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X
July 11th 03, 08:58 AM
I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air, also
does anyone have any ideas on getting rid of the musty smell?

Thanks,

Steve

Halcitron
July 11th 03, 09:20 AM
>From: (X)
>Newsgroups: misc.consumers.frugal-living
>Date: 10 Jul 2003 23:58:51 -0700

>
>
>I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
>to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
>electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air, also
>does anyone have any ideas on getting rid of the musty smell?
>
>Thanks,
>
>Steve

Use fan to circulate the air, and open a window. The musty smell is probably
mold or mildew, so a spraying of
Lysol or
a solution of rubbing alcohol and distilled water or
a 2:1 mix of hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol or
a 1:1 mix of hydrogen peroxide and distilled water or
a diluted bleach solution.

Allow to air dry 24 hours, then run the fan.

KEEP FLAMMABLES AWAY FROM OPEN FLAMES OR PILOT LIGHTS.

YMMV


caveat lector

Halcitron misc.survivalism
Check your six and know when to duck.
NRA Member since 2002
The Law of the Land, is the weapon in your hand.

Smith & Wesson starts where the Bill of Rights stop.

Halcitron
July 11th 03, 09:20 AM
>From: (X)
>Newsgroups: misc.consumers.frugal-living
>Date: 10 Jul 2003 23:58:51 -0700

>
>
>I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
>to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
>electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air, also
>does anyone have any ideas on getting rid of the musty smell?
>
>Thanks,
>
>Steve

Use fan to circulate the air, and open a window. The musty smell is probably
mold or mildew, so a spraying of
Lysol or
a solution of rubbing alcohol and distilled water or
a 2:1 mix of hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol or
a 1:1 mix of hydrogen peroxide and distilled water or
a diluted bleach solution.

Allow to air dry 24 hours, then run the fan.

KEEP FLAMMABLES AWAY FROM OPEN FLAMES OR PILOT LIGHTS.

YMMV


caveat lector

Halcitron misc.survivalism
Check your six and know when to duck.
NRA Member since 2002
The Law of the Land, is the weapon in your hand.

Smith & Wesson starts where the Bill of Rights stop.

Albert Wagner
July 11th 03, 10:37 AM
On 10 Jul 2003 23:58:51 -0700
(X) wrote:

> I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
> to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
> electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air, also
> does anyone have any ideas on getting rid of the musty smell?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Steve

Long term or short term? Several short term solutions are already
posted. Any long term solution is going to be more expensive in the
short term. The basic problem is obvious: it's a basement, underground
and probably unsealed. The dampness and mustiness are due to water:
condensation and/or leakage. Properly sealing and insulating an
underground room is expensive, especially after the fact.

Albert Wagner
July 11th 03, 10:37 AM
On 10 Jul 2003 23:58:51 -0700
(X) wrote:

> I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
> to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
> electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air, also
> does anyone have any ideas on getting rid of the musty smell?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Steve

Long term or short term? Several short term solutions are already
posted. Any long term solution is going to be more expensive in the
short term. The basic problem is obvious: it's a basement, underground
and probably unsealed. The dampness and mustiness are due to water:
condensation and/or leakage. Properly sealing and insulating an
underground room is expensive, especially after the fact.

Tomcat14
July 11th 03, 02:07 PM
(X) wrote in message >...
> I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
> to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
> electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air, also
> does anyone have any ideas on getting rid of the musty smell?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Steve

You need air movement some way or some how. Anything you can do in
that direction will help. Open windows. Open basement doors.
Experiment in how to create flow. Dehumidifiers are expensive to run.
Their efficiency can be improved by adding a fan at the opposite end
of the basement from the dehumidifier. Then you can put the
dehumidifier on a timer and run it less. However, the bottom line is
you have to get rid of the moisture and prevent mold which can be a
health issue and a value issue when you go to sell the home. Not to
scare you, but some homes have to be torn down they get so bad. Just
bite the bullet and solve the problem, working on cost reduction as
you go.

