Basement Dehumidifiers and Home Dehumidifiers

Reduce Basement Moisture Levels with a Basement Dehumidifier

By Mark J. Donovan

Basement dehumidifiers dramatically reduce moisture levels in basements and can protect homes from mold and mildew growth. A basement dehumidifier, or home dehumidifier, can also protect your family’s health by reducing the risk of harmful allergies caused by the growth of mold spores. Basement dehumidifiers also protect your home from rot and insect damage caused by high moisture levels in the basement.

They can also protect your home’s value as a moldy mildew basement, or a home suffering from rot caused by high basement humidity levels, is a big negative with most home buyers and home inspectors.

If you are fortunate enough not to have a basement that leaks after a heavy rain storm, your basement most likely still has high moisture levels. Ground water sitting just below your home’s foundation can easily penetrate through cracks in your basement flooring and even directly through a non-cracked concrete floor.

To resolve high basement humidity levels first eliminate any problems that maybe causing standing water puddles in the basement. Standing water may be the result of water leaking up through cracks in the basement flooring or foundation walls. It may also be associated with leaky pipes or sweating pipes. Also make sure laundry hoses are not leaking.

It is also important to check around the outside of the home. Make sure the grade of soil around the basement walls is designed such that water drains away from the foundation walls. Also make sure the gutter drain spouts drain water away from the home.

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After resolving any issues that could lead to standing water problems in the basement next install a basement dehumidifier. The purpose of the basement dehumidifier, or home dehumidifier, is to reduce the relative humidity (RH) in the home to below 50%. Relative humidity is the ratio of the water vapor density to the saturation water density. A simple piece of test equipment known as a hygrometer can check the moisture levels in your basement. Ideally the relative humidity in a home should be between 30 to 50%.

It is also important to point out that highly moist air has the tendency to work its way up from the basement into the upper levels of the home. Consequently the affects of high basement humidity levels is not limited to just the basement. It can affect your entire home, and consequently the need for a good basement dehumidifier or home dehumidifier.

Buying a Basement or Home Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from air by drawing the moist air into them via a fan and then cooling the air below the dew point. This process causes the moist air to condense into water droplets.

Dehumidifier in basement

The water droplets are then collected in a small drain pan within the dehumidifier or drained off outside the basement or home.

There are a variety of basement dehumidifiers or home dehumidifiers that are available to homeowners. The price ranges for dehumidifiers are quite large and the price you pay depends upon the features you are looking for. Inexpensive basement dehumidifiers have a collection drain pan that allows recovered moisture to be collected. When the water reaches a certain height in the drain pan the basement dehumidifier automatically shuts off. The unit will not restart until the water has been emptied from the drain pan. Consequently these types of dehumidifiers need regular monitoring.

Other types of basement dehumidifiers or home dehumidifiers have optional drain hoses. The drain hose allows the collected water to automatically drip into a drain system. As a result, no emptying of drain pans is necessary and the dehumidifier will operate independently and only shut off when the moisture levels within the basement or home reaches the desired RH level.

When buying a basement dehumidifier it is important that you select one that is right for your basement. Basement dehumidifiers are not all created equal. When selecting a dehumidifier check to see how many cubic feet per minute (CFM) that it can support.

This specification determines how much moist air it can be pulled through it and how quickly it can reduce the moisture levels in the basement. A small, inexpensive basement dehumidifier may not be able to keep up with the moisture infiltration levels associated with a large basement.

So if you have a clammy feeling basement, chances are your basement has a high relative humidity level and is an incubator for mold, mildew and rot. A basement dehumidifier will not only eliminate these dangerous items, but also make your basement a much more comfortable place to enjoy. If your home is on a concrete slab, then a home dehumidifier maybe the right choice for you.

For more help on Basement Additions, see’s Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your basement remodeling project is done correctly and you get the project finished on time and budget.

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