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Choosing a Dehumidifier for Your Home
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Some homes are just more humid than others. This may be for a variety of reasons Ė the weather in the region where the home is located, heavier than normal use of kitchens, laundry rooms, or bathrooms, or even the aftermath of some form of water damage. Whatever the case, excess moisture levels in your home mean trouble. Homes with above-average humidity are not only uncomfortable, but you may see warping or cracking of flooring and drywall, accompanied by unsightly water stains.
Even worse, once humidity levels rise above 50%, your home begins to run the serious risk of mold or mildew. All these toxins need are areas with sufficient moisture to allow them to take root and grow. Within 48-72 hours, you can have a serious mold problem on your hands.
The obvious answer to the humidity problem is to remove the excess moisture from the air, bringing humidity levels down to acceptable parameters, ideally between 40-45%. This may be accomplished through air circulation, opening windows and doors to get as much air moving through the home as possible. In some cases though, some artificial assistance may be required. This comes in the form of the dehumidifier.
What Are Dehumidifiers?
Dehumidifiers are free-standing units designed to pull moisture from the air and convert it into condensation (or water) and trap it in a holding tank for easy disposal later on. They come in various sizes, capacities, and power levels. Before purchasing one, you need to be aware of the aspects to be considered to make sure you choose the most effective unit for your home.
Larger units actually use less energy and they dry out the air much faster, whereas a smaller unit will have to run longer and work harder to accomplish the same result. The flip side is that the larger units tend to get very heavy when their water traps are full, which may make them more difficult to maneuver and empty out.
Many manufacturers provide charts showing which models will work best for a roomís size or a homeís square footage. It is always advisable to choose a unit designed for a slightly larger space than you need to treat. Itís always better to have a little overkill as opposed to not having enough power to do the job. If the unit is too small, it will run continuously and never quite get the levels down to where they need to be.
Maintaining a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers will also need to be periodically cleaned out and serviced in order to remain in peak working order. Coils need to be cleaned and the unit should be kept free of dust and smoke. The unit may need to run on a regular basis year-round or it may only be used during certain months when humidity becomes a problem.
Of course, the ideal companion to the dehumidifier will be the digital moisture meter, which will tell you when you have accomplished your task and returned humidity levels back to normal.
Reducing the Effects of Hidden Water Damage
Learn More about How to Choose a Dehumidifier in this Video: