Maintaining a comfortable living environment is crucial for your well-being. That is why appliances such as home dehumidifiers have become prevalent in modern homes.
But before you get one, it’s crucial to understand how they work and what they can offer you.
This article will discuss crucial dehumidification-related questions in detail. Some of the main areas of focus include the definition of home dehumidification, the process, and benefits to your home, among others. So, continue reading for all you even wanted to know.
What is Home Dehumidification?
Dehumidification refers to the process of removing excess water vapor from a space. Humidity in the air will eventually make its way to furniture and other home fixtures. By preemptively dehumidifying your home, you prevent dampness due to excess moisture in the air.
This process has many benefits, including creating comfortable living conditions, helping to eliminate allergens and viruses, and preventing mold and mildew, which could damage your furniture.
Now let’s delve into them.
The Benefits of Home Dehumidification
Dehumidification has many benefits that extend beyond just comfort.
Some additional advantages include:
Eliminating Mold and Allergens From the Air
One of the main benefits of a home dehumidifier is that it helps to eliminate mold, mildew, and other allergens from your air, making it cleaner and safer and cleaner.
This benefit is especially useful for people prone to allergies or other sensitive conditions like asthma. Dehumidifiers prevent humid conditions that provide a breeding ground for mold spores.
A Cooling Effect on Your Home
Home dehumidification also goes a long way in enhancing your comfort levels during summer. As mentioned, a dehumidifier works by pulling in humid air, cooling it to induce condensation, and then releasing it back into the air.
While this does produce some minor cooling, the more important part is the effect of humidity on the body. Lower humidity means less moisture in the air, making it easier for condensation on your body to evaporate and cool you down.
This process is partly why you feel so clammy when there are high humidity levels. However, when humidity is high, the opposite happens. Moisture sticks to your skin, giving you that sweaty, clammy feeling.
Additionally, dehumidification could also lower your energy costs. According to Acculevel, an HVAC system processes dry air much easier than it does humid air. Therefore, when the air within your home is cool, it eases the burden on the HVAC unit, reducing energy costs.
Protection of Furniture and Other Household Items
Excess humidity is not only detrimental to your comfort and health but can also potentially damage your furniture. This occurrence is because high humidity conditions create a damp environment that makes your wooden furniture prone to rot.
It can also potentially damage your flooring, resulting in sagging which can cost quite a lot to fix. These conditions can do a number on your electronics or other appliances, resulting in damage or corrosion to internal components when the moisture condenses within them.
Thus, a drier environment is preferable to keep unnecessary humidity-related repairs at bay.
Removing Viruses From the Air
According to Eva-Dry, high-humidity environments provide ideal conditions for allergens, molds, and fungi and encourage harmful viruses and bacteria. Viruses love moisture. Therefore, if the humidity level in your home exceeds the recommended levels, you are at risk of these viruses.
Other pesky organisms, such as dust mites, also love humid conditions. They feed off the moisture in the air, which can result in an infestation in your home if not properly controlled. The same applies to mold and fungus, which reproduce exponentially faster in humid conditions.
You can, therefore, easily control dust mites, viruses, and fungi in your home by getting rid of excess moisture and maintaining dry living conditions.
This is further supported by the experts at Healthline. They explain that by ridding your home of conditions that allow mold and dust to fester, you can also help prevent spiders, cockroaches, and silverfish infestations.
Simplified Cleanup After Flooding or Leaks
Home dehumidification simplifies the cleaning process after water leakages because dehumidifiers absorb extra moisture in the air. This feature makes the drying process faster, which makes for quicker cleanup.
By keeping the air dry, the dehumidifier can also help prevent mold and mildew in the event of a flood or heavy leakage in your home.
Eliminating Musty Smells
One of the typical results of laundry rooms or basements left unattended is that they develop foul odors due to excess moisture. These smells come from contact between the humid air and cold surfaces within your home, which causes condensation and results in musty smells.
This outcome can lead to embarrassing situations, especially if you are entertaining guests within your home. Instead, you can create a comfortable and breathable living environment by eliminating these musty smells.
Drawbacks of Using a Dehumidifier
Like most things, a dehumidifier also has its share of drawbacks. It is vital to be aware of these downsides to protect yourself and your family against them.
Major disadvantages include:
A Dehumidifier Can Make the Air Too Dry
In the same way humidity can cause discomfort, excess dryness of the air can also. A few common symptoms are eye irritation, sore throat, dry skin, and even nosebleeds if the air gets dry enough.
One of the most common issues is using a dehumidifier in an environment where the air is already dry—this is particularly true for people living at high altitudes or in hot climates.
In such situations, a dehumidifier is usually not as necessary and can make you more uncomfortable.
A Dehumidifier Can Exacerbate Certain Health Conditions
If anyone in your home has pneumonia, you should know that a dehumidifier can worsen the illness.
The same applies when you have a stuffy nose or are suffering from a dry cough. In such instances, running a dehumidifier can worsen your situation.
Dehumidification Can be Bad For People With Dry Skin and Hair
A dehumidifier can also negatively affect people with skin conditions. Conditions like eczema have been known to worsen in dry conditions. Eczema already comes with dry skin, and making the air in your home dry can exacerbate the state, making it harder to manage.
