The basement of houses today serves many vital purposes like storage or workspace; some even use theirs for taking alone time away from others. However, there is one thing that all basements have in common, which is poor indoor air quality and humidity. It is common knowledge that a dehumidifier is the best solution for dealing with poor humidity. However, what to set your dehumidifier in a basement could be a challenge.
A basement is one place where moisture easily accumulates. If the dehumidifier does not run at an adequate speed, it would have no impact on humidity. There are several things to consider when choosing the right level to set your dehumidifier, and that would be our focus in this article.
Basement Humidity and the need for accurate setting
To effectively tackle humidity in a basement, the humidifier used must be set at the right level. Running it at extremely high speeds risks you over humidifying and causing cracks to woods and also an invitation to viruses that thrive in such conditions. On the other hand, running the unit at insufficient speed would mean that the dehumidifier never gets to reduce moisture to a safe level, defeating the whole purpose of running one.
Finding a balance speed for running the dehumidifier is therefore important, along with a hygrometer to monitor relative humidity. Some products come with one that helps them work smart. However, these units are built to be used at home rather than in the basement. We, therefore, recommend that you purchase a hygrometer to help accurately measure the relative humidity in the basement.
Do you need to run a dehumidifier in basement during winter and summer?
Regardless of the season, if the relative humidity is higher than the recommended level of 60%, you should run a dehumidifier. Nevertheless, some seasons have more dry air than others, and humidity might be lower than some other seasons.
In a better perspective, winter generally has colder and drier air than in summer. As a result of this, there would come a time when you do not need to run a dehumidifier during winter. However, this does not mean that humidity cannot be higher than recommended during the winter period, so keep watch.
Summer seasons, on the other hand, have high humidity, and you would need to run the dehumidifier more often to compensate for this.
Read Also: Do humidifiers use a lot of electricity?
Accurate dehumidifier settings for basement
The level of humidity in a basement should perform just enough to keep humidity at a safe level. Basements are more exposed to a constant source of moisture from the external environment; therefore, your dehumidifier should run very frequently.
Molds tend to become a problem at a relative humidity of 60% and above. Therefore, we recommend that you keep your basement dehumidifier within a range of 40% to 60%. More accurately, set your dehumidifier to maintain an exact 50% humidity.
This can be easily done with units that have a humidistat, which allows you to set precise relative humidity levels that it should maintain, after which it turns off. As soon as there is a spike in humidity again, the humidifier starts to run.
Also, there is a chance that the dehumidifier never shuts off, and if you encounter this, it means that there is possibly air leakage that allows more moisture into the basement. When this happens, your dehumidifier has to run much longer and also harder than it normally would, and as a result, cost you more in electric bills. Ensure you find and seal such leakages.
Where in the basement should you place a dehumidifier?
If you use a portable dehumidifier in your basement with moderate moisture issues, then the right position is to place it on the floor. If placed on an elevated surface, it could reduce the convection circulation of air. Putting it on the floor would see the dehumidifier release warmer air than it takes in.
Also, do not place the dehumidifier too close to any surface. This is because items directly close to the dehumidifier tend to dry our more quickly, and like wood or concrete, could develop cracks or become too dry. It can happen even when the whole basement is not properly dehumidified.
Another thing to note is that the dehumidifier should be placed in a centralized location of the basement, where it would draw air from all sides. If it does not have a 360 degrees air inlet, then face the side where air enters through to the air with the most humidity concentration. However, it would be best if you still tried to centralize the unit in the best position possible to achieve maximum air circulation.
Will a dehumidifier setting in the basement help the whole house and upstairs?
There is a good chance that it would not. However, this also depends on the capacity of the dehumidifier. A basement is mostly secluded from the rest of the home and located in odd locations like underground, or do not have direct accessibility to the rest of the house. As a result of this, air would not circulate properly between the basement and the rest of the home.
A dehumidifier works across multi-rooms on the basis that they all circulate the same air, and when they don’t, there is no way the humidifier is effective across both. This is why it is recommended to leave doors and outlets to other rooms open when dehumidifying the whole house with a single unit.
Wrapping things up, a power dehumidifier would probably be able to draw moisture from the closest room to it if it is left open, but that’s all. It cannot do much outside that. Also, you might have to over humidify your basement before the drop in humidity is felt across the other rooms since the dehumidifier is stationed in the basement.
Our recommendation is to purchase a separate dehumidifier for your basement, whole house, and upstairs if you really want to get the humidity out.
Although some more than the others, a basement is doomed to accumulate a high amount of moisture. Asides from the bathroom, it holds the highest moisture content in the home and sometimes can even exceed that of the bathroom. Running a dehumidifier just right is the best way to remove that moisture that could quickly become a problem. The dehumidifier has to be run at the proper speed and conditions for it to be effective.