Are Dehumidifiers Good Or Bad For Basements

Are Dehumidifiers Good For Basements


A basement is a bit different from other areas of your home. The reason behind it is that it’s surrounded by the soil in most cases, which means there’s also a high level of moisture.

So, are dehumidifiers good for basements? A dehumidifier in your basement can be very useful. A dehumidifier is the best tool to help you fight condensation and humidity.

For this reason, the levels of humidity in your basement can be a source of mold and foul odors once you did not take action.

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How Does a Dehumidifier Work in a Basement

Basements are an important part of all homes. Many families use the basement as a storage of their daily goods. Others set up their home laundry in basements, and some use these as family rooms.

Whatever the purpose of your basement might be, it is important to maintain and keep it clean all the time.

As far as maintaining your basement is concerned, humidity is the biggest concern that first comes to mind.

Although it is beneficial to have a tad of humidity, increase humidity can damage the walls and paint of the basement, leading to mold growth.

This is where dehumidifiers come in handy in a basement.

Use a Dehumidifier to Combat Humidity in Basements

A dehumidifier can get rid of increased humidity levels which can save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Damp and Muggy Basements

Dampness can significantly damage basements.

When your basement looks and smells damp and wet, don’t wait for a miracle and buy a humidifier instead of get rid of condensation.

If there are windows in the basement, the condensation on the window glass will be more than proof enough that you have a damp basement.

The most usual causes of dampness are the following:

  • The heat from kitchen and unvented clothes dryers
  • Rainwater or liquid from the ground
  • Humid air that comes outside the home that gets into the basement which causes condensation

Bad Odors in the Basement

Dampness in basements that result from severe condensation usually causes a strong stench in your basement.

If there is no proper ventilation, this can cause bad odors.

Good thing that a dehumidifier can keep everything maintained and toned down. Dehumidifiers serve as a great source of ventilation.

There are also dehumidifiers designed with carbon and HEPA filters that substantially help get rid of the bad stench and keep your basement free from dust.

Dehumidifiers can come in very handy when your basement is often used for drinking, smoking, gaming, and others.

Mold Spores

Mold spores can form on surfaces and walls when the basement has severe moisture.

The right humidity levels can effectively fight off mold spores and further decrease their growth.

Once you notice some mold spores forming on the walls as well as other surfaces, make sure you act right away or else, the spores are going to multiply. This means that you will need to spend more when it comes to damages.

Make sure that you buy a dehumidifier and buy one fast. These spores will not just damage the walls and surfaces of your basement as these are also not good for your health.

Severe development of mold in your home can cause several symptoms such as severe flu and cold.

The best way to prevent the formation of mold is to maintain the levels of humidity in your home below 60 percent and ideally a minimum of 30 percent and a maximum of 50 percent.

Getting a dehumidifier will help you address all of these issues in your basement.

What Type Of Dehumidifier Do I Need For A Basement

As stated above there is no doubt that dehumidifiers are a great way to improve the air quality in your home.

Such small appliances work through reducing the level of moisture in the air and once you are familiar with the allergens, you know that the high moisture environments are hospitable to the growth of stubborn mildew and mold.

Aside from that, basement dehumidifiers can help ward off dust mites effectively, which could trigger the most uncomfortable symptoms of allergy.

Such allergens might be the reason why you frequently have a stuffy nose, experience sneezing regularly or suffer from itchy eyes.

However, not every dehumidifier is made equal and several models are suited for the basements than other areas of your home.

Below are the ways to determine what kind of dehumidifier is the best for your basement:

Size of the Basement

Basement dehumidifiers are classified by coverage area in square footage.

You would want to select a dehumidifier with the right coverage range that aligns with the size of your basement.

To know the area of which you like to dehumidify, see to it that you measure your entire basement in square feet. Usually, you can find a dehumidifier that enables you to install a model to cover your whole basement.

With that said, you may triple- or double-up on dehumidifiers if you want smaller coverage areas. As a matter of fact, it is recommended to add dehumidifiers to every room to ensure maximum absorption of moisture.

It’s also essential to keep in mind that other manufacturers use cubic feet instead of square feet to know the coverage area, yet it is not universal.

The golden rule of thumb is to install a fifty-pint to seventy-pint dehumidifier in every area of your basement.

Basement with low airflow levels might need a bigger size or 2 dehumidifiers.

Level of Moisture

When selecting the right basement dehumidifier, the size of your basement is not the only consideration in terms of selecting capacity.

If space is moderately damp, there’s a slight musty smell, yet minimal moisture on its floor, you would definitely get away with the model that coordinates with your square feet.

But, if you are dealing with a high level of humidity and there’s a buildup of water on the floor or could tell that clothing and things feel wet to touch, you might consider picking a model made for bigger space for proper dehumidifying.

