What is Stack Effect?

Stack effect is the movement of warm, dry air rising and escaping through the upper levels of the home and cooler, wet air finding its’ way into the lower levels in order for the home to equalize.

Excess moisture in crawlspaces and basements often migrates to the upper levels of the home through a “stack effect”. In essence, whatever air is below the house is also inside the house.

stackeffect_bigStack Effect Contributes To:

  • High Humidity
  • Pest Infestations
  • Poor Indoor Air Quality
  • Mold Growth
  • Musty Odors
  • Damage to Property

Why Dehumidification?
Indoor humidity levels, especially in basements and crawlspaces, can rise dramatically in the summer months and during the shoulder seasons. This is why dehumidification in these spaces is essential for proper humidity control. Santa Fe Dehumidifiers are the solution to healthy, comfortable living.

Crawlspace Encapsulation Overview

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Homes that are properly encapsulated, continuously monitored and treated with a Santa Fe dehumidifier are protected from both the humid outside air and the ground’s natural moisture. An added bonus is that this strategy minimizes fungi and mildew growth, guaranteeing a more structurally sound and healthier home.
Crawlspace Facts
  • According to a study by Advanced Energy, homeowners can expect to reduce their energy bills by 15-18% by sealing off their crawlspace. They also determined that homes with vented crawlspaces were 19 times more likely to experience relative humidity levels in excess of 70% than homes with encapsulated crawlspaces.
  • As much as 50% of the air in a home’s living space originates from the crawlspace.
  • Most pests are attracted to moist environments; as a result, moisture control is an important part of any fully integrated pest management system.

 

The Creepy Crawlies in Your Basement

Most insects are attracted to damp environments, such as crawlspaces and basements. Controlling the relative humidity (RH) inside the home will help to eliminate unwanted condensation that can create a water supply for many pests. It will also help to prevent wood rot and structural damage to the home that creates an environment for pests to thrive.  The only way to control RH is with a dehumidifier that can effectively and efficiently operate in these cool spaces, like the ones offered by Santa Fe.

Santa Fe dehumidifiers

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From Musty, Moldy Basement to the Manliest of Man Caves

The ultimate man cave features the latest electronics, a big brawny leather recliner, a decked out bar, sports memorabilia, and of course the mandatory pool table and dartboard.  While man caves can be located in garages or a spare bedroom the majority tend to be built in basements.

man cave

Pool Table & Bar BasementAccording to REMODELING Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs Value Report, basement remodels are still one of the top thirteen remodeling projects and typically consist of about a third of the entire home’s available space.  Man caves have become so popular in the last several years there is even a program called Man Caves on the DIY Network that is dedicated to helping men create their own refuge.

Unfinished BasementWhen it comes to transforming the basement into a man cave it is easy to get caught up in all the excitement of how many TVs, where to put the kegerator and how to display classic pieces of sports memorabilia. Getting started by hiding concrete or block behind drywall, wood and carpet is the easy part.

 

But building a manly comfortable space in a basement that won’t encourage mold and mildew or become damaged by condensation is a lot harder.

Molded Sheetrock WallHigh humidity levels will cause moist drywall and carpet will begin to grow mold and mildew, causing musty odors and decay.  It can also affect electronics, rot wood, cause musty odors, and make your new man cave feel like an actual cave!

SmellyGuyIt is recommended to keep humidity levels below 60 percent in basements by using a commercial grade dehumidifier like the ones offered by Santa Fe.

Santa Fe high-capacity dehumidifiers are the most energy efficient on the market and are designed to quietly and effectively operate in the cooler temperatures of a basement. The units help protect all your prized possessions, inhibit mold growth and prevent musty odors. An optional duct kit is available for all Santa Fe dehumidifiers for remote installations.  So if you don’t want to incorporate the manly unit into your new man cave decor, you locate it in another room and duct it to dehumidify your new retreat.

 

Santa Fe Compact Dehumidifier – Customer Story

We love hearing from our customers and it is even better when they send us pictures!  Thank you, Joe Marlow from Brewerton, NY!

IMG_0863“This unit is in a fairly dry basement of a 1700 sq ft colonial. More than enough to do the job. It replaces a number of mass merchant units I’ve had over the years. Two other family members have and swear by Santa-Fe units.”

“I have too much high-end camping gear as well as tools and the usual other stuff in the basement to leave to chance. Glad to have the mission accomplished and the peace of mind that goes with having a quality product.”

New Santa Fe Advance2 Dehumidifier

SantaFeAdvanc2We are excited to introduce the new Santa Fe Advance2 dehumidifier featuring dual exhaust specifically designed to provide the optimal amount of airflow in crawlspaces and basements.

The small footprint of the unit ensures installation flexibility and the dual exhaust powerfully circulates the air throughout the entire space, in order to deliver the maximum amount of treated air in a shorter time frame.