Tomcat14
July 11th 03, 02:07 PM
(X) wrote in message >...
> I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
> to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
> electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air, also
> does anyone have any ideas on getting rid of the musty smell?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Steve

You need air movement some way or some how. Anything you can do in
that direction will help. Open windows. Open basement doors.
Experiment in how to create flow. Dehumidifiers are expensive to run.
Their efficiency can be improved by adding a fan at the opposite end
of the basement from the dehumidifier. Then you can put the
dehumidifier on a timer and run it less. However, the bottom line is
you have to get rid of the moisture and prevent mold which can be a
health issue and a value issue when you go to sell the home. Not to
scare you, but some homes have to be torn down they get so bad. Just
bite the bullet and solve the problem, working on cost reduction as
you go.

Jon Elson
July 11th 03, 10:09 PM
Nick Pine wrote:

>Tomcat14 > wrote:
>
>
>
(X) wrote:
>>
>>
>
>
>
>>>I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
>>>to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
>>>electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air...?
>>>
>>>
>
>Dehumidifiers use between 1 and 2 kWh per gallon of water removed, a lot.
>This might cost $200 or more, over 3 months. As latent heat pumps, they
>also add about 60% more unwelcome heat to a house in summertime.
>
Well, we have used a standard home-size dehumidifier at times, and found no
discernable change in the electric bill. I can't imagine how one could
possibly
use $200 in 3 months, at any resonable billing rate. Assuming a removal of
3 gallons a day (that's a lot) and the above figure of KWh/Gal, that's 3
* 2 =
6 KWh per day. At 10 cents a KWh, that's 60 cents a day, or $18 a month,
running every day at that rate. I doubt these units are capable of gobbling
up electricity any faster than that. They do add some heat, but not a great
deal. Much of the energy liberated actually comes from the water vapor
in the air. Energy has to be removed from it to turn it into liquid.
But, the
air conditioner would have to do that work anyway, removing the humidity,
so it may actually make your air conditioner work better, by pulling out
the water. Get an energy efficient one, it will use less electricity.

Jon

Jon Elson
July 11th 03, 10:09 PM
Nick Pine wrote:

>Tomcat14 > wrote:
>
>
>
(X) wrote:
>>
>>
>
>
>
>>>I have a damp musty basement that I'm trying to dry out. I was going
>>>to just buy a dehumidifier, but I've found out that they use a lot of
>>>electricity. Is there a cheaper way to dry out the basement air...?
>>>
>>>
>
>Dehumidifiers use between 1 and 2 kWh per gallon of water removed, a lot.
>This might cost $200 or more, over 3 months. As latent heat pumps, they
>also add about 60% more unwelcome heat to a house in summertime.
>
Well, we have used a standard home-size dehumidifier at times, and found no
discernable change in the electric bill. I can't imagine how one could
possibly
use $200 in 3 months, at any resonable billing rate. Assuming a removal of
3 gallons a day (that's a lot) and the above figure of KWh/Gal, that's 3
* 2 =
6 KWh per day. At 10 cents a KWh, that's 60 cents a day, or $18 a month,
running every day at that rate. I doubt these units are capable of gobbling
up electricity any faster than that. They do add some heat, but not a great
deal. Much of the energy liberated actually comes from the water vapor
in the air. Energy has to be removed from it to turn it into liquid.
But, the
air conditioner would have to do that work anyway, removing the humidity,
so it may actually make your air conditioner work better, by pulling out
the water. Get an energy efficient one, it will use less electricity.

Jon

Tomcat14
July 11th 03, 11:50 PM
(Fern5827) wrote in message >...
> How about plastic sheeting over the floor?
> To act as a vapor barrier?

