Monday, July 2, 2012

Dehumidify your basement for "free".

After visiting with one of my regular customers this morning, I realized he had a little dehumidifier running non-stop in his basement trying to keep the musty smell at bay and the humidity low. I asked him, if he knew how much that cost in electricity to keep running like that? As most people do, he gave me a weird look, followed by a shrug. So my explanation went as follows: "A dehumidifier is nothing more than a mini air conditioner. It removes humidity from your home in the same manner your central air conditioner does. It has a compressor and a combo condenser fan motor and blower motor. It too cost a decent amount of money to operate. To the tune of about $26.00 a month!" "Well, it doesn't matter because we cant stand the musty smell and our kids sleep sometimes down there", he said. "What if there was a way you can achieve the same, if not better no additional cost?", I asked. Then I got the "deer in the headlights look". Here's the tip: If you were to cut a 4"x10" damper into the return side of your duct system, and let the furnace pull the damp air through the evaporator coil, while your air conditioner is running, what additional cost is there? A damper can be purchased at a big box store for around $3.00. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, hire a contractor. My company, Thermo Green, charges only $65.00 for this service including the damper. In a few months this upgrade will pay for itself in energy savings and continue to put money, otherwise spent on electric, back into your wallet. By using a "damper/register", you have the freedom of closing it off whenever you want. The only safety issue involved with this type of modification, is to make sure where you cut into the return duct is at a minimum of 20 feet from the furnace. If it is closer, you run the risk of pulling combustion air and exhaust from the burners. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

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