Published on March 4th, 2013 | by Henri


Close windows when using dehumidifier

Q.    My home was very old before we did it over 50 years ago. When we bought it there was a spring in the dirt cellars. It fed the pump in the kitchen sink. We dug the spring out, put in good drains, filled it in and applied a cement floor.

We have used a dehumidifier, placing it on the old cement laundry tubs into which it empties. Last summer, my electric bill was $60 to $70 more expensive than my ordinary bill. Have you any suggestions to help me lower my bill? The dehumidifier is only two years old.

The west wall has an outside ground level door and four small windows but because I cannot do stairs well, I cannot leave the door and windows open during the day and close them at night or when it rains.

A.    It’s a good thing you keep the outside door and windows closed all the time. If they were open, they would admit a lot of humidity and make your dehumidifier work that much harder.

If your very old house has stone walls, it may be the reason why much humidity still gets into the cellars in spite of the concrete floor you put in. The fact that you also had a spring in the cellars indicates that water is close by; it may keep the ground around your foundation damp. You didn’t mention any leakage so the moisture may enter the cellars as vapor through the old stone foundation whether the stones are laid dry or mortared in as old mortar is very porous.

I don’t have enough information to advise you on how you can lower your electric bill except to suggest that, if your dehumidifier has a humidistat, you raise its setting so it won’t run as often.

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