Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Although some indoor humidity might be a result of the weather outside, much of the moisture has an indoor source. Sources of indoor humidity include mopping floors, taking showers, cooking, houseplants and humans.
When the humidity level in your home or business reaches 50 percent or higher, it has a detrimental effect on the occupants, furnishings and infrastructure. Opening a window is perhaps the easiest way to reduce indoor moisture, but it is not always the most practical. An effective, economical alternative is using air dehumidifiers.
Why Do I Need a Dehumidifier?
The human body cools itself by releasing heat through perspiration and evaporation. The perspiration evaporates into the surrounding air; when the air is already saturated with moisture, however, it is unable to absorb the perspiration and you’re left feeling hot and sticky. Prolonged interference with the body’s ability to cool itself can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. In addition to potentially serious medical issues, high indoor humidity levels have other adverse consequences:
- Nausea or a squeamish stomach
- Triggers and aggravates allergy and asthma symptoms
- Stuffy air and musty odors
- Malfunctioning electronic devices
- Damages paintings and other artwork
- Provides a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew
- Provides a conducive environment for dust mites, bugs and other unwanted pests
How Does a Dehumidifier Work?
Air dehumidifiers make your indoor environment comfortable by removing the excess moisture from the indoor air. A fan pulls the moisture-laden air into the dehumidifier; the air passes over cooling coils, which remove the moisture from the air. The air is then redistributed into the room. The moisture is collected in a reservoir which must be emptied either manually or by connecting a reservoir hose to a water drain pipe. Many dehumidifiers have an automatic shut-off mechanism that monitors the water level in the reservoir and shuts down the system before the water overflows. Dehumidifiers equipped with a humidistat enable you to program the unit to run until the moisture content reaches a certain level, then automatically shut off.
Types of Dehumidifiers
There are several types of air dehumidifiers available to control excessive moisture in your home or business. Your local Comfort24-7 HVAC contractor offers a complete line of Bryant and Carrier dehumidifiers and can guide you on which of the following solutions is best for you:
- Whole house dehumidifiers: Whole house dehumidifiers are installed as a separate component of a central HVAC system. Although an air conditioner helps dehumidify the air, it does so only while it is running. For milder days when the air conditioner is not running but humidity levels are high, the whole-house dehumidifier automatically switches on to provide consistent control over the humidity level in your home or business. In areas where an air conditioner is unable to keep up with extreme humidity, a whole-house dehumidifier is needed to control moisture levels and enhance comfort.
- Air purifier dehumidifier: This dehumidifier combines two technologies to give you even greater indoor comfort. An air purifier dehumidifier improves indoor air quality by filtering and eliminating impurities from the air as well as by lowering humidity levels.
- Portable dehumidifier: Portable dehumidifiers are advantageous when moisture levels are an issue in a specific room or area. Easily moved, they are compact and quiet and fit into the décor of any room.
- Ventilator dehumidifier: Ventilator dehumidifiers provide fresh air while they dehumidify. They can be stand-alone units or added on as a component of a whole-home system.