A Dehumidifier for Basement: For a Healthier Home
Need a Dehumidifier for a Basement or Crawlspace?
The average dehumidifier really is not designed to keep air moisture under control in cooler, more humid basements and crawlspaces. They can't handle the conditions or the extent of moisture removal needed.
On this page, you can learn some about why a dehumidifier for basements need to be built a bit differently and perform better to be effective. You'll also find a few tips for choosing a good one and see some well reviewed models too.
Why Buy a Dehumidifier for Your Basement?
Controling humidity, or the moisture in the air, is important in your home. It not only has to do with your comfort but with other important factors as well. Too much moisture allows mold, mildew, and fungus to grow. It can damage wood working, furniture, and reduce the structural integrity of your home. Stored items are at risk as well, from paperwork to valuables.
Inside your home, humidity shouldn't be over 50% to help prevent or inhibit mold growth, dust mites, decrease the risk of mildew, odors, water damage, and so forth. Dehumidifiers can effectively remove moisture from the air.
Basements tend to be cooler environments and air flow may be less, so many dehumidifiers may struggle to do the job. A dehumidifier for basement environments may be built to operate at lower temperatures and avoid frost built up. Some may be built more ruggedly or have a design that allows them to fit in tight spaces such as found in some crawlspaces.
Many experts recommend that basement relative humidity (rh) be kept around 50% as well. Humidity in many basements is higher near the masonry wall than it is in the center of the space. (Measuring humidity can be done with a hygrometer) Keeping basement air dryer can allow you to use basement space for living or for storage without worrying about moisture, mold, or mildew damage.
You'll find many dehumidifiers available in retail stores. However, when you really want one that does the job, you may want to consider carefully. Here are some things to think about:
Because humidity in a basement tends to be higher, you'll want a unit with a higher capacity. For instance, a humidifier that removes on 30 or 40 pints of water/day, might not be sufficient. Many dehumidifiers for basement areas can remove 65 to 110 pints/water per day.
You'll also want to consider the size of the area you will be trying to control and the ability of the dehumidifier. Most will offer an indication of what size space they are built to control, for instance 1,400 square feet vs. 3,000 square feet.
- Operating Temperatures
While a dehumidifier in your bedroom won't have to operate at temperatures below 70 degrees or so, the basement is cooler, even in the summertime when you're trying to dehumidify. A good dehumidifier for your basement will operate effectively at 55 degrees F or less. Some of these units will also offer a defrost feature to help reduce any problems with operating in lower temperatures.
- Air movement
A powerful fan is needed to capture the air in the room and dehumidify it all. 200 CFM is an absolute minimum and 300 is even better.
- Water capture and drainage
Be sure you know how water will be gotten rid of once it's removed from the air. Does the unit have a condensate pump, hoses for drainage, etc? Does it have a water tank that will need emptied periodically? These are important things to know as far as installation as well.
- Ease of Use
If a dehumidifier will be used in a tight space, having easy access controls and filters can be important. If you'll want to keep the device in a closet or hidden space and dehumidify a separate room, then ducting will be needed. Some of these units offer optional ducting kits. If you're working with a tight space, then size, and dimensions of the unit will also be critical to consider.
Many dehumidifiers will come with an accessible humidistat that allows the user to set a desired level and allow the unit to automatically maintain that level. In fact, some offer a remote dehumidistat to allow easier control.
Sante Fe Advanced
This is an ideal dehumidifier for basement and crawl spaces. It is built to remove moisture from spaces as large as 2,200 square feet and operates effectively at temperatures from 55 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It features a blower and high efficiency MERV-11 filtration system which can remove 65% of 1.0-3.0 micron particles, such as mold spores.
This dehumidifier can remove up to 90 pints of water per day. Owners can use the humidistat to set the desired humidity level, add an optional ducting kit to locate the device remotely or increase air flow in remote spaces, add leveling casters for improved portability, or a pump kit to move water outside or elsewhere.
This device offers quiet, energy efficient operation, and is EPA EnergyStar rated. It measures 14.5" W x 19" H x 33" D and weighs 71lbs.
Sante Fe Compact Dehumidifier for Basement
This unit is designed with crawlspaces in mind. It measures 21" x 12" x 12" and weighs 55lbs. This horizontal, flow through design assures it will fit in any crawlspace. It has a dual-sided filter access slot, sound absorbing feet, and configurable exhaust (back or top).
This model will operate in the lower temperature environments common in under house spaces, and won't stop or fail despite limited air flow. It can remove 65 to 70 pints of water per day and will easily handle a medium sized, 1600 square feet space. It features MERV-8 filtration and offers an optional condesate pump and ducting kit as needed.
A Closer Look at the Sante Fe Compact Dehumidifier
This is a larger unit, measuring 20 3/4" W x 24" L x 20 7/8" H and weighing just under 100lbs. This model is from Aprilaire and it is capable of operating effectively at temperatures as low as 40 degrees F and as high as 150 degrees F. It will remove 74+ pints of water/day.
It includes frost protection and features a powerful 255 CFM fan, washable aluminum MERV-8 filter, sensors to automatically detect moisture levels and maintain the desired level, locking casters for portability and safety, and 1" PVC condensate trap pipe to attach to hoses or condesate pumps.
This unit is easy to install and doesn't have to be connected to your HVAC system. There is no tank to empty. It operates efficiently and is Energy Star rated. It comes with a 5 year warranty and offers an optional condensate pump.
A Closer Look at the Aprilaire 1710 Dehumidifier for Basement
The Ebac CD35 can remove up to 6 gallons of water per day and operates in temperatures from 33 degrees F to 95 degrees F.
This basement dehumidifier features an adjustable internal humidistat, a 1.5 gallon water tank with a "full" indicator light, and a defrosting feature. It measures 22" H x 13.5" W x 14" D and weighs 57lbs. It's easy to move around thanks to wheels and a sturdy carrying handle. It has a 25' power cord and heavy duty steel cabinet. This unit comes with a one year warranty.
This Sante Fe unit is perfect for large basements. It operates effectively at temperatures as low as 53 degrees F and with the built in defrost function, it can operate down to 45 degrees. It can effectively handle up to 3,000 square feet of space and remove 100 pints+ of water/day.
It features a blower and switch which can allow it to run continuously without dehumidification. It also has a 6' gravity dranage hose and 16" x 20" x 2" pleated filter.
This dehumidifier for basement areas measures 17" x 20" x 36" and weighs 110lbs. Buyers can also consider an optional duct kit, noise reduction kit, remote dehumidistat, and condensate pump kit. It comes with a 1 year warranty plus 4 years warranty on the compressor, evaporator, and condensor.