Dehumidifiers: What are they and why are they important?
When the temperatures begin to climb, you may detect some changes around your home. Perhaps you catch a whiff of musty air from the basement, and notice that your windows are getting foggy. You might even notice damp spots on your walls and what looks like mold in your shower.
If any of this sounds familiar, your home may have a problem with excessive humidity because your air conditioner is not controlling the level of moisture in your indoor air. Not only will it make you hot and uncomfortable, but high interior humidity can cause more serious problems like mold, mildew and rust, along with posing potential health risks.
In parts of the country that have hot and humid summers, like ours, we start to get a lot of calls every year when the weather warms up. Ready to put an end to that sticky and heavy feeling in your house once and for all? We’ll tell you all that you need to know about indoor air comfort, why houses can become humid and most importantly, what you can do about it.
How Do I Know If I Need a Dehumidifier?
What causes excess humidity in a home? Simply put, high humidity in a home occurs when moisture comes into a home and cannot get out. The main way that your home’s humidity level is controlled is through your air conditioning system.
A dehumidifier reduces excess humidity and moisture in your home. They also help alleviate musty odors that can accompany mold and mildew, which reduces the potential development of mold on furniture, curtains, bed sheets and clothing.
Bugs, dust mites, and mold all thrive in the humidity, but mold is by far the most concerning, and for good reason. Aside from the obvious health issues, when mold takes over a wall in your home, the biodegradation process begins and eventually the wall will start to break down.
As for your health, mold is known to cause upper respiratory tract symptoms in even the healthiest of people. The presence of mold in the home has also been linked to childhood development of asthma, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Ranking humidity on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the highest level of humidity possible without rain, you generally want your home to be somewhere between 45 and 55 percent humidity.
But getting an accurate reading of your humidity levels may not be practical, and certainly isn’t the only way to tell if your home is too humid. Other tell-tale signs that you might need a dehumidifier include:
- Musty odors
- Mold spots
- Basement water issues
- Water stains
Benefits of a Whole-House Dehumidifier
By purchasing a whole house dehumidifier for your home, you can eliminate problems associated with excess moisture throughout the entire house—not just one room or area. The benefits of a whole house dehumidifier include:
- Improve air quality – Overall air quality is measured by the amount of toxins in the air and by the humidity level. Reducing humidity also reduces the prevalence of dust mites and mold spores circulating in the air.
- Reduce risk of mold growth – Mold thrives in a moist, humid environment. It is recommended by the CDC to keep the humidity level of your home below 50% to prevent the growth of mold. A whole-house dehumidifier will keep your home’s humidity at optimal levels.
- Eliminate dust mites – Dust mites and other pesky critters thrive in a humid environment. Eliminating excess moisture and humidity will make your home an inhospitable environment for dust mites, spiders and all kinds of insects.
- Protect your home’s structural integrity – Mold in the home not only affects your health, but also the structural integrity of the surfaces where it grows. Humidity is also the number one culprit of wood rot.
- Increase comfort – When you continue to run the heat or air conditioning but still don’t feel comfortable, it is likely due to too much or too little humidity in the air. A whole house dehumidifier will keep your home comfortable while also making your air conditioning more effective!
Choosing the Right Dehumidifier for You
Dehumidifiers are sized by capacity, which is the amount of moisture they can remove from the air in one day. For example, a 30-pint dehumidifier removes 30 pints of moisture in one day. The capacity you need depends on the size and moisture level of the room. If this all sounds Greek, don’t worry- we’re here to help!
The bottom line is- there are many benefits of purchasing a whole house dehumidifier, but every home and HVAC system operates differently. The experienced technicians at Gross Heating & Air Conditioning can assess your home and help you decide if a whole house dehumidifier is the right investment for you. Contact us today to request an appointment!