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Ken's Weekly E-Tip: Dehumidifier Alternatives

Recent sultry weather has given rise to higher electric bills. Part of energy cost increase has been attributable to dehumidifier use. Here are some other options that may help lessen your electric costs in place of using a dehumidifier.

 

Vents  

If your basement or crawl space does not already have vents, you can install them to take care of many moisture problems. Some modern basements are equipped with thermal seals instead of vents, but these seals can still allow moisture problems that vents can take care of. If your house already has foundation vents, check them to make sure they are not blocked. Foundation vents should be blocked in the winter to keep heat in and opened in the spring to let moisture out.

If you already have vents and they are not helping, consider adding more or enlarging the vents that you have. This option will be less expensive than installing a permanent dehumidifier. Wider vents leads to increased airflow and allow the moisture in the basement to escape more easily. Contact a contractor or construction specialist to make sure any vent changes are within building code and do not harm your foundation integrity.

 

Absorbents          

Calcium chloride is a salt crystal that works great as a moisture absorbent. It is also used in many winter de-ice products. Hardware and home-improvement stores now sell calcium chloride-based products meant to be used as an alternative to dehumidifiers. Set the calcium chloride in containers in particularly damp rooms and it will absorb water in the air, turning the crystals to brine. The brine may be dumped down the toilet (it is septic safe). A warning: Calcium chloride can be dangerous to swallow, so must be kept out of reach of small children and pets.

 

The Air-Dryr 1000          

Davis Instruments offers the Air-Dryr as an alternative device that uses warm air to remove moisture for a third the cost of a dehumidifier. Air-Dryr 1000 is UL listed and handles up to 1,000 cubic feet of living space. It can be a good moisture removing solution in conjunction with absorbents for basement areas over 1,000 cubic feet.

 

Earn $50 Bill Credit

Let CEC install a load control device on your own electric water heater and earn a $50 one-time bill credit and a monthly $2.50 bill credit. Call 800-521-0570 x2195 to learn more. Members having a water heater installed by the cooperative are not eligible for the credits.

 

Twitter and Load Control  

Participants in our load control program for electric heat and water heaters can find out when and how long control periods are predicted by logging onto www.central.coop and clicking our Twitter logo. Please remember these are only predictions and actual times may vary.

 

Ideas?

If you have any ideas for future E-Tip topics, email me at kmaleski@central.coop.

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