DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > General Home Improvement Discussion > Humidity Control in Basement




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Old 05-05-2010, 04:40 AM  
Perry525
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frozenstar, MSU Fan has a dehumidifier that is costing him a lot to run.
Buying yet another will cost a lot and will not improve the situation.(unless its a lot larger) I suspect that he is currently trying to dry out the whole of Appleton. Dehumidifiers attract water vapour by creating a cold (freezing) coil and as a bye product push warm air into the room making it even hotter.
If he wants to throw money at it, then an extractor fan complete with outside shutter, to keep out the cold wind, and a built in heat exchanger and humidistat will undoubtedly solve the problem and it will only run when water vapour energizes the humidistat. And it will help to lower the overall running costs by warming the incoming air. It should save upwards of 90% of his heat, lowering the running costs of his hobby.



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Old 05-06-2010, 09:47 PM  
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Agree on that. But the question is if he's willing to throw some bucks on it. If yes, it won't a big problem at all.



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Old 05-07-2010, 03:06 AM  
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This is an interesting problem.
If he had his tanks in the middle of a field, there would be no problem loosing heat and humidity, although the heating cost would increase.
Having the tanks indoors creates the problem.
Going to the next step, knocking out a complete wall, would also solve the problem, he could have an open mesh wall.
Then as the hole gets smaller and the natural ventilation gets reduced, the problem grows.
It would be interesting to know at what size hole the balance between, humidity loss, heat loss and cost of heating the tanks becomes satisfactory.

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Old 05-11-2010, 10:46 AM  
MSU Fan
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Sorry, I haven't been for a couple of days, but I appreciate the discussion.

Let's keep the arguement relatively simple as I don't have a lot of money for this right now. I just got a Ranco dehumidistat at a local ReStore for a $1.50. I would throw in a another $50 or so for ducting, an inline fan, a dryer vent, and a register if that would be an acceptable solution.

Nominally, in my basement, it is about 68 degrees and about 60-65% humidity confirmed via an Aprilaire digital hygrometer and the readout on my digital dehumidifier. It seems to want to stay there as I haven't heard my dehumidifier running in the last couple of days. I am a little concerned with it being that high. I would prefer it to be nearer to 50% (heck, even lower if possible, but I am not getting my hopes up at this point).

I cannot spend the money for a converter and all that other jazz which would no doubt do the job effectively. And unless a new super awesome dehumidifier would do the job, I definitely don't want to spend the money on that...

My tanks are not very sealed, so that is definitely one of the problems. It is on my to-do list, which is enormous. Anyway, I am hoping once the A/C kicks on it will help, but I am not sure that will be the case.

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Old 05-12-2010, 01:24 PM  
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In most peoples eyes the figures you quote are perfectly acceptable. I imagine you feel comfortable?
Why do you want to have a lower humidity?
The existing humidity and temperature are perfectly acceptable.

Humidity dropping to 22-23% on a hot day @ 25-26 degrees C or higher.
Humidity as high as 70% on cold days @ 22 degrees C.
Both of these are comfortable for most people.
99% @ 30C that is unpleasant.

The fish and turtles are happy.

You could fix sheets of polystyrene to the bottom and sides of the tanks that you do not look through, depending on thickness that will save on your heating cost.

But as you lower your temperature the humidity will go up!
68f @ 60% humidity has a dew point of 53.59F, when you get there you have 100% humidity, however I would not expect you to notice the difference.

The existing humidity/temperature is OK.
Save your money.

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Old 05-12-2010, 02:49 PM  
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Thank you Perry, but I have dealt with mold issues on my window frames from the evaporation/humidity put off by the tanks in the winter. In the summer I am not too worried. With the temp higher, obviously the moisture capability of the air is higher as well. But I figure why wait until it is colder to do the work?

When the winter comes, and the temp is somewhere between 0 and 20F for a couple of months straight, and the windows don't get opened - that is when the humidity is the most dangerous for mold development.

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Old 05-13-2010, 02:53 AM  
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My Koi Carp are in the garden pond, others are on my lap top screen. You are a first as far as keeping fish and turtles in a cellar.
As I wrote earlier 68f @ 60%RH results in condensation at 53.59f.
68f @ 65%RH results in condensation at 55.79f.
When those temperatures and humidities get near a cold window or wall or ceiling, then you have condensation, visible on the window, hidden in the walls etc.
Mould spores are every where, from the North Pole down.
They do not grow unless there is warmth, food and water to keep them alive.
(otherwise the world would be covered in mould)

Condensation forms when the temperature drops.
This usually happens when the heating is turned down or off, or when warm wet air meets a cold surface.

In the home, the problem can be solved by opening a window for a short time and letting the warm wet air out and letting some cold drier air in.
I understand that the prospect of opening a window in winter does not appeal.

You have already tried an alternative, using a dehumidifier, this works, at a price.
And of course the cost goes on every day and night through every autumn, winter and spring.

I suggested using a extractor fan, this has installation costs and running costs.

You can also keep the basement temperature steady 24/7 and blow warm air over the window. This has an on going cost.

Then we have insulation. From what you have already written, the weak link in your basement (at the moment) is the window. This needs to be upgraded to the same level of insulation as the rest of the room. You can do this by adding a sheet of plastic during the winter. This will add another layer of still insulating air (providing it is not more than 16mm from the inside of the glass) and improve things. Or you can buy a sheet of perspex and fit that over the window. Or buy a purpose made piece of secondary glazing.

Using insulation to get rid of the condensation solves one problem. But then it creates another. The condensation will then form on the next nearest cold surface, that is below the dew point of your mix of temperature and humidity.

You need to buy an infrared temperature gauge. You can use one of these to scan the surfaces in the cellar, to identify the cold spots and discover if you have another spot temperature below the dew point where condensation will form.
If you have, this could lead to interstitial condensation, resulting in damp walls, mould and dry then wet wood rot.

Sometimes, the problem you have that is more easily managed, by wiping down with a dry cloth and using some bleach...............?



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