Why Does Pro Dry's Blog Feature Photo of A Roof Edge?
The photo shows a traditional home and a closer look reveals that the eave return integrates a gutter and downspout. This is a great example of architectural design that blends beauty and practicality.
On the one hand the traditional look of a classical eave return compliments the architecture. On the other hand, however, rain water runoff is smartly collected and delivered safely away from the foundation. Keeping rainwater from saturating the earth adjacent to the foundation key to ensuring a dry basement or crawlspace. This, by itself, won't solve moisture control problems in homes but it's a good start.
Pro Dry NH is the interior air quality division of Alae Residential Design LLC, a design firm in NH that creates thoughtful, sensible and energy efficient homes. At Alae we design all aspects of the home to perform at a high standard. Moisture control of basement and crawlspace micro climates begins by keeping the water out. Architects get this wrong far too often, but it's simple. As the renowned building scientist (and notoriously funny guy) Joe Listiburek has said to architects "Ladies and gentlemen, please keep the water out!"
The objective sounds simple enough but it requires due diligence with regard to a multitude of architectural details that work together to keep the building dry. The list of properly executed details is long but include proper gutter detailing, flashing and counter flashing of building assemblies, foundation and sub slab drainage and exterior grading.
Cooler Temperature Operation
The dehumidifier industry is regulated by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). AHAM requires that manufacturers publish unit performance at 80 degrees F and 60% relative humidity. However, as you know, real world conditions of basements and crawl spaces are much cooler than 80 degrees F, so unit performance drops dramatically.
For example, at 80 degrees F and 60% relative humidity the SantaFe “Classic” removes 100 pints per day. At real world conditions of 60 degrees F and 60% relative humidty the SantaFe “Classic” removes 44 pints per day.
- At these conditions cheaper units may not remove any moisture at all!
- At temperatures below 65 degrees F, frost forms on the coils of a conventional (inexpensive) unit and this causes the unit to ice up.
- Frost cuts down on air circulation so the unit does not remove much moisture from the air. Some units have automatic defrost but remove a minimal amount of water in conditions below AHAM (80 degrees/60%RH).
- Once the coil is defrosted the cycle starts over again using a lot of energy but failing to take out an appreciable amount of water.
- The Santa Fe free standing line of dehumidifiers are powerful enough to control humidity even in the cooler environments of basements and crawlspaces.
Not All Dehumidifiers Are Created Equal
Santa Fe dehumidifiers feature a large moisture removal coil, regenerative heat exchanger and high capacity fan, which allow the units to remove 2-3 times more moisture per kilowatt of electricity than a conventional dehumidifier. In addition, Santa-Fe dehumidifiers allow for high efficiency air filtration. These freestanding residential units are built with the same components as the company’s commercial units and as a result are able to remove up to four times more water than the units available at home improvement stores.
Dehumidifiers are often called "energy hogs" because in truth it takes a lot of energy to remove water from air. That's an undeniable fact, but here is another undeniable fact. Moisture control is the only way to protect your basement or crawl space from bacterial allergens, dust mites, mold spores, dry rot and pest infestations, so if you value your family's health and property value, dehumidification is a must!
Santa Fe engineers recognize the building science requisite for dehumidification. These same engineers are committed to sensible energy use though, so they focussed on discovering the most energy efficient and practical dehumidifier design.
So when you see a poorly designed and cheaply made dehumidifier at a home improvement store and you observe that it draws 7 amps and removes only 30 pints/day, you should compare that with Santa Fe's Impact XT which draws 4.9 amps and removes 105 pints/day.
The home improvement store unit is truly an "energy hog" while the Santa Fe is not! The Santa Fe Impact XT is the most energy efficient dehumidifier on the market and the sad truth is that dehumidifiers are not all created equal.
Are All Dehumidifiers Energy Hogs?
No! Dehumidifiers vary tremendously. The capacities for residential dehumidifiers are measured in pints of water removed per day at standard conditions of (80°F and 60%RH) as determined by the American Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM). This is done so that there is a level playing field for the purpose of comparison.
At those conditions the capacity of the Santa Fe Classic is 110 pints per day, while most standard residential units range from 20-65 pints of water removal per day. That's a huge difference, but it's only part of the story, because most dehumidifiers are put in basements or crawlspaces which are cooler than 80°. Basement and crawlspace temperatures are normally in the 55° range and it's much harder to remove moisture from cooler air, therefore the water removal capacity of the standard residential unit will be diminished significantly.
It's not uncommon to see two standard residential units running in a basement, even so, failing to control moisture, while running up large electric costs for the owner. The entire Santa Fe line of dehumidifiers are specifically designed for basements and crawlspaces. The Santa Fe Classic for example uses a high capacity (275 cfm) blower that moves air in ways a conventional unit can't and the vertical configuration and flow-down design perform exceptionally well in basements.
A large capacity dehumidifier is necessary to ensure that enough moisture is removed at the real world temperature of your basement or crawlspace to prevent mold, mildew and bacterial growth. The Santa Fe Classic is a large capacity dehumidifier designed for cooler applications, such as basements and the superior energy efficiency of the Classic will use less energy than two conventional units, while producing solid moisture control results!