A crawl space is not a compulsory unit for a house; however, if your house already has an encapsulated crawl space, a possible question you may have is “ Does an Encapsulated crawl space need a dehumidifier ”?
Our air contains moisture; though we do not feel it, our noses absorb invisible water particles into our system. Asthma patients mostly feel this condition. A dehumidifier is an appliance that removes excess moisture in the air to keep the surroundings moist-free or dry.
As crawl spaces are usually vented to obtain air from outside, the air here could be potentially contaminated, thus affecting the air quality. This air travels from the base to the interior of the house.
I hope this article helps you find an answer to the above question. So, let’s dive in!
How Does Encapsulation Affect The Humidity Levels In A Crawl Space?
The main issue many people have with their crawl spaces is moisture control. However, did you know that your crawl space is a source of many issues?
Apart from high moist levels, pests, and bad air circulation are other issues people face due to crawl spaces in their houses.
Encapsulation is a common remedy to purify the air entering a crawl space. It is a form of sealing the entire space using a heavy-duty moisture barrier to prevent moisture, harmful insects, and outside air from entering the crawl space.
Generally, a humidity level between 50% to 60% is recommended in crawl spaces. By encapsulating the crawl space, pests, excess moisture, and air from outdoors will have no access to the space, which will help maintain healthy humidity within the crawl space.
Does Crawl Space Encapsulation Stop Humidity?
No, it does not stop humidity; encapsulation helps maintain a healthy humidity level within the crawl space.
Since crawl spaces are usually wet, especially if the house’s plumbing system runs through, a crawl space will be humid; however, encapsulation does not completely prevent moisture; it only removes unwanted or excess moisture in the air.
After encapsulation, there will be a healthy level of humidity in the crawl space, which will reduce the wetness and eventually prevent many other issues like the formation of mildew or mold, circulate good quality air within the house, keep pests away, reduce heating and cooling costs and many others.
Does An Encapsulated Space Need A Dehumidifier?
This question does not have a yes or a no as an answer because using a dehumidifier is an option than a necessity.
The function of a dehumidifier is to maintain a healthy humidity level by removing excess moisture from the air. What, then, is the difference between encapsulation and a dehumidifier?
As stated above, encapsulating a crawl space will not completely stop humidity; instead, will only help in maintaining a healthy level. However, if you reside in a place with high humidity, encapsulation may not solve the problem, and you will require a dehumidifier.
Sometimes certain crawl spaces contain soil with high moisture levels, which can also contribute to high humidity levels within the crawl space. Encapsulation cannot prevent soil moisture; however, a dehumidifier can do that for you.
How Does A Dehumidifier Work In An Encapsulated Crawl Space?
Remember that humidity levels rise during cold or rainy days, especially during winter. Therefore, encapsulating a crawl space may not help in such an instance. A dehumidifier allows you to set a desired humidity level, while the device will operate depending on your set level.
Once you install the dehumidifier in the crawl space and switch it on, the fan begins to work by pulling warm, moist air and sending it through refrigerant-cooled coils.
These coils heat the air and dry up all the moisture in the absorbed air. The excess water that is drained is either gravity drained or sent out through the condensate pump, which is usually connected to the drain line of your house. Finally, the fan will release the dried air for circulation within the encapsulated crawl space.
The process will continue until it reaches the set humidity level (indicated by a sensor) and will automatically turn off.
Where Should The Dehumidifier Be Placed In The Crawl Space?
The dehumidifier should be installed and plugged into a dedicated wall socket in the crawl space. Since the installation is in a dangerous place, you must ensure it is done professionally.
Dehumidifiers differ according to their size. Usually, almost all devices will have a drain pipe and a condensate pump attached to the outlet where the excess water is drained. Keep away dehumidifiers from corners, as they can block the airflow.
A crawl space humidifier requires less maintenance, unlike other devices. Depending on usage, you only have to change the air filter and may clean the drain pipe once or twice a week. It will restart automatically in case of a power failure.
Do Crawl Space Dehumidifiers Run All The Time?
It is best to run it or have it on as often as possible because it serves the device’s purpose all day.
It would be best to have the dehumidifier switched on for about 12 hours daily to get the best outcome. However, it would be best to consider certain factors when deciding how often the dehumidifier should run in the crawl space.
A few of those factors include the general level of humidity, extraction capacity, first run, and the Rh factor.
All these factors are measurable, along with relevant devices to measure them.
Remember that unless your device contains an auto-shut option where it shuts down upon reaching the maximum level of water, you generally do not have to shut it down, and it is better to allow it to run continuously.
Can We Use A Regular Dehumidifier In A Crawl Space?
Not really, as you will be deprived of the best outcome from the device, additionally, a regular dehumidifier cannot continuously dehumidify larger areas.
Regular dehumidifiers are unable to meet the conditions of a crawl space. Therefore, it is best to use a crawl space dehumidifier designed to meet the conditions of crawl spaces ideally. Crawl space dehumidifiers are compact; you can attach ductwork to them, have remote controls, and many other benefits suitable for a crawl space.
How Much Does A Crawl Space Dehumidifier Cost?
The cost will differ with the brand, quality, size, etc. However, the usual price starts from $1,500 to $2800. At the same time, the installation fee should take you around $800. These prices could be higher depending on the quality.
Why Are Crawl Space Dehumidifiers So Expensive?
Did you know that the air in the crawl space is what you breathe within your house?
Therefore, investing in an expensive crawl space dehumidifier shouldn’t be considered unnecessary.
There are many reasons for the high cost of crawl space dehumidifiers. Unlike other dehumidifiers, crawl space dehumidifiers usually run continuously for extended periods; therefore, they are made with expensive quality materials.
Additionally, crawl space humidifiers have unique features and options that cannot be found on other dehumidifiers. Gravity drainage, air purification, a condensate pump, and many other features are only available in this device. It is made of durable components as the device is exposed to damp conditions. The crawl space humidifier also has a compact finish.
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