Keeping the temperature in your home comfortable is important, both in winter and summer, and maintaining a proper humidity level with a basement ventilation system is essential to achieving that goal. Here’s why a basic basement dehumidifier may not do the trick.
The Importance of Humidity
Humidity occurs when water vapor is in the atmosphere. The higher the humidity level, the hotter you feel, as your body is not able to cool efficiently. High humidity levels can cause heat-related illnesses in the summer. You might think no humidity is better, but that’s not true. In the winter, when humidity levels are at their lowest, the cold, dry air can cause excessive dehydration of the upper respiratory system. Dry winter air is also responsible for dry skin, as well as an increase in colds and other respiratory illnesses. To avoid these problems, you need to maintain well-balanced humidity levels in your home.
The Problem with Basement Dehumidifiers
Though dehumidifiers help remove moisture from the air, they are not the best choice for basements, an area of your home that is often damp. There are three disadvantages to using a basement dehumidifier:
High Energy Costs
A dehumidifier first has to cool the air to be able to extract moisture, and then uses a fan to extract water from the air and collect it in a reservoir to be drained. It reheats the air and sends it back, moisture-free, into your home. Dehumidifier operation is similar to that of an air conditioner – and like air conditioning, it uses a lot of energy. The average dehumidifier uses 300-700 watts of energy and can drive up your electric bill.
The moisture extracted from the air goes into a bucket for you to empty – frequently. This can be an annoying and time-consuming task. Unless you’re in good physical shape, it can also be difficult to walk up and down your basement steps several times a day.
Molds are fungi that thrive in warm, damp environments and are often found in many basements. They create a “moldy” or “mildew” smell that not only affects the basement, but also the rest of your home by drifting up into your main living areas. Dehumidifiers recirculate the same stale air rather than pushing it out of your home, so you won’t get rid of the smell. More than just smelling bad, mold can cause a number of health problems, including allergic reactions or upper respiratory infections.
The WAVE moisture control unit expels moisture from the lowest point of your home – the basement and crawl space – and replaces it with fresher, moisture-free air. It also controls humidity levels year-round and can save you more than $700 annually in energy costs. Contact WAVE Home Solutions today for an evaluation of your whole house ventilation needs.