Many homeowners find themselves reluctant to invest in home waterproofing measures for fear of how much those measures might cost them. That’s why it can be especially beneficial to come across a home waterproofing measure that, after an extended period of time, seems to pay for itself.
Such is the case for an energy-efficient dehumidifier. This dehumidifier works similarly to traditional dehumidifiers and often makes use of the same installation processes. However, this dehumidifier will use less power than traditional models, meaning that not only will it make it easier for you to control the temperature throughout your home, but you won’t have to worry about facing a suddenly skyrocketing energy bill after its installation.
What Is A Dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers are one of many home waterproofing measures available for you to install in your home. That said, there’s more than one type of dehumidifier available to you.
Traditional Dehumidifiers Versus Waterproofing Dehumidifiers
In general, dehumidifiers work to pull unwanted moisture out of your air. That water transforms from a gas into a liquid courtesy of a system of coolant and piping. Once it has been drawn into your dehumidifier, that water is stored in a container that you can remove from your home as you please.
The type of dehumidifier you install in your basement with the explicit purpose of waterproofing your home is often heavier duty than traditional dehumidifiers. This dehumidifier runs larger than its all-house peers because it is designed to withstand a battering from any excess moisture that may try to make its way into your home. You should not try to install an all-house dehumidifier in your basement, as the workload will overwhelm it at a far more rapid rate than the moisture in the upper levels of your home would.
Dehumidifiers as Waterproofing Measures
Unfortunately, anti-flooding dehumidifiers on their own may not always serve as perfect waterproofing solutions. These dehumidifiers often require a touch of interference on your part to continue operating as they should. For example, you’ll need to empty your dehumidifier on a regular basis if you want it to continue functioning as normal. You may also want to pair your dehumidifier with a vapor barrier, sump pump, or interior drain if you want it to work more effectively. When paired with other home waterproofing measures, dehumidifiers live longer and tend to protect your basement more effectively. Plus, when the unit is equipped to be self-draining, in which case the collected water automatically drains into your sump pump or interior perimeter drainage system.
If you’re only contending with a bit of humidity in your home, however, or light flooding, then a dehumidifier can serve your home well. As mentioned, these tools pull unwanted water out of your air and make it easier for you to control the temperature throughout your home. As a result, your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to do its job, meaning your energy bill will decline over time. You’ll see even more benefits of this kind if you invest in a dehumidifier that is explicitly energy efficient.
The Benefits of Installing a Dehumidifier
Even though protecting your home from all manner of water damage does its overall structure a world of good, there are still some homeowners who are reluctant to invest in waterproofing measures like a dehumidifier. Sometimes, to understand why one of these devices may serve you well, you first have to consider what kind of damage unattended moisture or standing water can do to the whole of your home.
Water Damage and Your Home’s Market Value
The moisture that makes its way into your basement doesn’t just impact the temperature and humidity within your home. It can also begin to weaken any structural supports you have located in your basement or foundation. The longer you let this kind of damage sit, the more likely it is that it not only ruins your floor joists or other supports, but that it also starts to cause your home to sink or settle. Humidity that’s especially high can even migrate into the rest of your home, where it can encourage mold growths and wall damage.
As this kind of damage starts to settle in, you may find the overall market value of your home actively decreasing. Homes that have suffered some substantial water damage can lose up to 30 percent of their market value. Homeowners looking to sell, either after investing in repairs or not, will have to make not only those repairs but the original damage known to future buyers.
Water Damage and Your Family’s Health
Any unwanted moisture that makes its way into your home can also put your family’s health at immediate risk. Residents with pre-existing conditions can see those conditions worsen as they are exposed to high levels of humidity. Allergies and respiratory issues, in particular, do not improve as the air quality in your home declines. Even residents who have not shown signs of these conditions can begin to develop them the longer your home is plagued by unwanted moisture.
To make matters worse, unwanted moisture makes your basement and foundation more vulnerable to mold growth. Mold growth impacts the health of everyone in your home. Most molds, if allowed to flourish in your home, can cause health problems ranging from a persistent cough to long-term lung damage.
