Homeowners that are experiencing a humid feel to their environment can benefit by adding a whole home dehumidifier to complete their air management system. In this post, we will explore some of the benefits of dehumidification in the household.
Some of the benefits of installing and operating a whole home dehumidifier in a home or business include:
- Controlling mold, mildew & dust mites
- Protecting wood furnishings from damage
- Saving energy by reducing dependence on air conditioning units
How do humidifiers provide these benefits? Let’s look at each in turn.
Controlling Mold, Mildew, & Dust Mites
Nobody wants allergens or other pathogens in their home. Mold, mildew, and dust mites are three of the most common and best known household allergens/health concerns. And, it just so happens that all three thrive in moist conditions. The threshold for growth is typically somewhere around 50-60% relative humidity. In regions of high or moderately high humidity, such as warm areas in the general vicinity of the coastline or in areas of moderate to high rainfall, these humidity levels are downright common in the natural environment. A dehumidifier saps moisture out of the air, reducing humidity levels to the comfortable 30-50% range where pathogens cannot easily grow.
Protecting Wood Furnishing from Damage
Another unfortunate drawback of high-humidity environments is the sticky feeling which accompanies mild condensation of the water out of the air onto surfaces such as skin, the floor, and tabletops. For the most part, this feeling is simply unpleasant. In the case of untreated wood surfaces, though, this can result in serious problems. Untreated wood is typically a wettable surface in relation to water. This means that, when water condenses on the surface, the hydrophilic adhesive forces between the wood and water molecules cause the water to be drawn toward and spread out on the surface. Coupled with this factor is the fact that untreated wood is absorptive, so it draws the liquid below the surface. This can lead to water damage. Reducing humidity levels greatly reduces condensation and thus the risk of damage.
Dehumidifiers consume energy…so how can they be saving energy at the same time? Consider this. Humidity makes moderate temperatures feel hotter than they actually are. To counter this feeling, people often turn on the air conditioning to lower the temperature. With a dehumidifier, the moderate temperatures will feel like what they are – moderate and comfortable. This can lead to a reduction in A/C use. This is important because a dehumidifier will considerably less energy than an A/C unit. The reasons for this are complicated, but they have to do with the fact that A/C units are by definition trying to throw hot air into a hot place, while a dehumidifier is not. So, with more dehumidifier use and less A/C use, you can expect a net reduction in environmental control costs.
These are just a few of the benefits offered by dehumidification of the home or office using a whole home humidifier. What other uses have you found for dehumidifiers? Let us know in the comments below.