A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance designed to help lower humidity levels.
Dehumidifiers can be an important tool for helping to maintain a home; they can make your home environment more comfortable by keeping moisture at a more suitable level.
Dehumidifiers are used to lower humidity. Lower humidity can decrease allergens in a house and make climate control more effective, which can make for a healthier and more comfortable home environment. They can also help prevent condensation and mold.
We use our dehumidifier to help prevent condensation on the windows and therefore help prevent the buildup of mold, as well as using it to help dry our laundry quicker and to keep the house at a slightly more comfortable moisture level.
Keep reading for more information on why you should use a dehumidifier.
Why Use A Dehumidifier?
There are numerous reasons why you should use a dehumidifier. Some of these reasons are health-related, while others have more to do with how comfortable your home feels.
Here are some of the main reasons to use a dehumidifier:
- Dehumidifiers suppress mold, allergens, and mildews
- Dehumidifiers help with climate control
- Dehumidifiers preserve the wood in your home
- Dehumidifiers are cost effective
Although dehumidifiers are not always necessary for dry regions, they can be greatly beneficial for homes in moderate or high humidity regions.
Dehumidifiers Suppress Mold, Allergens, and Mildews
Your house is not the only thing in danger of high humidity. Your body can also suffer from a humid environment.
Moist surfaces are a breeding ground for various molds and mildews. Molds, mildews and tiny insects can contribute to a host of different allergens. Molds can also damage your home’s aesthetics, driving down the value of your asset.
With 50 million people in the United States suffering from some sort of allergy, avoiding allergens is increasingly important. If you or your family has any chronic conditions like asthma, rashes, or itchy eyes, allergies are likely.
Some moisture related allergens include:
- Dust mites
- Mold spores
Lowering humidity does not outright remove, mold, mildew or mites but a dehumidifier can help keep these allergens at bay.
Many dehumidifiers (like ours) can also act as an air purifier, whether that’s using a range of filters or having a dedicated air purifying function.
Our dehumidifier has 3 filters, each playing a role in helping to clean the air in our home as it passes through. These filters include a standard dust filter, HEPA filter and activated carbon filter.
We’ve discussed what these filters do in another one of our articles.
Our dehumidifier can also be used as an air purifier if we don’t need it to be reducing humidity in our home.
Fight Against Mold
It’s not uncommon for houses to have some mold in intermittently damp places like a bathroom.
Some mold, like black mold, are poisonous, causing headaches and migraines. But other common molds release spores to reproduce.
In addition to the health issues that are posed, mold can permanently damage a home’s appearance. Mold, even after they die, leave dark blotches on wallpaper, drywall, and plaster. To be safe, and to make the walls presentable, the moldy materials must be torn out and replaced.
Molds can grow in walls or in spaces like above a suspended ceiling where condensation occurs. This hidden mold can release allergenic spores and compromise the building materials without the homeowner’s knowledge.
In a high humidity environment, mold can spread to all parts of a house. Moisture condenses on walls and mold takes over. A dehumidifier may not eradicate mold entirely from a wet bathroom, but it will keep most rooms drier and safer from mold.
We use our dehumidifier to help keep condensation on our windows to a minimum, which before we bought it was leading to mold in and around the windows.
Keep Dust Mites Under Control
Dust mites are microscopic cousins to spiders.
They lurk in carpets, mattresses, and similar surfaces. Dust mites thrive in warm humid places. They eat tiny organic pieces like dead human skin cells and other dead organic matter.
Since dust mites are impossible to see with the naked eye, they are often overlooked.
Dust mites themselves are not extremely allergenic, but they produce waste. Over time, in a moist environment, the mite population builds up. Mites can build a massive population very quickly because their tiny food sources are almost endless.
Millions of tiny mites produce more and more waste, and the waste is a strong allergen.
A dehumidifier can help control mites.
However, mites can take a long time to kill just by controlling the humidity. Mites can survive low humidity for almost two months by hiding under things and being less active.
Even so, two months of low humidity will severely damage a mite population, so a dehumidifier can be an important tool.
Our dehumidifier picks up a lot of dust and so we need to clean it regularly, but we know it’s helping to clean the air in our home.
Dehumidifiers Help With Climate Control
An excellent reason to use a dehumidifier is to help make a better living environment for yourself.
A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air by sucking the air through a cooling system. The air contracts and drops its moisture, and the condensation is collected in a tank.
The resulting drier air can help make temperature control more effective.
The tiny bits of water in humid air transfer heat and cold better than the air itself. Sucking the humidity out makes the environment essentially like a desert, and warm and cold fluctuations don’t feel as extreme as they are.
Dehumidifiers Help Preserve The Wood In Your House
Lower humidity levels can help extend the life of wood products in your home.
When wood dries out, and then gets moist again it warps, and rots. Even your main structural walls can become rotted out and collapse.
Some wood products that benefit from lower humidity include:
- Wooden furniture
- Wood framed walls
- Door frames
Many homes are their owner’s greatest asset. Keeping wooden structures and furniture dry is the most important thing owners can do to preserve their assets from decay.
Humidity can ruin wooden furniture by causing periods of swelling and shrinking over time as the furniture is exposed to fluctuating levels of humidity.
Cycles of swelling and shrinking eventually pop the joints in the furniture, making the furniture loose and wiggly.
In extreme cases, furniture can become so moist that it grows mold.
The wood may even rot if the wood is moist for a long time. Unfinished or unvarnished furniture is especially susceptible.
Lowering the humidity is the key to long lasting wooden furniture.
Wood Framed Walls
Rotting out the walls of a wood-framed house is one of the most dangerous things excess humidity can do. The danger is that the damage is hidden until it is too late.
Humidity can become trapped in walls. Sustained moisture on wood always leads to decay. In walls it can be even worse. Because of wood destroying insects, and molds, that thrive in rotting wood.
Rotted walls can become so severe that they can sag and even collapse. A dehumidifier in the house is the most important tool to fix this problem long term.
In most cases the humidity on the exterior of the house isn’t the problem. The insulation and waterproofing protect the wood from the outside.
Humidity trapped inside the house is the culprit.
One of the most annoying problems humidity can cause in a house is doors that don’t shut. The door will scrape the floor or rub on the upper ledge of the frame. Often homeowners notice this problem right after a few months of wet weather.
One solution is to plane a tiny bit of wood off of the rubbing edge of the door, but in the long term lowering the humidity is a better fix.
This problem is caused because the walls have warped and sagged from humidity and the door frame is crooked, or the actual door has warped with humidity and no longer fits the frame.
A dehumidifier can help keep your doors swinging smoothly.
Dehumidifiers Are Cost Effective
The cost of a dehumidifier might be an objection to using one.
Not everyone has the means to spend a large amount of money to improve their home’s environment, but there are many cost-effective options, many with large enough capacity for household use sell for under $200.
A price of $200 dollars may not seem very cheap, but a dehumidifier has the potential to save a homeowner thousands.
Home repairs due to moisture are costly. Allergies and other health problems can also expensive. A prevention against rotting wood, mold damage, and health problems by lowering humidity may not be that expensive.
A dehumidifier will help to reduce the humidity of the air inside your house, which comes with a range of benefits for both you and your home.
A great reason for using a dehumidifier is to keep allergens at bay. Dust mites are culprits and love humidity. High humidity can also promote mold growth.
Other good reasons for using a dehumidifier are protecting your wooden furniture and walls and to establish effective and pleasant climate control in your home.
You can experience all these benefits with the purchase of a reasonably priced dehumidifier.