A number of typical home complains about the garage, basements, and living areas can be directly linked to high humidity. A dehumidifier might be a simple solution to alleviate these complaints. When elevated humidity threatens your health and the comfort of your home, it is time to do something about it. There are several benefits of a dehumidifier, and here I list 14 of them.
14 Benefits of a Dehumidifier in your Home
1. Prevents Mold & Mildew Growth
There is no better setting that encourages the growth of mold and mildew than a moisturized area. Getting rid of all mold in a home is impossible if there is moisture. In scientific research by Berkely Lab, indoor dampness or mold is associated with an increase in respiratory problems, asthma development, eczema, cough, and several other health-related issues.
Removal of mold and mildew using conventional methods like chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide or baking soda and borax would only stop its growth and spread in the short term. To properly combat these fungi, you should reduce the humidity in your home. The best and fastest option to remove moisture in your home air would be using a dehumidifier.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to discourage the growth of mold, indoor relative humidity (RH) should be kept below 60% – or ideally between 30 and 50% if possible. To measure the humidity of your home, you can buy a humidistat which you can use to track the rise of moisture and act before it’s too late.
2. Prevent Dampness and Musty smell
A cozy place is what you call home. The last thing anyone would want is their home to feel damp, musty, or uncomfy. If you’ve lived in a dumpy home, then you should know its effects. A dump house smells unpleasant and can even cause an allergic reaction.
If left for a prolonged period, this issue can spiral out of control as damp spreads across fabrics, walls, and carpets. There are several ways you can tackle dampness in your home. However, for a quick and easy win, a dehumidifier is your best bet.
3. Hinders the growth of dust mites
Dust mites, just like mold and mildew, will multiply in number if your home has high humidity. They are microscopic and can be found in your mattresses, carpets, bedspreads, curtains, and every other fabric in your home.
Dust mite cause several allergy-related symptoms and even asthma. Even though you’ll likely never get rid of dust mites completely, creating an environment that is unfavorable for their survival will keep them at bay and also prevent any health issues they might pose.
4. Minimizes Condensation
Condensation can be a clear sign of high humidity in your home. When humid air hits a cold surface, it collects as water droplets. Though the initial signs of condensation can be spotted on your windows and mirrors, it may later manifest itself in other areas.
Prolonged condensation in your home will result in damp patches on walls, peeling of wallpapers, shrinking of wood, and more. To avoid these problems early, it is better to reduce the moisture in your home by using a dehumidifier.
5. Reduces Energy Costs
Air conditioners can also help to lower the humidity of your home. However, they require more energy to do this. A dehumidifier can keep your air conditioner working efficiently by removing moisture from the air.
Because your air conditioner will not work hard to maintain a comfortable temperature, it will save you energy, and it will reduce the wear and tear of your air conditioner. For better energy conservation, make your air conditioner work in tandem. When your air conditioner is off, set your dehumidifier to cycle. This will ensure a comfortable temperature without straining both your air conditioner or dehumidifier.
6. Food Stays Fresh Longer
If you’ve noticed food in your home going stale too fast, it could be because of excess moisture in the air. The presence of moisture in the preservation of food can mean the difference between fresh versus spoiled.
Lowering moisture in your home is vital – though often disregarded – in keeping food fresh longer. At home, a dehumidifier will keep your food fresher. However, in the food industry, dehumidifiers offer several benefits for distributors and manufacturers of food products. Dehumidifiers enable faster drying, uniform production, product purity, and high-quality products.
7. Humidity and the Electronics in Your Home
Oftenly, we do not realize living in a humid environment slowly destroys and shortens the life of our electronics. This is because excess moisture will cause sensitive parts of your electronics to fail.
Though home electronics might seem less sensitive to moisture, over time, they gradually develop problems that can be corrected by lowering moisture levels. While high humidity can alter the conductivity in electronic devices, lower humidity can also cause them to become brittle. It is therefore advised to keep the humidity levels in the range of 30 to 50%.
8. Reduce Shrinking and Swelling of Wood
Wood is hygroscopic, and this means when exposed to air, it will absorb or release moisture until it balances with the humidity in the air. Because of this fact, all wood will shrink when it loses moisture and expand when gaining moisture.
In humid climates, if wood products are exposed to excess moisture for a prolonged period, they may not revert to their original size. If you notice your kitchen cabinet doors starting to rub together, it might be due to exposure of moisture for an extended period.
However, just like electronics, in low humidity, wood will release moisture, thus causing it to contract or shrink in size. This will also affect wood products. Kitchen cabinet doors will have bigger gaps between the cabinetry pieces.
To help combat shrinking or swelling, you can keep the humidity within the recommended humidity levels. For wood, the range is 25-55%, 30-60%, 35-65%, as suggested. To be on the safer side, always check with your manufacturer for the ideal humidity conditions.
Though a dehumidifier will not revert the damage caused by excess moisture in your home, it will help by stopping more destruction to your furniture and home.
