An important function of a central cooling system is to dehumidify your home. If you have a central cooling system that doesn’t serve your entire home, the areas not covered will have higher humidity levels. You won’t have a problem if the space is well ventilated and otherwise free of unusual moisture infiltration. A common area of concern for our customers is the basement. Basements converted to living spaces are of particular concern because without ventilation and air conditioning the air is stagnant. Humidity levels are high and can be exacerbated by leaky foundation walls and crawl spaces without a vapor barrier. Adverse effects of elevated humidity include mold, odors, dampness, moisture on walls, floors, and windows as well as providing an ideal environment for the propagation of dust mites and allergens.
For basements that are humid but otherwise dry, we recommend installing a ductless split system. Sized properly it can heat, cool and dehumidify the space. Coupled with a fresh air ventilator a ductless system will make your basement a fresh and healthy space for you and your family. Systems are quiet and efficient without breaking the budget and are eligible PSEG rebate.
Basements with serious issues such as water leakage may need a multilateral approach. Problems like outside grade, rainwater management, foundation cracks and leaking window wells should be evaluated. Consider a dedicated ducted dehumidifier to maintain normal levels after remediation, or adding a heat/cool system coupled with automatic fresh air ventilation.
If your basement is an enhanced living space complete with expensive millwork, furnishings and even a basketball court you need to pay particular attention to humidity levels. Failure to do so can result in buckling floors and moving/cracking millwork. BEM can install an integrated HVAC system complete with dehumidification and humidification to protect your investment.