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Q & A: How to dry basement air?

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Most recent answer: 09/11/2014
Hello I am building a house in belgium with a basement. This basement has reinforced concrete walls of 40cm thick. I hear from other people who have a similar basement that they have a lot of condensation on the floor and walls of the basement in the summer months. I suppose this is because of the high humidity during the summer. The hot summer air contains a lot of moist, it enters the basement through the ventilation holes, it cools off there and the moist sticks to the concrete. I was wondering about the following: Could it be helpful to connect long pipes to the ventilation holes that are burried into the ground, so that the air that comes into my basement from outside has to travel (and cool off!) below the ground first (in the long tubes) and leaves the moist behind? How long and how deep below the ground would the tubes need to be? Thanks in advance for your insights.
- Joeri (age 26)

That's an interesting idea. I'm familiar with the basement moisture problem, which leads to a lot of mold. I think it may not be especially practical because the long underground pipes would collect the condensed water vapor, might get moldy, corrode, etc. 

One solution is to simply run dehumidifiers in the basement, letting the water go out a drain. That works but is energy-inefficient.  I'm considering putting in a new hybrid water heater. These pump heat from the basement into the hot water tank. The cold external coils serve as a basement dehumidifier. This process combines energy efficiency and the extra benefit of dehumidification.

Mike W.

(published on 09/11/2014)

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