For those who have conditions likes asthma or allergies, one thing that can consistently make their condition worse is a great amount of moisture within the air of their house.
Anyone with a type a breathing issue can decline over time, sometimes without them knowing or at least without them knowing why. In addition to the health concerns, even moderately healthy individuals have something to lose from high humidity in their home, specifically the damage it can cause electronics, cameras, pianos, clothing, and books. Excessive moisture indoors can also cause mold, peeling wallpaper, dripping pipes, blistering paint, warping wood, and musty odors. One simple solution for avoiding all these problems is a dehumidifier.
Why You Should Have a Dehumidifier
In terms of how a dehumidifier works, a fan forces air over coolant-packed coils for removing moisture. While it varies by the model, this moisture will then drip off the coils and into a basin/bucket or is possibly pumped from the unit. Drier air then shoots back out into the room.
Even with air conditioning, a home may still need a dehumidifier for rooms where the dampness is greater for whatever reason, such as laundry rooms or basements. It’s especially helpful for cutting down on musty odors and generally maintaining a good relative humidity level or RH level within the home. For summer, an RH of 50 percent is recommended while winter can have a 30 percent RH level and be considered satisfactory, especially if there is condensation building up on windows.
Choosing a Dehumidifier
Some of the factors you should consider when buying a dehumidifier include the following:
- The area (square footage) you want to dehumidify
- How you want to remove the water gathered with the dehumidifier
- The unit’s energy performance, which is rated by water extracted per hour and the energy required to do so.
Using a Dehumidifier
With your dehumidifier’s manual, follow its direction for assembly. After it’s unpacked, using the manual, check the dehumidifier’s bucket to make sure that its float switch isn’t dislodged. When the dehumidifier is first turned on, set the RH to its driest (i.e. highest) setting, so the humidity in the room can stabilize. Most RH settings go as far down as 30 percent and as high up as 90 percent. After several cycles, set your dehumidifier’s automatic humidistat to your preferred setting.
Some other key points to remember include the following:
- Maintain unrestricted airflow: Dehumidifiers with top vents can sit flush beside a wall while ones with back and side vents require around half a foot of space from furniture and walls.
- Check unit and clean air filters regularly: Dirty air filters restrict air flow, which affects your dehumidifier’s performance.
- Use additional methods to reduce humidity: You can further reduce your home’s humidity by cleaning downspouts and gutters and making sure exhaust fans and dryer vents are working.
- Plug dehumidifier into suitable GFCI outlet: Do not ever remove any plug’s third prong. As well, always unplug before cleaning.
- Unplug the unit while emptying the bucket: This can help avoid electric shock.
Dehumidifier units can come with differing features across models, but some common features include the following:
- Internal pump: vertically pumps water automatically into a basin for nonstop operation.
- Direct drain: connects to floor-level drain with gravity feed, allowing for nonstop operation.
- Filter indicator: shows when air filter must be cleaned.
- Auto-humidistat: senses an area’s moisture level and shuts unit off automatically when the set RH level is reached, saving energy.
- Low temperature setting: allows a unit to work in as low temperatures as 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Auto reset: restarts unit to last setting if lost power comes back on.
- Auto-defrost: prevents a unit from freezing in temperatures lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you think you need a dehumidifier, please click here and feel free to check out the rest of the Hipp’s Help store. We offer FREE ship to store for all of Mountain View customers. And we also offer reasonable shipping rates for the rest of our customers throughout the country.