Dehumidifiers are commonly used to prevent or treat mold and water damage. If your home’s humidity regularly is above 40-50% a dehumidifier would help keep your home more comfortable. Knowing how to use a dehumidifier correctly can help stop potential damages.
These devices are helpful in a number of ways. They can prevent mold and mildew in an area in your home that may not be well ventilated. Another common use is to help dry out your home after water damage has occurred. If you live in a particularly humid area, such as the Southeastern United States, knowing how to use a dehumidifier can make it easier for you to breathe.
What is a Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is a common home appliance that is used to reduce moisture in your home. By removing some of the moisture in the air, they prevent mold, rust, and mildew damage. They also help provide healthy and comfortable home by removing musty smells. Dehumidifiers often help in treating allergies and other respiratory problems.
How to Use a Dehumidifier Effectively
To make sure that your dehumidifier operates at maximum efficiency, make sure you’re using it correctly.
Your dehumidifier works by sucking in moist air, then condensing the water within the device. The water droplets get stored in a collection bucket within the dehumidifier.
Without proper cleaning, this water will just settle in the bucket. Standing water grows mildew and harmful bacteria. It’s easy for an improperly cared for dehumidifier to spread these harmful particles back into the air.
Dehumidifiers work very similarly to the air conditioning portion of home HVAC systems. The only difference is that the dehumidifier doesn’t expel the heat created by the condenser outside of your home.
When and Where to Use Your Dehumidifier
In most areas of the United States, outside air is significantly more or less humid than indoor air. Having outside air coming in will affect the moisture level in your home. Make sure to keep doors and windows closed as much as possible when running a dehumidifier.
It is also important to place your dehumidifier where it can be the most useful. Your basement and bathroom are most likely to have higher moisture levels. They are the best places to keep a dehumidifier in order to reduce excess moisture in the space.
What to Set a Dehumidifier at?
If you want to know how to use a dehumidifier correctly, you’ll need to know what humidity level to set it on.
Generally, you should set your dehumidifier to relative humidity levels of between 30 to 50 percent. At levels below 30 percent, the air may feel dry and above 50 percent, it may feel very wet. Both low and high humidity can also make it difficult to breathe, particularly if you already have breathing problems.
Cold Vs Warm Weather
You can understand how hard it can be to regulate humidity when you run your dehumidifier through different seasons. The device usually works fine during warmer months because there is more moisture in the air. In the winter however, there are two things to consider when using your dehumidifier.
First off if your dehumidifier gets too cold, the water collected inside of it could freeze and damage the device. Second, if you experience cold winters that often get below freezing, it would be smart to consider a dehumidifier that uses charcoal desiccants.
Cleaning your dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is one of the simplest and most convenient ways to keep your house free from moisture and mold. Just make sure that your model is properly cleaned and maintained for most efficient and cost effective operations.
Emptying the Water Collection Bucket
One of the most important maintenance tasks for a dehumidifier is emptying the water. Most current models will have an indicator light that shows when the dehumidifier is full.
To empty the dehumidifier, open the hatch leading to the collection bucket and detach it. Be careful not to spill any of the dirty water as you dump it down a sink or outside. Lastly, wipe the bucket clean with a damp cloth to prevent mildew.
Cleaning The Rest of the Dehumidifier Parts
For the most efficient performance, check the whole dehumidifier regularly. You can separate other pieces from the dehumidifier such as the air filter or exhaust grill, and check for any damage. If there are noticeable dust particles and debris, gently clean the components with a vacuum and a brush attachment.
How to use a Dehumidifier to Eliminate Mold
Although a dehumidifier does not eliminate active mold, it will help to prevent the growth of mold. It can also be a good tool to prevent mold from appearing in the first place. To use, simply run the dehumidifier in the current room that has an active mold problem or is moist for several hours each day.
How to use a Dehumidifier to Dry a Room
Heating up a room causes its relative humidity to drop because hot air holds more water vapor than cool air. It allows for the air to hold more water, so there’s more moisture pulled out of damp clothes and other material in the area. Heat is a natural byproduct of the dehumidification process, so a dehumidifier will raise the temperature of a drying room, thus increasing further drying process in the room.
What If My Humidity Is Still High?
Sometimes an area needs more than store-bought, portable dehumidifiers to help prevent mold or water damage and Jenkins Restorations can help with that. We keep several industrial dehumidifiers in our workshop to help clients with moisture problems.