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Default Dehumidifier in a New England's basement during the winter?

Hello everybody,

My husband and I just bought a condo with a finished basement. The
basement smelled musty when we first moved in and we opened a mini
window in the area (8" by 16" type of window) and the musty smell went
away. It got cold recently and we closed the window, and the musty
smell came back.

I wonder if we should buy a dehumidifier for the basement. My father
will be staying there over Thanksgiving and he has asthma problems.
However, I am not sure we will need one on the winter time: we used to
live in a one story apartment and we had to run a *humidifier* over the
winter.

So, do we need a dehumidifier or should I expect the air to be dry
enough in the winter that I won't need it? Is there something else that
may be better than a dehumidifier? We're not planning to heat the place
all winter long: mostly only when we have visitors, and it will be ~45
degrees otherwise.

Pardon my vast amount of ignorance I'm just trying to learn to be a
homeowner!

Thanks,
Karen

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David Martel
 
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Karen,

You may wish.to buy, borrow or rent a hygrometer. It will tell you the
relative humidity. Take some readings in your basement to find out whether
you have a humidity problem. Compare these to readings upstairs and outside.
Don't buy a dehumidifier until you are sure you have a humidity problem.
Radio Shack sells a pretty good hygrometer.

Dave M.


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John Gilmer
 
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"David Martel" wrote in message
ink.net...
Karen,

You may wish.to buy, borrow or rent a hygrometer. It will tell you the
relative humidity. Take some readings in your basement to find out whether
you have a humidity problem. Compare these to readings upstairs and

outside.

Unless you have a VERY tight house, you just don't have to run a
dehumidifier in the heating season. BUT you do have to ensure that the
"damp" area is kept at a comfortable temperature. This will dry out the
basement. With sufficient circulation and air exchange with the rest of
the house the entire place becomes more comfortable.

Almost certain the OP has a moisture problem. He should address these
problems as well he can. "Pumping" water out of a damp basement with dry
air can cause minerals to build up on and in the walls.



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