9. Dries Clothes
Hanging wet clothes indoors will increase the humidity, thus creating a breeding ground for mold or dust mites. However, sometimes the weather is not kindly forcing us to hang our wet clothes indoors. When clothes dry and moisture escapes, could a dehumidifier be just what we need to keep the humidity in check?
For drying laundry, many people might hail a tumble dryer. However, the cost to run these machines proves to be uneconomical compared to dehumidifiers. This leaves dehumidifiers the cheaper option you can try.
10. Improve Results of Indoor Painting Projects
The two most important factors that affect how paint dries are humidity and temperature.
When applying paint to a surface, high humidity affects drying by reintroducing water into the incompletely dried paint. Also, because paint does not stick willingly on metals, high humidity hinders it not only from drying but also from sticking properly.
In high humidity situations, you will notice white or brown discoloration on the painted surface. This phenomenal, called surfactant leaching, will cause a painted surface to lose its aesthetic properties. In the end, you will spend more money repainting.
11. Improves Health & Comfort
All the advantages that come with a dehumidifier sum up to a healthy and comfortable living environment. By keeping the moisture in check, a dehumidifier ensures better health for you and your family.
With the growing popularity of dehumidifiers, people have grown to expect more from these devices. Despite maintaining the same sole purpose, technological advancements have seen dehumidifiers become multifunctional than ever. Though a dehumidifier is not an air purifier, in the process of removing excess moisture, it also contributes to reducing the level of impure air.
12. Relieve Allergies and Asthma
To relieve allergy symptoms, it is better to eliminate the common triggers in your home. Dust mites, mold, and mildew, as you already know, thrive in humid enviroments and are among the well-known triggers if you suffer from allergies or asthma.
Keeping your humidity below 50% with a dehumidifier will ensure dust mites do not survive and also stops the growth of mold and mildew. For better results, think of the most humidity ridden spots in your home like the bathroom or kitchen and use a dehumidifier.
Also, don’t forget about your crawl space. Crawl spaces are most likely to have a higher humidity level than your home air. Too much humidity in crawl spaces will be an excellent environment to enable dust mites and mold to reproduce. The result is air traveling up into your rooms will be infested with dust mites mold spores and other bacteria. In this case, a crawl space dehumidifier is a good bet.
13. Prevent Rust
Rust is the reddish oxide produced when metal or metallic is exposed to oxygen and moisture. The practical way of keeping metals from rusting is to paint or galvanize them. However, not all tools can be painted or galvanized. Because of this, you are decreasing the humidity around your tools can reduce the chances of rust forming.
By using a dehumidifier to lower the humidity, you will protect not only your electronics but also other metal objects in your home or garage. Think of door hinges, metallic frames, your vehicles, tool, and the list is endless.
14. Keep Insects and other Pests Out
Damp environments are the perfect conditions that propel the growth of many insects. Areas like basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and crawl spaces area perfect breading ground.
By making these areas inhospitable, you will not only stop them from breading, but you will also protect your clothing, furniture, and carpet from damage. Using a dehumidifier is a sure way to help you combat these pests and safeguard your family and home.
Signs You Might Need a Dehumidifier
How do you know when to buy a dehumidifier? Below are several signs you look out for around your home.
- Musty and mildew odor
- Condensation windows, patio doors or interior glass
- Mold spots around your home, in ceilings, corners, walls, wallpapers, etc
- Excessive allergies
- Wood rotting
- Recurring spring water run-off dampness
Yes. A dehumidifier reduces the humidity releasing your home, making it less hospitable to allergens and bacteria. This allows you to feel comfortable and breathe easily in your home.
Use a humidifier when the humidity in your home rises. Some of the ways to know your home has high moisture include moldy patches on the walls, the air smells musty or dumpy, condensation on windows, and much more.
Yes. It is safe to sleep in a room with a dehumidifier provided it’s quiet and does not disrupt your sleep. To be on the safer side, get a dehumidifier that detects the level of humidity and powers off when the humidity is ideal.
It is OK to run your dehumidifier in the winter if your home has high humidity levels. However, during cold winter months, the air is usually dry, which limits the use of dehumidifiers.
No. Running your dehumidifier all the time might seem like a good idea. However, you should keep checking your humidity levels with a humidistat in case your dehumidifier does not have an in-built humidistat. This will make sure you turn off the dehumidifier once you reach your ideal humidity.
The primary purpose of owning a dehumidifier is to remove excess moisture from your indoor air. However, as seen above, a dehumidifier comes with many additional benefits for your home. If you decide a dehumidifier will be a beneficial addition in your home, there are features you should look out for to ensure they fit your preferences.
You should check for several factors before purchasing a dehumidifier. The type of dehumidifier, capacity, size, and any special features should be well thought out.
Now that you know and understand the benefits of a dehumidifier, would you consider owning one in your home? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments below.