Dehumidifiers are one of those important appliances that I recommend every homeowner have in their arsenal, regardless of the climate. This is baecause a dehumidifier has far more uses than many people realize.
So, what is a dehumidifier used for?
The obvious answer is to pull moisture out of the air. This makes dehumidifiers useful not just in muggy, humid climates but also after a home leak or flood. You can also use them to help fight mold growth and dust mite activity.
Keep reading to find out more about what this often underrated home appliance is capable of.
When Should You Use a Dehumidifier?
At its most basic, a dehumidifier is good for pulling humidity out of the air and turning it into liquid water. But how a dehumidifier works makes it useful in various situations beyond moisture removal.
Here are five circumstances where having a dehumidifier available can come in handy.
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During High Humidity
By forcing air past cold metal tubing, dehumidifiers turn moisture into liquid condensate, thereby removing it from the air. When used properly, they can effectively reduce the humidity inside the home to make the environment feel more comfortable.
At temperatures around 70 degrees, relative humidity levels of around 40 to 50% are optimal for comfort. If your home tends to sit at a humidity level above this, a dehumidifier is a worthy purchase.
On the other hand, if your home sits below that 40% mark, you may need a humidifier instead.
When Battling Mold
High humidity in the home isn’t just uncomfortable, it can actually be dangerous.
Moisture in the air quickly translates to moisture on surfaces like drywall, carpeting, and other substrates that mold loves to grow on.
Mold growth in the home is associated with a number of symptoms from respiratory difficulties to the development of asthma in children. These symptoms tend to be highest in people who have a history of allergies and sensitivities to airborne particles.
Using a dehumidifier in your home can keep humidity levels low and prevent condensate from collecting on surfaces. Without a moist substrate, mold cannot grow or release spores and spread through the home. For information on how this works, check out the video below.
Related Article: The best small dehumidifiers
After a Leak or Flood
Climactic humidity levels aren’t the only way moisture is introduced into your home. Floods and leaks can also introduce a great deal of moisture into the air in your house.
As water from the leak or flood evaporates, it raises the humidity in your home. This causes moisture to build up on surfaces beyond what has already been saturated by the standing water.
You should put a dehumidifier to use right away to fight both mold growth on walls and flooring where the leak occurred and in other areas of the home affected by rising humidity. This appliance will help dry out the affected area quicker, removing moisture from the air to prevent mold growth and spread.
During High Dust Mite Activity
Mold isn’t the only thing that thrives in high humidity. Dust mites are also much more active in homes where the humidity is above 60%.
Using a dehumidifier to bring the humidity level below 40% can greatly reduce dust mite activity. For those with dust allergies and sensitivities, using a dehumidifier can make a huge difference in symptoms experienced within the home.
During High Temperatures
If you have ever experienced the South in the height of summer, then you know that humidity mixed with high temperatures can quickly cause an uncomfortable situation. Using a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels on hot days makes your home feel much more comfortable without turning the AC on.
Note: If you do have the AC running, using a dehumidifier is even more important. That’s because your AC unit removes moisture as it cools the air. And the more moisture your AC has to remove, the harder it has to work, and the less efficiently it cools your home.
In short, using a dehumidifier along with your AC, you’ll make it easier for your AC to produce cold air while reducing strain on the components to help the unit last longer.
How Best to Utilize a Dehumidifier
When choosing a dehumidifier to use in your home, you need to consider what you‘ll be primarily using it for and the size of the space it will need to cover.
If you plan to use your unit to reduce humidity to make your whole home more comfortable or reduce dust mite activity, you need a large unit rated to cover large spaces. On the other hand, if you plan to use it just in your bedroom, then a smaller, quieter unit that uses less energy is a better choice.
A more powerful unit is more suitable if you intend to use a dehumidifier after a leak or flood or control an active mold issue. Even if the space is small, you will need a large unit to combat such high humidity levels.
Dehumidifiers have a lot more uses than people realize. By understanding how to use a dehumidifier in different situations, you can get the most out of this versatile and practical appliance. Leave us a comment if you have other dehumidifier-related questions.