Save Your Hardwood Flooring!

Most homeowners know that purchasing and installing hardwood flooring can cost a pretty penny. And if you’re lucky, you may find some nice hardwood under the carpets of your home to refinish.

I was recently asked by a friend to look at their damaged hardwood flooring. Unfortunately, due to having a vented crawl space their floors they were cupping quite badly.  Cupping occurs when the sides of hardwood flooring are higher than the center of the board giving it a concave shape.

There are many reasons why floors cup. It may be from moisture damage due to the air inside the home being too humid. But in this cause it was due to the vented crawlspace under the floors.  It was allowing very wet air to move from the crawlspace up through the floors into the home. This is called “Stack Effect”.

To prevent this from happening it is recommended to keep your crawlspace below 60% relative humidity by encapsulating it. The first step is to seal all penetrations from the crawlspace to the home and from the outside into the crawlspace in order to prevent humid air from infiltrating into these areas. Then a high-quality vapor barrier is laid on the floor and sealed to the walls of the crawl space.  Once that has been done a dual-exhaust Santa Fe dehumidifier is installed to ensure humidity is controlled at all times.

 

How Does a Dehumidifier Control Moisture?

Santa Fe dehumidifiers are designed to control humidity in basements, crawl spaces and other inside spaces.  By controlling the moisture in these spaces there is a reduced risk of health problems, comfort issues and property damage.  But how does it work? Let’s take a closer look at the internal workings of the Santa Fe Advance2 dehumidifier.

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Humid air is pulled  into the dehumidifier and passes through a MERV-8 filter. The Santa Fe Advance2 uses a high-efficiency filter that captures small particles in the air. The humid air then passes over a cold evaporator coil where moisture in the air condenses. The condensed water drops into the drain pan and runs out of the dehumidifier through the drain tube.  The cold, dry air then moves over the condenser coil where it is slightly heated. Dry air is supplied to the basement or crawl space through the dual outlets.

How a Santa Fe Dehumidifier Works

Santa Fe’s free-standing dehumidifiers are powerful enough to control humidity in basements, crawl spaces and other inside spaces. By controlling the moisture in these areas there is a reduced risk of health problems, comfort issues and property damage.

Dehumidifiers regulate humidity by removing moisture from the air; creating living conditions that are comfortable and inhospitable to dust mites, mold and other allergens. This is how dehumidification works. First, the humid air is returned into the dehumidifier through the air filter. After the air passes through this high-efficiency air filter, it then passes over the evaporator coil. The cold surface combined with the humid air forces water to come out through condensation. This water drops into the drain pan and runs out of the dehumidifier through the drain tube. The now cold dry air goes over the condenser coils and is heated, and the warm dry air is now supplied to the basement or crawl space.

There are also products in the Santa Fe line that contain patented air to air heat exchanging technology and dual exhaust, which allows for higher capacity and efficiency, as well as flexible installation options. For more detailed information on the Santa Fe product line, check out our product comparison chart.

What Causes Condensation in Crawlspaces and Basements?

In many parts of the country during the spring, summer and fall months, warm, moist air enters the vented crawlspace from the outside and condenses on the cooler surfaces of the walls, floor and ductwork. These cooler surfaces are created within the crawlspace or basement by it being partially or entirely underground and shaded – much like a cave!

DP_condensation_arrows• If the Dew Point (DP) temperature is ABOVE the surface temperature,
condensation will occur.
• If the Dew Point (DP) temperature is BELOW the surface temperature,
there will be no condensation.

SF_condensation_infographCondensation Contributes To:

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

How do I prevent condensation?

Santa_Fe_Advance2-1Santa Fe offers a full line of dehumidifiers to help prevent condensation in these spaces. Several of the units feature dual exhaust to provide optimal airflow. This airflow helps prevent spot condensate, and in combination with the dehumidification, protects crawlspaces and basements.

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

Video

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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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.

Santa Fe Impact – Most Energy Efficient Dehumidifier in the World

The Santa Fe Impact is specifically designed to dramatically impact the moisture in your crawlspace/basement, your energy bills and the environment.

It is the most energy efficient dehumidifier on the market – exceeding Energy Star® standards by 50 percent. The Santa Fe Impact removes up to 105 pints of water a day while using an unprecedented 4.9 amps (8.8 pints per Kilowatt hour). It effectively dehumidifies up to 2,500 square feet and is the ideal free-standing dehumidifier for meeting aggressive energy use targets. The unit is engineered for extreme quiet operation and is optimized for low heat load. Optional condensate pump and ducting kits provide the installation flexibility necessary for the most challenging applications.