A dehumidifier can take that sticky feeling out of a damp basement or crawl space. Humidity levels above 50 percent can breed dust mites, mildew, and mold, which may worsen allergies and asthma. As our testers found, the best dehumidifiers aren’t necessarily the highest priced. Learn more about dehumidifiers on our website: www.consumerreports.org
The basement is not always a part of the home that is visited on a regular basis, unless the game room or laundry room is located in that area. Whether people have reason to go downstairs to that area frequently or not, dampness is a common problem that might not be noticed for some time. Then suddenly the family starts looking for the cause, but fails to find a puddle of water or leaking pipe to explain the damp feeling.
The upstairs temperature is warmer than that of the basement. That area is also cooler than the outdoor temperatures at times. When warm air meets cooler air, humidity rises. Because humidity provides a breeding ground for bacteria, keeping it at a healthy level in the basement is very important. An important step is measuring the level of humidity in that area to determine the desired rating in a dehumidifier. Another concern is getting the right equipment for reducing or eliminating the water in the air.
The amount of decibels for a basement dehumidifier is not as critical as the sound level for living areas. One tendency is to think of bigger as better, but that is not always the case. The Basement Dehumidifier buyers guide states it is important to have a unit that quickly removes moisture from basements. It further clarifies the importance of capacity as opposed to size. Capacity is determined by the moisture removed from the air in 24 hours, which results in a capacity rating.
Keeping the basement windows and doors remain closed deters condensation, which affects tools by causing rust and makes the paint to peel from the walls. The dampness also seeps into furniture, clothing, curtains and other items in the basement. Mold and mildew smell bad and are unhealthy for pets and people.
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