So Fresh and So Clean: The Benefits of a Dehumidifier

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So Fresh and So Clean: The Benefits of a Dehumidifier

Lisa Bernstein · Oct 15, 2009

A dehumidifier can bring great relief, if you live in a humid climate or have allergies. Few things adversely affect your quality of life like dankness, which makes the air feel heavy. One way to combat high humidity, and to keep your air smelling fresh and clean, is to purchase a dehumidifier.

Effects of High Humidity

High humidity levels can damage your apartment, your belongings and your health. Humidity encourages mold to grow and dust mites to flourish, triggering your allergies. Humidity can also damage your apartment by causing flaking plaster, peeling wall paper, swollen or warped wood, and moldy clothing.

What Causes Humidity?

Excessive humidity in your apartment can be caused by indoor and outdoor factors including:

  • leaks
  • showering
  • hanging clothes to dry
  • boiling water for cooking
  • humid outdoor air

How a Dehumidifier Works

A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air in your home by drawing it into the unit where it is condensed onto a set of cold coils to dry it out. This dried air then passes over hot coils, inside the unit, to make it warmer than the air that entered the dehumidifier. The condensation generated from this process drains into a tank, which you must empty periodically. A dehumidifier is a lot like an air conditioner, except that it has both hot and cold coils. If you have an air conditioner, you won’t need a dehumidifier, unless the air is too humid at times of the year when it’s too cold to run the air conditioning.

Benefits of a Dehumidifier

Your respiratory health may improve when using a dehumidifier to lower your apartment’s humidity. Reducing mold and dust mites means less coughing and fewer allergy attacks.

Your home will also smell fresher, as the damp, moldy smell associated with high humidity will be eliminated. This will be more appealing to both you and your guests. It will also prevent your furniture, rugs and clothes from picking up a moldy smell, which is sometimes difficult to get rid of.

Buying a Dehumidifier

When purchasing a dehumidifier, the most important factor is how much water it can remove from the air in a certain period of time. An inefficient unit may not remove enough humidity from your apartment to improve the air quality.

Next in importance is the size of tank, for frequency of emptying. You don’t want to spend a lot of time repeatedly emptying a small tank. Identify a model with the largest tank available.

Compare dehumidifiers for maintenance costs. Filters must be cleaned or replaced, so you should check filter prices before investing in a particular model. In addition, dehumidifiers use quite a bit of electricity. Look for the smallest or most energy efficient model capable of dehumidifying the area where you’re planning to use it.

Like all machines with fans, dehumidifiers make noise when they run. You should turn on the dehumidifiers, in the store, to hear how loud they sound before selecting a model. All in all, a dehumidifier is a good investment when you’re faced with the unpleasantness of excessively humid air.

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Lisa Bernstein: As a long-time apartment dweller and seasoned condominium trustee, I have dealt with numerous landlord-tenant, property management, and day-to-day apartment complex issues. My extensive, direct experience has led to invaluable insights into apartment life from both the tenant and management perspectives.

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