High Humidity in Basement - Affects Entire House
Contact: Nikki Krueger
Madison, Wis. (March 31, 2005) -- Spring is finally here and summer is hopefully right behind. As we anticipate the joy of turning off the furnace, we will all too soon be turning to our homes for comfort from the heat and humidity. Unfortunately, the sticky stuffy feeling caused by high humidity levels outside also resides inside our homes. Most of us associate it with the basement, but humidity actually disperses itself throughout the home. It causes us to stick to our furniture, creates stuffy air, musty smells, and can even lead to mold growth.
While some believe air conditioning can effectively dehumidify a home, experts agree it cannot get the job done effectively or efficiently. Air conditioners do remove moisture as they cool the air, if they run for a significant amount of time. But since the basement is already cool, the short operation times needed to keep it cool are not sufficient enough to remove moisture. Worse yet, cooler air cannot hold as much moisture, so when it comes in contact with cool surfaces you risk condensation in basements. And, when the air conditioning is not running, indoor humidity can skyrocket to 70 percent and higher.
Portable dehumidifiers by definition only address a small area of the home. They are designed to run at temperature 80 degrees Fahrenheit, while basements in the Midwest have an average temperature of between 58 – 65 degrees. Below 65 degrees, frost can form on the condensing coils, which negatively affects performance by causing the compressor to cycle on and off repeatedly without removing moisture from the air. These products are also high maintenance, noisy and intrusive to the living space.
A whole-home dehumidifier, like the Model 1700 offered by Aprilaire, is integrated into the cooling system and removes up to 90 pints of moisture from the entire home each day. Through the use of a whole-home dehumidifier, homeowners can efficiently and effectively keep humidity between the EPA recommended levels of 30 - 60 percent throughout the whole house. By sampling indoor relative humidity, the dehumidifier will automatically adjust to manage moisture based on changing conditions. There is no need for the homeowner to change settings, or even empty a tank once it is installed.