Basements and crawlspaces are often overlooked areas in our homes, yet they are integral to maintaining the structural integrity of the building. They are also prone to excess moisture, which can lead to various issues like mold growth, musty odors, and damage to your property. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the importance of dehumidifiers in these spaces, answer common questions, and provide insights into how to choose the best dehumidifiers for these spaces.
Basements are notorious for excess humidity. To combat this issue, a basement dehumidifier is a must-have appliance. These dehumidifiers are specifically designed to tackle the unique challenges of basement environments. They are equipped to handle larger spaces and higher humidity levels than standard home dehumidifiers.
Benefits of Dehumidifiers in Basements
Dehumidifiers offer several benefits for basements and crawlspaces, including:
- Mold Prevention: By maintaining optimal humidity levels, dehumidifiers help keep walls, furniture, linens and carpets dry to prevent mold growth.
- Structural Integrity: They protect your property by preventing damage to structural components.
- Improved Air Quality: Dehumidifiers help reduce allergens, improving the overall air quality.
- Enhanced Comfort: These appliances eliminate musty odors, making your basement or crawlspace more comfortable.
How to Choose a Dehumidifier for My Basement
Choosing the right dehumidifier for your basement is crucial to maintaining optimal humidity levels, preventing mold growth, and protecting your property. To help you make an informed decision, here is a detailed guide on how to choose a dehumidifier for your basement:
- 1. Determine the Basement Size: The first step in selecting a dehumidifier is to measure the square footage of your basement. This will help you determine the appropriate capacity (in pints per day) your dehumidifier should have. Dehumidifiers are available in various sizes, and the capacity you need depends on the size and humidity level of your basement. A larger basement with high humidity will require a higher-capacity unit.
- Understand the Dehumidifier's Capacity: Dehumidifiers are rated in pints per day (PPD). To select the right capacity, you need to consider the square footage of your basement and the humidity level. A general guideline is:
For small basements (up to 1,500 square feet) with moderate humidity, a 30-40 PPD unit should suffice.
Medium-sized basements (1,500 to 2,500 square feet) with moderate humidity may require a 40-50 PPD unit.
Larger basements or those with high humidity may need dehumidifiers with a capacity of 50-70 PPD or more.
- Choose Between Standard or Pump Models for Different Drainage Options: Dehumidifiers come in two main types: standard and models with built-in pumps. Choose a unit with the drainage method that best suits your basement. Options include standard emptying of the water tank, gravity drainage, hose hookup, or a condensate pump. Ensure that the unit's drainage system is compatible with your basement's layout.
Standard units collect water in a tank that you must manually empty. Some standard dehumidifiers come with a continuous drain tube for automatic drainage down a drain or sink. The drainage depends on gravity to pull water through the drain. Dehumidifiers with a built-in pump can continuously drain water with more flexibility than a continuous gravity drain by allowing condensation water to be drained upwards, downwards, horizontally, or vertically. This is convenient if you don’t have a drain or sink nearby or if the sink is located higher above the drain outlet, so the water can pump through and not fall back into the unit.
- Consider the Humidistat: A built-in humidistat allows you to set your desired humidity level. Once the unit reaches that level, it will cycle on and off as needed. This feature helps maintain consistent humidity levels in your basement. Look for models from a trusted brand that will more likely have a quality digital humidistat for precise control.
- Energy Efficiency: Select an Energy Star certified dehumidifier, as these units are more energy-efficient and can save you money on your electricity bills while operating continuously in your basement. ENERGY STAR also introduced their MOST EFFICIENT certification that further raised the bar for energy efficiency and Dehumidifiers that pass this higher level are considered the best of the best in energy efficiency and guaranteed to bring you electricity savings and bring back money into your wallet.
- Noise Level: Consider the noise level of the dehumidifier, especially if you plan to spend time in the basement. Look for models with quieter operation, which is typically measured in decibels (dB).
- Air Filtration: Some dehumidifiers come with built-in air filters that can help improve air quality in your basement. These filters can capture dust, allergens, and other airborne particles, making your basement a more comfortable and more breathable space.
- Portability and Mobility: If you might need to move the dehumidifier around the basement, consider units with wheels for easy mobility. Portability can be particularly useful for tackling humidity issues in various areas of the basement.
- Maintenance: Look for a dehumidifier with easily accessible and removable filters and tanks for hassle-free maintenance. Regular cleaning of filters and tanks is essential for optimal performance.
- Brand and Warranty: Choose a reputable brand with a good track record for reliability and durability. Check for warranty information and customer reviews to ensure you're making a wise investment.
- Budget: Set a budget for your dehumidifier, but also consider the long-term benefits of investing in a more efficient and reliable unit, as it can save you money on energy costs and maintenance in the long run.
By following these steps and considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing a dehumidifier for your basement. Remember that a well-chosen dehumidifier will help maintain a healthy and comfortable environment while protecting your property from moisture-related issues.
Best Dehumidifiers for Basements
Select the best dehumidifier for your basement. The ideal unit will depend on the size of the area, the humidity levels, and any specific requirements you have. Some of the top-rated dehumidifiers for these spaces include:
- Honeywell TP70PWKNR: A 50-pint (70-pint 2019 DOE standard) Energy Star dehumidifier with a built-in pump, perfect for basements.
- Honeywell TP70AWKNR: A 50-pint (70-pint 2019 DOE standard) smart dehumidifier with Alexa voice control, ideal for advanced humidity control in basements.
- Honeywell TP50WKN: A 32-pint (50-pint 2019 DOE standard) Energy Star dehumidifier with a Mirage display, suitable for smaller spaces.