Debunking 2 Common HVAC Myths About Underground Shelters
The dingy, block-walled underground shelters that were prevalent in the past are no longer what safety shelters beneath the ground are all about. If you start digging for information about installing your own shelter underground on your property, you will find some pretty mind-blowing shelters that are suitable to be lived in even if it were not an emergency situation. Even though the underground shelters that are available are modern and quite aesthetically pleasing, most people looking to have one installed assume that an HVAC system would be a difficult feature to implement. Here are a couple of the most common myths when it comes to HVAC and underground shelters.
Myth: Because cooled air must be pulled in from outdoors, air conditioning is not possible.
Fact: An air conditioning system can be implemented into your underground shelter that acts as an air filtration system and dehumidifier without having access to the air above ground. These units will pull in the air inside of the space, filter it, and release it back into the shelter as cooled air. You have to keep in mind that being beneath the ground will help you stay cool anyway, but the humidity levels can make you feel warm. Most of these inner-functioning systems are small, but will help to keep the space a comfortable temperature.
Myth: You do not need heat in an underground shelter because it will stay warm on its own.
Fact: It is true that the ground is usually slightly warmer than the surface area of the Earth. In fact, the upper 20 feet or so of the planet remain an average temperature of somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees in most places. However, this is quite cool compared to what your body is acclimated to, and plus, the temperature can drop significantly enough to cause ground freezing if moisture seeps in the ground and the temperatures drop. Therefore, a heat source in your underground shelter is actually a wise idea.
Heat pumps are a good heating solution in an underground shelter because they work with the air that is available, and they can be designed to pull heat from the ground. Therefore, you do not necessarily have to have an open area where heat from the outlying atmosphere can be drawn in.
If you are making plans to have an underground shelter installed on your property, talk to an HVAC professional like Arlington Heating & Air Conditioning with any concerns you have. You will likely be surprised to learn that even an underground shelter can have adequate climate control.