How to Choose and Install Your Dehumidifier

Whether you are DIY warrior and want to take the sales pitch and marked up prices out of the equation, or maybe you are simply replacing an existing unit, shopping with us will save yourself time and money. Browse our expert tips on everything from choosing the right model to installation info here.

Choosing the right model: 

There are several points of consideration to be made before purchasing your dehumidifier. The first item to consider is how large of an area will your dehumidifier be handling. Most county websites will provide a sketch of your homes footprint and can tell you the square footage of your crawlspace. If the brand you are looking for measures its capacity in cubic footage, simply take the square footage of the crawlspace and multiply it by the height (measured in feet). 

Where will you install your dehumidifier?

Most customers will use this appliance in a basement or crawlspace. However, dehumidifiers can also be connected to your heating and air system. Make sure you consult with your local HVAC specialist for appropriate recommendations on whole house dehumidification and select the proper brand with the duct collar accessories in order to connect the unit to your heating and air system. 

If your crawlspace sinks into the earth and is lower than the outside grade of your landscaping, you may need to consider purchasing a separate condensation pump or a dehumidifier that contains a built-in pump to help remove the water from the dehumidifier. 

When efficiency is a concern, be sure to check if the unit is Energy Star rated. Most of our units will be Energy Star rated but there are a few that did not make the cut. 

One big difference between how each brand removes moisture from the area of installation is a process called air sampling, which Aprilaire has implemented in their products. Visit aprilaire.com for more information on this process.

Once you have purchased a dehumidifier, what’s next? 

Make sure you follow all installation instructions. If you are unsure about how to set up your new dehumidifier, consult a local professional to assist you. Your favorite handyman, crawlspace expert or HVAC professional should be able to get your dehumidifier set up. Always remember, when installing a unit in a basement or crawlspace, the proper sealing of the area is extremely important to ensure you get the most effective and longest lifespan out of your equipment.

Why should I install a dehumidifier?

Top 3 Health Reasons to Install a Dehumidifier:

1) Allergies: As air moves from under the home to inside the home, it carries all of the allergens living in the crawlspace. Allergens from dust, pests, mold and mildew growth are all found in that air. A quality dehumidifier can filter out all of these annoyances and get you breathing better again.

2) Mold: Mold growth has been a hot topic recently amongst home owners. While most molds are not considered dangerous, there are still serious health concerns with long term exposure. When moisture is removed from the crawlspace, mold can no longer grow.

3) Pests: Most pests love a nice damp environment. Pests, like rats, have been responsible for the spread of major diseases and even the feces of roaches can cause asthma attacks in some individuals. When your crawlspace is dry, it is less desirable to these annoying little things.

Top 3 Reasons the Life of your House could depend on a dehumidifier:

1) Wood rot: There is nothing worse than going to sell your home only to find out you have major structural issues in the crawlspace. Chronic moisture exposure to the wooden components of your crawlspace can literally cause the floor to fall out from under your feet and the value of your greatest asset to decrease. Wood rot repair can cost a home owner tens of thousands of dollars if not corrected soon enough. Dehumidifiers prevent moisture levels from ever reaching the point of creating rot.

2) Mold: Mold in the crawlspace doesn’t always stay in the crawlspace. Because homes have cracks, crevices and voids, air can move throughout the structure and penetrate into areas we cannot see. When too much moisture boils over from the crawlspace into the walls of a home, mold can begin to form and create a very costly health hazard for homeowners and potential home buyers. By stripping the air or excess moisture at the starting point, the drier air can filter through the home without condensation in undesirable locations.

3) Wear and Tear: Efficiency is very important to any home owner. There is no worse bill to pay than a high power bill. Often times, when making energy saving upgrades, the only bill we consider is the power bill. However, getting an invoice from your HVAC company to replace your AC is a tough pill to swallow. If your air ducts are under your home, they can get covered in condensation throughout the summer months. When the air ducts are damp, they are not as effective. When they are not as effective, the HVAC itself must work harder to keep the temperature at the appropriate setting. All this extra work takes a toll on that machine and can shorten the lifespan of your HVAC.

Even if your ductwork is in your attic, the living space of your home is constantly fighting against the damp crawlspace and cannot retain its proper temperature for as long as it should. By keeping your crawlspace dry, you can expect lower energy bills and longer life out of the largest appliance in your home. In addition to assisting your HVAC, a quality dehumidifier can extend the lifespan of your crawlspace insulation and other components of the crawlspace that might corrode due to exposure to moisture.