Living in Florida often demands the need to regulate indoor air quality and climate.
As the state is synonymous with humidity, you may always need external support like a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to reduce the temperature level. However, before you plan a cooling system for your home, you should know if it saves energy, brings down costs, and achieves sustainability in the long run.
When considering dehumidification, what you should consider closely is the way the system works.
Table of Contents
- Will a Dehumidifier Cool a Home in Florida?
- How Does Dehumidification Cool a Room?
- How Much Do Dehumidifiers Cost To Run?
- How to Determine if Your Florida Home Needs a Dehumidifier
- How Much Heat Do Dehumidifiers Put Out?
- Will A Dehumidifier Cool a Room In The Summer?
- Do Dehumidifiers Work in Winter?
- What Should A Dehumidifier Be Set To In Florida?
- How To Dehumidify A Room Naturally?
Will a Dehumidifier Cool a Home in Florida?
A dehumidifier controls relative humidity up to 30%, enough to eliminate excess moisture, but not to cool the room entirely. The majority of homes in Florida often include a dehumidifier to improve the cooling process in association with the air conditioner.
Dehumidifying a home in Florida is certainly feasible, and mandatory to lower moisture and improve livability. When you deny your home a dehumidification system, it can affect the interior and lessen your return on investment (ROI). In addition, running a dehumidification system during summer times will save energy expenses.
How Does Dehumidification Cool a Room?
A dehumidifier has an operating principle similar to an air conditioning unit. While the latter emits cold air, a dehumidifier lowers moisture content by condensing warm air to convert it to water, leaving dryer air to circulate.
If you are in Florida, you are probably encountering humid summers where you need to include an indoor air quality system to improve living conditions. Otherwise, it can put your health conditions at risk.
Here’s how a dehumidifier works in cooling a room:
- As you fix the dehumidifier inside your room, it notes the room temperature.
- It draws in air currents and uses a fan to warm the air.
- In the next step, it removes moisture from the air as long as you operate it.
- The refrigerated coil fitted to the dehumidifier produces warm air currents.
- After it removes the moisture, it is condensed and turned into water.
- You can eject water through external pipes.
The temperature can slightly drop in this process. Still, you can feel less relative moisture and humidity inside the room because the drier air returns to the environment from another side of the dehumidifier.
When you turn on an AC unit after the dehumidifier has done its job, you can experience instant cooling. When measuring the temperature, you can observe a significant drop in the room temperature after a few minutes of operation of the AC.
There is a common misconception that a dehumidifier is sufficient to cool a room. If you are keen on conducting a real-time experience, you should follow the steps below:
- Make a note of room temperature before you turn on the dehumidifier.
- Use a hygrometer to measure saturation level, moisture, and humidity.
- After running the dehumidifier for an hour, take the hygrometer to measure the values. You likely will see a drop in humidity but a slight hike in the room temperature.
When the temperature increases, you need an air conditioning unit to cool the air, so the room temperature drops in line with humidity and moisture levels.
How Much Do Dehumidifiers Cost To Run?
Running a dehumidifier costs an average of $0.10 per hour. So, operating it round the clock can cost less than $100 per month.
It is essential to pay close attention to the energy consumption of every device you use when you are leading a sustainable lifestyle. While a dehumidifier is a small device that can fit anywhere in your home, evaluating the costs and benefits can justify the need.
According to Learn Metrics, it costs less than $1 to operate a 30-pint dehumidifier for half a day. This figure suggests cost-effectiveness.
According to the US Department of Energy, a dehumidifier is categorized in the low electricity expenditure products list. That justifies the cost of operating this device at home.
Now let’s begin a manual calculation to arrive at the precise cost of running a dehumidifier in Florida.
We’ll assume that you own a 300W dehumidifier that runs 10 hours a day and 30 days a month.
- Wattage = 300 W
- Number of hours = 10 hours
- Number of days = 30 days
As of January 2022, the per-unit price of electricity in the state is 13.36 cents.
- Cost of running dehumidifier = wattage * number of hours * number of days * per-unit price
- 300W * 10 hours * 30 days * $0.1336/kWh = 90kWh * $0.1336/kWh = $12.02 per month
This figure breaks down to $0.40 per day to run a dehumidifier.
This figure should confirm that a dehumidifier saves energy and costs. However, it would be best to use it wisely to avoid a sudden spike in power consumption or expenses.
How to Determine if Your Florida Home Needs a Dehumidifier
A whole-house dehumidification system is ideal for overcoming high humidity in Florida.
Here are a few signs to determine if your home in Florida needs a dehumidifier:
- Condensation observed indoors – this condensation can potentially increase the relative humidity level.
- Mold spots visible across the room – mold can create a pungent, damp smell that ruins the indoor air quality.
- The humidity level within the home is above 60%, making it more uncomfortable to live in it.