Home Dehumidification Basics
As described above, home dehumidification is the process of removing excess humidity from your home using a dehumidifier.
To dehumidify your house, you need a dehumidifier—an appliance whose sole intention is to remove excess water vapor and keep the air within your living space dry.
It is important to note that humidity in itself is not inherently bad. However, excess moisture in your space can cause damage to your furniture because it creates optimal conditions for the growth of mold and mildew.
This is especially so when high temperatures also accompany this high humidity.
High humidity within your space can also harm you, causing problems like lethargy and hypothermia. It can also potentially undermine your body’s ability to dissipate heat effectively.
The Home Dehumidification Process
Home dehumidification is a pretty straightforward process. First, the dehumidifier extracts moisture from the air, helping to reduce the dampness and sweating characteristic of humid conditions. It uses a fan that pulls in the air with high moisture content into the dehumidifier.
This moisture is then filtered and cooled, converting humidity into condensation. For cooling to occur, this humid air passes through a series of cooling oils within the dehumidifier that extract the moisture as the temperature decreases.
As the level of condensation increases, it trickles into a tank where it is stored. Consequently, you must empty this tank frequently or drain it via a water line connected to your water outlet or sump pump.
The cooled air is then released back into your space. At this time, it is dry and free of humidity.
Take a quick look at this YouTube video for more on how dehumidifiers work:
The Best Dehumidifiers on the Market
If this is your first time purchasing one, understanding all the specifications and features of the best dehumidifiers can be difficult. We’ve compiled a list to make it much easier for you to choose a suitable unit.
Some of the best dehumidifiers on the market include:
Frigidaire Dehumidifier With 35-Pint (16.56-L) Capacity
This ultra-portable home dehumidifier boasts a multi-speed fan for personalized comfort and a carry handle and splash guard for easy emptying. In addition, it features an automatic shut-off feature when the water is full and custom humidity control for optimal comfort.
Midea Cube 20-Pint Dehumidifier
This unit features an extra large water tank, reducing the need for frequent emptying. It also supports Wi-Fi connectivity for smart control and easy air quality monitoring straight from your smartphone. This dehumidifier offers generous coverage of up to 1,500 square feet (139.35 sq m), ideal for use in bedrooms, basements, or bathrooms.
GE Energy Star Portable 50-Pint Dehumidifier
As the name suggests, this device extracts up to 50 pints (23.66 liters) of moisture from the air daily. As a result, this model is ideal for high-humidity areas within your home, such as the basement.
It features a built-in pump for convenient emptying and handy pocket handles for easy portability from room to room.
What Is the Ideal Humidity Level?
Various studies suggest a range of 30-60% as the ideal humidity level for your indoor space. There is a consensus in the scientific literature that this figure should not exceed 60%, as this may negatively impact your comfort and sleep.
On the other hand, the ideal temperature – particularly for sleep – is around 65°F (18.33°C). This temperature allows your body to cool down for restful sleep after a long day.
Admittedly, it can be challenging to determine the humidity level in your space without the right tools. This uncertainty is where a humidistat comes in handy.
A humidistat is a wall-mounted device that connects to your HVAC system and monitors moisture levels.
When the level exceeds a set threshold, the HVAC system within your home will activate automatically to extract the excess water vapor from the air.
There are different options in the market, and you can consult your handyperson for the suitable model that will work for your home.
Alternatively, you can try out the simple yet effective DOQAUS Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer. This handy tool measures your internal conditions every five seconds, giving you an accurate read on the temperature and humidity levels.
However, even without accurate measurements, there are some tell-tale signs that you may have excess humidity in your home.
Some of these indications include:
- Chronic respiratory illnesses typically involving a runny nose or constant coughing
- An increase in pests within your home—some of the usual suspects include cockroaches, silverfish, moths, and spiders
- Sudden allergic reactions to dust mites
- Water leakages following heavy rains
- A persistent damp smell
- Moldy and damp smell on your clothes, even after you have washed them
- Foggy air in your home
Home dehumidification is crucial for maintaining a comfortable living environment. It also goes a long way in enhancing your moods and sleep and helping to eliminate allergens, fungi, and bacteria that may negatively affect your home and personal health.
This process is also helpful for pest control and protecting your furniture and electrical appliances from humidity-induced damage.
However, because dehumidification creates a cooling effect and extracts water vapor, it can potentially worsen medical conditions such as eczema, pneumonia, dry coughs, and runny noses.
- Merriam-Webster: Dehumidify
- Eva-Dry: Why Airborne Bacteria Viruses, Fungi and Mites all Love High Humidity
- Acculevel: Whole House Dehumidifiers: Why You Need One and How to Choose The Right Size
- SpangleR: What Goes on in the Dehumidification Process?
- Healthline: 8 Ways Dry Air Can Affect Your Health
- Healthline: What Does a Dehumidifier Do?
- Perfect Aire: 12 Benefits of a Dehumidifier
- HomeMatters: What are the Benefits of a Dehumidifier?
- Healthy-House: 5 Benefits of Using a Dehumidifier
- Allergy & Air: 15 Reasons Why You Need a Dehumidifier in Your Home
- The Spruce: Dehumidifier Purpose: Benefits and High Moisture Signs
- Sleep Foundation: Humidity and Sleep
- ResearchGate: Indoor Air Humidity, Air Quality and Health- An Overview