Most homeowners tend to ignore their crawl spaces. Not only can this result in costly mold removal services and sometimes even repair work to the crawl space structure, but it can also have serious health consequences for the house occupants. All of this can easily be avoided by keeping the humidity levels in the crawl space low, and the ideal tool for the job is a crawl space dehumidifier.
- Are crawl space dehumidifiers worth it?
- What to look for in a crawl space dehumidifier
- The best crawl space dehumidifiers
- How much does a crawl space dehumidifier cost?
- Should a crawl space be completely dry?
- Is a fan or dehumidifier better for crawl space?
- Does my crawl space need to be encapsulated for me to use a dehumidifier down there?
- Can I use a regular dehumidifier in a crawl space?
- Will a dehumidifier remove musty smells in the crawl space?
- How long does it take for a dehumidifier to dry out a crawl space?
- Where to place a dehumidifier in the crawl space?
Are crawl space dehumidifiers worth it?
Crawl space dehumidifiers can be worth it for many homeowners, especially those dealing with excessive moisture issues in their crawl spaces. Here are some factors to consider when determining if a crawl space dehumidifier is worth the investment:
Crawl space dehumidifiers are specifically designed to control humidity levels in damp crawl spaces. If your crawl space has high humidity levels, excess moisture, or a history of mold growth, a dehumidifier can help prevent these issues by maintaining a healthier environment.
Excess moisture in crawl spaces can lead to mold growth, which can negatively impact indoor air quality and potentially pose health risks. A dehumidifier can help prevent mold growth by reducing humidity levels and creating an environment less conducive to mold development.
High moisture levels can lead to wood rot, deterioration of building materials, and even foundation problems. Investing in a dehumidifier can help protect the structural integrity of your home by reducing moisture-related damage.
High humidity levels can make your HVAC system work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. By controlling humidity with a dehumidifier, your HVAC system can work more efficiently, potentially leading to energy savings.
Excess humidity can create a damp and uncomfortable indoor environment. A dehumidifier can improve overall comfort by reducing that sticky feeling and musty odors associated with high humidity.
Reduced maintenance costs
Crawl spaces with excess moisture can lead to increased maintenance costs over time, including repairs to structural damage and HVAC system inefficiencies. A dehumidifier can help mitigate these costs by addressing the root cause of moisture-related problems.
A well-maintained crawl space with proper moisture control can add to the resale value of your home. Potential buyers may be attracted to a property with a clean and dry crawl space, free from moisture-related issues.
Excess moisture can contribute to the growth of allergens and irritants, which may affect indoor air quality and exacerbate respiratory problems. A dehumidifier can help create a healthier indoor environment by reducing these potential triggers.
What to look for in a crawl space dehumidifier
When choosing a crawl space dehumidifier, several important factors should be considered to ensure you select a unit that effectively addresses your specific needs and provides optimal performance. Here’s what to look for:
Capacity and Coverage: Determine the size of your crawl space and its moisture level to select a dehumidifier with an appropriate capacity. Look for the unit’s coverage area in square feet or cubic feet per minute (CFM) to ensure it can effectively handle your crawl space’s dimensions.
Humidity Control: Choose a dehumidifier with adjustable humidity settings or a built-in humidistat. This allows you to set and maintain the desired humidity level in your crawl space.
Water Removal Rate: Check the dehumidifier’s water removal rate, usually measured in pints per day. Make sure the unit can handle the moisture volume in your crawl space to prevent overworking and ensure efficient operation.
Drainage Options: Look for models that offer various drainage options, such as gravity drainage, direct drainage to a sump pump, or using a built-in pump for upward drainage. Choose the option that works best for your crawl space layout.
Energy Efficiency: Opt for an Energy Star-certified dehumidifier to ensure energy-efficient operation. Energy-efficient models can help you save on energy costs over time.
Automatic Defrost: If you live in a colder climate, choose a dehumidifier with an automatic defrost feature to prevent frost buildup on the coils, which can impact performance.
Noise Level: Consider the noise level of the unit, especially if your crawl space is near living areas. Look for models with low noise ratings or those specifically designed for quiet operation.
Durability and Build Quality: Select a dehumidifier with a sturdy construction and durable materials to withstand the challenging crawl space environment, which might have higher humidity and potential for dust or debris.
Filter Type and Maintenance: Check the type of air filter used in the dehumidifier and the ease of maintenance. Washable or replaceable filters are preferable to ensure the unit continues to operate efficiently.
Smart Features and Controls: Some dehumidifiers come with advanced features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, remote control, mobile app monitoring, and alerts. These features can enhance convenience and allow you to monitor the unit remotely.
Warranty: Look for units with solid warranties. Longer warranties often indicate the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s quality and durability.
Size and Portability: Ensure that the dehumidifier’s physical dimensions allow for easy installation in your crawl space. Some models might have casters or handles for easier mobility.
The best crawl space dehumidifiers
Here we will review four of the best crawl space dehumidifiers from Abestorm, BlueDeep, MOUNTO, BaseAire and AprilAire.
