Protecting your basement from spring thaw

March 15, 2017

With the official start of spring just around the corner, many of us are looking forward to warmer weather, when we can enjoy being outdoors without bundling up. However, as the warmer weather moves in, humidity moves in with it, which can lead to more moisture in our homes and, in particular, our basements. Excess moisture can cause structural damage, as well as lead to the build-up of mold and mildew that worsens indoor air quality and can aggravate allergies.

Using an ENERGY STAR® certified dehumidifier can help alleviate these problems. Dehumidifiers work by drawing in damp air from a room and passing this air over cooling coils, which causes water in the air to condense. There are many different models of dehumidifiers, which vary in their energy efficiency, size, and capacity. Here are some tips that make it easier to select the right dehumidifier for your home.

1. Look for the ENERGY STAR Label

Since dehumidifiers must be left on for long periods of time, it's important to purchase an ENERGY STAR certified model. An ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifier uses 28% less energy than a similarly-sized non-certified model, while removing the same amount of moisture. This greater energy efficiency translates into greater savings: by using a certified dehumidifier, you can save over $300 in energy costs over the unit's lifetime.

2. Check the Capacity

Dehumidifiers are designed for particular room sizes and amounts of moisture. To find the right dehumidifier for your home, look for the unit's removal capacity. This value, which can range from less than 30 pints/day to more than 70 pints/day, indicates the amount of water that the dehumidifier could remove from the air if left running continually for 24 hours. Many retailers, especially big-box stores, have free buying guides available online to help you determine the ideal removal capacity of your dehumidifier based on the room size and how damp or wet it typically is.

3. Don't Skip the Savings

Thanks to the sponsors of Mass Save®, dehumidifiers that have been certified under the current ENERGY STAR standard are eligible for a $30 rebate. When shopping for a new dehumidifier, be aware that some units might have the ENERGY STAR logo but not be eligible for this rebate because they were certified under the older, less stringent standard. Before making your purchase, verify whether the model you selected is eligible for a rebate by checking this list provided by ENERGY STAR.

4. Recycle Your Old Dehumidifier

If you have an old, inefficient dehumidifier to replace, remember to recycle this unit. Most dehumidifiers contain refrigerants, which can be environmentally hazardous if not disposed of properly. Mass Save will offer an additional $30 rebate for turning in your old, working dehumidifier. Be sure to check our site for an up-to-date list of community events where you can recycle your unit.

This spring, use these four tips to find the best dehumidifier for your home and maximize your savings. That way you'll be able to enjoy the warmer weather, with less worry about the added humidity damaging your basement. To learn more about ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifiers, visit MassSave.com.

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