You may be surprised to discover that running a dehumidifier in winter could be helpful—yes, you read that right! While many of us associate humidity as an issue for the warmer months in the Midwest, there are several reasons why running a dehumidifier in your basement during the winter could be beneficial. (Of course, dry air is also still a big issue throughout the winter, so there are plenty of circumstances where a humidifier will also benefit your home’s air quality.)

Your basement has very little exposure to heat and sunlight from the outside, making it the perfect breeding ground for moisture-related issues and damages. As experts in indoor air quality and all things HVAC, we’ll outline why you should consider running a dehumidifier in your basement. 

Reduce Condensation and Moisture Issues

During the winter, the temperature difference between the inside of your warm home and the cold exterior can lead to condensation on windows and walls. This condensation can also form in your basement, especially if it’s not well insulated. A dehumidifier can help remove excess moisture, preventing condensation and the potential for mold growth.

Maintain Comfort

Your dehumidifier and furnace work well together to keep your home comfortable in the winter. High humidity levels can make your home feel colder than it actually is. By running a dehumidifier, you can potentially maintain a more cozy indoor environment and potentially reduce your heating costs.

Prevent Mold and Mildew

If you have an underground basement, it can be even more susceptible to moisture problems because it lacks natural ventilation. Increased moisture in the winter can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can cause health issues and damage to your home. Running a dehumidifier in your basement throughout the winter could reduce moisture and limit the spread of mold and mildew.

Protect Your Belongings

Your basement is a great place to store holiday decorations, furniture, seasonal clothing, and more—unless there’s lots of moisture. If you don’t maintain proper humidity levels in your basement with a dehumidifier, excess moisture could damage the items you have stored there.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

High humidity levels can contribute to poor indoor air quality by promoting mold growth, dust mites, and other allergens. Reducing humidity levels with a dehumidifier can improve the air quality in your home and create a healthier living environment.

Prevent Structural Damage

Over time, increased moisture in your basement can lead to structural damage, such as rotting wood, crumbling concrete, and foundation issues. Controlling humidity levels with a dehumidifier could help protect the structural integrity of your home.

Things to Consider Before Turning on Your Dehumidifier

Before you turn on your dehumidifier this winter, there are a few things to consider. First, check your home’s humidity levels—the ideal range is 30%-45% relative humidity. If your home—including the basement—is in desperate need of more humidity, your dehumidifier may not be a great idea.

The need for your dehumidifier will also depend on your lifestyle and home environment. Humidity can vary depending on how many people you have living in your home. The more people the more humidity is created through showers, doing the dishes, etc. Also, if you’re a plant-lover, those can be a factor in overall humidity.

Consider the weather, how often your furnace has to run, and how old your home is as well. Newer homes contain more humidity from the construction process and the new concrete, wood, paint, stains, etc. This humidity slowly dries out over the years.

Get More Heating Tips from Wyckoff

We all know how long, harsh, and expensive winters can be here in the Midwest. At Wyckoff, we aim to make your life a little easier when it comes to heating your home and boosting your indoor air quality. If you have more questions about whether you should be running your humidifier or dehumidifier this winter, give us a call! And when you have heating emergencies this winter, we’re ready to help.