Abestorm 180 PPD Commercial Crawl Space Dehumidifier
This crawl space dehumidifier from Abestorm is ideal for both commercial and industrial applications – so its also good for restoration projects.
What really makes this unit stand out is its simplicity of operation. All you have to do is plug it in, turn it on and set your desired humidity level. Its compact design makes it suitable for crawl space use, and the built-in wheels and handle allow for easy transportation.
Its equipped with a built-in pump and a 19.6 ft drain hose, so its perfect for removing moisture from long and narrow crawl spaces, attics, under roofs, or basements. It also features an auto-restart function, so in the event of a power outage, the unit will automatically resume operation from where it left off.
The auto defrost cycle feature allows for low-temperature operation, effectively clearing ice from the coils even when the unit is operating at its minimum temperature of 36°F. This ensures optimal performance and prevents any damage to its internal components. Additionally, the high-density MERV-8 filter protects the unit from dust and other particles, thus prolonging the lifespan of the dehumidifier.
The product has dimensions of 21.26 x 11.61 x 17.32 inches, weighs 63 pounds and comes with a 5 year warranty.
BLUEDEEP Basement/Crawl Space Dehumidifier
The BLUEDEEP Basement/Crawlspace Dehumidifier delivers on its promises of efficient moisture control, durability, and ease of use.
One of the best features of the BLUEDEEP Dehumidifier is its humidity and timer control capabilities. You can easily set your desired humidity level within the range of 30% to 80%. Also, its ability to automatically cycle on and off to maintain the set humidity level adds to its convenience.
The automatic defrost system allows it to function seamlessly even in temperatures as low as 41°F. This feature prevents frost build-up and ensures consistent and effective operation.
This dehumidifier is specifically designed for crawlspaces and basements, making it well-suited to address the unique challenges of these areas.
And for added convenience, the BLUEDEEP Dehumidifier offers an optional remote control function (sold separately). This controller simplifies the setup process and allows for remote operation, making it an excellent choice for environments where remote control is essential.
The product has dimensions of 14.8″ x 22.6″ x 13.7″ inches, weighs 75 pounds and comes with a 1 year warranty.
MOUNTO 150 Pints Commercial Roto-Mold Compact Dehumidifier
This crawl space dehumidifier from MOUNTO is compact, yet powerful enough for dehumidifying areas up to 2300 square feet. Actually, this dehumidifier outperforms units two to three times its size in terms of water removal.
With its impressive capacity of 80 pints per day at AHAM conditions (80°F/60%RH) and 150 pints per day at saturation (90°F/90%RH), the unit efficiently removes excess moisture from the air. This makes it ideal for fast drying in water-saturated areas – thus allowing you to restore carpets, sub-floors, walls, and structural materials to their optimal conditions.
The control panel provides real-time information on inlet and outlet temperature and relative humidity. This allows you to monitor and adjust the dehumidifier’s settings to achieve the desired humidity level.
Also, one of the best features of this crawl space dehumidifier is its size. It’s small enough to fit into spaces where larger units cannot. This makes it a perfect choice for crawlspaces, bathrooms, kitchens and other tight and occupied areas. And despite its compact size, it doesn’t compromise on performance.
The product has dimensions of 21.7 x 12.6 x 18.1 inches, weighs 65 pounds and comes with a 1 Year full warranty (3 year free replacement parts).
BaseAire 113 Pint Crawl Space Dehumidifier
This BaseAire crawl space dehumidifier is perfect for dealing with moisture issues in crawl spaces, tight basements, and water-damaged areas.
It can remove an impressive 113 pints (18.1 gallons) of moisture per day, and surpasses the performance of regular home dehumidifiers, which makes it suitable for commercial, industrial, and residential use.
It has a number of features such as its built-in humidity sensor and digital control panel, which allow for easy and smart operation. The dehumidifier can also automatically cycle ON/OFF to maintain the optimal humidity level, ensuring a comfortable environment in your crawl space. Additionally, it has auto drain, auto defrost, and auto restart after a power outage.
It can withstand rugged conditions, as its constructed from heavy-duty sheet metal that ensures durability. This is particularly beneficial because unlike traditional plastic dehumidifiers, it is resistant to cracking, breaking, or becoming brittle.
Draining is easy and automatic thanks to the included 6.56 ft drain hose.
The product has dimensions of 19.2 x 12.2 x 13.3 inches , weighs 57 pounds and comes with a 5-year warranty.
AprilAire E70 Pro 70 Pint Dehumidifier
The AprilAire E70 Dehumidifier is the perfect solution for protecting your home from moisture-related issues such as mold, termites, structural wood rot, and odors.
The unit is specifically made for sealed crawl spaces and basements. Its small enough at 12.5″ x 12.5″ x 25″, to fit into most crawl spaces. Once up and running it is capable of removing up to 70 pints of moisture per day – or effectively dehumidifying homes up to 2,800 square feet in size.
The AprilAire E070 is built to last with its corrosion-resistant aluminum coils that ensures durability and long-term performance. Also, maintenance is minimal as it only requires a simple once-a-year filter cleaning or replacement.
