Homeowners don’t often think about the crawl spaces in their houses. They’re not like the basement, which can be used for a living space. They are out of the way, and often seen as empty space. This is not the case!
They can be utilized for many things, but they do need maintaining. If you live in a humid or hot area, then air conditioning is necessary, and dehumidifiers will make sure that moisture will not build up in your crawl space. If moisture can form, it can cause issues on the ceiling or on your walls with patches of water forming. This not only stains the area but can also cause further damage.
In this guide, we’re going to show you dehumidifiers for your crawl space that we believe are the best in the marketplace. We hope this guide aids you in searching for the perfect fit for you.
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Why bother using a dehumidifier in your crawl space?
The best reason is to stop mold forming. The area is humid and dark, and it is extremely easy for mold to grow. Don’t let that be another reason for you to hate going in the area!
Inspecting many of the crawl spaces, I have often found mold. It is not only black mold, which is easy to spot, but also white mold which can grow on floor joists.
The mold can discharge spores into the crawl space, and subsequently into your house. This can be hazardous to your health.
Installing a fully-sealed vapor retarder is something I would recommend. It can be installed on the walls and floor of the crawl space and will assist in clearing moisture in the area.
This will not only ensure your home will be protected from mold but will also aid in the prevention of rotting wood and wood fungus. Among home inspectors, as well as mold in a crawl space, there can also be wood rot. This is due to the same reasons – heat and humidity.
Last but not least, there is a further reason to ensure your crawl space is dehumidified – it will ensure that humidity is reduced in your house in general, making your home more pleasant to live in.
How to find the most appropriate dehumidifier for you
Not all crawl spaces are created equal. What works for one house, will not work for another, so you cannot just install any dehumidifier. Things you need to think about are:
If you do any sort of research when you’re buying a dehumidifier, you’ll see that rectangular ones show up repeatedly. This is because they can be fitted in most close-quarter spaces without issue. It’s important to get one that is made for attics, basements, crawl spaces, etc.
It is imperative that your crawl space humidifier is flat on the floor, or that the ground has been leveled. It is important to fix any uneven ground before installation, because improper drainage can be the result if not.
1,000 square feet and above is about the area of coverage of a standard dehumidifier. With bigger spaces, units are also likely to be larger. If your area is exceptionally humid, a bigger device may be needed even if the area is smaller.
The other thing to note is that if a unit has a larger coverage area or a greater input (such as in exceptionally wet and humid areas), then it will use more power.
When looking for a dehumidifier, they tend to be sorted by their output. This is usually explained via pints per 24 hours.
We recommend a 50-pint dehumidifier for a crawl space. It will keep the area as dry as possible, while not compromising on performance.
Here are some basics that we believe your humidifier should be equipped with:
Humidistat: This will allow you to control your dehumidifier. With this, your desired humidity level can be programmed, and the device will turn off automatically when this level occurs. Some humidifiers will also turn on again when the levels change.
Defrost: This is a must-have function for anyone living in a cold area. This function will ensure that the dehumidifier doesn’t freeze over, ensuring it can run with warm parts and not cause the coils to break under the temperature.
Remote Control: Although this feature isn’t on all devices, it can help you from having to crawl into the space every time you want to make any adjustments to the machine, making life just that little bit easier.
Suitable Dehumidifiers for Crawl Spaces
As dehumidifiers have many types, it will depend on your plans for the crawl space which one you decide to buy.
Cold evaporator coils are used in these devices, which are the most common on the market. Moist air is passed through the coils, which forms condensation. This condensation is collected, and the dry air is pumped out instead.
Bucket Based Dehumidifiers
These collect the moisture from the air, and it is drained into a bucket attached to the machine. These types of dehumidifier must be emptied manually, so are not useful if your crawl space is difficult to access.
Gravitational Force Dehumidifiers
These dehumidifiers call for little supervision and manual control. Installed vertically, they depend on gravity to push the collected water down into a drain via a hose.
Built-in Drain Pump
These dehumidifiers are more high-end and expensive. Containing both a pump and a hose, they can drain water both sideways and upwards. If the drain is far away, they can push the moisture through the hose towards it, without further involvement from you.
How do I know if I have a crawl space or a basement? What’s the difference?
People often use both words to explain the same sort of area, though a crawl space is shallower than a basement. The supporting of outside walls via blocks is the same for both. Generally, crawl spaces are 1 to 3 feet tall.
Installing a dehumidifier without encapsulation – is it a good idea?
This is recommended and is something you can do yourself cheaply if money is a factor in your decision making.
Is a regular dehumidifier suitable for a crawl space?
We wouldn’t recommend it.
The benefits of installing a dehumidifier are plentiful. Improved health for you and your family, allergy reduction, and the reduction in musty odors are just some of them.
Installation of Your Crawl Space Dehumidifier
Commonly, dehumidifiers are installed either on a wall or ceiling mount. Our suggestion is to find an area that is good for both the space and is easily accessible for any maintenance that might be needed in future. This should ideally be in a location that will also not be in the way.
We also suggest picking the location of the installation within easy reach of a drain. This will enable you to get rid of the moisture that is collected by the dehumidifier with minimal fuss.
The more centrally you can locate your dehumidifier, the better it will be able to operate. It will ensure that moisture is removed efficiently, faster, and with a better distribution.
If wall-mounted installation is your plan, Dri Eaz sells them, as well as other companies.
Last but not least, to ensure you don’t prematurely clog the filters on the device, we suggest you clear dirt, debris, and dust in the area you wish to install it. This will ensure that the filter won’t need to be cleaned as often.
Maintenance for Your Crawl Space Humidifier
Luckily for you, humidifiers will run for a long time without even needing to be inspected. Once you have installed the device, maintenance should be nonexistent apart from changing the air filters. This should be done as often as the owner’s manual for your dehumidifier suggests.