are often sources of excess humidity. If you
use your basement as living space, or if you
store anything of value in it, keeping moisture
at the proper level is important.
Because basements are located below ground level,
they are in contact with moisture from the earth.
Although some homes have adequate vapor and
water barriers installed outside their foundations,
many older homes are not protected from moisture
that can create mildew, causing damage to furniture,
carpets, photos, and other valuable possessions.
A comfortable moisture level is also conducive
to good health. Protection against excess humidity
entails the simple installation of a basement
How do they work?
Dehumidifiers usually use heat pumps (similar to those found in air conditioners)
to remove moisture from the air without cooling it. Protection against
excess humidity entails the simple installation of a basement
heat pump dehumidifier has a fan to
draw indoor air over a heat exchange coil at
very cold temperatures. The water in the air
condenses over the coil and is drained in water
form. A second heat exchange coil reheats the
air and releases it into the room.
Choosing a home dehumidifier can be a tedious
ordeal since there are so many types and sizes
available. The type of humidifier you choose
will depend on your home’s specific needs.
A professional can help determine which dehumidifier
best suits your residence.
large dehumidifier removes moisture
faster than a small one, but also consumes more
electricity. Moreover, when it starts, it requires
more energy than during any other time in its
cycle. Consequently, using a large dehumidifier
for a shorter period of time will not consume
less energy. A small unit is often recommended.
Deciding when to turn on your basement dehumidifier
will depend on the local climate. Because dehumidifiers
function poorly at lower temperatures, it is
not recommended to use them when the temperature
is cold. In addition, the risk of freezing the
coils increases as the temperature decreases.
the cold months, when you heat your basement,
the warm air and moisture rise to the upper
levels of your home, thereby lowering the humidity
in the basement. Cold regions require less dehumidifier
use than warm ones, where a dehumidifier is
often used all year-round.
Proper maintenance is key to the optimum function
of your home dehumidifier.
the internal filters frequently - as a rule
of thumb, every two weeks.
the coils at least once every season to make
sure they are free of dirt and dust.
your unit has a removable front cover with
a foam filter inside, clean it regularly as
dust and dirt can insulate the coils from
the room air, decreasing the efficiency of
addition, dirt in a dehumidifier can dampen
and possibly freeze. Freezing creates the most
damage because it will force your dehumidifier
to run continuously without actually dehumidifying
the air (the equivalent of leaving your refrigerator
door open all day).
Poorly-maintained basement dehumidifiers have
a shorter lifespan and consume unnecessary energy.
Furthermore, because condensation emits heat,
a dehumidifier acts as a heat source. This process
is advantageous in Spring and Fall, when basements
tend to be cool. However, in the middle of summer,
it will work to your disadvantage. So be sure
to choose the dehumidifier best suited for your
needs and maintain it properly.
article was written by Herb Mansfield:
Herb Mansfield is a master plumber in the province
of Quebec, Canada. He has over 35 years experience
in the plumbing field. He is now lending his
expertise to the Sump
Pump Info website.