Re: Seasonal Changes in Husbandry
Getting good negative pressure in the house involves using an exhaust fan to remove air from the house, so that all other air flow is towards the inside from outside. I have a small bathroom-style fan (high end DC model, so only uses about 5w of power, and is nearly silent) that runs 24/7 in the reptile room. Most houses will maintain slight negative pressure on their own, since bath fans, range hoods, furnaces, and the stack effect of attics tend to pull air out of the house.
Where winters are below freezing, if air moves out of the house through the walls (i.e. there is positive pressure), the moisture in that air condenses inside the walls; this is very bad for the longevity of houses. Vapor barriers help some, but I've never opened a wall and saw a vapor barrier that was anything but a nice thought -- they are usually very poorly implemented.
Yes, basements can be great frog rooms, especially in climates that require AC. Here, we have summer highs into the 90s F pretty regularly (the record in my life here is about 102F), and winters are below freezing, with a good number of days below 0F (the record in my life is -35F). The basement runs about 70F summer, 60 F winter, though my reptile room has a lot of heated enclosures so it stays a little warmer in there.
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.