1. What is the ideal humidity I should be looking for in my basement?
In order to prevent mold from growing or to put existing mold into “hibernation”, the humidity level should be at 50% or less. However, reducing the level much below that, such as 40% can be a waste of your electricity.
2. My dehumidifier does not have a digital humidistat display. How do I know whether it is doing a good job?
If you want to prevent mold by bringing the humidity level to 50%, you need a hygrometer to measure the actual humidity in the room. This is a measuring device about the size of a pocket calculator that measures humidity just as a thermometer measures temperature. You place this device somewhere in the humid room and keep adjusting the setting on your dehumidifier until the hygrometer measures 50% or less. (This could take you a few days to get it to the setting you want.) You have then calibrated your dehumidifier to go on and off at a point where the humidity will be maintained at 50%. The BGG digital hygrometer/thermometer is available on our website.
3. The dehumidifier manufacturer says my dehumidifier will cover 1000 square feet. Is that really true?
No, it is usually about half that amount. A manufacturer will sometimes say for example a 70 pint dehumidifier will cover up to 3800 square feet. Is this really true? At AllergyBuyersClub.com we recommend the proper size dehumidifier for you to bring the humidity level to 50% or just under so that mold won’t grow. Our concern and goal is to prevent mold, which is an allergen to many people.
4. I bought a dehumidifier at a store and it runs all the time – why?
The dehumidifier that you purchased is most likely not sized correctly and is not capable of removing the amount of moisture in this area. If your area needs to have 50 pints of moisture removed from it daily and you have a 40-pint unit, you will never catch up and the machine will be continuously running.
5. Ouch, my old dehumidifier is costing me a small fortune in electricity. What do you have that is energy efficient?
Almost every dehumidifier that we sell is Energy Star certified, but this does not mean that it will necessarily save you money. Properly sizing your unit so that it does not have to run all the time is actually going to save you the most money. A telephone call to one of our product specialists at 1-888-236-7231 will give you answers as to what size and brand would work most efficiently for your situation.
6. Do dehumidifiers raise the temperature in my house?
Yes, but this can be either good or bad. The warmer the room, the easier and more efficiently you can remove moisture so the machine will have to work less. If you have air conditioning, this added heat that has to be removed will be mostly compensated by the air conditioner not having to work as hard because it is easier to cool dry air than moist air. On the other hand depending on the size of the room, you could raise the temperature by 5– 10 degrees.
7. I have a second home. What happens if we have a power outage, will the dehumidifier turn itself back on?
That depends on the brand and model that you buy. Most dehumidifiers with manual humidistat controls will turn themselves back on. With the electronic controls it varies. Danby dehumidifiers will turn back on and will continue to remove moisture at the humidity level for which you had set the machine. This is true also with the Frigidaire dehumidifiers.
8. Can a dehumidifier cover multiple connected rooms?
That depends on the total square footage of all the rooms, the configuration of the rooms, and the openness between the rooms.
The more open the rooms are to each other (not 3’ doorways), the easier it is. Having ceiling fans in the rooms to move the air would certainly help. If you don’t have ceiling fans you can add small, inexpensive fans in the rooms to help move the air in these satellite rooms into the main area where you have placed the dehumidifier.
9. Emptying the dehumidifier 3 times a day is driving me crazy. How can I pump it out automatically?
Most dehumidifiers have a drain hole at the bottom of the bucket from which you can continuously drain the water. You use gravity to empty the bucket by positioning the dehumidifier close to a drain hole or sink so that the water can flow downhill into this drainage area. You might have to elevate the dehumidifier to have the water flow downhill because the bottom of the bucket is usually only about 2 inches from the ground. One can also purchase a condensate pump that would be positioned under the drainage point in the bucket that would allow you to pump the water as high as 15 feet vertically or about 100 feet horizontally.
Some dehumidifiers, such as the Friedrich dehumidifiers, include a built-in condensate pump to automatically drain the water. This eliminates the hassle of setting up an external pump.