Dehumidifiers are portable devices that pull moisture from the air and decrease the dampness in a room. We breathe air all day long that contains a variety of particles which consists of dust and mold spores many times. Air can also contain toxic chemicals that can harm your health. Often, these dangerous particles will multiply in the right environment which generally is warm, moist air. Using dehumidifiers in the home sucks out the moisture which will decrease the ability of these particles to multiply. While you can’t control the moisture outside, you can control the humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers. Ideally, you’d want your home to have a relative humidity between 30 and 60%. When the relative humidity stays over 65% for an extended period of time, you face the risk of mold growing. This improves comfort and decreases health risks. Using a dehumidifier is a relatively low-cost way of monitoring the humidity in your home, use a hygrometer, which can be found at most home improvement stores.
If you think a dehumidifier is a solution to your problem. Here are examples of when to use a dehumidifier:
- Use your dehumidifier in damp and musty-smelling rooms. Aim for a relative humidity of 40-50 percent. More than that can lead to mold growth and below 30 percent can cause structural problems.
- Dehumidifiers are most useful for people suffering from respiratory problems, such as asthma, allergies, and colds. An ideal level of humidity can help alleviate their symptoms.
- If you live in a humid climate, use a dehumidifier in your basement, bathroom, and attic, especially in the summer.
- If you’ve recently experienced a flooding problem, dehumidifiers can help dry up the flooded area. Talk to a disaster restoration specialist first.
Usage Safety Tips
- Turn off the unit when nobody is home – someone should be there in case the machine malfunctions. Some dehumidifiers have an automatic turn-off function that you can use.
- Place the dehumidifier on a level and stable surface. Leave at least 10 inches of free space at the back of the dehumidifier, and five feet in front of it. Keep the dehumidifier away from flammable items and heat sources.
- Empty the tank as often as needed to avoid spills and water damage. Some models automatically shut off when the tank is full or when they reach the set humidity level.
- Plug the dehumidifier into a grounded outlet. Avoid using extension cords to power the dehumidifier since cords can be a fire hazard from overheating.
- Don’t operate the unit in a space larger than is recommended in the manual. Close the windows and doors in the area where you use the dehumidifier. Moisture coming from outside can stress the machine and may damage it.
- Do not move the dehumidifier from a cold room to a warm room too quickly to avoid condensation inside the machine. Wait at least 10 minutes to power the dehumidifier back on after turning it off, to prevent the compressor from overheating.
- Regularly clean and vacuum the area where the dehumidifier is running. Dust absorbed by the unit can spread out into the room and fill it with allergens.
While dehumidifiers are great at removing dampness from an area, always consult water damage restoration specialists if you have a serious water problem.
Another question that many ask about is if a dehumidifier will remove mold? Removing all mold spores from your home is nearly impossible. Mold stays “dormant” in the air or on surfaces even when there’s no excess moisture to help it grow. If the humidity in a room increases, mold will start growing in patches on walls, clothes, and more. The simple answer is that dehumidifiers do NOT kill mold, but they do prevent it by reducing humidity. Using dehumidifiers can help prevent the mold from turning in to a chaos mold remediation company.