Guide to Dehumidifiers

If you struggle with allergies every year and feel uncomfortable in the humid heat, you might be considering buying a dehumidifier. You probably have questions about installing a dehumidifier unit. Keep reading to learn how dehumidifiers help keep your home free of allergens and mold.

How Do Dehumidifiers Work?

Appliances such as dehumidifiers and humidifiers are designed to control the water cycle in the air you breathe. The overall humidity is how much water vapor is present in the air. Dehumidifiers remove moisture, making air drier and less humid.

A dehumidifier operates through the use of a fan that sucks warm air currents into the machine’s refrigerated coils. The refrigerant that allows this appliance to work is often Freon or an alternative version. Condensation is slowly trapped inside the dehumidifier’s storage tank, one droplet at a time. The cool currents are released back into the air, gradually creating a drier space.

A dehumidifier of good quality should be able to lower the humidity in your home a significant amount, depending on the starting humidity. The optimum humidity levels in your home range between 30 – 60% for healthy indoor air quality.

When Is the Best Time to Use a Dehumidifier?

You can generally use a dehumidifier three seasons of the year, but it makes the biggest difference during the most humid months. The spring, summer and early fall are typically the best times to use a dehumidifier. Depending on where you live, the air outdoors might naturally be more humid or arid, and you might need to use your dehumidifier more or less than someone living in a different climate.

In most areas, you shouldn’t need to use your dehumidifier in the winter. When the humidity is already low, running your dehumidifier might damage the unit. Dehumidifiers are great for making hot, muggy summers more bearable, and they also help keep the dampness out of your home during months of heavy rainfall.

Signs You Need a Dehumidifier

You might be thinking about getting a dehumidifier because you or someone else in your household suffers from allergies or asthma. This appliance can help ease the symptoms of these conditions, making it a good investment. Reasons you might want to buy a dehumidifier include:

  • Someone in your home has been experiencing severe or prolonged allergy symptoms.
  • Someone in your home has a confirmed allergy to dust mites.
  • You developed new allergies or your allergies worsened after a move.
  • You live in a climate that gets heavy rainfall
  • Insects and spiders are often present in one or more areas of your home.
  • The air inside your home is muggy, or there are spaces inside your home where water vapor tends to form.
  • You smell a persistent, damp odor in one or more areas of your home, even after cleaning.
  • Your clothes smell damp or of mold after you wash them.

Symptoms of airborne allergies may include:

  • Irritated, itchy or watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pains

Common airborne allergy triggers that a dehumidifier may be able to help reduce are:

  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold

The Benefits of Using Dehumidifiers

These are the many benefits of dehumidifiers:

  • Have a cooling effect: A lower humidity will make your home feel cooler. While it’s running, your air conditioner may not have to work so hard.
  • Keep food fresh: Less humidity keeps your foods tasting fresh longer.
  • Reduce corrosion: A dehumidifier may also keep appliances from rusting.
  • May help ease symptoms of illness: Moist, hot air is more difficult to breathe. Spending time in an environment with high humidity may worsen asthma symptoms. Those who struggle with COPD may find relief from using a dehumidifier when the natural humidity is too high.
  • Create a healthier environment: A dehumidifier removes mold spores and dust from the air. The altered composition of the air may also prevent dust mites and other pests from living in your home. Dust mites require humidity of at least 65% to thrive, and most humidifiers can ensure the humidity stays lower than that.

Where to Place a Dehumidifier

All dehumidifiers work in the same way, and they are most effective when placed in humid areas of your home like a basement or crawl space. You will want to choose the dehumidifier based on the needs of the whole home. The square footage of the space can influence how effective the appliance will be. Other factors that matter are the temperature and starting humidity.

The dehumidifier’s capacity is measured by how many pints of humidity the appliance can extract from the air in 24 hours. A lower capacity dehumidifier found in stores is only suited to cover a small space or individual room and will not provide the benefits to a whole home or large space. These dehumidifiers use a lot of energy compared to their benefits and often require emptying of their collection buckets.

Central PA homes and especially basements have humidity problems that can result in water damage, insects, and mold problems, especially in the summer months. A whole-home dehumidifier is best suited to maintain healthy humidity levels throughout large spaces and homes. Finished basements often have a lot of wood work, flooring, and drywall that are most likely to result in damage if humidity is not kept under control.

When It’s Time to Get a New Dehumidifier

Work with Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning to lower the humidity in your home if you’re in Central Pennsylvania. We can install your new whole-home dehumidifier the right way.

Contact us today to get a free quote or if you have questions about the process. Our services come with a warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee.