Experts recommend maintaining a humidity level of between 30 to 50 percent in your home. During the winter, it should be about 30 to 40 percent to prevent condensation of the windows.
You want to start keeping humidity in check in your basement. This way, you can avoid problems such as mold growth and foul smell. It also helps to make your home safe for people with allergies.
Dehumidifiers for basements should be considered before the signs of humidity start appearing. This post is going to cover some of the reasons why you need one.
1. Prevent Mold Growth
Mold growth in your basement usually occurs due to increased moisture. Leaky foundations and condensation of home appliances also support mold growth. You'll need to reduce the moisture in your basement to lower humidity levels.
You can identify the presence of high humidity in your basement by observing signs such as:
- Water stains on your walls
- Cold temperature in rooms with no or poor ventilation
- Frequent condensation of your windows
- Availability of black spots on your walls
- Presence of mildew smell
All these signs provide a convenient environment for molds to grow. Dehumidifiers help to reduce your humidity level below 50 percent to prevent such problems.
Dehumidifiers for basements require minimal attention to ensure they are working efficiently. All you need to do is invest in fixing water leaks in your basement and sealing all penetrations on your floors and walls. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, you can work with your contractor to waterproof your basement.
Overlooking this problem can lead to an extensive growth of mold. In the long run, you can end up paying heftily for mold remediation.
2. Protect People with Allergies
A damp basement provides a favorable habitat for allergy triggers, such as mildew and mold. Even in dry climates, basements tend to experience these problems.
These allergy triggers can cause several symptoms to your family members and loved ones, including:
- Itchy and watery eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Throat irritation
- Skin rashes
- Sneezing and wheezing
- Stuffy nose
People with most allergies may also experience severe symptoms depending on the level of exposure to these triggers. Also, people with weak immunity or chronic lung diseases can suffer from other lung infections due to dampness and mold exposure.
Damp indoor environments are also linked to coughing, wheezing, and upper respiratory tract symptoms in healthy people. Those with asthma are also likely to experience worsened symptoms.
A basement dehumidifier can be an excellent remedy for avoiding such situations and keeping your loved ones safe and healthy.
3. Prevent Window Condensation
Window condensation can be downright annoying and can damage your windows if they're old. This problem tends to be common during the winter season.
Condensation occurs whenever the temperature drops below 40 degrees F. Signs of this include the presence of wetness on the inside, frames, and sills. When this happens, it simply means that the humidity level in your home is a bit too high.
Window condensation is also common in older homes. In can lead to rotting window wood and peeling of paint over time. It can also expose metals and piping around your doors and windows. You can buy an inexpensive hygrometer to measure your basement humidity levels.
With an effective basement dehumidifier, you can put a stop to this problem. This appliance will enable you to keep the indoor humidity at acceptable levels, thus alleviating the condensation problem.
As a homeowner, the last thing you want is having a basement that is infested with bugs such as dust mites and cockroaches. Bugs must stay outside, but you welcome them inside if you have a damp basement.
They tend to thrive and reproduce when your moisture levels are high. For example, dust mites tend to live in mattresses, carpets, and furniture. They can desiccate if the humidity level falls below 50 percent.
The fecal materials of dust times are also allergens. They can settle into your fabrics and carpets, leading to allergy symptoms in your family members.
Some bugs can cause damage to your property and belongings. Plus, they leave lots of fecal material behind, and this makes cleaning quite arduous.
5. Reduce Energy Costs
A humid basement means your air conditioning system will need to work harder to cool the air and get rid of moisture. This will certainly reflect in your energy bills. The truth is, no one likes paying high energy bills.
With a basement dehumidifier, you can allow your air conditioner to run efficiently without overworking. The dehumidifier takes care of the increased humidity levels, and the A/C does what it's best suited for.
Keep in mind that overworking your A/C unit will lead to fast wearing. This means additional repair or replacement costs for you.
Choosing the Right Basement Dehumidifier
When looking for the right dehumidifier, there are several factors to consider, including the size of the room. For example, a basement will certainly benefit from a large capacity model.
You want to look at the air volume of the appliance. This is measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. This means that the unit can only extract moisture from the air that passes through it. The ideal CFM is determined based on the humidity level and square footage of the basement.
Also, look at the Air Changes per Hour, or ACH of the unit. This is used to gauge the number of air cycles per hour through the dehumidifier. The higher the humidity level in your basement the more air cycles you'll need.
The Bottom Line
The last thing you want is something that makes your indoor living a nightmare. Elevated humidity levels is a common problem in basements. It will lead to structural damage to your home furnishings, and the air will be quite thick and uncomfortable.
It will also lead to creaking floors, resulting in even higher levels of humidity. But, with a basement dehumidifier, you can secure your space and protect your property. Plus, you can prevent the mold menace, which can affect those with asthma or allergies.
Do you have any questions about humidity and dehumidifiers? Feel free to get in touch with us, and we'll be glad to help.