Here in the midwest the current recommendation is not to use a vapor
barrier below grade except over a crawl space. And there are opposing
views still.
The idea of the dew point and condensation is obviously true, but is
overcome if there is enough air flow. My brother has an old porch in
Detroit that is built over a low, generally muddy area. The paint
would constantly peel and the wood wanted to rot. Just a few of those
round vent holes in the outside edges have prevented all the peeling.

Tomcat14
July 11th 03, 11:50 PM
(Fern5827) wrote in message >...
> How about plastic sheeting over the floor?
> To act as a vapor barrier?

Here in the midwest the current recommendation is not to use a vapor
barrier below grade except over a crawl space. And there are opposing
views still.
The idea of the dew point and condensation is obviously true, but is
overcome if there is enough air flow. My brother has an old porch in
Detroit that is built over a low, generally muddy area. The paint
would constantly peel and the wood wanted to rot. Just a few of those
round vent holes in the outside edges have prevented all the peeling.

Nick Pine
July 12th 03, 02:22 PM
Jon Elson > wrote:

>>Dehumidifiers use between 1 and 2 kWh per gallon of water removed, a lot.
>>This might cost $200 or more, over 3 months. As latent heat pumps, they
>>also add about 60% more unwelcome heat to a house in summertime.
>>
>Well, we have used a standard home-size dehumidifier at times, and found no
>discernable change in the electric bill.

Perhaps you haven't looked closely for that.

>I can't imagine how one could possibly use $200 in 3 months, at any
>resonable billing rate.

I'm thinking about our church. One member seems to believe it will fall down
unless we run a dehumidifier 24 hours a day all summer, and we pay something
like 20 cents/kWh with a demand meter. Amana's 40 pint per day unit uses 660
watts. They have bigger ones.

>They do add some heat, but not a great deal.

The one above might add 24hx660W (15.8 kWh or 54K Btu/day) plus 40K Btu
more from condensing water, a total of 94K Btu, which is like burning
a gallon of oil in the house every day in summertime. Removing that heat
with an AC with a COP of 3 would take about 94K/3/3.41 = 9.2 kWh/day more.
Run both, and use 25 kWh/day or 750 kWh/month, about $75 at 10 cents/kWh.

>Much of the energy liberated actually comes from the water vapor in the air.
>Energy has to be removed from it to turn it into liquid.

....which heats the air in the house.

>But, the air conditioner would have to do that work anyway, removing the
>humidity, so it may actually make your air conditioner work better, by
>pulling out the water.

It's more efficient to just use the AC, and dump all the compressor power
and latent heat outdoors, or run a whole house fan on a dry night. It seems
to me these happen often enough where I live that dehum isn't needed. Neither
is AC, on hot days following cool nights. Grainger's 20" $183 3C614 whole
house window fan moves 8900 cfm (668 lb/m) of air with 180 W. At 70 F and
50% RH, that air might remove 0.00788x668 = 5 pounds of water per minute or
40 pints in 8 minutes, using 24 Wh of electricity worth 0.24 cents.

Nick

Nick Pine
July 12th 03, 02:22 PM
Jon Elson > wrote:

>>Dehumidifiers use between 1 and 2 kWh per gallon of water removed, a lot.
>>This might cost $200 or more, over 3 months. As latent heat pumps, they
>>also add about 60% more unwelcome heat to a house in summertime.
>>
>Well, we have used a standard home-size dehumidifier at times, and found no
>discernable change in the electric bill.

Perhaps you haven't looked closely for that.

>I can't imagine how one could possibly use $200 in 3 months, at any
>resonable billing rate.

I'm thinking about our church. One member seems to believe it will fall down
unless we run a dehumidifier 24 hours a day all summer, and we pay something
like 20 cents/kWh with a demand meter. Amana's 40 pint per day unit uses 660
watts. They have bigger ones.

>They do add some heat, but not a great deal.

