People who have basements and spend a lot of time in them often struggle with excessive moisture in the air. This problem can be solved by using a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air and prevents the spread of mold.
However, you must know how to set this device correctly. Dehumidifiers have different settings of operation, and it is necessary to determine the appropriate mode. In this article, we will talk about that. So, let’s start!
What To Set Dehumidifier At In Basement? According to Energy Star, the recommended relative humidity level in the basement is between 30% and 50% (and 30% to 40% in colder areas during the heating season). If the moisture in the air is higher than 60%, it can breed mold, mildew and trigger allergies in a basement.
Like any other device, the dehumidifier has different modes of operation, which should be set correctly if you want to get the best possible results. If you want a pleasant atmosphere in your basement, set the humidity level to between 30%-50%.
Today, you can find a large number of dehumidifier models on the market, and it is important to choose the one that matches your personal preferences. In the following lines, find out more about the use of dehumidifiers in basements.
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Regulate Basement Humidity With Accurate Settings
The most important thing when placing a dehumidifier in the basement is to set the accurate operation mode, so you can successfully reduce the moisture in the air. If the dehumidifier works at maximum intensity most of the day, this can lead to the formation of bacteria due to high humidity.
For that reason, it is very important to set the dehumidifier to accurate settings. It makes no sense to set the dehumidifier to run at full speed if air moisture in your basement is, for example, 65%. Also, it is not the same to lower the air humidity from 65% to 40%, in a room of 40 or 70 square meters.
Therefore, to successfully adjust the dehumidifier operation, you must accurately determine the basement’s surface and regularly measure the amount of moisture in the air. The amount of moisture in the air is measured with the help of a hygrometer. Most dehumidifier models come with a built-in hygrometer.
If you have a basement, you should read this article and learn: What Is The Ideal Basement Humidity Level?
What Is The Ideal Temperature To Set A Dehumidifier?
It is recommended to set a dehumidifier to operate to a temperature between 70°F and 90°F (21°C to 32°C). However, many models of dehumidifiers come with an installed humidistat, a small device that will help you adjust a humidity level by percentage.
A dehumidifier gives the best results when the humidity level is set between 30% to 50%, according to Energy Star. If the air humidity is higher than 60%, it can lead to bacteria growth.
What Dehumidifier Setting Is Best To Prevent Mold Formation?
It is not easy to answer this question since each research provides different results. Portland State University claims mold forms when the air humidity is higher than 65%, while American scientists claim that mold forms when the air humidity is 75% or higher.
In addition, Aspen Environmental University research also states that mold development is possible when the room’s air humidity is between 30% and 60%! However, it should be pointed out that HAVC experts recommend setting the dehumidifier in the basement at 40% and that the chances of developing mold, in that case, are the least.
Dehumidifier Settings Chart
|Max. Indoor Humidity
|-20°F or Below
|-20°F to 0°F
|0°F to 25°F
|25°F to 50°F
|40% or Below
|50°F and Higher
|50% or Below
When adjusting the dehumidifier, the air temperature should also be considered for the device to be energy efficient. We have already mentioned that it is not recommended to overload the dehumidifier unnecessarily. So if you have accepted that the chances of mold development are insignificant when the humidity of the air is 40%, there is no need to adjust the device to 30%.
When To Run A Dehumidifier In The Basement?
If your basement’s relative humidity level is more than 60%, then you should run a dehumidifier. The humidity level can be measured with the help of a hygrometer. If you live in an area with cold winters, you won’t need a dehumidifier throughout the year.
In the winter, the air is usually extremely dry, even in basements, so it makes no sense to unnecessarily waste energy on reducing the humidity.
Settings For Dehumidifier in Basement During Winter
In winter, the air is dry, so there is rarely a need to activate the dehumidifier. However, if you measure the humidity regularly and decide that you still need to turn on the dehumidifier, choose a setting between 30% and 50%. In most cases, there is no need to use this device during the winter.
Settings For Dehumidifier in Basement During Summer
The dehumidifier in the basement is mostly used during the summer months when the humidity in the air is usually the highest. Set accurate settings on your dehumidifier to maintain air humidity, ideally between 30% and 40%.
