Installation of Whole Home Dehumidifiers

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.

Saving Energy

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.

Brilliant Benefits of Fireplace Gas Log Sets

If your home is equipped with a working wood-burning fireplace, you’re probably familiar with the routine required to enjoy the benefits of it. First off, suitable wood must be cut, stacked and stored and then regularly replenished when used up during fire-burning season. This is an ongoing expense, even if you do this part yourself, with a great deal of labor involved. If you hire someone to provide your firewood, the labor requirements are reduced but the expense factor increases significantly. To make matters worse, each year the price of firewood rises steadily.

Next is the time and trouble required to lay and start a wood fire, feeding in more fuel as the wood burns, and then cleaning out the firebox when it becomes full of ash. The chimney must also be maintained regularly from creosote buildup to prevent a dangerous chimney fire. Even with all this effort, a conventional fireplace may do little to supplement your home’s heating, as a large portion of the heat created simply escapes up the flue.

All The Benefits, None of the Bother

Gas log sets, on the other hand, provide the benefits of a wood-burning fireplace but without all the bother, and usually at less expense. Made to burn either natural or LP gas, these realistic-looking log sets provide instant heat and fireplace ambiance at the click of a button or the flip of a switch. Some are even thermostat-controlled, and can be set to automatically activate when room temperature reaches a certain level. Some of the better-known American manufacturers of quality gas log sets include:

  • RH Perterson
  • White Mountain Hearth
  • Everwarm
  • Monessen

Types of Gas Log Systems

There are vented gas log sets, vent-free gas log sets, and dual/see-through/ multi-sided log sets with burners. Vented models are installed in a traditional wood-burning fireplace with a working flue vent and, while capable of producing a limited amount of supplemental heat, are designed primarily for their decorative effects.

Non-vented units can also be used in conventional fireplace enclosures, with the damper closed, or in an approved, non-vented firebox enclosure. They are classified as a supplemental heating appliance and will produce far more useable heat than the vented type.

Gas log sets look and feel very much like the real thing, but their convenience and functionality make them a better and greener alternative to burning wood. Logs come in a variety of sizes, from 16-30″, with the look of many different styles and types of wood, including:

  • Oak – Charred, aged, charred red, charred split, forest, American, Royal English, rustic, golden, split, rugged split, Palmetto and valley.
  • Other Woods – Birch, mountain birch, Morgan Creek, Rock Creek, sassafras, Ponderosa, Western Campfyre and coastal driftwood.

Gas Log Set Accessories

Gas log sets normally come with the burner included and, depending on the system, will produce between 9,500 and 36,000 BTUs. Ignition options include manual “match light,” although most units employ a pilot light/push button ignition system. Wall switches, remotes and thermostat-activated ignition options are also available. Decorative kits including pine cones, acorns, simulated ash and embers and even crackling sound effects can also be added. Browse through our impressive selection of gas log sets in the Total Home Supply online store.

Differences in Air Conditioning Units

With a wealth of information out there surrounding the various air conditioning units, a plethora of options and unique advantages and disadvantages to each, we at Total Home Supply (link) want to help equip you with all the knowledge surrounding A/C units in one place. We are your total air conditioner source, and if you have any questions or want further information regarding any of our various air conditioners, give us a call at 877-THS-0050 (or, 877-847-0050).

Window Air Conditioners

Window Air Conditioners are AC units that lodge in your window, and work to cool the individual room. The controls of window A/C units are located on the unit interior, so you can control it from the room. Many have remote controls. These units are used for cooling air, and can be easily installed and removed between the seasons; which is one of their biggest advantages. These can help save money because you can opt to only operate the window AC units in select rooms at select times, saving on electricity. Note: the window AC unit expels the hot air drawn from the room into the outside environment.
Award: Best Overall A/C Unit for Cooling

Mini Split Air Conditioners

Mini Split, Ductless Air Conditioners are geared toward those homes looking for both a heating and cooling capable air conditioner, but can’t install a central AC system because of infrastructure or price. These are also called ‘split ductless air conditioning units’ because they can provide air conditioning to a few rooms without knocking down walls to install ductwork needed for central AC. These are great for saving money, because you can elect to cool or heat zones of your home like possible with Window Air Conditioners. Note: these are the best alternatives to central AC when central AC is not an option, but central AC makes more sense when replacing an existing central system.
Award: Questest A/C Unit

Through the Wall Air Conditioners

Through the Wall Air Conditioners look a bit more professional than window AC units, and are another viable option for homes or buildings looking for air conditioning solutions when central AC is not a choice. These should be installed through the wall. Note: because installation cost are more intensive than window AC units, these are considered a more permanent air conditioning option.
Award: Easiest to Replace AC Unit

Slider / Casement Window Air Conditioners

Slider / Casement Window Air Conditioners are really similar to Window AC units, as they install in a window area. The advantage to this particular type of unit is their ability to work with obscure window shapes, specifically casement or slider windows. Though their versatility is a huge perk, these slider window AC units require a bit more work to install than the window air conditioners.
Award: Most Flexible Cooling Air Conditioner

Portable Air Conditioners

Buy a portable air conditioner if you’re looking for an easy, convenient, no hassle cooling unit for your home. You can help save money on electric bills by merely moving the portable AC unit about your home, into the rooms where you are looking for some AC relief. Note: Portable AC still need to exhaust outside and are not very efficient. They should only be used as a last resort if no other solution is available.
Award: Most Mobile AC Unit
There’s much more to learn about air conditioning units, and many more aspects to keep in mind when buying. You’ll want to think about budget, the noise level generated by the units, heating/cooling capacity, size and power of the AC unit and much more. Once again, if you need advice about which type of air conditioning unit is right for you, visit the AC experts at Total Home Supply!