
  4. Put ice cubes in the water bottles and turn on the fan and enjoy cold air.

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Create A Cross Breeze

A cross breeze uses two or more fans to help improve air circulation in a base. Start using this technique by finding the coolest areas of your basement. Then, point the fans to the warmest locations in the space.

Doing so should push the warm air out and circulate the cold air more efficiently than before. If you want to learn more about how to enjoy more comfort from your basement, check out this post: What Is The Ideal Temperature For A Basement?

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Do Basements Need Air Conditioning?

Basements may or may not need air conditioning, depending on certain factors. Certain regions may not require air conditioners in subterranean spaces.

However, if a property owner decides to install an air conditioning system, it should follow building codes and standards, particularly for commercial establishments.

For instance, Connecticut’s building code advises building owners to have HVAC systems that follow the ANSI/RESNET/ICC 380-2016 standards.

Additionally, some basements need air conditioning to reduce the humidity in the space. Humidity occurs when the area has difficulty holding the relative water vapor, causing the airborne water to condense.

In turn, the vapor pressure becomes saturated, which makes the spaces like basements feel hot and heavy. Humid basements need air conditioning to help remove the excess water vapor.

Aside from the main space, proper ventilation is also advisable in basement bathrooms. Learn more about this topic by reading this other post: Does A Basement Bathroom Need An Exhaust Fan?

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Is There A Fan That Works Like An Air Conditioner?

Woman turned on fan waving her hands to cool herself

You can purchase and use a fan that blows cold air like an air conditioner. Aim to use a fan with a relatively high CFM rating, which stands for cubic feet per minute. A fan with a high CFM tends to be more efficient and blows more air than a model with a low coefficient.

The CFM requirements tend to grow with the size of the room. Therefore, look for a high CFM rating if the space has fairly large dimensions to make it work as an air conditioner. For example, Energy Star recommends using a ceiling fan with a 1,767 CFM to produce decent airflow in an average-sized room.

Moreover, you can find the amount of CFM that an air conditioner needs to remove hot air in a room in the appliance's BTU, which is a measurement that stands for British Thermal Units.

For example, to remove warm air in a fairly sunny 450 square feet room, you would need an air conditioner with 24,000 BTU.

On average, an air conditioner would need at least 2,000 CFM to provide sufficiently cold air for each square foot in a room. So, if you want to use a fan that works as an air conditioner, you need to use a model that has a 2,000 CFM rating or higher for rooms under 200 square feet.

Here’s a quick list of the amount of CFM you need to experience proper airflow in a room:

  • 2,000 to 3,000 CFM for rooms under 200 square feet
  • 3,000 to 4,000 CFM for rooms with surface areas between 200 to 300 square feet
  • 4,000 to 6,000 CFM for rooms with surface areas between 300 to 450 square feet
  • 5,000 to 9,000 CFM for rooms over 450 square feet

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Should You Close Basement Vents In The Summer?

It’s not advisable to close basement vents in the summer. Shutting the vents or adding insulation to them can cause the space to become warmer in the summer and also colder in the winter.

Additionally, don’t obstruct the vents with appliances, furniture, or other objects at any time. Doing so will inhibit the airflow in the basement, causing problems like increased humidity.

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Why Is My Basement So Hot?

Generally, humidity is the prime suspect for hot basements. Humid environments tend to occur because locations have more water vapor than the space can hold. Basements can become more humid than average because of leaks. Some of the causes of leaks in basements include the following:

  • Foundation wall cracks
  • Soil moisture
  • Excess condensation
  • Unused taps
  • Poor soil grade

To learn how to prevent leak issues, you can also check out this post: Water Leaking Into The Basement After Heavy Rain – What To Do? In turn, you can recover the humidity levels in your basement.

Final Words

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Cooling down a basement may not require an AC. You can use different techniques such as closing the windows, creating a cross breeze, and using a fan to blow icy air.

Certain methods are reasonably budget-friendly solutions, making them fit for most spending allowances. Achieving ideal temperature levels in your basement is important in making the space as comfortable as possible.

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