There are a lot of sources that add moisture to your home, and many of them cannot be avoided on a daily basis. If you have excess moisture present in your indoor air, it can have some pretty serious consequences on you and your home. Let’s take a look at the importance of addressing high humidity and poor air quality, the benefits of a dehumidifier, and the signs to watch for that indicate you may need to add a dehumidifier to your home. However, many square feet your home occupies, you’ll be able to find a dehumidifier that can improve your living conditions, whether that is a portable unit or a whole-house dehumidifier.
Importance of Addressing Humidity Levels
Excessive humidity in your home can have drastic consequences on the health of you and your home, in ways you likely can’t predict. If the relative humidity levels in your home go above 60%, you will begin to notice signs of structural damage such as rotting wood or peeling paint, mold growth and mustiness in the home, and increasing occurrences of illness due to the depression of your immune system. If you already experience allergies or respiratory conditions such as asthma, high humidity will make your symptoms more severe due to the increased dust and pathogen load. Dehumidifiers work to reduce indoor humidity, creating dry air and alleviating a lot of these problems.
Importance of Addressing Air Quality
The indoor air quality of your home is another incredibly important factor that impacts your health and the state of your home. Aside from humidity levels, your air quality is affected by dust and other allergens as well as pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Obviously, a build up of these things will affect how easily you breathe, how healthy you are, and how dirty your home is. While air purifiers are certainly the top choice for homeowners wishing to improve the air quality in their home, a dehumidifier is an alternative that can also address the moisture levels.
Benefits For You and Your Home
Creating a clean, dry environment in your home with the use of a portable dehumidifier helps in many ways. Using a hygrometer to assess the humidity levels in your home are an effective way to assess whether you need one or not; with the following list of benefits to you and your home, you may wish to purchase one anyway even if the humidity levels are not a major concern.
Reducing Mold and Mildew Growth
Laundry rooms and crawl spaces are two of the most common places to encounter mold and mildew growth, but it can also appear in bathrooms and various other environments within the home. A high amount of moisture combined with a warm temperature is the ideal growth conditions for these unwanted companions. Using a dehumidifier to eliminate humid environments in the home can prevent the growth of mold and mildew year-round.
Eliminating Dust Mites and Other Allergens
Dust mites and other allergens will always be a part of your home no matter how clean you are, because you open your home to the outside environment every time you open a door or window. If the relative humidity in your home is outside of normal levels, the presence of dust mites and allergens will likely exceed normal levels as well. A dehumidifier will help rid your home of these things to help you breathe easier and reduce the frequency at which you need to clean your home.
Protect Against Structural Damage
Elevated levels of moisture in your home long term can have some pretty significant impacts on the structural soundness of your home. Moisture is damaging to wood and many finishes both inside and outside your home, and this can expose structural pieces like floors and walls to damage that reduces the integrity of these supporting elements. Eliminating excess moisture will keep your home safer and structurally sound for years into the future.
Reduce Musty Odors
Humidity in your home will often result in a musty odor, especially if you have some unwanted organic compounds like mold growing somewhere. Not only is this unpleasant for you, but it is indicative of poor air quality that will affect you, your pets if you have them, and any guests that are invited to your home. Using a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in the home and improve overall air quality will relieve your home of those musty unpleasant odors.
Improve Air Conditioner Efficiency
One of the more unexpected benefits of using a dehumidifier in your home is improving the energy efficiency of your HVAC system or standalone air conditioning unit. With a dehumidifier keeping the air in your living space cleaner and free from excess moisture, your air conditioner does not need to work as hard to cool the air. This means it will consume less energy on a daily basis, and over time, this will reduce the energy costs for your home. If you are using an energy star certified dehumidifier, your expenses will be reduced by an even greater amount.
Signs You Need A Dehumidifier In Your Home
One of the most obvious signs of high moisture in your home is the presence of mold and mildew. Mold relies on moisture and warm temperatures to grow successfully, and high humidity homes are the prime location. A musty smell in your home can be an early warning sign of these things, so make sure you pay attention to the odors in your home as well as visual warning signs. If you see these things emerging anywhere in your home, it is definitely indicative of your need for a dehumidifier.
Condensation on the Windows
Condensation on the windows is a very obvious sign that the humidity in your home is too high. Just like a very cold drink or can will develop condensation when placed in a warmer environment, your windows indicate that the heat and moisture levels in your home are significantly higher than the normal humidity you encounter in normal weather conditions outdoors. If you see condensation on your windows, you need to take action to reduce humidity with a dehumidifier unit.
Humid air in your home can become quite noticeable as it develops, creating a muggy or heavy feeling in the air. You may notice this feeling more in certain rooms than others. Your dehumidifier will likely have a humidistat (like a thermostat but for humidity instead of temperature) built into it to help you can an eye on the relative humidity in the home and know exactly when the unit is most needed (and where) to create drier air.
Health Problems Such As Sneezing, Itchy Throat, Asthma Attacks and Worsening Allergies
Aside from the signs that your house will display in response to increased humidity, your own body can tell you a lot about the air quality in your home. If you notice any symptoms of adverse health conditions such as sneezing, coughing, itchy throats, etc., the air quality in your home is likely not up to par. In addition, worsening of already present conditions such as asthma or allergies would also point to elevated humidity and poor air quality affecting your immune system in a negative way. While some people may use humidifiers to add humidity to their home to improve asthma and allergies, taking this too far can actually make problems worse. You’ll have to assess your home for other signs of high humidity and poor air quality to know what the right solution is to improve your health.