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MSU Fan 04-30-2010 10:10 AM

Humidity Control in Basement
Before everyone starts in, I cannot simply remove the source of the humidity - I have 4 fishtanks and 2 turtle tanks in my basement. The evaporation keeps my dehumidifier running constantly. I would like to install a dehumidistat and some kind of exhaust fan to vent the humidity outside.

My question is this - what is the best way to bring fresh air in as a replacement to the air I am removing?

CraigFL 04-30-2010 02:27 PM

This could be a very complicated answer... First, is this a summer and winter problem? We would also need to know things the average relative humidity in Appleton as well as the average temperature and humidity in your basement.

mclauga1 04-30-2010 04:10 PM

There is something at home depot called Damp Rid they are to take the moisture and smell out the air without over drying. A big one is like $12 and small ones $3 the last for 3-4 months this could be a cheap solution to your problem

Cork-Guy 04-30-2010 08:29 PM

I have 6 fish tanks in my basement; the trick is to keep them as air tight as possible to prevent evaporation. A dehumidifier is really your best best; damp rid won't work because you'd need a ton of 5 gallon buckets of it to make it have any effect. Also, trying adding in a good amount of live plants; they help suck a lot of the moisture out of the air as well.

Perry525 05-03-2010 11:26 AM

Interesting question, simple answer.
Water vapour/humidity always moves from hot to cold or to an area of low pressure like down wind of a building.
Make a hole in the wall, about 4 to 6 inches square, the water vapour will just disappear.... the air outside will nearly always be colder and drier, not always, and your problem will disappear on the wind.

inspectorD 05-03-2010 02:17 PM

I have to disagree...not a simple answer.
In Wisconsin?
There are many variables to look at, exaust fans, boiler vents, Ductwork if you have any, insulation in your house, dryers, and fireplaces.Does your heating system or hot watwer heater alreday have a backdrafting issue?/ who knows??
Not to mention all the other air leaks at doors, windows, and other points of entry. Lightswitches, electrical outlets, sill plate insulation and radon gas mitigation systems.
ALL these things come into play on your home,,,yes even the architecture is a factor, ranch, 3 story or split level?
Air is always moving through your home with use also, doors and windows open and close, even the tempurature outside compared to inside matters.
Is your house ballon framed?? Is the air traveling up through the walls and carrying the moisture with it? Adding a vent hole will only add to the problem.

Get a reputable company , HVAC that does blower door testing, or even a building performance person over there to give you the advice you need....heck...we don't even know if you already have water leaks in your basement you don't know about.

Good luck, hope this helps.;)

Perry525 05-04-2010 03:40 AM

MSU Fan asked:

"My question is this - what is the best way to bring fresh air in as a replacement to the air I am removing?"

I recommend that MSU tries the no cost option, that answers his question perfectly. Not only that but, the hole will allow the humid air out and keep the space in balance.

If the result is not satisfactory, he can throw money at it.

inspectorD 05-04-2010 06:06 AM

well may not let the humid air out.
And I am aware of the question,and agree you gave a simple, no cost answer. The poster asked for the best way.....this is the cheapest, not the best.
However the question needs further evaluation as the poster does not understand the consequenses of the question.
I just disagreed, and recommended further evaluation to a not so simple problem.....which you stated was a simple solution.

Your idea may well work perfectly, I recommend someone actually in the home with experience evaluate it, this is not a DIY evaluation.:2cents:

Perry525 05-04-2010 10:30 AM

It is interesting that so many people find it hard to get their mind round relative humidity.
Perhaps MSU Fan........... could advise if he has a combined hygrometer temperature gauge and what the current readings are in his cellar and immediately outside.
That will confirm if there is relatively high humidity in the cellar and advise what is happening outside.
The logic being, that after he makes the hole, the water vapour in the cellar will migrate outside and drier air will move in.

frozenstar 05-04-2010 08:52 PM

Well I think choosing the best dehumidifier is a good solution to the problem. It's quite hard to choose the best out there but with reading some of the specs of a dehumidifier can be helpful. Consider how big your basement is as well so you can pick the size of your dehumidifier. I also suggest to pick energy star dehumidifier to save more energy than the standard models.

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