Dampness in Your Home
The good news is that the moisture that makes its way into your home tends to give itself away. You’ll want to keep a wary eye out for signs of internal damage so you can reach out to area professionals even if you don’t know for sure whether or not the humidity levels in your home have increased.
Signs of damage you’ll want to keep an eye out for include:
- Damp walls
- Bowing walls
- Sagging floors
- Rusting floor and rim joists
- Standing water or ice
- Mold growth
- Warping door frames
- Fogging windows
Note that your home may also start to smell for some unclear reason if you have some manner of leak or water damage on your hands. You can follow this smell or any of the aforementioned signs of damage to the point where that damage originates, however, if you want to get a better idea as to why it is your home is suddenly taking on water.
While you can do this kind of work on your own, you also have the option of reaching out to some of the professionals in your area for guidance. You can start to schedule annual home inspections as soon as you’d like, during which a professional will walk through your home with you to better identify damaged points. You can even walk away from these inspections with a free services quote noting what repairs and installations your home may benefit from.
Installing an Energy-Efficient Dehumidifier in Your Home
If you come to the conclusion that you’d like to install an energy-efficient dehumidifier in your basement, you’re in luck. Area experts can take over the installation process for you. This process most often involves the following steps:
Step 1: Choosing Your Location
Professionals need to first determine where your dehumidifier will do its best work. To do so, they’ll take a look at your basement and then arrange your dehumidifier’s flow to best suit the space. In most cases, your dehumidifier will be installed in one of the following arrangements:
- U-Shaped: Place your dehumidifier near the entrance to your basement. Here, the dehumidifier won’t be damaged by standing water, and the ducts can better reach out into the rest of the space.
- Rectangular: If your basement is unimpeded by large obstacles or walls, you can place a dehumidifier at either end and use ducting to circulate the push and pull of air.
- Divided: Ductwork can extend your dehumidifier’s exhaust in between the divisions of your basement, with the dehumidifier itself elevated in its most convenient but water-free location.
Step 2: Installing a Ducting Kit
While you’re not required to invest in a ducting kit, you can work with the professionals in your area to determine whether or not one might make it easier for you to control temperatures and humidity levels within your home.
Note that if you do not choose to invest in a home ducting kit, you may instead want to make sure the vents in your basement are closed and sealed. You may also want to waterproof your space through other means to better keep unwanted moisture outdoors where it belongs.
Step 3: Monitoring Your Home’s Humidity
Finally, with your dehumidifier up and running you can keep track of the humidity levels in your home. These levels should stay between 50 and 60 percent on average. Any fluctuation outside of these norms can suggest some manner of structural damage in your basement or foundation.
The Care and Keeping of Your Energy-Efficient Dehumidifier
As mentioned, you are going to want to give your energy-efficient dehumidifier a little TLC if you want it to serve your home as effectively as possible. Doing so can involve you:
- Emptying your bucket – Most modern dehumidifiers turn off on their own when their buckets fill up. If you’re not paying attention, however, it is possible for a full dehumidifier to stay full for an extended period of time. The longer a dehumidifier stays full after it turns off, the more likely it is that the accumulated moisture therein can cause problems from your machine. To better maintain your dehumidifier’s inner workings, you’ll want to stick to a bucket-emptying schedule that allows you to limit the amount of time water has to sit in your machine’s bucket.
That being said, if you choose to have a professional like Innovative Basement Authority install your dehumidifier, there are no buckets or reservoirs to have to worry about emptying! Our energy-efficient dehumidifier is equipped to self-drain into your interior perimeter drainage system or sump pump.
- Cleaning your dehumidifier on a regular basis – In a similar vein, you’ll also want to make a point of cleaning out your bucket, not to mention the other exposed parts of your dehumidifier. You’ll want to try and clean your dehumidifier with warm, soapy water or with a gentle cleanser every two months or so. In doing so, you’ll ensure that the machine continues to work as it should and that no debris ends up spreading throughout your home. However, if you are unsure about how to properly clean the unit, it’s best to invest in annual service and maintenance appointments from area experts like Innovative Basement Authority.
- Watch your dehumidifier’s humidistat – To maintain your dehumidifier over time, you’ll want to rotate the intensity at which your dehumidifier operates. If you’re enduring a storm or think the moisture in your home may be on the rise, be sure to leave your dehumidifier off or at low power for every four to eight hours you let it go full throttle.
