It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity.
Unless someone has experienced both a hot humid climate and one that is equally hot but dry, they may not fully understand that statement.
Just as humidity makes the outdoors uncomfortable and, at times, almost unbearable, humidity in your home is not only unpleasant but also surprisingly harmful for both you and your home.
HUMIDITY IN YOUR HOME
It’s often easy to tell that the humidity in your home is excessive in the summer because it’s accompanied by high temperatures. You’re uncomfortable and find yourself sweating more than normal. You shower both morning and night. You feel as if you’re sleeping in a rainforest.
While the typically recommended humidity level is between 30 percent and 50 percent, the summer humidity levels in your house should certainly not exceed 60 percent at anytime.
Air that contains excess moisture can cause many problems, but air that is too dry is also problematic. It’s important not to let the winter humidity levels in your house drop below 30 percent.
When you regularly check your home humidity level, you’ll know when the air needs to be dehumidified (or when moisture levels should be increased), and you’ll be able to enjoy the many benefits of a home without excess moisture. You can measure humidity levels with a hygrometer, readily available in hardware stores and online.
The following are among the best ways to dehumidify a house:
- Absorb excess moisture by placing pots of calcium chloride in particularly humid areas.
- Houseplants give off moisture. Therefore, removing them from your home can reduce the humidity level.
- Venting your home by opening doors and windows and installing extraction fans in bathrooms, the attic, and the kitchen will reduce the home humidity level, as will running regular fans to circulate the air.
- And speaking of venting your home, it’s important to properly vent your dryer. When possible, hanging your clothes to dry is an even better option.
- While a long, hot shower can sound luxurious, the shorter your shower, the less moisture buildup.
- Noticing water stains around your home? It’s important to track down the source of the leak and have it repaired.
- When possible, using dry heating sources, such as space heaters and wood-burning stoves, will decrease excess moisture in the air.
- One of the best ways to regulate your home humidity level is to install a dehumidifier. Continue reading to learn about 11 benefits of running a dehumidifier.
THE BENEFITS OF DEHUMIDIFIERS
Decreases Humidity Levels & Increases Comfort Levels
When you decrease the humidity level in your home to between 30 and 50 percent, there are several benefits, among the most readily apparent is the increase in comfort level. When you, your family members—and even your pets—are comfortable, everyone is less irritable, able to think more clearly, and better equipped to deal with what life sends their way. When the humidity levels, as well as the temperature, are in the comfortable range, everyone is likely to sleep better. And there are numerous benefits to being well-rested. Increased comfort (and a more peaceful home) alone is enough reason to consider purchasing a dehumidifier, but it is far from the only benefit.
Reduces Mold and Mildew
Excessive humidity levels can cause the growth of mold and mildew. Mildew grows on surfaces and can be readily removed from most of them, but mold penetrates susceptible surfaces and grows beneath. Many people have heard of the dangers of black mold, but all mold can be potentially harmful. It can grow on drywall and wallpaper, windows and pipes, upholstery and carpet, ceiling tiles, wood, and paper. Beyond allergy and respiratory issues, mold in your home can cause numerous other health concerns, including, flu-like symptoms, muscle and joint pain, and headaches.
Lessens Allergy Symptoms
While the changing seasons can be blamed for the onset of allergy symptoms, decreasing the humidity level in your home can be beneficial to allergy suffers for a number of reasons. Symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes; sneezing and a stuffed or runny nose; throat irritation; and congestion can be reduced by the elimination of certain allergens. Common allergy triggers that can be controlled by a dehumidifier include mold and mildew, as mentioned above; pet dander; dust mites; and pollen.
Helps You Breathe Easier
Those with respiratory problems, especially asthmatics, may find significant relief when you install a dehumidifier. When the air is “heavy,” contains too much moisture, it is more difficult to breathe. In addition, mold and dust mites can also lead to breathing problems and thrive in humid environments. The elimination of these two unwanted invaders will have you breathing easier.
Eliminates Musty Odours
The growth of mold and mildew can cause a musty odour as well as cause damage to your home and jeopardize your health. A dehumidifier restricts the growth of both mold and mildew, thereby, decreasing the unpleasant smell. Covering up unpleasant smells with certain air fresheners can lead to an entirely different set of issues, including respiratory problems and headaches. Addressing the source of the issue will keep your home smelling better naturally.
Discourages Pest Infestations
Mold and mildew are not the only unwanted invaders that thrive in a humid home. Pests such as fleas, spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, termites, and others can get well-established if you have excessive moisture in your house. The very thought of these pests sends a chill down many people’s spines. They can cause issues for humans, pets, and your home as well. Plus, as is the case with several air fresheners, using pesticides to deal with the problem only leads to other serious issues. It’s best to do all you can to create an inhospitable environment for them. A dehumidifier is one of the best solutions.
Protects Your Books, Photos, and Instruments
You’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars in your home. Plus, you’ve invested thousands in your possessions. Many of them will suffer permanent damage if kept in a location with high humidity. Ever taken a book off the shelf and found the pages had curled? Taken your guitar out of its case only to find it had warped? Opened that treasured box of photographs to create a long-anticipated scrapbooking project and found them limp and unusable? A dehumidifier will lessen the chances that your belongings will be ruined by the moisture in the air, saving you money, frustration, and heartache. (Some items are simply irreplaceable.)
Reduces Volume of Dust
You probably don’t give much thought to the dust in your home, except the frustration that comes when it keeps coming back no matter how many times you remove it. However, dust mites and bacteria can multiply if the amount of dust is not kept to a minimum. The good news is that you don’t have to add DUSTING to your daily To-Do list. A dehumidifier reduces the amount of dust in your home. The bacteria and dust mites that can cause harmful physical issues won’t get the upper hand. And who doesn’t want less dust to deal with?
Makes Clean-Up Easier
Excessive rainfall, burst pipes, an overflowing dishwasher or washing machine … These and many other factors can result in water leaks and floods in your home. Unless you can get them cleaned up quickly, you run the risk of compromising the integrity of saturated wood and providing an environment for the growth of mold. A dehumidifier speeds up the clean-up process by extracting the excess water from the air. When you’re dealing with a flood, you want all the help you can get.
Preserves the Structural Integrity of Your Home
You may not give much thought to the infrastructure of your home—until problems begin to appear. Condensation around your windows. Water stains on your walls or ceiling. Mold growing where it never was before. Excessive humidity levels over a prolonged period of time can jeopardize the structural integrity of your home. Neglected for too long, it will lead to costly repairs. Add to that the health issues mold can cause, the increase in unwanted pests that have easier access via rotting wood, and the cost of not only renovating but also redecorating, and the benefits of a dehumidifier are more evident than ever before.
Reduces Energy Costs
When you reduce the humidity level in your home, your air conditioner will not need to run as often nor will it need to work as hard to keep your home at the desired temperature. When your AC unit works more efficiently, it will use less electricity and keep your utility bills lower. Combining the use of a dehumidifier and the tips for naturally reducing the moisture level in your house, which are mentioned above, will decrease your bills even further.
These are only some of the benefits of buying a dehumidifier.
If you have questions about how to attain the ideal summer humidity levels in your house, the ideal winter humidity levels in your house, or the best ways to dehumidify a house, contact Hamilton Home Comfort by using the contact form on our website or by calling 905-643-0981.