Why Your Store Bought Basement Dehumidifier Isn’t Working
The compact, suitcase-size dehumidifiers that are available from appliance dealers aren’t designed for the conditions you encounter in a basement or crawl space.
In these below-grade spaces, temperatures and humidity levels are much more extreme than in an upstairs room.Based on years of experience in drying out basements and crawl spaces, Basement Systems has developed super-duty SaniDry dehumidifiers with special features not found on standard models.
For example, SaniDry dehumidifiers have jumbo-sized cooling coils that can handle the higher air volume and lower temperature requirements in basement and crawl space areas. Electronic controls and a particulate filter are two other unique features.
These ENERGY STAR rated dehumidifiers are designed to deliver years of economical, trouble-free performance.
Why Dehumidification Is Important?
Excess moisture, whether in the form of water or high relative humidity, is typically the number one enemy of buildings and their contents. It can wreak all sorts of havoc. Moisture causes dry rot, or decay, that weakens structural components. It also invites structure-damaging insects, such as termites and carpenter ants.
Moisture causes metals to corrode, including valve handles, ducts, HVAC equipment, and tools. Stored paper goods and clothing can become mildewed and stained when the relative humidity rises about 70 percent. In summer, excess RH causes your AC to work harder than needed. High interior relative humidity can cause building materials, like siding, to have a higher than normal moisture content. That moisture can help lift paint from siding and exterior trim. In summer, humidity will make your AC equipment work harder that it should have to.
Moisture can also create unhealthy conditions in your home. High relative humidity allows mold to release mold spores (microscopic organisms that can bypass the normal filtering of the nose) and cause respiratory problems, such as asthma and allergies. It also supports the proliferation of dust mites, another allergen.
A dehumidifier is the plain answer. But not just any dehumidifier. I have been dealing with this issue intensely for nearly 20 years. The only machine that will get you the results you need is one called a SaniDry Basement Air System from Mainline Home Energy Services. And it’s awesome.
The SaniDry is a high-capacity, high-efficiency dehumidification system, with air filtration, in a single unit. The SaniDry takes up to 100 pints of water per day out of your basement air, while using the same energy as a “40 pint” dehumidifier. And it filters particles out of the air to less than an incredible two microns in size – which is smaller than any mold spore or dust mite dropping.
The SaniDry Basement Air System wrings your air dry, and its powerful blower moves that dry air out into and around your basement space. This dry air then dries your building materials and basement contents, which makes the damp smell and damp feeling go away! What a huge difference a SaniDry can make in “condensation season.” People really love their dry basement environments after having a SaniDry installed.
Humidification, dehumidification, or both?
Dehumidification tends to be more important than humidification in most homes. That’s because our daily indoor activities (showering, washing clothes, cooking, watering indoor plants, etc.) tend to increase indoor humidity.
There’s usually more of a problem with excess humidity that causes mold and mildew. Basements and crawl spaces are common target areas for dehumidification. Even when these spaces seem dry, soil moisture can continually permeate through the foundation and floor slab if the ground outside is wet. When moist air condenses on cooler surfaces in a basement or crawl space, wetness accumulates and creates ideal living conditions for mold, mildew and dust mites.
Two ways to combat excess humidity problems are to air-seal crawl spaces and basements, and to run a dehumidifier designed to work well in these areas. Learn about dehumidification and solutions that will keep your basement, crawl space, and other areas of your home dry and healthy.
Basement Dehumidifier FAQ
My basement has a waterproofing system and it stays dry. Do I still need a dehumidifier?
Many “dry” basements still need dehumidification because concrete is a porous material; it will absorb moisture from the soil and release that moisture to the interior of a basement or crawl space. If the soil around your house tends to be wet, the amount of moisture that diffuses into the basement may cause excessive humidity. When relative humidity in a basement or crawl space climbs above 60%, mold is likely to take hold.
Why can’t I use a standard dehumidifier to control humidity in a basement or crawl space?
You can use a low-cost dehumidifier, but it’s certain to cause problems. For starters, it will have much longer run times than a Basement Systems SaniDry dehumidifier, because of its undersized cooling coils. Energy consumption will be high, dehumidification capacity will be low, which means premature burnout is likely. Inexpensive consumer-grade dehumidifiers are designed to function at higher “upstairs” temperatures, not in the lower temperature range found in basements and crawl spaces. Another feature that makes SaniDry™ dehumidifiers better for basements is the dual air filter that traps mold spores, dust mite debris and other particulate pollutants.
What are the maintenance requirements for a basement dehumidifier?
Look for key features that make the dehumidifier easy to operate and maintain. For example, SaniDry dehumidifiers have easy-to-use digital controls. You set the target humidity level, and the SaniDry will operate automatically to maintain that level. You never have to empty a water reservoir with the SaniDry because it can drain into a sump pump or utilize a condensate pump for automatic drainage.