A dehumidifier is an electric appliance used to extract excess moisture from the air and maintain the humidity levels in the house at around 50% relative humidity for better health and maximum indoor comfort. Most people are always complaining about the heat in the summer months, although the warm temperatures do make me feel uncomfortable the increased humidity in the air is the main reason for the discomfort.
What are the health risks of high humidity in the summer months?
High humidity levels in the summer months pose increased health risks. The temperatures are relatively high in the summer and when it’s warm the body produces sweat to try and lower the body’s core temperature. The sweat evaporates from the skin thus cooling the body.
On such a day if there is high humidity in the house, once your body produces sweat, it fails to evaporate since the air around the skin is already saturated with moisture. Hence, the body fails to cool off also known as hyperthermia. At this point, the body works even harder to try and cool off which causes increased depth and rate of blood circulation, excessive sweating, and increased respiration.
This makes hot summer days dreadful. We have all had this experience at a time or another. Most of us lay the blame for the high temperatures, however, humidity is the main cause of the discomfort.
This occurrence can cause any of the following heat-related illness:
- Dehydration as a result of the excessive sweating.
- Shortness of breath, tiredness, and Fainting in extreme cases.
- Heat exhaustion.
- Muscle cramps and fatigue.
During such days it is important to stay hydrated, plus investing in a dehumidifier to lower the level of humidity.
To completely understand the importance of a dehumidifier, you have to understand the negative effects increased humidity has on your health, your household items, and the structural integrity of your house.
Dehumidifiers are electric appliances built to extract excess moisture in the air. A Dehumidifier will increase your home’s level of comfort and greatly reduce the cost of home maintenance and repairs.
Benefits of a dehumidifier are?
- Protect your home structure from damage from excess moisture. – High humidity in the house cause mold growth in the entire house. Mold growth accelerates the decay of wood used to build the home. The homeowner pays a lot for wood replacement annually. You can protect the structural integrity of your home by maintaining the humidity level below 50% with a dehumidifier.
The presence of high humidity levels in the house causes wallpaper to pile off the walls, because fading and damage to any paint in the house, cause wood to warp – making it impossible for the wooden windows and doors to close. This leaves space that allows more humid air to get into the house and you will require more energy to keep your house warm.
- Protect all your household items from humidity damage. – Increased humidity in your home is one of the greatest threats to the condition of your household items and appliances. When there is increase moisture air, this air is able to get into your home devices and appliances, since most of the devices have cooler interior parts, the moisture condenses on these part which causes fluid damage and rusting of metallic parts. This decreases the longevity of these devices and appliance and you also spend more on repair and maintenance.
- Improved air quality. – does a house or any room in your house feel damp or stuffy especially in the crawl space or the basements? This is caused by excess humidity in these spaces. It is important to address these issues even when no one lives in these rooms because through the stack effect these damp and stuffy air is able to circulate from that space to the entire house. This allows mold, mildew, and dust mite to circulate throughout the entire house.
A dehumidifier ensures the humidity levels in-house are maintained at below 50%. This gets rid of any dampness or odor in the air, hence even when the air in these more humid spaces is able to circulate throughout the house, it does not affect the air quality.
The air purifier does cleanse the air off any impurities and odor, however, it is virtually impossible to keep your home’s air quality at a health level especially if the air contains high levels of humidity. This, therefore, firms the importance of a dehumidifier to maintaining healthy air quality in your home.
- Mold growth prevention. – Mold is a fungal species known to cause biodegrading of materials. A most common form of mold is the black mold – almost everyone can identify it. Mold is one of the greatest threats to you and your home.
Mold not only damages household items but also can serious health issues. A most common symptom of mold allergies includes recurrent asthma attacks, skin rashes, itchy throat, sneezing, eye irritations, coughing, and throat irritation. If you or anyone else in your family keep on suffering from frequent asthma attacks or you can spot mold growth in the house then you definitely need to invest in a dehumidifier.
Mold flourishes best at moist damp environments (at relative humidity levels of above 60%). Investing in a dehumidifier will guarantee the relative humidity levels in your home are maintained at below 50%, making your home unfavorable for mold growth.
- Eradicate dust mites. – Research has proven that dust mite thrives better in a more humid environment. With the dehumidifier ensuring that your home’s humidity levels remain below 50%, it makes it impossible for dust-mite to survive in your home.
Dust mites are proven to be common causes of asthma triggers and many allergy-related symptoms. With the dehumidifier maintain low humidity levels that are unfavorable for dust mites, you will note that there will be a decrease in respiratory allergies.
- Increases comfort levels in the house. – A dehumidifier will reduce the levels of humidity in the house this will make the house feel more comfortable without having to turn up your air conditioner. The most dehumidifier will warm the air before it is released back into the room which gradually raises the room temperature for increased comfort. This will make your home energy efficient because you will spend less to warm up your home.
Features to look out for when choosing a dehumidifier.
- Auto defrost. – This feature ensures that ice does not form on coils reducing the efficiencies of the dehumidifier. This feature is vital for people who intend on using the dehumidifier in cold places.
- Auto-humidistat. – This feature allows the dehumidifier to turn on and off automatically depending on humidity levels in the room. This ensures that the dehumidifier is only operational if the humidity levels are above the set requirements – less energy is consumed thus it is very economical.
- Continuous draining. – A dehumidifier that is able to continuously pump out water provides greater convenience, unlike a dehumidifier that you have to keep emptying the collection tray whenever it full. This an important feature especially for anyone with an extremely wet space.
- Easy maintenance. – buy a dehumidifier that comes with a user guide manual for easy maintenance.
- Energy efficiency. – ensure you buy an energy star rated dehumidifier. These dehumidifiers are to extract the same amount of humidity while consuming less energy compared to conventional dehumidifiers.
- Portability - a portable dehumidifier allows more convenience since you can be able to move it from room to room to where there is increased humidity.
- Budget-friendly. – choose a dehumidifier that is affordable for you, in terms of the cost of purchase and the cost of energy consumption when operational.
- Size of the dehumidifier – before you buy a dehumidifier – you must first determine what size of a dehumidifier will best meet your needs. Dehumidifiers are classified in terms of their capacity (the capacity of any dehumidifier refers to the amount of moisture the dehumidifier is an ability to extract from the air in 24 hours of operation – measured in pints.)
Depending on the size of your home and the different level of humidity, here is the capacity size to go for:
- Moderately damp (50 – 60%) – The space smells musty and feels damp during the humid weather months. Capacity size 20 – 35 pints a day is recommended.
- Very damp (60 – 70%) – the space remains damp and musty all year round. Capacity size 35 – 50 pints a day is recommended.
- (70 – 85%) – there are visible water stains on the walls and floor. Capacity size 50 – 65 pints a day is recommended.
- Extremely wet (85 – 100%). – There is water on the floor of the space. Capacity size above 65 pints a day is recommended.
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