The one above might add 24hx660W (15.8 kWh or 54K Btu/day) plus 40K Btu
more from condensing water, a total of 94K Btu, which is like burning
a gallon of oil in the house every day in summertime. Removing that heat
with an AC with a COP of 3 would take about 94K/3/3.41 = 9.2 kWh/day more.
Run both, and use 25 kWh/day or 750 kWh/month, about $75 at 10 cents/kWh.

>Much of the energy liberated actually comes from the water vapor in the air.
>Energy has to be removed from it to turn it into liquid.

....which heats the air in the house.

>But, the air conditioner would have to do that work anyway, removing the
>humidity, so it may actually make your air conditioner work better, by
>pulling out the water.

It's more efficient to just use the AC, and dump all the compressor power
and latent heat outdoors, or run a whole house fan on a dry night. It seems
to me these happen often enough where I live that dehum isn't needed. Neither
is AC, on hot days following cool nights. Grainger's 20" $183 3C614 whole
house window fan moves 8900 cfm (668 lb/m) of air with 180 W. At 70 F and
50% RH, that air might remove 0.00788x668 = 5 pounds of water per minute or
40 pints in 8 minutes, using 24 Wh of electricity worth 0.24 cents.

Nick

Robert F Wieland
July 13th 03, 11:28 PM
In article >,
Nick Pine > wrote:
[snip]
>
> The one above might add 24hx660W (15.8 kWh or 54K Btu/day) plus 40K Btu
> more from condensing water, a total of 94K Btu, which is like burning a

Not exactly. That 40K BTU released when the vapor condensed in the
dehumidifier is matched by the 40K BTU absorbed when the liquid water
evaportated from the basement walls/floor; that 40K BTU is a wash.
You're right about the 54K BTU, but all your results here are too high by
a factor of (40+54)/54=1.74.

[bigger snip]
--

R F Wieland Newark, DE 19711-5323 USA 39.68N 75.74W
Icom R75 Heathkit GR-81 Inverted-L in the attic
Reply to wieland at me dot udel dot edu

Robert F Wieland
July 13th 03, 11:28 PM
In article >,
Nick Pine > wrote:
[snip]
>
> The one above might add 24hx660W (15.8 kWh or 54K Btu/day) plus 40K Btu
> more from condensing water, a total of 94K Btu, which is like burning a

Not exactly. That 40K BTU released when the vapor condensed in the
dehumidifier is matched by the 40K BTU absorbed when the liquid water
evaportated from the basement walls/floor; that 40K BTU is a wash.
You're right about the 54K BTU, but all your results here are too high by
a factor of (40+54)/54=1.74.

[bigger snip]
--

R F Wieland Newark, DE 19711-5323 USA 39.68N 75.74W
Icom R75 Heathkit GR-81 Inverted-L in the attic
Reply to wieland at me dot udel dot edu

Nick Pine
July 14th 03, 12:04 PM
Robert F Wieland > wrote:

>> The one above might add 24hx660W (15.8 kWh or 54K Btu/day) plus 40K Btu
>> more from condensing water, a total of 94K Btu...

>Not exactly. That 40K BTU released when the vapor condensed in the
>dehumidifier is matched by the 40K BTU absorbed when the liquid water
>evaportated from the basement walls/floor; that 40K BTU is a wash...

Maybe not, if it evaportates from the basement floor and
cools the earth without cooling the house. Moist air that
enters the basement and condenses on walls also adds heat.

Nick

Nick Pine
July 14th 03, 12:04 PM
Robert F Wieland > wrote:

>> The one above might add 24hx660W (15.8 kWh or 54K Btu/day) plus 40K Btu
>> more from condensing water, a total of 94K Btu...

>Not exactly. That 40K BTU released when the vapor condensed in the
>dehumidifier is matched by the 40K BTU absorbed when the liquid water
>evaportated from the basement walls/floor; that 40K BTU is a wash...

Maybe not, if it evaportates from the basement floor and
cools the earth without cooling the house. Moist air that
enters the basement and condenses on walls also adds heat.

Nick

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