Should You Run A Dehumidifier In Your Basement?
At Ensign, we come across homes with high levels of Relative Humidity (RH) all throughout North Georgia and the surrounding areas. Relative Humidity (RH) is the measure of the amount of water vapor in the air in comparison to the temperature. Naturally, the state of Georgia and most of the southeast has high levels of RH, particularly in the Summer months. High RH can create problems for the home that are costly to address, including water damage and mold growth. Controlling mold growth is also essential for maintaining good indoor air quality and avoiding health issues. Mold grows by reproducing itself from tiny spores roaming in the air. These spores are not visible to the human eye, but mold begins to grow once these spores land on moist surfaces. Water is necessary for any mold to grow. Therefore, if you can remove the water source, you can stop the mold growth.
Using a dehumidifier is a great way to keep moisture levels down in your home, creating a safer and healthier home environment. Key areas we commonly see with high levels of RH in a home are in basements, particularly ones which are unfinished and untreated with HVAC units. With unfinished basement homes, we recommend these homeowners to keep a dehumidifier running in the basement at all times. Even after finishing your basement, we still recommend keeping a dehumidifier running due to the humid environment surrounding the home outdoors. In addition, basement areas can tend to be used less than other areas of the house, therefore making it more likely for rising Relative Humidity levels to go unnoticed for long periods of time.
How a Dehumidifier works
A dehumidifier works by removing water vapors from the surrounding air by relying on the process of condensation to collect water vapor once it changes from gas to liquid. The device pulls in warm air in and exposes it to refrigeration coils to cool the air down. As the temperature of the air decreases, it is no longer able to hold moisture. The water vapors turn to liquid where they can now be collected by the dehumidifier. The dryer and cooler air is then released back out of the device.
Dehumidifiers typically collect water vapor in a detachable bucket. The device is usually equipped with a meter which can measure the relative relative humidity of a room. Dehumidifiers can also be equipped with a valve where a drain hose can be attached for convenient draining.
Tips to running a dehumidifier in your basement
Basement Dehumidifier Settings
Set your dehumidifier between 40% - 50% in your basement. Ideally, the Relative Humidity (RH) in your home should remain near 50% or less. The RH of your home should not go above 65%. You should also not go below 15% relative humidity so that your room isn’t too dry. Too dry, and you could experience dry throat or even dried out sinuses.
Dehumidifier Drain Line
Most dehumidifiers are equipped with a drain outlet where a garden hose can be attached. If it is too tedious to empty your dehumidifier often, run a drain line from the back of the device and route it to the exterior of your home (ask a professional if you need advice on the best way to accomplish this).
Take advantage of moisture collected by your dehumidifier
Use the moisture that your dehumidifier collects to water your plants.
If you need assistance with setting up a dehumidifier in your home or you have issues with mold due to moisture buildup, call the team at Ensign today. We service all of North Georgia and surrounding areas providing mold and water restoration services.