BCB Dehumidifying Tips

Follow these tips to prevent rust, mildew, mold and odors caused by high humidity levels in your home.

High humidity levels in the home encourage rust, mildew, mold and odors; and the moisture can damage cameras, computers and furniture. The problem is easy to solve with a dehumidifier, which is rated by how many pints of water it can take out of the air every 24 hours. A 25 pint unit will serve bedrooms and living areas, but basements and areas with a laundry room or barthroom, consider a 35-40 or even 50 pint unit. These devices cost $175 to $250. Keep the following operation and maintenance tips in mind:

Be sure the dehumidifier outlet is protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFI) Avoid using extension cords; spilled water presents a shoch hazard. Place the unit at least 6 in. from any wall so air flows freely; shut all nearby windows and doors.

For the first few days of use, turn the humidi-stat to the extra dry setting, which will remove moisture from room furnishings. Run the unit only when the room temperature is above 70% F. Frost can form on the coils when it’s below 65% F. Look for a unit with an indicator light that signals when the pan or bucket is full. To reduce the chance of shock, unplug the device before emptying the water bucket. Each month, dust or vacuum off the grilles or louvers, and scrub the bucket with a mild bleach solution to discourage mold, mildew and bacteria. Once every three months remove dust from the coils with a soft brush. Be sure to NOT locate the dehumidifier close to a sump crock, as it will encourage the dehumidifier to constantly run. If you empty the unit by way of a drain hose into the crock make sure the unit is at least 10-12 ft. away! For larger extra damp or wet basements go online to find larger dehumidifiers than are normally not sold at home centers. Some can run as high as $1,500 but are well the investment.

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