- Inspect your filters – The filters in your dehumidifier help keep debris out of your air as the machine itself recirculates it. These filters, as such, collect a significant amount of dust and bacteria, not to mention mold particles. You’ll want to inspect and change out your dehumidifier’s filters on the regular basis to keep that debris from making its way through the rest of your home. Dirty filters, after all, can eventually do more harm to your home than good if they’re left unchanged. Innovative Basement Authority can help you with monitoring and replacing these special filters.
- Check your coils – Your dehumidifier’s coils are especially sensitive to the moisture that the machine can come into contact with. If you leave your dehumidifier in a space that’s especially cool or otherwise unprotected from the elements, it’s possible that the moisture the machine is exposed to could cause the coils to freeze. As such, it’s important to check on your dehumidifier’s coils as the weather starts to cool. You’ll also want to make sure your dehumidifier stays in a warm spot in your home.
Energy Efficient Dehumidifiers
An energy-efficient dehumidifier can serve as a home waterproofing measure. The question is whether or not it is the right solution for your home.
- A Dehumidifier and Your Basement and Foundation
Dehumidifiers primarily work to pull unwanted moisture out of your air. In working as they do, these machines make your home more comfortable to live in while also making it easier for your HVAC system to control the temperature throughout your home.
That’s not all these tools do. Energy-efficient dehumidifiers, in particular, prevent unwanted moisture from settling into your home’s supports all without increasing the amount of money you have to pay to protect your home. By eliminating potentially damaging water, energy-efficient dehumidifiers prevent your structural supports from experiencing the worst of hydrostatic pressure and from cracking or otherwise faltering beneath the weight of your home. While these sorts of devices may not be able to hold up to significant flooding over the years, they can do a lot of preliminary work when it comes to preventing more severe damage throughout your home.
- Other Waterproofing Solutions
If you’re concerned that a dehumidifier may not do as much for your home as you may like, you do have the option of installing additional home waterproofing measures. You can work with the professionals in your area to determine which of those readily available to you may suit your needs best.
Some of these solutions can include:
- An interior drainage system
- A sump pump
- A vapor barrier
- Waterproof insulation
Home waterproofing is, overall, a personal process. While a professional can let you know how much damage your home faces on a regular basis, it is entirely up to you to determine how you want to address that kind of moisture or leakage.
Installing waterproofing measures around your home can feel like an intimidating process, especially if you haven’t worked with professionals in your area before. More often than not, it’s often worse to try and install something like an energy-efficient dehumidifier on your own than it is to get in touch with area experts.
- DIY and Your Budget
Trying to DIY energy-efficient dehumidifier installation can be more expensive than you initially anticipate. This process requires you not only to purchase unique materials but specialty tools as well. You may find that you never use those tools again outside of this one project, making them an exceptionally expensive investment.
Comparatively, professional contractors often already have the tools they need to install your dehumidifier on hand. Even if they don’t, many have connections with manufacturers operating within their industry. They can, in turn, secure what materials they need to restore your home without charging you full market price for everything that they need.
- DIY and Accidental Damage to Your Home
Without previous experience to help you determine how best to install the dehumidifier of your choice, there is a significant chance that you may accidentally damage the structural supports in place throughout your basement during your installation. If, for example, you damage the dehumidifier or otherwise inappropriately attach it to your home’s structural supports, you may end up obscuring signs of water damage that might otherwise have helped you better protect your home down the line.
In a similar vein, failing to properly install an energy-efficient dehumidifier can see your home start to leak on a more regular basis than it already does. Not only will you have wasted money on materials and tools, but you’ll have to reach out to area professionals to remove your installation and to invest in any new and unexpected repairs. In the long run, you may end up having to spend more on your new repairs and installation than you would have had you reached out to a professional team in the first place.
Get in Touch with Professionals in Your Area for Dehumidification Assistance
Do you want to use an energy-efficient dehumidifier in your home? You can reach out to the professional contractors in your area to determine how soon you can get one of these machines into your basement. In turn, you can also discuss what other available waterproofing measures may help you protect your home. Contact the expert team at Innovative Basement Authority today for a free inspection and quote!