Humid indoor air can be uncomfortable for inhabitants and cause damage to your home and furnishings. Excessive moisture in your home can lead to mildew growth, excessive condensation in windows and an increase in pests. Using a dehumidifier to remove the excess moisture can have an impact on your health and home.
High humidity can express itself in symptoms like allergic reactions, musty odors, mold growth, stains on ceilings and walls and condensation on windows and mirrors. If your home shows these signs, they may be leading to long-term effects such as damage to furniture, ongoing allergies and other health problems. Simply installing a dehumidifier can alleviate these symptoms and prevent future problems.
Most people are comfortable with humidity levels between 31% and 41%, but anything above 42% can start to feel uncomfortable. Ideal home humidity levels are between 30% and 50% in the summer and 30% to 40% in the winter.
Excessive humidity can also add stress to your air conditioner, so purchasing a dehumidifier can actually help you save money on your air conditioning bill.
Selecting a Size
When choosing a dehumidifier, you will want to consider both the amount of moisture extracted from the air in 24 hours (measured in pints) and the size of the room. It is better to select a dehumidifier that is larger than recommended, because they can remove the moisture from the room faster.
The dehumidifier will specify how many pints it will pump in a day. Refer to the following chart to find the minimum number for your condition and room size.
Portable dehumidifiers can be moved from room to room and often come with casters or a carrying handle.
Humidistats allow you to adjust the dehumidifier to different humidity levels. The humidistat will automatically turn the unit on or off when the room reaches the specified humity level.
Automatic shut-off prevents the dehumidifier from overfilling when the storage tank is full. This may also allow you to turn the unit on or off without unplugging it.
Automatic defrost allows the unit to opperate in cold temperatures and prevents frost from accumulating on the sensor.
Storage tank capacity will dictate how often you will need to empty the unit. The storage tank collects water that is removed from the air.
Dehumidifiers with continuous drainage do not need to be emptied. This feature is ideal if the dehumidifier will be placed in a location that is difficult to reach.
Air filters will remove airborne dust and particles from the air. Look for a dehumidifier with a washable or removable filter so you can clean it periodically.