Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | Santa Fe & Ultra Aire Dehumidifiers
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Frequently Asked Questions


Dehumidification can be complicated. So if you have a question, we’re pretty sure to have an answer. Because as the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as a dumb question.

How do dehumidifiers work?

Dehumidifiers regulate humidity by removing moisture from the air to create living spaces that are comfortable for people and inhospitable to dust mites, mold and other allergens.

What is the most common problem in basements?

Moisture is the most common problem in basements. Excess moisture leads to mold growth, and mold growth leads to property damage, bad indoor air quality, increased odors from off-gassing of mold spores, and damage to items stored in the basement.

Why do I need to control moisture in my crawl space?

Excess moisture, introduced by way of unsealed, vented crawl spaces, contributes to wood rot, mold growth and increased pest activity, including infestation and colonization. Moisture in crawl spaces often migrates to the upper levels of the home through a “stack effect.”

Why should I buy a Santa Fe dehumidifier?

Energy Efficient. Large capacity. Commercial quality. Designed to show moisture who’s boss. Reliability. Superior Filtration (MERV-13). These are the reason you can’t go wrong with buying a Santa Fe dehumidifier. Oh, and an industry-leading warranty.

Where do musty odors in my home come from?

Musty odors are typically a result of high humidity levels in the crawl space and basement. This polluted air below the house will eventually move to the rest of the house, carrying musty odors and other contaminates. Specifically, musty odors in your home come from the off-gassing of mold spores when they feed on organic materials. Solve the moisture problem and you will solve your mold problem.

How does wood rot occur in a home?

Wood rot in floor joists and support piers occurs when the moisture content is above the fiber saturation point, which is about 27-28% wood moisture content.

What pests cause damage to a home?

The top 8 common pests that can cause damage to a home are: termites, carpenter ants, powder post beetles (aka powder beetles), carpet beetles, cigarette beetles, grain weevils, house mice, and Norway rats.

Does poor air quality affect your health?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, health problems associated with poor indoor air quality include eye irritation, allergies, headaches and respiratory problems such as asthma. These problems can be directly related to the presence of mold and dust mite infestation in the home. One of the recognized solutions to addressing these health issues is effective moisture control.

Can I have high humidity in my home?

High humidity can greatly affect your comfort by causing you to feel either hot and sticky or cold and clammy, especially in your basement, while also contributing to smelly, musty odors in the home. Musty odors come from off-gassing of mold spores when they feed on organic materials. Solve the moisture problem and you will move your mold problem.

Are Santa Fe dehumidifiers energy efficient?

All Santa Fe dehumidifiers exceed Department of Energy standards. When you see our logos, you know that you are purchasing a dehumidifier with superior energy efficiency that will help you save money. Our dehumidifiers are built to remove more moisture using the same amount of energy as conventional units.

Where does moisture in a home come from?

There are three main sources of moisture in your home: the first source is leaks, the second is diffusion through materials, and the third is internally generated moisture.

What is stack effect?

Stack effect is the movement of warm, dry air rising and escaping through the upper levels of the home and cooler, wet air finding its way into the lower levels in order for the home to equalize.

What factors should be considered when choosing the capacity of a dehumidifier?

The number one factor to consider when choosing how many pints of water removal you will need for your space is infiltration from the ground below and the air outside – experts say about 95% of the moisture entering a building enters through air infiltration. It’s also important to make sure your basement or crawl space is sealed, as this also is factored in the total size of a space.

Why is air movement important?

Air movement breaks down boundary layers at surfaces, promotes air mixing, reduces stagnant micro-environments and helps convert heat energy to the structural components you want to protect.

What is the Psychrometric Calculator App?

Our Psychrometric Calculator app provides quick and easy access to calculations such as relative humidity, dew point, grains per pound and dehumidifier performance.

What does the Santa Fe six-year warranty cover?

Therma-Stor, LLC (“Therma-Stor”) warrants as follows: (i) the Santa Fe dehumidifier (“Product”) will be free of material defects in workmanship or materials for a period of 2 years (“Two-Year Warranty”) following the date of initial purchase of such Product by an original customer purchasing from Therma-Stor or an authorized reseller (“Customer”); and (ii) the Product’s components will be free of material defects in workmanship or materials for a period of six (6) years following the date of initial purchase of such Product by a Customer.

Why ventilate?

The purpose of ventilating a home is to maintain a healthy and safe living environment.

The reason for the buildup of indoor pollution in today’s homes is a direct result of our efforts to conserve energy and save money. As the techniques and materials used to insulate and seal our homes has improved, the result is stale and polluted air trapped inside.

Common sources of indoor airborne contaminants include:

  • Chemicals used in the construction or renovation of buildings
  • Appliances that burn gas
  • Wood-burning stoves and fireplaces
  • Pets
  • Off-gassing of furniture, cabinets, flooring, and countertops
  • Infiltration of ozone, pollen, and molds from the outside
  • People
  • Cleaning supplies

What is air exchange? Why is it important?

The rate at which outdoor air replaces indoor air is described as the air exchange rate. When there is little ventilation, natural or mechanical, the air exchange rate is low and pollutant levels can increase.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Unless they are built with means of mechanical ventilation, homes that are designed and constructed to minimize the amount of outdoor air that can leak into and out of the home may have higher pollutant levels than other homes. However, because some weather conditions can drastically reduce the amount of outdoor air that enters a home, pollutants can build up even in homes that are normally considered leaky.”

What is relative humidity?

Relative humidity (RH) is the amount of water vapor in the air, expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount of water that the air can hold at a given temperature.

Due to temperature variations, RH can vary dramatically. In fact, it is not uncommon to find summertime RH levels ranging from 50% to 100% in the same home. Warmer air holds more water than cooler air and for every one degree change in temperature, the RH changes by about 2%.

Let’s assume you live in a house with a basement.  If the main floor is 77°, the basement temperature may only be 67°. Even though there is only a 10° temperature difference, there is a 21% difference in RH. Because the basement temperature is closer to the 62° dew point, it will likely feel damp as well.

Homes built on a slab have a similar problem. Though the room temperature may be 77°, the temperature on the slab is much cooler. As the slab temperature approaches the dew point temperature, RH rises and condensation can form. When this occurs, mold, mildew, and other biological growth soon follows.

Other symptoms of high humidity include:

  • Musty odors
  • Allergic reactions to mold or dust mites
  • Cupped wood floors
  • Feeling sticky or clammy
  • Visible condensation or water stains
  • Peeling wallpaper or blistering paint

What Is an ideal home RH?

The EPA recommends an ideal relative humidity between 35% – 50%. In order to maintain this level, a specialized high capacity dehumidifier is typically required as most air conditioners and conventional dehumidifiers are not designed to consistently achieve dew points low enough to avoid condensation or high RH levels. Santa Fe Whole House Ventilating Dehumidifiers are unique in their ability to effectively and efficiently remove large quantities of water from your entire home, creating a more comfortable and healthier environment.

What is dew point?

Dew point is the temperature at which the moisture in the air begins to condense.

A common way to measure dew point is to start with Relative Humidity (RH), which is the ratio of the amount of moisture in the air at a specific temperature to the maximum amount that the air could hold at that temperature, expressed as a percentage.

Think about a cold soda can on a hot summer day.  If the surface temperature of the can is 55°F and the dew point of the air is 60°F, condensation will form on the surface of the can.