Internal house air cooling

The weather having got better after being knocked out by the heat last week, I've decided to resurrect an old plan to install some sort of active ventilation in my house. My cellar is a huge cold source, but I prefer to occupy the living room and dining room. My plan is to draw the cold air out of the cellar and circulate it into the living areas of the house.
Some questions: What would be better, actively draw the warm air out of the house and have the negative pressure draw replacement cold air from the cellar, or actively draw cold air from the cellar and have the positive pressure passively draw the warm air out of the house?
While the cellar is what I call "bone dry", as with any underground stone-built structure there is imperceptable damp, noticable if things like paper products or sacks of cement are left for extended periods of time. Will drawing this slightly moist cold air into the warmer areas of the house cause any condensation or other issues?
Ta.
JGH
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Any plan that includes drawing air out of the house will necessarily include air entering, which is not what you want on a hot day. Just circulate air between cellar and ground floor and you'll get more coolth.
Another effective way to get cooling at trivial cost is to run extractor fan(s) overnight. Given enough air moevment, this slowly cools down the masonry, reducing peak indoor temp the following day. The amount of air moevment needed is much bigger than people imagine, running the 4" loo fan at night isnt going to do much.
NT
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NT wrote:

Ah, that's a good idea. When it gets swealthering hot I have an urge to lock the weather out, circulating the air within the house between the cellar and the living quarters would make that feasible (along with a bit of leakage to allow oxygene in :)
JGH
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On 12/08/2011 02:23, jgharston wrote:

Need to watch out for condensation in the cellar if warm damp air is being moved down there.
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I wouldn't do that. Radon gas accumulates in cellars.
http://www.manfredkaiser.com/radon_gas.html
In the UK, radon makes up about 48% of the radiation dose a person receives.
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On 12/08/2011 03:37, Matty F wrote:

Depends where in the country you are... in the south west perhaps.
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On 8/11/2011 11:01 PM, John Rumm wrote:

Aberdeen has a lot of radon.
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On 12/08/2011 04:18, S Viemeister wrote:

well it has lots of granite as well - and the two often come as a package...
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On 8/12/2011 7:17 AM, John Rumm wrote:

Indeed.
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Pretty much everywhere in the world has radon coming out of the ground. In my country we tend to not have cellars. My house is supported by piles a metre off the ground. So no radon in the house.
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On 12/08/2011 03:37, Matty F wrote:

This line in that link is all I need to know to form a judgement:
"Usually a home has a slightly lower air pressure than the external air, thus drawing in air, including radon."
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On Fri, 12 Aug 2011 15:01:44 +0100, Newshound wrote:

Aha! Windmills in the windows => free power!
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So what is your judgement then?
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In article

Radon is likely to be a problem only in certain areas, like Cornwall, where there's lots of granite (which contains radium or uranium IIRC). The link above says "There is no safe level of radon". In fact we don't know this to be true. Radiation damage has been measured only for higher levels of exposure. There is an *assumption* that this may be linearly extrapolated down to low levels, but there's no evidence that this assumption is true.
Life has been living with background radiation ever since it came into being on Earth some considerable time ago. It damages cell DNA, as do free radicals, produced as part of normal cell chemistry. There are repair mechanisms for this, which wear out as we get older. There is in any case nowhere in the universe where you can be free of ionising radiation.
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Tim

"That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
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On 12/08/2011 23:52, Tim Streater wrote:

That is probably one of those semantic arguments that follows from there not having been a legal maximum for exposure to radon set - hence there is no level below which you can claim its "safe because the government says so".

Indeed.
Yup. In fact many of the so called maximum exposure limits are if anything too low anyway. If you remember the fuss about caesium release during the Japanese earthquake - the levels set as "safe" are set on the assumption that you will be exposed to those levels continuously. Something that is actually hard to achieve with one off release of an element with a half life of a few days.
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Tim Streater wrote:

There was a very good official publication around a few years ago discussing the public perception of risk. One of their main findings was that people have a very subjective assessment of risk. If the consequence of something, such as an air crash, is catastrophic, then the fact that the likelihood is remote does not register, and the perceived risk is high.
The report also had some interesting comparison tables. One that really surprised me was that deaths due to natural radon were running at about half those due to road accidents
Chris
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On 12/08/11 23:52, Tim Streater wrote:

http://xkcd.com/radiation /
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wrote:

There is almost no radon in the air so its not going to be sucked into a house with the air. To maintain even a small pressure difference would require energy. Most houses leak like sieves and it would take a lot of energy to maintain a pressure difference.
The reality is the radon gas seeps in from the ground with no pressure difference needed between the house and the outside air. It accumulates because of a lack of ventilation. Even a slight amount of ventilation would get rid of the radon. Even the air bricks used in old houses would be enough.
You don't get radon in new houses because a plastic membrane is enough to stop it getting in and they use them to stop the damp.
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wrote:

We are not talking about a new house. Radon is a heavy gas so it accumulates in basements that are open to the ground. The OP is intending to suck the air from his basement and blow it into his house. So he will be breathing radon. If I wanted to cool or heat my house I would make a heat exchanger and I would bury pipes in the ground.
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Matty F wrote:

No granite in Sheffield.
JGH
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