You should go for a dehumidifier to lower the relative moisture content if any of conditions are applicable. Unfortunately, people skip this decision and then suffer when the temperature rises unimaginably during summer in Florida.
Determining the Type of Dehumidifier System You Need
The majority of homes in Florida use a dehumidifier to regulate internal moisture, condensation, bugs, and mold in homes. However, you need to decide if the dehumidifier is sufficient for one room or your entire house.
If you use a whole-house dehumidifier, you have a lot of benefits.
- It is possible to regulate excessive humidity and achieve an even temperature in the entire home.
- It is feasible to eliminate discomfort, especially during summer times.
- Using a whole-house dehumidifier and the AC can lower the operating hours and energy costs since it retains the moisture and temperature of the air.
- If your home has a lot of items made of wood, a whole-house dehumidifier can prevent mold, stain, and warp in these items.
- You can lower microbial development and expansion to the entire home. As a result, you can also cut down potential health risks caused by microbes.
Using a dehumidifier in Florida is appropriate as the temperatures in summer are rough and develop discomfort. In addition, the relative humidity during winter is too dry, and a dehumidifier can improve the living condition.
How Much Heat Do Dehumidifiers Put Out?
A dehumidifier eliminates about 2L of water for every kWh of energy during usage. This figure also means the humidity reduces up to 30% with little to no increase in temperature based on the space and wattage of the humidifier.
When the dehumidifier removes about 2L of water, it also retains latent heat of 1kWh. With the input energy of 2kWh, the device achieves an efficiency of 200%, ideal during summer when you need to operate it for long periods.
You should know that a dehumidifier does not put off too much heat but continuously works in getting rid of excessive moisture. This device increases energy efficiency and makes it suitable for Florida residents.
Will A Dehumidifier Cool a Room In The Summer?
A dehumidifier can lower the moisture and regulate the temperature but not necessarily cool the room. When it reduces moisture, you can experience better living conditions, often assumed to be the cooling process.
According to Rick Rude, the dehumidifier is likely to increase the temperature on humid days and needs to be replaced with an air conditioner when the humidity is intolerable.
You can watch this YouTube video of an experiment to understand how a dehumidifier alters the humidity and the average water consumption to regulate the temperature of the room:
Do Dehumidifiers Work in Winter?
Air, during winter, retains less moisture, and the dry air can get even drier if you use a dehumidifier. Hence, it would be best to go with a humidifier to increase water content and avoid dryness in the air.
While dehumidifiers work in winter, they are not ideal for cool temperatures. A humidifier does the job of lowering dryness.
In Florida, winters are pretty cool with low relative moisture, so you may need to install a humidifier. However, if you do not want to invest in a humidifier and dehumidifier, you can limit it to a humidifier and support it with an air conditioning unit during summers.
What Should A Dehumidifier Be Set To In Florida?
A dehumidifier should operate until the humidity level reaches the range of 45-55%. As Florida is renowned for its humid climates, you should monitor the indoor environment constantly, so it does not deviate from the range.
If the dehumidifier does not work at the expected pace, switch to a whole-house dehumidification system. It lowers air moisture evenly and ensures you breathe quality air, irrespective of external climatic conditions.
Tip: Use a hygrometer to note changes in moisture and humidity. These values let you set the dehumidifier accordingly.
How To Dehumidify A Room Naturally?
There are several ways to dehumidify the building naturally: baking soda or silica gel, or rock salt, eliminating indoor plants, and avoiding leaks.
Rock Salt/Silica Gel/Baking Soda
According to The Spruce, placing rock salt inside the room works excellent to dehumidify and sustain moisture levels. You can replace rock salt with baking soda or silica gel. Here are the steps:
- Take a bucket with adequate small holes around it.
- Fill it with silica gel or rock salt, or baking soda up to the brim.
- You can keep the bucket in different areas of the home.
- This bucket will naturally lower moisture content and collect water. This leaks via the small holes.
You may have to replace the bucket regularly when the moisture is well-regulated and you become comfortable at home.
Note: Baking soda is ideal for tiny spaces, while silica gel works great for all types of rooms but demands more quantities.
Indoor plants increase moisture and humidity levels. Hence, during summertime in Florida, you need to move indoor plants to a more ventilated space. This approach is ideal for your plants and your home’s humidity levels.
When you spot stains or mold on ceilings, it indicates leaks on walls. Therefore, you need to engage a plumber to detect leak sources and fix them immediately.
A dehumidifier is an asset to most Florida residents. The weather turns rough during summer, and many of us suffer from extreme humidity and low air quality. A whole-house dehumidification system does wonders.
We have seen how dehumidifiers can also save energy and costs. But, you need to note that they do not work great during winter.
However, before you purchase one for your net-zero home, thoroughly assess average moisture and humidity levels during different climatic conditions. Then, you can invest in a dehumidifier accordingly.