Installing a Crawlspace Dehumidifier is Easier Than it Sounds!
Have you ever installed a window air conditioner? It’s about that easy – put it in position, run your drain hose and plug it in. That’s it! For your basic installation, follow the 3 steps below. Scroll down further to see some very helpful tips for preparing your crawlspace area and installing the dehumidifier.
Place dehumidifier on wood or cement block. The reason for the block is to raise the unit up so the water can drain down through a hose. Use Adjustable feet to easily level the dehumidifier.
Take the female end of a standard garden hose and screw it onto the drain. Run the hose down and out of your crawlspace or to a pump or drain. You can purchase a condensate pump from our Buy-Now page.
Plug it in! If you purchased a condensate pump, plug that into a standard household electrical outlet.
Helpful Tips for Installing Your Dri-CrawlSpace® Dehumidifier
Check Your Plastic Vapor Barrier
Before you begin installation, it’s a good idea to double check your vapor barrier. Make certain the plastic sheeting is secured and that all vents and cracks are tightly sealed to provide effective moisture control.
What to Do With Your Crawl Space Vents
Until recently, crawlspace vents were designed to allow outside air into the crawlspace to help reduce humidity. This practice began in 1938, but is currently being phased out. Some out dated websites and contractors still repeat the fallacy that adequate venting will reduce crawlspace moisture levels. The reality is that venting will only reduce crawlspace moisture levels when the outside air is dryer than 40% Relative Humidity. Yet, in humid climates and conditions, the outside air will actually contain far more moisture than what you want in your crawlspace.
Where to Place Your Dehumidifier
When locating a spot in the crawlspace to place your dehumidifier, it is usually best to place the unit in the middle of the crawlspace. This will provide a more centralized airflow that will allow your crawlspace dehumidifier to efficiently remove the most amount of moisture. If you are using multiple units, space them apart to cover maximum area.
Raised Blocking for Proper Drainage
The next step is to determine how far off of the ground you must place the unit to allow for effective drainage. The unit must be placed higher than the drain to allow the water to flow downward and out of the crawlspace. This is referred to as a gravity drain. Depending on the depth of your crawlspace and grading, you can place the dehumidifier on cinder blocks or you may simply use the half pallet on which the unit was delivered. We do not recommend pouring water into the unit, though some people have been known to disregard our warning and remove the filter so that they may gently pour a cup of water into the styrofoam drain pan to test the effectiveness of their drain hose positioning.
Setting Up Your Drainage System
There are three ways to drain your crawlspace dehumidifier:
through the sump pump
through your existing HVAC/drainage systems
create your own drainage system
Creating your own drainage system is pretty easy. Make a hole in your vent or outside wall, just big enough for the drain hose. Be sure it drains far enough away so it cannot re-enter the crawlspace. Depending on the size of your crawlspace and drainage logistics, you may need a condensate pump with additional drain tubing. This is optional on most crawlspace dehumidifiers, and you can find them by clicking Buy-Now in the navigation above.
The final step is to make sure your crawl space dehumidifier is plugged into a properly grounded outlet. To insure smooth and safe operation, clean the dehumidifiers’ filters yearly, as recommended in your instructions.
Clean Up That Moldy, Wet Crawlspace Below Your Home
By installing your new crawlspace dehumidifier, you have not only helped protect your home from moisture damage, but you are also helping to protect the health of you and your family by improving your indoor air quality. The air beneath your home directly feeds into the air above where you live and breathe. Mold colonies beneath your home constantly release spores into the air that travel upward into your home. An effective crawlspace dehumidifier will dry out the mold colonies, causing them to fall dormant. Maintaining a dry crawlspace will also prevent new colonies from forming. Mixing bleach with water gives you a solution you can use to clean up and kill any existing mold. This is usually a good practice when installing a dehumidifier. To purchase one of our unique Dri-CrawlSpace® Dehumidifiers, go to the Buy-Now page in the top navigation.
