Due to poor ventilation, crawl spaces beneath a home often suffer from high levels of humidity. This is quite often caused when the water table on the site of your home is very high, or if the dirt floor becomes waterlogged due to incorrect elevation and drainage. A crawl space dehumidifier can prevent moist air problems entering into the home from the wet earth. With a healthier and drier crawl space comes a more comfortable and healthy home environment.
How a Crawl Space Dehumidifier Prevents Damp and Mold
The warm air in your house naturally rises and is constantly replaced by air drawn in from the lowest level, which in many cases is the crawl space. This natural upward airflow is known as the stack effect and is the same principle by which chimneys work. Consequently, any humidity or mold spores in a crawl space nearly always leads to an increase in moisture levels in the rest of the home.
It has been estimated that some forty percent of air in a crawl space will end up within the first floor of a home, which ultimately means that you can end up breathing in that less than healthy air from below.
Other problems associated with damp and poorly ventilated crawl spaces include moisture damage to floors and structural timbers, wood rot, musty odors, rodent and termite infestations and cold floors.
A crawl space dehumidifier is specifically designed for that environment and are not the same as units that you would typically buy for use inside the rooms of your home. The most noticeable difference will be the dimensions of the equipment, which are designed to be installed into the limited headroom in the area under your home.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier Ratings
Because the temperature and humidity levels in a crawl space will vary throughout the year, you will need equipment that is capable of operating within those extremes. Ideally, the unit needs to be able to continue working in temperatures as low as 40 degrees otherwise there is a risk of the internal refrigeration coil icing up preventing the dehumidifier from working. Some units on the market have a built in de-icing control to protect themselves against this problem.
It is also advisable to find out the actual humidity levels in the crawl space and the size in square feet so that you invest in a unit that is man enough for the job that it has to do.
Even if you do not have a basement, keeping mold and mildew out of your home is still a challenge, especially with a wet crawl space. The key to the problem is to get the area dried out, as quickly and efficiently as possible which in turn will improve the indoor air quality on the floors above.
A crawl space dehumidifier is designed to get that job done and with the right model, you can have a dry crawl space that is not home to all manner of undesirables such as mold, mildew and musty odors.