Additional Factors

There are other things that you need to consider when you are choosing a good dehumidifier for your basement.

You would want to consider some things like whether or not noise is a primary concern along with the consumption of energy.

Dehumidifiers range from 50W to 800W with higher wattage levels consuming more energy as well as spiking your energy bill.

It is highly recommended to invest in a dehumidifier that is Energy Star certified to make sure that you are keeping your energy consumption is low while being able to keep your basement dry all the time.

Windows that are not properly sealed are also a source of extra humidity from outdoors. Never overlook this.

If the basement is exposed to a constant source of moisture, your dehumidifier should work constantly.

But, this can cause costly electric bills and the lifespan of your dehumidifier would shorten.

Aside from that, you will not need to dump from the container if you are not using a water removal drain setup.

So, before everything becomes worse, set your dehumidifiers in your basement right.

What Setting Should Dehumidifiers For Basements Be On

Mold can be a problem if the humidity level is above sixty percent. You would want to ensure to keep your dehumidifier in your basement at sixty percent or less.

The best dehumidifier setting is around fifty percent or so.

You can set your dehumidifier to that and determine how long it operates before making adjustments.

If your unit runs continuously and doesn’t reach your desired setting, it is the best time for you to look further. There is a great chance you have sources of air leakage that enable more moisture to enter the basement.

If the outside air is allowed to enter your basement, the dehumidifier would have to work longer and harder than it should otherwise. It means that your electric bill would rise as well.

In addition to that, be aware of what would happen with your dehumidifier during cold temperatures.

Most models will work well if the temperature is over 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) but there are also models that are designed for 40 or 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

The good thing is that when your dehumidifier had some time to run and the level of humidity reduced, you will notice an improvement in the usual musty odor that is found in the basements.

The growth of mold will halt also even if that isn’t always visible. You will notice that air will be better for breathing and you could put the space of your basement to use better afterward.

It is crucial to note that the humidity level may differ from one room to another, even in the same home.

For instance, the basement could accumulate more moisture compared to the bedroom in your second story.

Usually, dehumidifiers would contain sensors that detect the humidity level around your environment and operates based on what the sensor detected.

Thus, it’ll run continuously if the crawlspace or basement has high levels of humidity.

If your dehumidifier doesn’t have a sensor, you might need to test out various dehumidifier settings to find the best one for your own comfort preferences.

For you to ensure that the dehumidifier operates properly and the setting of your dehumidifier is right, it is important to keep your dehumidifier through emptying and cleaning buckets when necessary.

An automatic shut-off or indicator light will usually alert you if the bucket should be cleaned.

How Often To Run A Dehumidifier In The Basement

Regardless of the purpose of your basement, it must be kept maintained and clean.

When talking regarding maintaining household basements, the first thing that will come to your mind is humidity.

While a bit of humidity can be beneficial, increased levels of humidity might be damaging to the walls and paint of your basement, which may result in mold growth.

However, you may lessen the amount of the condensation once you try looking for places it’s likely to form and get rid of all the causes.

Fight Humidity with Dehumidifiers in Your Basement

Dehumidifiers are the best way to combat condensation and humidity and these are beneficial particularly if you have different rooms in the basement.

These get rid of the increased humidity levels, which save you a lot when it comes to repairs.

That is the reason why you should use a dehumidifier on a regular basis. With this, you can be assured that your basement is free from allergens and stays fresh all the time.

Increased moisture in the basement often causes mold spores on the surface and walls.

The right humidity levels can combat mold spores effectively and may reduce their growth. Once you notice mold spores that develop on your walls and some surfaces, act quickly and or spores would multiply that means you will need to spend more on the damages.

Run your dehumidifier and this will get rid of the spores, which aren’t only damaging to the surface and walls of the basement, but also bad for one’s health.

Take note that the severe development of mold can result in symptoms like asthma and allergies.

The best way to prevent molds to form is by keeping the humidity level in your home below sixty ideally between thirty percent and fifty percent and only dehumidifiers could help you achieve it.

The dampness in basements due to severe condensation frequently results in strong stench in basements. Lack of good ventilation may also cause bad odor, yet a dehumidifier may help keep the things maintained and toned down.

They can easily come in handy if the basement is used frequently for smoking, drinking, gaming, and so on. Several dehumidifiers are made with carbon filters and HEPA filters that help eliminate bad stench and will keep the basement free from dust particles.

Dehumidifiers are made to suck out increased moisture levels in the air.

The majority of dehumidifiers are designed with compressor fans that suck in the air as this passes over 2 sets of the refrigerant filled coils.

All condensation and moisture that the dehumidifier sucks will go into the water tank that you should empty once the unit reached a particular limit.
It’s crucial to invest in a good dehumidifier for your basement if you want to have a clean and good smelling space.

Aside from that, they help cleansing the dusty particles and condensation that is dangerous for those who have allergies.