LESLIE: Joann in South Carolina’s got a fireplace problem. What can we help you with?
JOANN: Yes, we just remodeled our home and took out a glass-front fireplace screen and we have a lot of humidity over here. So I’m trying to figure out how I can keep the humidity out, besides just the damper. We don’t want to do anything permanent because someday we may want to sell the house.
TOM: Well, I don’t think that your fireplace is the source of your humidity problem if you live in South Carolina. (Joann chuckles) Yeah, the heat is going to be going up the chimney, not down. If you’re trying to reduce humidity, there’s a whole bunch of other things that you should be thinking about doing; starting on the outside of the house: making sure that your gutter system is there, it’s functional, it’s discharging water away from the house; making sure the soil slopes away from the walls. These are ways to manage the water from the outside.
LESLIE: Now, do you have a forced air system?
JOANN: We have a heat pump.
TOM: OK, and then you’re going to have a forced air duct system if you have a heat pump.
TOM: A good thing to add on to that is something called a whole-home dehumidifier. There is one made by Aprilaire that’s excellent. They’re one of the sponsors of this show. They are a terrific company that makes a product that takes out 90 pints of water a day.
LESLIE: And it doesn’t ever need any emptying, so it’s consistently pulling the water out from where it needs to be. And you can adjust it in different ways to kick on in different zones; particularly rooms below grade more often than in the rest of the house. But it’s continually pulling the moisture.