I recently bought a house that turns out to have a damp basement. I’ve been talking to neighbors and they say that everybody on the block uses a basement dehumidifier around the clock. That sounds like high-energy situation to me, so I’m hoping this is something you address. Is there a dehumidifier that uses less energy?
Yes. An ENERGY STAR® qualified dehumidifier uses 10-20% less energy than a standard model. To identify which models have earned the ENERGY STAR, visit EnergyStar.gov. You can find more information on moisture, dehumidifiers, and rebates for efficient models in our dehumidifier section.
I want to emphasize that it’s worth trying to fix the cause of basement water problems. If you’re able to prevent water from entering, you’ll not only lower electricity costs by eliminating the need for a dehumidifier but you’ll also protect yourself and your house from problems that moisture can cause. Those problems can include wood rot, mold, and mildew that can damage the house and items in it, and can create indoor air quality problems.
Common sources of basement moisture are outdoor air or groundwater. The latter requires a pricier fix. I suggest that you get opinions from a few contractors so that you can determine the cause of the problem and get estimates on solutions. Meanwhile, it makes sense to take some simple steps to minimize basement moisture. For example, don’t dry green firewood inside. Be sure clothes dryers vent to the outdoors. If you air dry laundry, do it outdoors. Keep basement windows and doors closed in the summer because warmer air from outdoors and from living spaces will condense on cooler basement surfaces, increasing dampness.
Kathleen for Ask The Home Team