How do you know if you even need a condensate pump? Can you get by without one? Depending on how you instal your crawlspace dehumidifier, you may or may not need a condensate pump. In many cases the condensate pump makes installation easier. Here’s why.
Much like a cold glass of water on a humid day, the cold coils in your Dri-CrawlSpace® Dehumidifier collect water vapor in the form of condensation. The condensation drips into a collection pan inside the dehumidifier. There is simply a hole at the bottom where the water drains out. Your drainage hose attaches to the hole and allows water to drain where ever you lead the hose.
You can either attach a short section of hose from the dehumidifier to your condensate pump and then a long section of hose from the pump out to a drain… or you can use no pump and run the hose directly out of your crawlspace.
Here’s the tricky part. This type of drainage, without a condensate pump is called a gravity drain and requires the hose to consistantly run downhill. There is not going to be a lot of pressure behind the water. It will merely trickle or drip out through the hose. For this reason, the hose can not be routed to go up over any obstacles. It must always travel downward on some degree of grade.
To achieve a constant downward grade requires a little planning ahead. Your crawlspace dehumidifier should be mounted up off the ground anyway, in order to catch the vapor as it rises from the ground. Then you must plan your hose route. Your hose can empty into an existing sewage drain, sump pump, or the yard (a few feet away from the house). To empty into the yard, many people drill a hole through the board used to enclose the vent. Edges between the hole and hose can be sealed with caulk. Just remember, without a pump, your hose must always follow a downward path.
Now, here’s where a condensate pump comes in handy. Sometimes there are obstacles to go over, or maybe there is no easy way to have a constant downward grade. Your pump from OscarAir can lift water up 20 feet. It comes with 20 feet of hose. That means you can route your hose up over obstacles or even up to a drain on the first floor. Use that 20 feet of hose to send condensate drainage water anywhere you want. Just get it out of your crawlspace.
Here’s how you instal your condensate pump. Locate your crawlspace dehumidifier in a central area. Set it up on cinder blocks, treated wood, or suspend it from the floor joists – whatever is stable and convenient. Cut a small section of hose to drain from the dehumidifier into the condensate pump. The pump must be below the level of the dehumidifier, because you are still using gravity to send the water into the pump. The pump has holes for mounting screws. You can mount the pump to treated wood, or set it on a brick or block – just be sure the small section of hose between the condensate pump and dehumidifier runs downward from the dehumidifier (like it shows in the picture above). Run your long section of hose anywhere necessary to send the water out. You can go to an existing drain, sump pump, out a hole in the vent, or even a drain in your utility room on the first floor.
How to control humidity in your crawlspace using our unique dehumidifier designed specifically for your crawl space.
Relative humidity level is set using the dial on the front of the dehumidifier. The dial allows you to choose settings from 1 to 5 as well as "OFF" and "CONT", which stands for continuous. Choosing off, obviously turns the unit off. Cont or Continuous turns the unit on and leaves it running constantly. Choosing a number sets the unit to cycle on and off, maintaining an approximate range of humidity.
Position of Dehumidistat Knob
Desired Relative Humidity
For example, let’s say you wish to keep your relative humidity at 50%. The closest setting on the table above is 3, which equates to 48% relative humidity. Remember, these numbers are approximate, not exact, and here’s why…
The dehumidifier’s internal humidistat measures the relative humidity. If the RH is above 48%, the compressor and fan will turn on. After the machine runs for a while and the humidity drops a few points below 48%, say about 45%, the unit will turn off. Even though the unit is turned on, it will not run again unless the RH level rises above 48%. The humidistat will monitor the RH and kick the unit back on when the RH hits a few points above 48%, about 51%. In this manner, the dehumidifier targets and maintains your desired relative humidity within a few percentage points above and below.
This way of controlling levels is a universally used technology. This is the same way all other dehumidifiers work, as well as the way your home’s thermostat controls your furnace & AC, as well as the way your oven maintains its desired cooking temperature.