A key factor to consider when choosing a dehumidifier is the amount of air movement needed to distribute the air throughout the entire crawl space. Most freestanding dehumidifiers tend to recirculate the air immediately surrounding it creating a zone of warm, lower RH% air. This tends to lead to short cycling of the dehumidifier, making it inefficient to operate and delivering poor moisture removal.
Goal of Encapsulating a Crawl Space
The goal of encapsulating and conditioning a crawl space is to protect the building structure within and above the crawl space. To do this:
- Supply the dehumidifier air to all of the exposed building structure components in the crawl space to prevent degradation. You want the structure components to yield excess moisture to the crawlspace air. You want the surfaces of the structural components to remain dry.
- Operate the dehumidifier efficiently and effectively while removing moisture to maintain and protect the structural components without consuming excess energy.
- Prevent condensation in cold spots by providing a uniform temperature. The more uniform the structural component temperatures, less moisture must be removed and less energy used to condition the space.
- Any liquid water which enters the crawl space (rain, leaks) needs to quickly evaporate and be removed by the dehumidifier.
Air movement throughout the space is important and will enhance all of these points. Air movement breaks down boundary layers at surfaces, promotes air mixing, reduces stagnant micro-environments, and help convect heat energy to the structural components you want to protect
All Santa Fe Dehumidifiers feature patented dual exhaust (except the smallest Compact2) that is specifically designed to provide the optimal amount of airflow in a crawl space. The powerful dual exhaust improves air circulation throughout the entire space allowing the maximum amount of air to be treated in the shortest time. Dual exhaust dehumidifiers are recommended for all crawl space applications.