Now that summer is here, it is important that you maintain a proper humidity level in your home. Too little humidity can cause some discomfort, such as chapped lips and cracks in your wooden furniture; the opposite brings too much moisture and can make your home a breeding ground for mold and mildew. That being said, a dehumidifier can help you to remedy any problems!
Before you can know the benefits of a dehumidifier, you need to know what they do. A dehumidifier reduces the level of humidity in the air to leave the environment feeling more comfortable and ultimately, healthier. They pull warm, moist air into the unit and chill it against coils containing a liquid coolant. The moisture that condenses out of the air is captured; then, the dry air is sent back out into the room.
Before selecting a dehumidifier, make sure you consider the following:
- Room Size – Dehumidifiers are usually rated according to how many pints of water they can remove from the air per day and how many square feet they can keep dry. Therefore, knowing the square footage of the room (length x width) can provide a close estimate of what dehumidifier you’ll need. Be careful though! If the square footage of your space is near the top end of a dehumidifier’s capacity, you will want to get the next size up.
- Humidity Levels – If you live in a humid climate, or if your space has a particularly high level of moisture, a standard dehumidifier may not be able to function adequately. Instead, look for a high-capacity unit built to operate more often than normal. This way, you can ensure that you don’t have to worry about moisture and mildew problems in the future.
- Room Temperature – Most dehumidifiers operate best at standard room temperatures. If your space is usually on the cold side, a standard dehumidifier may not function properly and could suffer damage early on. Instead, to avoid any problems, look for a dehumidifier that can handle colder temperatures.
- Energy Consumption – Dehumidifiers are great for keeping your energy costs to a minimum, but only if you do research and buy the proper unit. By purchasing a properly sized, energy-efficient unit and ensuring that it operates and is maintained as directed by the manufacturer, you’ll properly filter your space.
- Operation – A dehumidifier should be plugged into a grounded outlet and have at least a foot of space around it while in use. Be prepared to check the water level in the tank daily at first to determine how quickly it fills up. Then, clean the water tank at least once a month with a mild detergent. Just make sure to always unplug the unit before any inspections or servicing!