Benefits of Using a Basement Dehumidifier
April 24, 2018
Basements exist in many homes across the U.S. and are used for many purposes. Unfinished basements provide much needed storage while finished basements add significant square footage to a family’s living space. Basements do have their own issues when it comes to indoor air quality, and moisture control here can be more of a challenge versus throughout the rest of your home.
A basement dehumidifier is built to tackle the environmental challenges basements present that can increase moisture in these underground areas. Learn more about the benefits of basement dehumidifiers and why you should have one installed to treat your below-ground living areas.
Moisture Challenges in Basements
Excessive moisture is an issue that typically affects basements more so than upper levels of a home. Basements are damp because moisture may seep through the foundation, enter through water leaks, or due to high humidity levels within the main home. Moisture issues in basements cause mold to grow, causing health issues and structural damage to the home.
The Basement Health Association warns that relative humidity levels above 80 percent in basements causes mold and mildew to develop. Using a basement dehumidifier to keep humidity levels below 50 percent can prevent mold and mildew growth, protecting indoor air quality and preventing damage.
Signs You Need a Basement Dehumidifier
High moisture levels aren’t always so easy to detect – knowing the signs to watch for will help you know if you need to install a basement dehumidifier to address moisture in this area of your home. Signs you need a basement dehumidifier include:
- There is visible mold growth on floors, ceilings, walls, or other surfaces.
- Walls feel damp when you touch them.
- There is condensation on surfaces.
- There is an odor of mold or mustiness in the basement.
- Water marks on floors indicate moisture is rising through the foundation.
- Items stored in the basement smell of mold or mildew and/or have visible growth.
Buying Basement Dehumidifiers
Basements require different dehumidification systems than the main home. For effective moisture removal, you need to have a dehumidifier installed that is designed specifically for basement environments.
Typical whole-home dehumidifiers are only effective when operating at indoor temperatures above 65 degrees. Basements are normally cooler than the upper levels of a home because they are below ground – the earth surrounding your basement insulates the area, and the surrounding ground is a cool 55 degrees throughout the year. At these lower temperatures, regular whole-home dehumidifiers just aren’t effective for moisture removal.
A low temperature or basement dehumidifier is designed to work efficiently at temperatures below 65 degrees. These specialized units offer enhanced performance in damp, cool environments to ensure moisture is effectively removed from your basement.
Basements are areas that are not always occupied. For your convenience, choose a basement dehumidifier that offers automatic draining of excess moisture, rather than a model where you must empty the reservoir when it fills up. Depending on the model you select, you may drain water collected by the dehumidifier into your sump pump, a floor drain, or even pumped upward to a sink drain.