Note that if you have windows in the basement, don’t open them. Otherwise, it won’t make sense to run a dehumidifier.
How To Set Up A Dehumidifier In Your Basement?
Setting up a dehumidifier is very important. However, most of these devices are easy to use, and you only need to choose the appropriate settings. Below are instructions that will help you set up your dehumidifier for the basement.
1. Set It To Right Location
The dehumidifier will perform its function best if placed in the right location, and the ideal position is usually the central spot in the room.
However, when buying this device, it is best to pay attention to choosing the dehumidifier that is designed for the basement. That way, you can be sure that it will do its job well, no matter where it is located.
2. Choose The Right Humidity Level
Every basement will have a different humidity level, so settings must be accurately set to prevent moisture. Inside most dehumidifiers, there is a humidistat, a device that will help you to adjust the humidity level by percentage.
Set it between 30 and 50%. If you don’t know how to do this, use the manual that came with the device.
3. Regularly Maintain Your Dehumidifier
You must maintain the dehumidifier regularly if you want it to last longer. Maintenance means that you must regularly change the device’s filter and keep it clean. This is the case, especially in the water tank, where mineral deposits can accumulate if you have hard water.
Where In The Basement Should You Place a Dehumidifier?
The floor is the best place to set a dehumidifier in the basement. That way, the air quality in the entire basement will be the easiest to maintain. Most dehumidifiers release steam through a front opening, so you should position the device so that the steam is emitted toward the middle of the basement.
Therefore, placing a dehumidifier on a flat surface is the best option. From that position, the dehumidifier will work best in relation to the air circulation in the room and will release warmer air. The dehumidifier should not be placed too close to any surface.
Here is a great video that shows and explains how to reduce the humidity level in a basement.
Importance of Using a Dehumidifier In The Basement
Using a dehumidifier in the basement is important because it is a part of your house. It is difficult to avoid excessive accumulation of air moisture in basements since they are exposed to water from the foundation of the house on top of which they are located.
Therefore, dehumidifying is the right solution to get rid of the awful smell of moisture and mold. Also, these devices successfully reduce bacteria growth and allergens in the room, thus enabling a safe environment in your basement for household members that have chronic respiratory problems.
If you have a wet basement, be sure to read: How To Dry Out A Basement Fast.
How To Know If You Need A Dehumidifier?
If you can’t decide whether you need a dehumidifier, below we bring you an overview of its advantages that will surely help you decide if you need to buy one:
- Remove Bad Smell: Once the dehumidifier starts working, you will be surprised by how pleasant the smell in the basement can be. Basements usually have a heavy, musty smell, resulting from a weaker airflow than the rest of the household and the presence of bacteria and mold that easily develop in high humidity conditions.
- Prevent Mold Growth: Basements are rooms where high air humidity is common for most of the year. Higher humidity in the air means favorable conditions for the development of mold, which can negatively affect your health and the value of your property in the long run. With the help of a dehumidifier, you can prevent mold development.
- Stifling Environment: A dehumidifier will surely make your basement airier and more comfortable to stay in. It is known that it is usually difficult to breathe in basements when you have high humidity, so spending a lot of time in them is not recommended.
- Potential Damages: If your basement has wooden surfaces, especially wooden floors, it is recommended that you get a dehumidifier. Moisture has a very negative effect on wood since it is a material that absorbs it very easily. Everything made of the wood changes its shape after being exposed to excessive moisture for a long time.
- Presence of Condensation: If you are unsure if the humidity in your basement is higher than recommended, when your basement has windows, you will know best whether condensation drips form on them or not. If you notice condensation on the windows, there is a high probability that the air in your basement is too humid, and you should use a dehumidifier.
As the basement is an integral part of your household, you should ensure that air humidity is not too high. The basement humidity level should be within the acceptable limit – between 30% to 50%. Dehumidifiers are simple devices that can help you maintain the recommended humidity level. Using one will avoid mold formation and achieve a pleasant smell and favorable air circulation in the space.