The product has dimensions of 12.5″ x 12.5″ x 25″ inches , weighs 56 pounds and comes with a 5-year warranty.
How much does a crawl space dehumidifier cost?
The cost of a crawl space dehumidifier depends on numerous things, such as the brand, its features, and the size of the area it can cover.
However, expect to pay between $700 to $1,000 for a quality crawl space dehumidifier. It’s a small price to pay, considering that the minimum cost for professional crawl space mold removal is $500, while repair work from mold damage to the structure can go as high as $30,000.
Should a crawl space be completely dry?
Crawl spaces don’t need to be bone-dry, but they should maintain a relative humidity level of around 30% to 50%. This range helps prevent excessive moisture that can lead to mold growth while avoiding overly dry conditions that might cause wood to shrink or crack.
Is a fan or dehumidifier better for crawl space?
Whether a fan or a dehumidifier is better for your crawl space depends on the specific moisture issues you’re dealing with and the underlying causes. Both tools serve different purposes, and in some cases, they can complement each other for more effective moisture control.
A dehumidifier is designed to remove excess moisture from the air, making it a suitable choice when dealing with high humidity levels, condensation, or dampness in the crawl space. Dehumidifiers work by extracting moisture from the air and collecting it in a reservoir. They are particularly effective in enclosed spaces where moisture levels need to be lowered to prevent mold growth, wood rot, and other moisture-related issues.
A fan, such as a crawl space ventilation fan or an exhaust fan, on the other hand, is typically used to improve air circulation in a crawl space. Proper air circulation can help reduce stagnant air, which may contribute to moisture buildup and poor indoor air quality. Fans are useful when dealing with dampness caused by poor ventilation or stagnant air pockets. However, using fans alone may not be effective if high humidity levels persist.
Does my crawl space need to be encapsulated for me to use a dehumidifier down there?
Not necessarily. Of course, you will get optimal performance from your dehumidifier in an encapsulated crawl space, but as long as the crawl space is sufficiently sealed, then it’s okay.
Walk around your house and inspect it for cracks or openings near the ground level. If you find any, then seal them off. Not only will this help prevent water and all sorts of animals from entering your crawl space, but it will also seal it off sufficiently for the dehumidifier to function as it should.
Can I use a regular dehumidifier in a crawl space?
Yes, you can. Although it’s crucial that it is powerful enough to cover the entire area of your crawl space and it has to be small enough to fit inside tight spaces comfortably.
Also, it must have a water outlet instead of only a bucket removal system, because the last thing you want is to go down there once or multiple times a day to manually remove buckets of water.
Will a dehumidifier remove musty smells in the crawl space?
Yes, a dehumidifier can help remove or significantly reduce the musty smell in a crawl space. Musty odors are often caused by mold, mildew, and the presence of excess moisture. By controlling humidity levels and reducing moisture, a dehumidifier can effectively address the root cause of the musty smell and improve the overall air quality in the crawl space.
How long does it take for a dehumidifier to dry out a crawl space?
The time it takes for a dehumidifier to effectively dry out a crawl space can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the crawl space, the severity of the moisture issue, the capacity and efficiency of the dehumidifier, and the prevailing environmental conditions.
As a rough estimate, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks for a dehumidifier to significantly reduce humidity levels in a crawl space. However, keep in mind that the goal isn’t just to lower humidity quickly, but to maintain a consistent and healthy humidity level over time.
Where to place a dehumidifier in the crawl space?
Placing a dehumidifier in the right location within your crawl space is crucial for effective moisture control and optimal performance. Here are some guidelines to help you determine the best placement for your crawl space dehumidifier:
Central Location: Ideally, place the dehumidifier in a central area of the crawl space. This helps ensure even air circulation and efficient moisture removal throughout the entire space.
Near the Source of Moisture: If there are specific areas in the crawl space that tend to have higher moisture levels or water intrusion, consider placing the dehumidifier closer to these sources. This can help target and address problem areas more effectively.
Away from Obstructions: Ensure that the dehumidifier is placed away from walls, support beams, and other obstructions that could impede proper air circulation. Allowing adequate airflow around the unit helps it work efficiently.
Accessible Location: Choose a location that allows easy access for maintenance and servicing. You’ll need to clean or replace the filter, empty the water collection reservoir (if applicable), and perform routine maintenance tasks.
Elevated Position: If your crawl space is prone to flooding, consider placing the dehumidifier on a raised platform or blocks to prevent it from sitting in standing water during heavy rains.
Secure Mounting: If you’re concerned about stability or potential movement, you can secure the dehumidifier to the floor or a stable surface to prevent it from being accidentally knocked over.
Away from Air Vents: Avoid placing the dehumidifier directly next to air vents or HVAC equipment. Airflow from these sources could interfere with the dehumidifier’s ability to accurately measure humidity levels.
Access to Power and Drainage: Ensure that the chosen location is near a power outlet for the dehumidifier’s power source. If the unit has a drainage option, place it close to a suitable drain or a point where you can direct the collected water.
Easy Removal for Maintenance: Consider whether the dehumidifier’s location allows for easy removal when it’s time for maintenance or repairs.