Like everyone who’s battling crawl space moisture in Raleigh, NC, you’re probably thinking of buying a dehumidifier to bring down the moisture levels. That’s a noble idea, and it could save you hundreds of dollars in water damage repairs and mold damage remediation.
Remember, this low-lying part of your home can get damp and moldy in wet conditions. When moisture levels go up, secondary problems will start popping up. Summer, spring, and winter pose the greatest challenge. And the degree of damage goes up if the crawl space has venting or is not encapsulated.
You can avoid these and other problems by installing a dehumidifier. But what type of dehumidifier works best for the crawl space? You have two options for dehumidifying the crawl space. The first is a standard dehumidifier and the second is an energy-efficient dehumidifier. Let’s look at how they stack up.
Standard Units vs. Energy-Efficient Units
Both units differ with regard to features, noise levels, and energy use. Here’s what you can expect when using them.
Energy use. The energy-efficient models use 15% less energy than standard models when drying out the crawl space moisture. In fact, they make work easier for your HVAC and reduce their energy use. Typical units come with refrigeration coils, fans, and compressors. With a high-performing Energy Star-certified appliance, you can remove almost 100 pints of moisture in a day. Not so with standard dehumidifiers.
Noise levels. When looking for a dehumidifier, you’d want to go with the energy-efficient model with a low fan speed averaging 50 decibels or less. They’re less noisy than the standard models that can cross the 50-decibel noise level when running.
Features. Everyone wants a smart, hassle-free, and automatic unit that can detect moisture levels and drain the condensed vapor without reservoirs for you to worry about emptying. An energy-efficient model can provide you with these and other features. Newer models have a two-stage filtration system that removes pollutants and dust particles from the air. The machine can turn itself on when the moisture level goes up and shut off when the level drops. Not so with the standard dehumidifier.
Longevity. Since the energy-efficient units use less energy and dry out the air faster, they run for a shorter time than the standard dehumidifiers. As a result, they remain operational for longer than their counterparts, which can fall apart after five to 10 years.
Air purification. With the standard unit, the most you can expect is a dry crawl space. Newer energy-efficient units come with built-in purifiers that also clean the air. So, you and your loved ones will experience fewer respiratory issues.
Putting Your Dehumidifier to Work
It’s one thing to buy a dehumidifier and another to get the most out of it. Once you buy yours, set the relative humidity of the humidistat to 30-50%. Anything higher than this and mold or mildew will grow. Dust mites and allergies may also arise and cause health problems.
Station the dehumidifier on level ground and ensure there’s sufficient room for air to circulate. Don’t forget to close windows and doors, as these impact your dehumidifier’s performance.
Stale air, dust particles and other pollutants will likely cause problems. To avoid them, buy a dehumidifier with a built-in air filter. Ensure the unit has self-draining capabilities to either a sump pump or condensate pump.
Dirt and other particles will accumulate on your dehumidifier’s filter. Make sure you inspect and clean these elements.
An energy-efficient dehumidifier can help you create a dry, mold-free crawl space. As well as being less noisy, it comes with nifty features and uses less energy. Best of all, it makes your HVAC more efficient.
If you’d like to install a new energy-efficient dehumidifier in the crawl space or replace your old noisy dehumidifier with a newer model, get in touch with Tar Heel Basement Systems. We’ve been helping homeowners in Raleigh, NC, size and install their dehumidifiers correctly. To get started, schedule a free crawl space inspection and quote with us.