A dehumidifier is a great way to keep the relative humidity down in the basement. This helps keep it cool, dry, and helps to circulate and filter the air in the basement. As I've mentioned before, over 40% of the air you breath day-to-day comes from the basement. The healthier the air, the better it is for the rest of the home.
Excess dampness and moisture in the basement air can cause smells to occur in the summer. This is typically the work of the dampness allowing mold to grow somewhere in the basement, but the moisture itself has a smell. This odor and moisture can and will travel into the first floor of the home. Covering up the odors isn't dealing with the problem, and if you're experiencing this on your first floor, it's time to address the issues causing them in the basement.
Dehumidifiers actually remove the moisture from the air and replace it with dry air. Removing the moisture isn't just good for your health, it's also good for your electricity bill. Too much moisture in the air will actually make it harder for your Air Conditioning units to cool the air in the home. The harder they have to work means they run longer and increase your electricity bills.
When buying a dehumidifier for your basement look for a few key things:
*Filters - if they can filter the air to clean out dust mites, mold and other spores, then go with that. You get more from a unit that can clean the air as well as remove moisture
*Drainage options - Some units, like the Santa Fe Classic and Compact units, come with condensate pumps, and others can be hosed right into an existing sink or drainage system - make sure that your unit can do this to limit the amount you have to empty the machine.
*Ducting - Some dehumidifiers can be ducted to other parts of the basement (ideal for finished basements) to force air circulation and filter and clean the air from other sections of the space.
Related Reading and Links
Read about the Top 6 Basement Mistakes that contractors and homeowners make. See what other readers have asked in Safe'n'Dry Basement Blog's Reader Questions Section
Ask Jacob A question Directly on Pioneer Basement's Help Forums!