Basement Humidity Control

Apr 05, 2012

“Honey, what is that smell in the basement?”

Have you ever noticed that as spring temperatures rise outside, so do the odors in your basement? Regardless of the amount of rain in the forecast, all basements are prone to increasing levels of humidity as outside temperatures begin to rise.

If you’re a New England home owner, it’s a safe bet that you probably use a dehumidifier for basement humidity control.

Keeping humidity levels low is a main factor in reducing basement odors. Levels above 60% RH support the growth of dust mites and at 70% RH, mold, mildew and fungal bacteria begin to grow. Guess What? This is probably what you are beginning to smell.

 The term humidity describes the fact that the atmosphere can contain water vapor. The amount of humidity found in air varies because of a number of factors. Two important factors are evaporation and condensation. At the water/atmosphere interface over our planet’s oceans large amounts of liquid water are evaporated into atmospheric water vapor.

This process is mainly caused by absorption of solar radiation and the subsequent generation of heat at the ocean’s surface. In our atmosphere, water vapor is converted back into liquid form when air masses lose heat energy and cool. This process is responsible for the development of most clouds and also produces the rain that falls to the Earth’s surface.

Relative humidity can be simply defined as the amount of water in the air relative to the saturation amount the air can hold at a given temperature multiplied by 100. Air with a relative humidity of 50% contains a half of the water vapor it could hold at a particular temperature.  See below:  illustrates the concept of relative humidity.relativehumidity Source: www.physicalgeography.net [/toggle]

The growth of these organisms produces gases that are toxic to humans and can lead to allergies, asthma, and other air quality concerns.

Many understand the concept of dehumidification, but what is misunderstood is the application. Basements are a cold environment and a simple dehumidifier may not do its job properly.

Most dehumidifiers sold at the large box chain stores are not designed to remove moisture efficiently at these lower temps.

Dehumidifiers can also be helpful in crawlspaces too.

As a result, these dehumidifiers run almost constantly. This leads to frost build up on the unit, higher temperatures in the basement due to the unit’s exhaust, and a moisture level that has barley gone down.


santa-fe-classic-whole-house-dehumidifier.gifHigh-efficiency dehumidifiers like the ones manufactured by Thermastor are designed to perform in basements.

The Santa Fe Classic is one of the best on the market when it comes to basement humidity control. They remove 4 to 5 times as much moisture and run half the time on a fraction of the electricity. They also have superior air movement, filtration and self-draining options others units just don’t have.

Rescon gets more compliments about the Santa Fe line from our customers than any other solution we offer. Why? It works that much better.


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