Why Buy a Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is a must-have if your home has a humid climate, you suffer from allergies or asthma or you have an attic or basement that’s prone to moisture. They keep humidity levels in check and are great for storing photos, books and other valuables that can be damaged by extra moisture.
Humidity can be a bit of a Goldilocks situation; too little and your lips might be cracked, too much and your home is a breeding ground for mould and dust mites. A dehumidifier helps to find that sweet spot between too much and too little moisture, which can save you from expensive home repair bills and even serious health problems.
Dehumidifiers use a process known as evaporative condensation to draw out moisture from the air. They draw air in, filter it, cool it and then condense the moisture into water that collects in a tank or other receptacle. This water is then pumped out of the dehumidifier and into a drain, usually at the bottom. The dehumidifier then reheats the air before recirculating it.
Most portable dehumidifiers have varying amounts of space for this water, with cheaper models typically having less and smaller tanks. Pricier models tend to have more features, higher energy efficiency and larger tank capacities.
If you’re dealing with a major flood, leak or water damage in your home a dehumidifier can help dry out the affected rooms, although it will take some time to restore the humidity levels to what they were before the disaster. To speed up the drying process, consider a model with a continuous drainage option, where the dehumidifier is raised up a foot or two off the floor and is connected to a hose that sucks water directly into a drain rather than having to be manually emptied.
A dehumidifier takes moisture out of the air, and this can significantly reduce allergies. It prevents mold spores from growing, which can trigger asthma attacks. It also limits dust mite populations, which cause sneezing and other respiratory problems.
Research shows that a dehumidifier can significantly reduce the number of mites in a home. These critters thrive in damp environments, and they can be found in bedsheets, curtains, pillows, dehumidifier carpets, and other fabrics. A dehumidifier can drastically limit their numbers, which can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms.
It can even cut back on pollen allergens. These particles cling to airborne water droplets, and when humidity is high, they can quickly spread around the house. A dehumidifier can keep air humidity lower, preventing these pollen particles from forming.
A dehumidifier can also help snuff out bacteria and some viruses that grow in moist environments. These bacteria and viruses can cause infection, so reducing their activity helps avoid illnesses like strep throat or the common cold. A dehumidifier can also eliminate odors and make your home feel cleaner. Some dehumidifiers are designed with HEPA filters, which can significantly improve dehumidifier air quality and ward off allergic reactions. These filters can be portable or built into your ventilation system, depending on the model you choose. You can find dehumidifiers at most home supply stores, and many department and appliance stores also carry them.
Using a dehumidifier can help control moisture levels and prevent the growth of mold, mildew and other allergens. They also reduce condensation, which helps preserve walls and other surfaces. And, since excessive humidity makes us feel hotter, keeping relative humidity in check can save energy by making it easier to keep our homes at a comfortable temperature.
Dehumidifiers can be very efficient when used correctly. They use an adsorbent material to pull moisture out of the air, and the water collects in a bucket or other reservoir. The best units have a large capacity, so they can take out more moisture in less time. However, the amount of energy that they use can vary considerably. The operating temperature and the amount of moisture in the air influence how efficiently they work, so it’s important to choose the right unit for your climate.
In addition, be sure to keep the area around your dehumidifier free of dust or fungus spores that could be trapped by the coils. These can cause the evaporator coils to frost up, and that requires more energy to warm the coils up again. You can also save energy by recycling the water that your dehumidifier collects. It’s not suitable for drinking, but it can be useful for watering plants and other household uses. Updated efficiency standards recently took effect for dehumidifiers and fans that move air from furnaces and central air conditioning systems through houses. The new standard will cut energy use for these appliances by about 30 billion kilowatt hours over the next 30 years, saving homeowners money and reducing carbon pollution.
The water that accumulates in the dehumidifier’s collection tank is known as gray water. This means that it’s been used and dirtied but isn’t ‘black water’ like that from a toilet (which is considered black). Gray water is usable for many purposes, including watering plants. The water is clean and more resembles rainwater than tap water, which can help some plants thrive.
It’s also free, convenient, and a great way to reduce waste, since it would otherwise be thrown down the drain. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the water from a dehumidifier has been sitting for quite some time and could harbor bacteria and other microorganisms. For this reason, you should always rinse the tank thoroughly before refilling it and using it for other purposes.
Additionally, the coils in a dehumidifier are made of copper and aluminum, which can leach into the water that drips from them. These heavy metals can affect your health if you drink enough of it. The same is true of any other items that come in contact with the copper and aluminum, such as plastics or metal cookware.
Water from a dehumidifier can also contain trace amounts of nitrate nitrogen, which comes from decaying organic material, such as grass and leaves. These nitrates are not healthy for humans to consume. Lastly, it’s important to remember that fungus spores can exist in the air, and if they are drawn into the dehumidifier, they can grow in the collected water.