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Why You Need a Dehumidifier For Your Wet Basement

Feb 29, 2008
One of the major problems of owning a basement is dealing with damp. If this is something you want to prevent or deal with then buying a basement dehumidifier is a very good idea. A wet basement is certainly not something you want to contend with as it can cause serious problems with your home and your health. You may not know this, but the damp in your basement can cause mold which can then cause respiratory problems, especially with any one who suffers from allergies. Damp is caused by excess water so a dehumidifier will help sort this out.

Air holds water and when this water meets cold air it turns into condensation. When this happens the condensation lies on surfaces such as flooring and walls causing your basement to become damp. The worst time of year for this to happen is spring and summer so you should see about preventing it happening as soon as possible. Fixing a wet basement can be done by using both insulation and a dehumidifier.

How to Buy a Basement Dehumidifier

There are many basement dehumidifiers to choose from so do your research before buying. Surprisingly, the larger units on the market require less energy because the removal or moisture from the air is quicker. The smaller sized units need to be on all the time so that they can do the same job. If your basement is open plan (meaning it's just one big room) you'll probably only require the one dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers extract water from the air which means the water is collected and needs to be drained. There are different ways the water can be drained. If the water doesn't get drained regularly enough the dehumidifier won't be able to function correctly. Because large dehumidifiers hold more water, they don't have to be emptied as often. However the problem with that is the bucket can end up being extremely heavy and difficult to carry. Dehumidifiers can hold anywhere between 35 and 135 pints of water. Most units have warning lights to indicate that it is full and this allows you to easily see at a glance if there is a problem. The easiest option would be to have the water drain out into a floor drain, sump or sink. This way you needn't concern yourself with the task of emptying it out. If you are using a hose, avoid having one which is too long as you could easily trip over it.

When the temperature dips well below freezing, the coils around your dehumidifier can frost up, causing the unit to stop working as well as it should. There are two ways to deal with this; either you switch off the unit and allow it to defrost, or you can buy a dehumidifier with a built-in sensor which will do this for you. If your basement is often cold you should see about buying a dehumidifier which can operate in low temperatures.

To keep the dehumidifier working to its optimum level, make sure you keep the coils clean. Also ensure that the unit is kept well away from dust and smoke. You also only need to use the machine if there is actually a problem with high humidity.

Because there are so many models of dehumidifier on the market, the amount you spend can vary greatly. It all depends on quality, brand, size and functions. Read through the specifications and ask advice from the sales person if you don't understand. Quite often the sales info provided is quite technical and isn't written with a regular consumer in mind.

Where to Place Your Basement Dehumidifier

Most dehumidifiers have the air discharge at the top so that you can position it against a wall. If this isn't the case then make sure you put have it away from the walls and furniture so that the air can circulate.

To improve your dehumidifier's efficiency, you should keep doors and any windows shut. Make sure you read the instructions and keep the unit away from electricity. Remember, water and electricity is not a safe combination.

If you basement is damp, another thing you should make sure you do is install plenty of insulation in the walls, floors, ceiling and water pipes.
About the Author
April Kerr often writes articles for home improvement site which also has articles relating to removing mold from your basement and basement decorating ideas.
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