Comfortable Living With a Whole House Dehumidifier
LESLIE: Ooh, Jo in Illinois, you have a humid house. Tell us about it.
JO: Oh, yes. It’s – never goes below 62. Summer or winter.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Sixty-two percent?!
JO: I think it’s really a roofing problem because originally, when I got the home, there was no way for it to breathe. I don’t have any soffits to begin with, right. That’s how these Cape Cods are all made.
LESLIE: Well, there are tons of things. First, you want to think about do you have any gutters. What’s going on with your gutter situation around your house? Because if they’re not clean, you can cause, actually, water to build up, get behind the gutters, get up and under the roof, get behind the walls, get in the house and cause more moisture. So make sure that your gutter and your drainage situation is working. Make sure they’re clean; make sure the downspouts are open; and when the downspouts deposit water, make sure it’s not by your foundation. Get them three to six feet or more, if you can. You know, bury them underground. Get it away from the house. That’ll be very helpful.
Also, think about where the moisture is occurring; kitchens, bathrooms. Do you have vents in those rooms? Are they venting properly? Meaning is your bathroom vent venting into the attic. Is that what’s happening, Jo?
JO: The bathroom, I have a fan in there and I open the window.
LESLIE: Like a ceiling fan or a fan that …?
JO: It’s a fan that’s close to the ceiling. It’s like put on a shelf.
LESLIE: OK, so it’s just a fan. You don’t actually …
JO: (overlapping voices) Yeah, and then I open – when I take a shower, I open the door. I leave the door open.
LESLIE: Right, but by doing that, you’re allowing that moisture just to escape into the rest of the house. And even with a vent in the bathroom, once you’re done showering, you’ve got to run that bathroom vent for an additional 20 minutes to get all of that excess moisture out of there.
TOM: Jo, do you have central air conditioning in this house?
JO: Yes, uh-huh.
TOM: Alright, let me suggest – let me suggest that there’s a new appliance on the market – it’s called a whole-house dehumidifier. It’s made by Aprilaire and it’s actually one that’s physically installed into the HVAC system. If you have ducts already running through the house …
LESLIE: Then this is perfect for you.
TOM: Exactly. And what it’s specifically designed to do is to take the moisture out of the air inside the house; to take away all that …
LESLIE: In the entire house.
TOM: Yeah. And it takes out 90 pints of water a day, so it’s …
LESLIE: You know, did you ever go to a water cooler; one of those big, upside-down jugs?
LESLIE: It takes out two of those full of water each day from your house.
JO: So what do you do? Add that to the – to the air conditioner?
TOM: Yeah, you would add that to the duct system. It gets built in and installed by a professional. Do this, Jo. Go to this website – it’s Aprilaire.com – and …
LESLIE: And there’s an “e” at the end; Aprilaire.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, it’s actually – yeah, Aprilaire; April-a-i-r-e.com – and check out the whole-home dehumidifier. It’s very, very efficient. It works very, very well. They have been out for many years and we’ve heard a lot of good success stories from it.