The Basics of Dehumidifying a Basement

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Basements tend to be damp and musty because they absorb moisture from the surrounding soil and through water leaks. High humidity levels in your basement can cause health issues resulting from mold growth, structural damage to your house, and damage to stored items. The good news is you can avoid these moisture issues by using a dehumidifier — but only if it's suitable for basement environments. Here's a quick guide to finding the right basement dehumidifier.

The Ideal Dehumidifier for Your Basement

A typical whole-home dehumidifier can only be effective when running at an indoor temperature of above 65 degrees. The ground that surrounds your basement is usually 55 degrees all year long. At such a temperature, a regular dehumidifier won't remove moisture effectively.

To purchase an appropriate basement dehumidifier, look for the qualities below:

  • Type — A dehumidifier can be a compressor, desiccant, or thermo-electric dehumidifier. Compressor dehumidifiers are better suited to controlling basement humidity than thermo-electric and desiccant dehumidifiers are.
  • Capacity — A small capacity dehumidifier can gather 15 to 30 pints of water per day on average. A medium-capacity dehumidifier can collect 30 to 45 pints per day, whereas a large-capacity unit can remove as much as 70 pints per day. Basements tend to have high humidity levels, so it's essential to invest in a large-capacity unit.
  • Automatic drainage — All dehumidifiers have moisture-collection tanks that must be emptied when they fill up. If you're like most people, then the basement is one of the least-used rooms in your home. For that reason, it's best to select a dehumidifier that provides automatic drainage of moisture. With such a model, you can drain the collected moisture into a sump pump, a floor drain, or pump it upward to one of your sink drains.

In summary, it's best to choose a large-capacity, compressor-type unit that can empty itself to control the humidity in your basement. For more information on basement dehumidifiers, contact Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning. Our highly experienced team helps homeowners in the Fort Wayne area choose the ideal systems to maximize home comfort and energy efficiency.

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