Do I need a Dehumidifier?
If you have obvious signs of high humidity in certain rooms or areas of your home, you may want to consider a dehumidifier. Signs may include:
- Must or mildew smells
- Water stains on the walls or ceilings of your home
- High humidity rooms with poor ventilation or no ventilation
- Frequent condensation on the windows in certain areas of your home
- Small black spots growing on the walls or in areas with high humidity, such as the bathtub or shower
If you live in an apartment building, you may want a dehumidifier, since mold and mildew spores can travel through ventilation systems and can build up in the walls between apartments. These allergens from other areas of the building can be harmful to your health, even if you keep your space clean.
Advantages of a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers can benefit your home and your health. They eliminate potentially dangerous variables that can affect your family and even your pets.
- Dehumidifiers prevent mold. Damp air is the ideal environment for mold to thrive and a dehumidifier can remove the extra moisture while preventing new mold from growing. If you or anyone in your home suffers from asthma attacks and you see mold growing in various places, then you should strongly consider getting a dehumidifier for your home.
- Dehumidifiers can improve the air quality of your home. Air quality in your home is not only measured in the amount of toxins that you may or may not be breathing in, but also by the level of humidity of the air itself. While there’s no denying that an air purifier is the most effective way to cleanse the air of potentially harmful substances, a dehumidifier indeed does play an important role in improving the quality of the air inside your home.
- Dehumidifiers can remove unpleasant musty odors. There is nearly always mold and mildew present when any area of your home smells musty. The mold and mildew thrive on moisture, which starts to collect in areas like garages and basements when windows are not sealed correctly or there is seepage from ground water.
- Dehumidifiers help prevent symptoms of allergies. If you have significant trouble with your allergies, it may be due to the quality of your indoor air. When the air has excess moisture, it can cause airborne allergens such as dust mites and mold spores to grow and spread. Sometimes allergy sufferers are even more susceptible to indoor allergies than outdoor allergens, making it even more important to be sure that the air inside your home is as clean as possible.
- Dehumidifiers help the temperature in your home feel comfortable. When moisture is present in the air, temperatures may feel warmer than they actually are. By removing moisture from the air, you will feel cooler without having to crank up your air conditioner. In fact, you could probably raise the temperature on your thermostat and make your home more energy-efficient, as a result. This is especially true in warmer months of the year.
Different Types of Dehumidifiers
A good place to start when choosing what type of dehumidifier to choose is by assessing the size of the space you plan to use it in, as well as the current humidity level of that area. For a single small room, there are small capacity models. For larger areas such as a basement or apartment, a larger capacity model would be better. There are even whole-house models available to benefit those who live in very humid climates or suffer from significant allergies.
These are often inexpensive to purchase and can be found in most home improvement stores. They are usually lightweight, and easily transported from room to room, or different locations. Typically framed in plastic, the portable dehumidifiers aren’t as sturdy as a whole-house or industrial unit, but can last for a long time with proper care.
Whole House Dehumidifiers
This is a centralized, permanent unit that works similarly to an air conditioner, except its function is to extract excess humidity from the entire home. These units require professional installation and must be connected to existing ductwork, thus making them more costly.
Heat Pump Dehumidifiers
A heat pump unit is the most common type of whole house dehumidifiers. Similar to a refrigerator style unit, the heat pump dehumidifier pulls moist air across a cold coil, where the moisture condenses and drips into a collection tank or bucket. The condensation may also be drained through a hose.
Refrigerator Style Dehumidifiers
Simply put, the refrigerator style dehumidifier removes moisture from the air by cooling it.The air comes through the unit’s intake and is passed through a filter to cleanse it of particles like dust, dirt, and allergens than can be hazardous to your health. A fan propels the air passed a set of coils which cool the air and makes moisture condense and accumulate in a collection tank. The cool, dry air is then blown back, in the space by a fan.