I am looking into options to dehumidify a basement in a home that I recently
The basement is about 25'x30' with a high ceiling, has poured concrete
walls, and two basement windows that are currently sealed shut (I just
ordered replacement windows that I am waiting to come in). The basement is
dry but it does have a sump pump that keeps it that way. I do know that
before the sump pump was put in, the basement used to sometimes get water in
it, but the sump pump fixed that (I know the prior owner). The house is
located in Eastern Pennsylvania.
The only problem is that the basement feels just slightly damp and musty. A
friend suggested putting a dehumidifier down there and I am in the process
of searching the Internet for general info about dehumidifiers. One thing I
just ran across was an ad for a Humidex system, but that looks like all it
really does is bring whole house air into the basement and vents air to the
Here's what I am wondering. Would one possible option be to just make sure
the HVAC has an air intake in the basement so the basement air will get
circulated throughout the whole system along with the rest of the house air?
The way it is set up now, the basement is pretty much isolated from the rest
of the air circulating throughout the house. The house has central air and
an electric heat pump for heating.
There are many basements that are not finished and may feel a bit damp
compared to the rest of the house and still be OK without needing
dehumidification. If the humdity is so high that mold, condensation,
use for storage of dry goods, etc is an issue, then I would go with a
I took a quick look at Humidex and not impressed. Basicly, it
appears they suck air out from the basement floor and have it replaced
with air from above, coming from the conditioned living space.
That's a bad idea energy wise. In winter, for example, you'll be
expelling basement air and replacing it with warm air from the
house. Then, cold outside air has to come into the house through
leaks, etc, to make up for the outgoing air.
You could use the house heat/AC to provide some air and take it away
from the basement. But then you're again wasting energy in the
basement by heating/cooling it. And if the basement has a musty
odor, that may come with it into the house as well.
So, I'd go with a de-humidifier, which addresses the real issue and is
IMO going to be the most energy efficient.
On Sep 15, 11:26 am, email@example.com wrote:
I agree in the summer a cold air retun in the basement brings cool air
into the system and helps dehumidify the basement. In the winter the
basement is warmer because it's below ground so having a cold air
retun in the basement works there too. The only way in the end to
make a basement feel like living space is to treat it like living
space with your HVAC system. Taking on a dehumidifier alone is not
enough. Getting the downspouts to run water away and proper grading
are the next thing that has to be right. Dryloc'ing the walls helps,
and sealing the concrete slab with a latex liquid concrete sealer
helps too. Of course obvious problems like seepage have to be fixed
too. But mainly making the HVAC sytem also service the basement.
I haven't moved into the house yet, but I went there on Saturday morning and
checked out the HVAC duct work in the basement. There are no cold air
returns and no supply vents in the basement. So the basement is completely
isolated from the system. I found a place where I could easily open a 6" x
6" space in the cold air return duct and could feel the air being drawn in
through the opening. About 6 hours later, it seemed like I could already
feel a marked difference in the basement -- it didn't feel damp or musty at
I'm going to go back this week and check it again to see if that solved the
problem. If so, I'll put an adjustable intake vent in the cold air return
duct, and I'll add one or two adjustable supply vents for the basement.
It would be great if this simple change solved the problem and eliminated
the need for a dehumidifier.
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