That is the question you need to answer before running out and buying the device. The consensus is that in most areas of the country, you will need a dehumidifier in your basement, like the ones found at Dehumidifier Critic for example.
You can use a hygrometer to check your humidity levels but basements generally have more moisture than the upper levels of your home. Because your basement attracts higher levels of moisture, you should put a basement dehumidifier in your basement and run it all the time.
This is a protective step as high humidity causes mold and mildew to grow as well as rots you joists and posts. What you need to prevent those dangers from getting a hold of your basement is to keep the humidity level below 50%.
Why not use a regular dehumidifier
While regular home dehumidifiers are good, they are not made to work in your basement. They are made to be effective in environments that do not generally get cooler than 65 degrees F. That is not a low enough temperature to work effectively in your basement.
Your basement is cooled and insulated by the ground surrounding it. Usually, the year round temperature is about 55 degrees F and regular home dehumidifiers just can’t work in such cool conditions.
Then your basement is subject to all sorts of moisture problems that keep the room at higher humidity levels than the rest of your house. Moisture can seep in through the foundation, water leaks also contribute to the high humidity levels and so on.
The high levels of excess moisture may be beyond the capacity of a regular dehumidifier. Plus, the basement is normally one big open space. Most home dehumidifiers made for the upper levels are not rated for large rooms.
They are rated for smaller square footage and will not perform that well when the room is too big.
Get a good basement dehumidifier
One of the very first reasons why you should look for dehumidifiers made for your basement is because they are rated for large areas and they have the capacity to take the excess moisture out of your basement.
Another good reason you need a good basement dehumidifier is because they are designed to work in cooler temperatures. Plus, they can handle the causes for the high humidity levels.
Basements get a lot of moisture through foundation seepage, cracks in the cement or floor, open areas like crawl spaces and so on. A good basement dehumidifier over powers those sources and makes sure your basement humidity levels are at that magic 55% level or below.
Some final words
You have an allergy sufferer in your home. When you ignore your basement or put an inferior dehumidifier in the basement you are helping mold and mildew to grow and send spores to the upper levels of your home.
A good basement dehumidifier stops that behavior and makes not only your basement nice to be in but protects your home from dangers like mold, etc.