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Unread 11-04-2010, 02:17 PM
 
55 posts, read 68,104 times
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Default Dehumidifying the basement

I wanted to know if I needed to keep the dehumidifier going during the winter months in my basement. Was told I should run one in my unfinished basement during the summer months to keep humidity down and keep mold from growing. Wondering if this would still be necessary to do in the colder winter months as well? Seems as the temps get colder here in CT that my basement is not as humid as it was during the summer time. don't want to waste electricity

Thanks for any info

Last edited by Nightmary; 11-04-2010 at 02:59 PM..
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Unread 11-04-2010, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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This is a question that should be posted on the House forum. I am going to move it there for answers. JayCT, Moderator
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Unread 11-04-2010, 03:39 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA... where the nest is now empty!
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Our dehumidifier is cleaned and put away for the winter.

Our basement is heated and it is dry when the furnace is on.
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Unread 11-04-2010, 05:00 PM
 
Location: LI
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It is less moist, actually dry, in the winter - I'm going with no for the winter.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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Typically, no, you do not need a dehumidifier in the basement in the winter-especially if you live in the north. If your basement is unfinished, chances are it isn't warm enough down there in the winter to use a dehumidifier anyway.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 05:46 AM
 
19,759 posts, read 29,919,521 times
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Default Might be wise to get a little more info from OP...

Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Typically, no, you do not need a dehumidifier in the basement in the winter-especially if you live in the north. If your basement is unfinished, chances are it isn't warm enough down there in the winter to use a dehumidifier anyway.
As golfgal perceptively points out, below about 55 degrees or so a normal compressor type dehumidifier won't drop the dew point of the air over it's coils low enough tom extract any moisture.

If this is unfinished space with no mechanicals it might get much colder.

If there is a gas or oil fired furnace / boiler down their the radiant heat from the system and the combustion process will drive out moisture.

If the basement is not just wee bit dank, but actually sorta leaky ther eare bigger issues to address.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 06:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
As golfgal perceptively points out, below about 55 degrees or so a normal compressor type dehumidifier won't drop the dew point of the air over it's coils low enough tom extract any moisture.

If this is unfinished space with no mechanicals it might get much colder.

If there is a gas or oil fired furnace / boiler down their the radiant heat from the system and the combustion process will drive out moisture.

If the basement is not just wee bit dank, but actually sorta leaky ther eare bigger issues to address.
No there are no leaks in the basement so far. This will be our first winter in this home. there is a gas boiler and hot water heater as well as laundry down in the basement, otherwise it is an unfinished space. Just cement walls and floor. So far even on cold nights the basement seems to stay around 66 degrees not sure if that will make a difference or not.

On another note, and off the main topic I have noticed that over the last week I am getting more spiders in my basement. Not sure if they were always there and I am just now noticing them or if they are coming in from the cold outside. Any way was wondering what is the best way to get rid of them? I have three cats that are up and down the basement all the time so I can't just spray chemicals?

Thanks again for the info
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Unread 11-05-2010, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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We leave the dehumidifier running all winter; we just turn the settings down so that it runs only at rare intervals.

Let the cats and the coming cold take care of the spiders. They don't eat much.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 07:56 AM
 
Location: CT - USA
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Provided that your basement has no leaks there is a simple way to determine whether you need a dehumidifier or not. Get an inexpensive hygrometer ($20 or so in most hardware stores) and monitor the RH in the basement. If the RH levels raise above 60%, you need dehumidifier.

Alternatively, you could upgrade to a good, energy-star rated basement dehumidifier and never have to worry about monitoring the RH, turning it on or off, or emptying the tray.

The best available units are self emptying, automatically monitors the humidity and is 3 times more efficient than hardware store brands, costing you a fraction of what you normally pay to run a conventional unit.

They also come with an air filter that rids the air from dust and allergens.
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Unread 11-06-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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The colder air from the outside (which can't hold as much moisture) mixes with the warmer air inside and becomes drier. It's not likely you'll need the dehumidifier in the winter but as the other poster said you need to know your humidity levels to be accurate. The main thing you want to know is the dewpoint. When you know the drybulb temperature and the relative humidity you can easily find the dewpoint here: Dew Point Calculator

If the dewpoint is below the normal temperature of the ground temperature, 55-60F, you're fine.
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