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Old 05-31-2013, 12:23 PM   #1
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Basement Dehumidifier Question


Hello,

We have finished basement (about 1600 sq ft) that shares HVAC with the 1st floor furnace. Lately with the rain, I have been noticing that relative humidity is around 55% with inside temperature of 66 degrees in the basement. Outside temperature is around high 70s.

I am curious when do I need to start thinking about running separate dehumidifier? I have the AC running but not sure if it's enough to keep the humidity level below 55% or so. I keep hearing anything greater than 60% is bad. Oddly enough my Accurite device states that humidity is "low" given the temperature which sounds odd as the basement feels "damp" relative to the other floors.

Thank you

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Old 05-31-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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Is the basement finished?

Sump pump?

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Old 05-31-2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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Yes finished basement with sump pump.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
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How is the grading and gutter direction on the exterior?
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:49 PM   #5
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I think grading is fine - we have no water issues --- at least not yet. The house is brand new with waterproofing membrane from Tremco.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:33 PM   #6
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If the basement is cooler than the rest of the house the humidity is naturally going to be higher there. Is your ac running long enough?
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:43 PM   #7
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Thanks. Not really sure if it's running long enough as the system appears to work a little too well at times. Is it advisable to keep the vents open in the basement (despite being cool) to continuously allow conditioned air?
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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Rather than doing that I would look at fine tuning your hvac system. If it is a newer two stage type system you can probably make a few tweaks so it runs a little longer and therefore removing more humidity. You don't leave the fan on all the time do you?
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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Unfortunately it's not dual stage and I do not leave the fan on all the time. Is it better to keep the fan on?
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbkim View Post
We have finished basement (about 1600 sq ft)
that shares
HVAC with the 1st floor furnace.
Does this mean that the HVAC equipment was installed (tonnage, duct size, returns etc) with the intention of handling the needs of more than just the 1st floor?

Unless the house is rather recent construction... not likely.

Quote:
I am curious when do I need to start thinking about running separate dehumidifier?
Few basements really need AC.
Almost all could use a dehumidifier.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:59 PM   #11
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This is brand new construction. The unit services both basement and 1st floor. We didn't do damper system so we have to manually adjust the vents. Sorry for my lack of proper technical terms but we finished the basement and knew that we probably wouldn't use much of AC but will require heating during winter So, during the summer we are closing off the ventin the basement. Not sure if this is the proper thing to do. Many thanks
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:59 PM   #12
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No it's not. If the ac is short cycling then the moisture that had condensed on the coils would just reevaporate into the air.

A small dehumidifier probably wouldn't hurt. They can be costly to operate but most have a humidistat that allows you to select the humidity where you want it to kick on.

There might still be a way to adjust your hvac system to get longer run times. Do you get it tuned up regularly? You could ask about lowering the fan speed a little.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strategery View Post
No it's not. If the ac is short cycling then the moisture that had condensed on the coils would just reevaporate into the air.

A small dehumidifier probably wouldn't hurt. They can be costly to operate but most have a humidistat that allows you to select the humidity where you want it to kick on.

There might still be a way to adjust your hvac system to get longer run times. Do you get it tuned up regularly? You could ask about lowering the fan speed a little.
It's still under 1yr warranty with the sub contractor and his way of "tunning" the system was closing off certain vents LOL. This is American Standard Freedom Comfort 95 unit.

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