The Santa Fe  Advance2 removes 90 pints of water a day and conditions basements and crawlspaces up to 2,200 square feet. It exceeds Energy Star requirements – drawing only 5.7 amps and delivering an impressive energy factor of 3.0 L/kWh.  The unit is optimized for low temperature operation, provides MERV 8 air filtration and is engineered for extremely quiet operation.

The optional condensate pump and ducting kit can provide the installation flexibility necessary for almost any application.

The Santa Fe Advance2 is replacing the Santa Fe Advance (Part # 4029800), which will no longer be available as of June 3rd (warranty support will remain in place for the original Santa Fe Advance).

Visit our web site for more information on the Santa Fe Advance2 or call (800) 533-7533.

 

Moisture is the Mother of Most Biological Evils

There are many sources that can cause moisture in your home, including:

  • Plumbing, flashing, and roof leaks
  • Damp basements and crawl spaces
  • Cooking, showering, and indoor line drying of clothes
  • Humidifiers
  • Improperly vented combustion appliances and clothes dryers
  • Flooding and sewer backups
  • Poorly maintained gutters, downspouts and drains
  • Landscaping and plants that block crawl space vents and drainage systems

stack effect imagesWhile some signs of excess moisture maybe obvious, like condensation on windows, often times they are hidden in the crawl spaces and basements of the home.  This polluted air below the house will eventually move to the rest of the house, often times carrying odors, contributing to poor indoor air quality and causing uncomfortably high humidity levels.  Studies show that as much as 50 percent of the air in a home comes from these below-grade areas.

Moisture is also the fuel that feeds the fire for mold.  Mold needs water to grow – without it mold cannot grow. Mold also needs a food source and a temperature between 40 degrees and 100 degrees F.

Effects of Moisture on Your Home

wood-rotExcess moisture in your basement or crawl space can cause mold to grow. Mold can grow in or on almost anything in your home, including furniture, carpet, wood, dry wall, and insulation. Too much moisture can also cause wood to buckle, split and even rot, which may weaken the structure of your home. It can even cause peeling, chipping or cracking of paint.

Effects of Moisture on Your Health

dustmitesMold, bacteria, cockroaches, and dust mites have been linked to triggering allergies and asthma attacks and may even cause children who do not have allergies or asthma to develop either condition. Exposure can cause coughing, sneezing, wheezing, upper respiratory irritation and asthma symptoms.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s offers A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home.

Where is the Humidity Coming From in Your Basement?

High humidity levels in basements are often the result of water vapor infiltraUnfinished Basementtion through the foundation walls and the floor, and also from condensation from warmer air against cool surfaces. Because basement walls are in contact with the soil that remains at a constant temperature of 60 degrees or less, basement walls and floors tend to remain cool. Most basements will experience excessive dampness and musty odors in the shoulder seasons due to the rainfall and cool temperatures.  One of the most effective ways to control dampness and odors due to high humidity in basements is by using a dehumidifier.

Santa Fe high-capacity dehumidifiers are the most energy-efficient on the market and are designed to effectively remove excess moisture due to water vapor infiltration. Why is this important?  According to ENERGY STAR website, an ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifier removes the same amount of moisture as a similarly sized conventional unit, but uses 15% less energy. In fact, the annual energy saved by an ENERGY STAR qualified dehumidifier could power your ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator for 4 months!

The units will also help maintain the structural integrity of your home, minimize mold growth, and improve the indoor air quality of the overall home by removing odor-causing moisture.

Other Causes of Excess Moisture in Basements

  • small-rain-downspout-gutter-3642961-hMissing, broken or poorly installed gutters or downspouts
  • Poor grading around the foundation of the house that causes water to drain toward the     house rather than away
  • Clothes dryer and bathrooms not properly ventilated
  • Leaky windows
  • Cracks in the foundation or floors
  • Sump pump failures

Spring is in the Air – Time to Get Your Dehumidifier Ready for April Showers

Early Spring is always a good time to check and prepare your Santa Fe dehumidifier before the humidity season:

  • Be sure to change out the filter every 3-6 months.  A clean filter with help the dehumidifier perform efficiently and effectively and ensure that the inside of the dehumidifier stays clean; this will extend the life of your dehumidifier.
  • If your Santa Fe dehumidifier has a pre-filter, vacuum it off every 3-6 months and replace every couple of years (when it starts to breakdown).
  • Check the drain line to ensure there is nothing blocking the condensate from the dehumidifier.  If you have a condensate pump, be sure to test the pump by filling it with water to confirm the float switch is working.  It’s always a good idea to empty your condensate pump at the end of every humidity season before winter.  This will prevent any potential issues in the spring.
  • Be sure to reposition the dehumidistat / control to 50% relative humidity if it was turned off or setback before winter.
  • Be sure the intake and supply of the dehumidifier are not blocked.

Follow these simple steps every Spring to help extend the life of your Santa Fe dehumidifier and ensure effective dehumidification.