Excessive moist, humid air in your home is not only uncomfortable but unhealthy and, if left unchecked, can cause damage to your home. One way to avoid the resulting repairs is to use a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers cost between $ 100 and $ 1,000, depending on how much space you need to dehumidify. Choosing the right model for your home depends on your exact needs – and this guide will help you determine exactly.
Here are some signs that you need a dehumidifier:
- A damp basement
- Condensation on walls and windows
- Musty odors
- Mold or mildew growth
A damp cellar
In many apartments, the cellar often suffers from high humidity. Does your cellar feel damp or does it have a higher relative humidity than other areas of your home? If so ̵
This may also be the case if your home is equipped with a central air conditioning (HVAC) system. In hot and humid summer months, your HVAC system may experience problems returning cold, dry (AC-treated) air to the basement, especially if your home has no basement vent.
During the autumn and spring seasons, the HVAC has usually gained no run-off, moist air can also accumulate in cellars. If your cellar is not well insulated, it is natural for moisture to penetrate through the foundation into the cellar air.
Stubborn high humidity
According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the optimal room humidity range is between 35 and 50 percent. Relative humidity above 60 percent is generally considered too high. These conditions are not only unpleasant, although they are either cold and damp or hot and sticky. They also promote the growth of mold, which is a known health risk.
A consistently high level of humidity throughout the house is another warning signal that can be determined with intelligent thermostats that measure humidity.and can both read moisture. Or you can buy a cheap moisture meter (which should cost between $ 10 and $ 50) to take readings.
Prolonged exposure to high humidity may cause wood to rot and other building materials such as gypsum boards, paints, varnishes and metal wiring to fail. The presence of moisture can also pave the way for destructive pests, including termites and carpenter ants.
Condensation on windows and walls is an indicator that your home is too damp. This build-up of moisture occurs during the cold winter months when the outside temperatures drop compared to significantly higher indoor temperatures. Cold surfaces, including window glass and poorly insulated walls, allow water to condense in warm and humid indoor air. If you often see this, chances are good that you have an indoor moisture problem.
Poor ventilation or drafts
Environmental conditions can play a big role in the humidity in your home. For example, the climate in which you live may be wet all year round. This reality, combined with a house that lets in too much outside air, will generate increased humidity inside. Drafty windows and doors are another likely culprit.
Badly ventilated houses can cause similar problems, but for a different reason. If your house is well insulated, it will keep out excess moisture. Steaming showers in bathrooms without exhaust fans, non-ventilated kitchens (with no vented vent system) and wet-room washrooms are other sources of moisture issues.
Musty odors or visible molds (worst-case scenario)
Humid environments promote the formation of mold and mildew, which can lead to health-related mold problems. Active-growth mold releases spores and other toxins that often smell musty or lazy. These airborne pollutants can trigger allergic reactions and attacks in asthmatics. They can also act as irritants for the eyes, nose and throat of otherwise healthy persons.
If you spot mold stains on walls, floors, or other places in the house, you have a wetness problem. The EPO advises you to act quickly in this situation by addressing the cause. A dehumidifier will probably not cure your water condition, which can be a leaking pipe or a bad rainwater drainage. Nevertheless, a dehumidifier can help to stop further damage while finding a permanent solution.