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Why use a basement dehumidifier?

Most basements and crawl spaces in our area of Wisconsin have high humidity, especially in the summer. ABT Foundation Solutions recommends that homeowners run a dehumidifier to keep their homes safe and healthy.

High humidity can damage foundation walls, drywall, furniture and carpets in basements, as well as items in storage. If mold starts to grow, it can pose a health hazard for you and your family, especially if someone is allergic to mold.

Basements tend to have higher humidity because "the parts of your foundation that are below ground level are constantly in contact with moisture from the earth outside," according to The Natural Handyman. "Though some homes have adequate vapor and water barriers installed outside their foundations, many older homes have none."

How does a dehumidifier work?

"A dehumidifier is essentially a refrigerator that forgot to get fully dressed. Really, " The Natural Handyman explains. "The basic mechanical function of a dehumidifier is the same as a refrigerator."

However, a dehumidifier is designed to blow warm moist room air over the cold coils. The moisture in the air condenses on the coils. This water then drips into a collection pan, or to a drain.

What kind of dehumidifier should I buy?

Consider these main factors when selecting your dehumidifier, according to Lowes.com:

  • The area you wish to dehumidify (in square feet).
  • How you want to remove the water collected by the dehumidifier.
  • The energy performance of the unit.

You'll need to empty the container that collects the water. If you have a large basement and/or a large dehumidifier, this bucket can get heavy when it's full. Some dehumidifiers have internal pumps that automatically pump water into a sink or other basin. Others have a direct drain feature that let the water pass into a floor-level water drain.

ABT Foundation Solutions recommends the Santa Fe collection of high-capacity, energy-efficient, free-standing dehumidifiers. They are built to supply the very best in humidity control for basements, crawl spaces and living areas. Most products in this line are made to exceed Energy StarĀ® efficiency requirements. They are equipped with large-capacity moisture removal, low temperature operation and superior air filtration systems.

What's the best way to run a dehumidifier?

Air needs to circulate freely through the dehumidifier, so allow at least 6 inches of space on all sides of your unit, Lowes advises. If the vents are on top, you can place the unit against a wall.

As you check and empty the drip pan, you also need to check the air filter regularly to make sure it's clean. Unplug the dehumidifier before servicing it to avoid electrical shock.

The experts at ABT Foundation Solutions can conduct a free inspection to determine the size and type of humidifier needed your basement or crawl space. Contact us to set up an appointment.