1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

December 26, 2008

:361 Dehumidifiers

Filed under: :361 Dehumidifiers — Tags: , , , , , , — John Banta @ 5:07 am

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:361 EcoTip: A dehumidifier can help manage moisture levels – but make sure you choose an energy saving unit that will work in the desired temperature range. Many consumer grade dehumidifiers waste lots of energy and don’t work well at temperatures less than 65 degrees F.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :360

A client of mine had a wet unconditioned basement. He installed a dehumidifier to help take care of the excess moisture, but found in spite of the unit running 24 hours a day – it wasn’t lowering the humidity and things were getting moldy. When I inspected his basement I found the temperature was around 50 degrees F and unit was frozen up and unable to remove the elevated levels of moisture that were present. Mold was growing on the things that were stored in the basement. I found that the unit he had purchased had an optimal operating temperature around 68 degrees and was not rated to operate at the colder basement temperatures. There are molds that can grow at temperatures all the way down to freezing (although slowly).

Additional information is available at the EPA’s EnergyStar website: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=dehumid.pr_basics_dehumidifiers

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December 25, 2008

:360 Condensation Control

Take the 1:5:10:365 challenge: Do one thing – for 5 to 10 minutes – 365 days a year to make our home and planet environment better.

1:5:10:360 EcoTip: Condensation on cold surfaces can be eliminated by reducing the humidity. Reducing the humidity lowers the dew point temperature. By lowering the dew point temperature below the temperature of the coldest surface condensation can be eliminated.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :359

Humidity can be lowered by reducing the amount of moisture that is going into the air. Ventilating cooking, laundry and bathroom moisture to the outside can help. If moisture is entering the building from the outside – for example through a concrete slab or from outdoor elevated humidity, then dehumidification may be needed in the winter.

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January 10, 2008

:010 Water Damage

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip.

1:5:10:010 Tip: There are many ways that buildings can become water damaged. Few situations will ever be as extreme as when levees broke after hurricane Katrina.

When water damage does occur it is important to get a specialist in water damage involved as quickly as possible to help return the building to a safe and habitable condition and prevent mold growth. Just because materials feel dry to the touch doesn’t mean they are. Moisture meter measurements are the only way to be sure of what is going on below the surface. The time to learn what to do when a pipe breaks or a tree-limb comes crashing through the roof during a rain storm is – before it happens! Of course prevention is best, but accidents still happen.

FEMA tells us that a quarter of buildings that get flooded from disasters are located in areas that were not deemed to be prone to flooding. So if you don’t know what to do when water strikes, you should spend another 5 minutes reviewing some basic information below.

18094new-orleans-la-august-30-2005-neighborhoods-throughout-the-city-are-flooded-as-a-result-of-hurricane-katrina-jocelyn-augustinofema.jpg

New Orleans after Katrina, credit: Jocelyn Augustino –  FEMA

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Additional Information

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification www.iicrc.org is the place to go for flood damage restoration company referrals. They have tips for minimizing post flood damage at http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/water_damage.shtml

http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/ts_storm-damage-restoration.shtml

http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/ts_flood_damage.shtml

Listed companies must promise to abide by the IICRC’s code of ethics and be insured.

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You can read more information about preparing and protecting your home from floods and other extreme weather events in my new book Extreme Weather Hits Home Protecting Your Buildings From Climate Change. Published by New Society Publications. www.extremeweatherhitshome.com

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