Whole-Home Dehumidifiers for the Basement
LESLIE: Going down to the basement with Stacy in New Jersey. How can we help?STACY: I’m wondering if there’s an alternative to running a dehumidifier all the time. Is there something that we can have installed that will vent to the outside? It’s a finished basement. It just smells of mildew all the time.TOM: Sure. How is your house heated and cooled, Stacy? Do you have a forced air system?STACY: Yes, we have central air and heat.TOM: And what about the basement? Is that covered by the central air system?STACY: Yes.TOM: Alright, well this is good then. What you can do is you can install what’s called a whole-house or a whole-home dehumidifier. It actually gets installed into the HVAC system and it runs 24/7 to maintain the proper humidity; not only in the basement but throughout the entire house.LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Throughout the whole house. And it even, Stacy, will kick on more often within the basement zone where you end up with the most moisture and I think in tests it removed 90 pints of water a day, one of the products; one of the whole-home dehumidifiers from a company called Aprilaire.STACY: Aprilaire?LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Mm-hmm.TOM: (overlapping voices) Yes.STACY: OK.TOM: Yeah, Aprilaire.com. Now, the other thing that you can do, Stacy, is to take some steps to reduce that humidity by looking outside your house and making sure your gutters are clean and free-flowing and that the grading around the house slopes away from the walls. Because, typically, basements get real humid before they have poor drainage conditions around the outside that allows the water to sort of saturate the foundation and then that water evaporates into the basement. So it’s really a two-step process: outside you can improve the grading and drainage so you try to keep it as dry as possible; and then inside, add a whole-home dehumidifier and you’ll find that the home gets real dry and real comfortable very quickly.STACY: Oh, perfect. Sounds good. Well, thank you very much.TOM: You’re welcome, Stacy. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.