Installing a Dehumidifier in a Crawlspace

A crawlspace is a utility area underneath a house or building that is usually made of cinder blocks that are stacked three or four levels high.  Sometimes, the cinder blocks are covered with a brickwork facing.  The crawlspace allows the builder to get the house up off the ground and avoid standing water and bugs.  It is less expensive than a full basement, but it still gives workers access to pipes, duct work, and the HVAC system.  Dampness and moisture are major problems for crawlspaces and basements.  One way to fight dampness is to install a dehumidifier engineered for these small spaces.

Crawlspace dehumidifiers are designed specifically to control the relative humidity in a very tight space.  With their low profile and rectangular design, these dehumidifiers are used to prevent mold, mildew, and musty odors.  They keep wood from rotting and from becoming attractive wet areas for termites. 

When locating a spot in your crawlspace to place your dehumidifier, it is usually best to place the unit in the middle of the crawlspace. This will provide a more centralized air flow that will allow your dehumidifier to efficiently remove the most amount of moisture. If you are using multiple dehumidifiers, space them apart to cover the maximum area.

A crawlspace dehumidifier is different from an inside, room dehumidifier, because you have transport the water.  You want to turn the crawlspace unit on and allow it to function without having to worry about the water drainage.  Basically, there are three water removal options to drain your crawlspace dehumidifier. You can drain the water into the sump pump, through your existing HVAC drainage system, or you can create your own water removal system.  The first two options require a length of hose and either a gravity drain or a condensate pump.  You attach the hose to your dehumidifier and transport the water where you want the water to go. 

Drain your Dehumidifier by gravity

If you want to drain the water outside of the building, creating your own drainage system is a little more complicated. Make a hole in your vent or outside wall that is just big enough for the drain hose. Be sure that the water is going to drain far enough away from the crawlspace. If not properly spaced, the water will re-enter the crawlspace. Depending on the logistics of your property / crawlspace, you may need a condensate pump and longer drainage tubing.

Dehumidifier Condensate Pump

Test your water drainage system after you set up your dehumidifier. If you port that water into your HVAC system, you must make sure the HVAC system is functioning properly and draining the water away. A level house with a level HVAC system could cause water to back up and rust out your HVAC unit. So, when you or your contract worker is hooking up the dehumidifier, make sure to test the HVAC system, your water removal set up, and all PVC hose and plastic pipe connections for leaks

By installing your new crawlspace dehumidifier, you have not only helped protect your home from moisture damage, but you are also helping to protect the health of you and your family by improving your indoor air quality. The air beneath your home directly feeds into the air above where you live and breathe. Mold colonies beneath your home constantly release spores into the air that travel upward into your home. An effective crawlspace dehumidifier will dry out the mold colonies, causing them to fall dormant. Maintaining a dry crawlspace will prevent new mold colonies from forming.

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