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Demystifying Your Dehumidifier

We’ve talked to you about leaky pipes, flooding, and cracked foundations, but there is another danger to your basement...MOLD. While potentially harmful to your family, there are solutions to keeping mold at bay. One is a home dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers take in moisture from the air and can remove between 30 to 45% of the moisture in a room. Now, you might be thinking, “I’ve waterproofed my basement, I don’t need a dehumidifier.” Wrong! Dehumidifiers are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing the growth of mold and mildew in your basement. They allow you the comfort of knowing that your family and your belongings are safe and sound all year long.

When going over your options for dehumidifiers for your house, many homeowners have questions. Here is some advice to help you in your search for safety and comfort.

How do I know what kind of dehumidifier to buy?
There are two main types of dehumidifiers, portable dehumidifiers and whole-home dehumidifiers. Whole-home humidifiers are a part of your home’s HVAC system, while portable dehumidifiers address just a small area. Since whole-home dehumidifiers work in conjunction with your HVAC system, they generally provide you with better control of the comfort level of your home and save you money on energy costs.

Which type of dehumidifier should I purchase?
We suggest purchase and having a whole-home dehumidifier installed to your HVAC system.. This type of dehumidifier addresses the moisture in your entire house, removing excess moisture from every room. This will keep you from having to buy multiple or one-room humidifiers, which can challenging to maintain.

But, I only want to dehumidify my basement. Do I still need a whole-home dehumidifer?
While we cannot make that decision for you, of course, we believe that whole-home dehumidifiers are the better bet. Also, if not cleaned regularly, one-room dehumidifiers can grow mold against the moist coils of the unit. They then send the mold spores into the air, which can be very dangerous for you and your family.

How do I know if my dehumidifier I bought is working correctly?
When working properly, a dehumidifier should keep the humidity of a room at about or under 50%. At this level, mold is unable to grow and the room is still comfortable to live in.

Do I need to keep my dehumidifier running at all times?
The simple answer is no. Most dehumidifiers have a digital input or dial that allows you to determine the level of humidity in which you want your dehumidifier to turn on. Even though the winter months are coming closer, it is still a good idea to keep your dehumidifier on in case of an unexpected leaking pipe or snowmelt.

How do I maintain my dehumidifier?
Like with any appliance in your home, regular maintenance is needed to ensure that your dehumidifier is working properly. Thankfully, unlike a one-room dehumidifier, whole-home humidifiers have no drip pans to empty. Annual check-ups should be made with an HVAC professional. The professional will inspect the unit for any damage, broken coils, and replace any clogged filters.

Moisture is one of the main culprits in many basement disasters. Though you’ve taken the proper precautions and waterproofed your basement, moisture can still find its way into your home and destroy your belongings. A dehumidifier can provide protection from high moisture levels and add a layer of defense against keeping your basement and its contents safe.

With over 30 years of basement waterproofing experience, Ameri-Dry offers patented, permanently dry systems that are backed by a full lifetime warranty. For more information about Ameri-Dry and Ameri-Dry Guy, visit (www.keepamericadry.com), follow Ameri-Dry on Facebook or Twitter.