Will A Dehumidifier In The Basement Help The Whole House? [Solved]

People always run a dehumidifier in the basement because it is the most humid place in the house. Undoubtedly, it can help keep the basement dry, but will it help the whole house?

Yes, a dehumidifier in the basement can help the whole house.  It can keep mold and mildew from spreading throughout the house, improve structural safety, and lower humidity levels upstairs.

The dampness in the basement is frequently overlooked, but it can have a wide-ranging impact on you and your entire house. Let’s look at how a dehumidifier can help with it.

Causes of dampness in basements

dampness in basement

While most of us had experienced the moist air in the basement, not everyone understood its cause. In fact, many factors can result in it. 

Lower temperature than other rooms

Due to the physics, the hot air rises while the cold air sinks. That’s why the basements feel cooler than other rooms. 

Since colder air is not able to hold as much moisture as hot air, it is more susceptible to condensation. When the moisture in the basement turns to liquid, it becomes a breeding ground for mold and dust mites.

Moisture outside seeps into the basement

The basement is the place that is closest to the underground water. The rainwater is accumulated around it. The moisture in the soil can seep into the room from the walls and floors. If you have an unfinished basement, this problem can get worse.

In addition, concrete and concrete block foundations usually develop some cracks. This allows water from outside to enter the basement more easily.

Moisture from the dryer or other appliances.

Many people prefer to use their basements as laundry rooms. Moisture will enter the atmosphere if the dryer is not vented.

If you have a bathroom in the basement, the indoor humidity level will rise as well.

Water leaks

There are many pipes and ducts around the basement. Over time, they can cause leakage, which will result in rotting and mold growth in the end. 

If you notice other rooms of your house are humid, you can check this post to see the causes and risks. 

Can a damp basement affect the upstairs?

Many people are aware of the dangers of high humidity in the basement, such as mold growth, allergic reactions, sleep disorders, and swelling and rotting furniture, but they ignore it because they rarely use basements.

This is a definite “no-no.” Although you may not notice any symptoms right now, dampness in your basement can eventually affect the upstairs and the entire house. Sometimes you don’t even realize it’s because of your wet basement.

The moisture can go upstairs

The warm air will escape from the upper part of the house, and there should be new air to supplement it. This creates a suction effect which can draw the air from the basement or crawl spaces upward to the first floor and then get into the second floor. 

As a result, the moisture will also rise upstairs, affecting the moisture level of your entire house.

Mold can spread everywhere

Mold spores can travel upstairs easily. They can creep into the upstairs through crevices. In addition, whenever you open the door, they will disperse into the room upwards. Besides, you can carry them on your feet, shoes, or clothes. They’ll look for a new place to live and begin wreaking havoc upstairs.

Structure damage

High humidity can cause wood to swell and warp, promoting the growth of wood-decay fungus and bugs. If your house has wooden frames, they will rot and split over time, causing structural damage and putting you in danger.

In a nutshell, dampness in the basement can cause an increase in humidity and mold growth upstairs. As a result, you should control the indoor air quality and humidity level in the basement.

Why does a dehumidifier in the basement help the whole house?

why a dehumidifier in basement can benefit upstairs

Up till now, you understand why combating the dampness in your basement is essential for your whole house.

Because a dehumidifier is proven to be an effective way to remove excess moisture, using it in a basement should be helpful for the entire home. 

By running a dehumidifier in the basement, it can keep the humidity in control. Condensation will not form, mold will not be able to grow and thrive, and there will be no excess water vapor that can rise upstairs. Mold spores can no longer travel with you once you leave the basement.

Note that the disadvantage of a dehumidifier is that it can only address the symptoms. If you want to keep the humidity issue at bay forever, you need to find the root causes.

How about a whole-house dehumidifier?

Instead of running a portable dehumidifier in a basement, installing a whole-house model may be a better choice for your entire house. 

A whole-house dehumidifier has a large capacity, meaning it can remove more pints of water per day. As an add-on to your HVAC system, it is capable of controlling the humidity level in every room. 

This way, regardless of which room you choose to stay in, you can live in a comfortable environment. Mold spores have nowhere to grow because everything is within the ideal humidity range.

Nevertheless, the cost of a whole-house dehumidifier is high, which could be problematic for many of us. 


Using a dehumidifier in the basement is common since it is often the wettest place in the house.

You may reap more benefits than you expect because it can not only control the humidity in your basement but also benefit your entire house.

The moisture in the basement can migrate upstairs, and mold spores can spread throughout the house. Furthermore, water vapor, fungi, and insects can deteriorate the wooden structure, jeopardizing your home’s safety. These issues can be effectively addressed by using a dehumidifier.

Instead of using a portable unit, consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier that can control the humidity throughout the house.

About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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