My DIY Center | Icon | DIY



Shop

Project Guides

Garage Sale

Ask The Expert

Account

Support

Air Quality

Bath

Kits

Encapsulation

Foundation

Kitchen

Mold, Cleaning, & Safety

Waterproofing

MY DIY Center WHAT – WHY – HOW

Dehumidifier FAQ

 

Home » Dehumidifiers FAQ Page

WHAT:

 

You have questions, and we have answers.

To Do It Yourself, you need to know what you’re doing. We want you (our customer) to understand the products you’re thinking about buying so you can make a safe and informed purchase. For you to do that, we have built a shortlist of the most common questions we receive daily about our dehumidifiers. If you don’t see your question on this list, please reach out and ask us (insert link for contact here) – we will answer.

WHY:

 

The purpose of having a dehumidifier: remove excess moisture from an area.

Basements and crawl spaces are damp because moisture usually seeps through the foundation. Moisture in the basement or crawl space is a more common problem than in the upper levels of a home or space. This can be from water leaks or because the area has high humidity levels. Moisture problems in the basement or crawl space lead to mold growth, health problems for the occupants, and structural damage – making remedying these problems a high priority.

HOW:

 

There are many ways to incorporate a dehumidifier into your home or space.

My DIY Center dehumidifiers are designed primarily for basements and crawl spaces but can be suited for other rooms such as attics. When it comes to the unit’s installation and usage, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions. All our products will include an instruction manual to ensure maximum efficiency.

What:

 
1. What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need?
The most asked question, and the easiest one to answer: it depends on the size of space and humidity level you’re using it in. The bigger the space, the bigger the unit, and to make things easy, we have a chart for you to use that will show you the approximate capacity of the dehumidifier that you will need: 

130 pints Basement/Crawlspace up to 7,200 sq. ft.
90 pints Perfect for crawl spaces up to 2,220 – 3,000 sq. ft.
Perfect for basements up to 2,220 – 2,600 sq. ft.
70 pints Perfect for crawl spaces up to 1,800 – 2,600 sq. ft.
Perfect for basements up to 1,800 – 2,200 sq. ft.
130 pints
Basement/Crawlspace up to 7,200 sqft
90 pints
Perfect for crawl spaces up to 2,220 – 3,000 sq. ft.
Perfect for basements up to 2,220 – 2,600 sq. ft
70 pints
Perfect for crawl spaces up to 1,800 – 2,600 sq. ft.
Perfect for basements up to 1,800 – 2,200 sq. ft.
2. What Does “Dehumidifier Capacity” Mean?

The dehumidifier’s capacity is based on the maximum amount of moisture or humidity the unit will remove from the air within 24 hours. Say you have a 70-pint dehumidifier; that unit will remove 70 pints of moisture from the air within 24 hours. 

Keep in mind that some units have less storage capacity than what the unit is rated to remove. So, you will need to drain the reservoir bucket or purchase a unit with a direct drain option to remove the tank’s moisture.

3. What is the desired humidity level to set my unit on?

Maintaining humidity levels below 60% will help to prevent mold growth.

4. What type of outlet do I need?

Your dehumidifier needs its own 110–120 VAC outlet.

5. What model is the MOST energy efficient?

Dehumidifiers marked with the “Energy Star” rating are typically the most energy-efficient unit you can buy. Energy Star ratings are an international designation meaning that that appliance has been tested and deemed energy efficient. The units on our website that have this designation will be marked.

Keep something in mind; it doesn’t matter how efficient the unit is if the space it’s placed in is too large. Undersized dehumidifiers will run more, trying to keep up with the humidity level. As the unit struggles to keep up, it’ll burn more juice. It is vital to know what size space you intend to use the dehumidifier in.

6. What warranty does my unit come with?

There is a limited warranty on parts, five years from the date of installation maintained by Aprilaire.

Why:

 

Signs You Need A Dehumidifier For The Basement or Crawl Space.

Moisture in the basement or crawl space isn’t always noticeable, however, knowing what to look out for will help you determine if you need a dehumidifier in the space. The signs your basement or crawl space needs a dehumidifier to include:

  • Visible mold growth either on the floors, ceilings, or walls, or items in the space
  • Your basement or crawl space walls feel damp to the touch
  • There is noticeable condensation on surfaces
  • Your basement or crawl space has a musty odor 
  • The floor has watermarks that indicate there has been excessive moisture
  • Stored items in the basement or crawl space smell of mold or mildew

How:

 
1. How do I know what filter my dehumidifier needs?

The Aprilaire units come with a washable filter, meaning it is reusable. The Santa Fe units come with a filter, but you will need to replace filters as they give out.

2. How loud are Dehumidifiers?

Most dehumidifiers are as loud as a window or portable air conditioner. Ideally, you will want to place a unit where it will not be a distraction, so a part of the space does not require a low sound level. A good reference point, the average home dehumidifier is rated at about 55 to 60 dB, or about the same as someone talking to you.

3. How does my unit work in the winter?

If the temperature is lower than 65F, there is less moisture in the air because colder air does not hold as much moisture as warmer air, and as a result, our dehumidifiers will remove less moisture.

4. How Do I Drain The Unit?

There are three common types of dehumidifier moisture removal options on the market right now. Manually draining (meaning you remove a tank and empty), a gravity drain (suspending the unit and using a hose to drain downward), and a built-in condensate pump (that pumps out the water from the unit.) Units with condensate pumps are more expensive but a more popular choice as you don’t have to continually drain the water yourself or suspend the unit if you don’t want to. The only unit that comes with a drain hose is Aprilaire 1850.

Fun Fact, there are options for external condensate pumps.

5. How can I remove mold?

If you have mold in your crawl space, the ideal way to get rid of mold is to remove the sources that mold requires to thrive.  The best approach is to seal the crawl space to prevent humidity and moisture from getting inside.

To do this properly, you will want to encapsulate the crawl space. This includes using products like vapor barriers, drainage systems, sump pumps, and dehumidifiers to remove moisture from the crawl space.