November 18, 2006

Good News on the Bug Front

One of the things that is often suggested to control dust mites is a dehumidifier; dust mites don't like to reproduce or live in anything much below 70% relative humidity. Basements are often right around that (or even worse). However, since I remember writing just a few short weeks ago about how quickly water dries up in our basement, I thought I'd better check. The hygrometer I ordered appeared yesterday, so I popped in its batteries and sent it to work.

I now feel fully justified in spending that $12, since it saved us from spending hundreds; our basement is around 53% relative humidity. That's enough for mold to grow, although I'm hoping that won't be much of an issue since--I am happy to announce--now all of the water from our downspouts drains not only away from the house, but separately from the city's storm sewer system. And it's definitely lower than the rotten little allergy bugs like it. I am happy not just to save money, but because I was not looking forward to maintaining a big machine; you have to find a safe place to plug it in, drain it regularly (or trip over the hose as it's attached to a drain) and clean it often, since it's full of water which grows mold and...dust mites!

In case you're wondering about how this miracle of basement bliss occurred, I have to give credit to all the people (including us) who spent time remodeling down there: we all wanted heat, and so we all punched holes in the heating ducts which run to the rest of the house via the ceiling of the basement, thus connecting that space to the forced air gas heating system. Between the dryer being properly vented (but still pumping out heat, just not moisture, into the area), the furnace shedding spare BTU's as it heats the house, and, probably most important, those vents providing both heat and moving air, we lucked out. Score one to the Ogles in the Bug Battle. It's about time.

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