Every summer, you have probably felt that hot and humid weather, where your skin feels sticky and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, aside from the general discomfort, high humidity can have adverse effects on the body. From dehydration and muscle cramps to fatigue and heat exhaustion, fainting and heat stroke, these are just some of the body’s responses to high humidity, wherein the body experiences hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is a condition wherein the body’s temperature goes abnormally high.
High humidity environments can also become a breeding ground for mould, mildew and other microorganisms, such as dust mites and viruses. These microorganisms can significantly reduce indoor air quality and can become a problem, especially for people who have asthma and allergic rhinitis, as these are the common triggers.
If you are looking for a way to control the humidity levels of your home, we suggest you invest in a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are appliances that remove the excess moisture from the air through condensation, wherein moist air goes through the device and comes out dry.
What Are Dehumidifiers and How Do They Work?
A dehumidifier is a device that controls the humidity levels of the air inside your home. As shown in the figure above, a dehumidifier has five major parts—an evaporator, a condenser, a fan, a compressor and a water tank. The basic idea of a dehumidifier is to collect the air surrounding the device through a fan. If the humidity is high, the air it collects is filled with moisture. This moist air, then, comes in contact with the dehumidifier’s evaporator, which are technically refrigerated coils cooled by the compressor. Similar to the condensation that happens when your cold glass of water sits in a hot environment, these refrigerated coils pull the moisture from the hot air that goes in the device. The moisture collected from the air will remain in the refrigerated coil, where it will trickle down to the device’s drip tray and will be pooled in the water tank. Meanwhile, the air will be reheated as it passes through the hot condenser and then it will be exhausted back into the room and would now come out dry.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Dehumidifier?
Getting a dehumidifier can significantly improve the quality of indoor air. Here are some of the benefits of a dehumidifier:
1. Reduce Mould And Mildew
Mould and mildew thrive in humid environments. You can spot them in different areas of the house, but they are commonly found in crawl spaces and shower rooms. Some people are highly sensitive to mould and mildew, eliciting symptoms, such as runny rose, wheezing and itchy eyes. Aside from constantly cleaning your home, installing dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity of indoor air can help in reducing the growth of mould and mildew.
2. Prevent Stuffy Odours
Poorly ventilated rooms can be musty and have an unpleasant smell. This usually happens when there is a build-up of certain chemicals in your home. However, humidity can also contribute to the mustiness of the room as airborne contaminants can increase in a highly humid room. Likewise, moisture from the air can also stick to the walls, floors and ceilings, which adds to the unpleasant smells of the room. A dehumidifier can reduce a room’s humidity, thereby preventing the musky smell that develops in a highly humid room.
3. Relieve Allergies
Common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include sneezing, a runny or a stuffed nose, as well as itchy eyes, nose and throat, and watery eyes. Allergies are triggered by airborne contaminants, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, moulds and mildew. Most of these triggers can be reduced by controlling the room’s humidity levels. Having a dehumidifier on hand allows you to reduce the humidity of the room, which then improves the quality of your indoor air and thereby relieves allergy symptoms that you might have.
4. Improve Respiratory Issues
Asthma and other respiratory issues can sometimes arise due to poor indoor air quality. When air is too moist and heavy, some people (especially those who have asthma) may have difficulty breathing. However, with a dehumidifier, you can control the humidity levels of the room, thus managing and controlling asthma symptoms, too!
5. Reduce the Impact of Water Leakage and Flooding
Water leakage and flooding can sometimes be very annoying, tedious and expensive. If not addressed as soon as possible, it can cause further damage to your home including but not limited to the rusting of steel, the rotting of wood and the swelling of composite woods. It can also become a breeding ground for mould and bacteria. If the area you live in is prone to flooding, investing in a good dehumidifier can be a home saver in catastrophic events like these. A low grain refrigerant dehumidifier, for example, is a top-of-the-line dehumidifier that effectively extracts moisture even in the toughest water damage restoration environments.
6. Protect Household Items
If you live in a highly humid area, your household items and other personal belongings may be at risk of damage caused by the excess moisture in the air. A dehumidifier can help you protect your items and increase their longevity.
7. Improve Overall Comfort
Last, but not least, let us not deny the fact that living in hot and humid weather is simply uncomfortable. Using a dehumidifier can significantly improve the quality of indoor air by keeping the air dry and cool.
Choosing the Best Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can easily be bought at almost any home supply or home improvement store. You can choose between three types of dehumidifier: refrigerant, desiccant and the whole house system. The example earlier portrays a refrigerant type that uses a refrigeration process. A desiccant dehumidifier, on the other hand, uses a desiccant—a material that absorbs water (e.g., silica gel). Lastly, the whole house system is a ventilation system that installs a dehumidifier that is designed to cover the entire house and not just a room.
When buying a dehumidifier, consider the area you wish to dehumidify as each dehumidifier is designed to cover only a maximum area. You might also want to consider the current levels of humidity in your indoor air as each product has specific levels of humidity they can maintain. Lastly, check the product’s energy performance for maximum efficiency.