Homeowners often run dehumidifiers inside their homes to reduce indoor humidity levels. Certain areas of the home are prone to dampness and failing to bring humidity levels to a normal level can result in mold growth and be uncomfortable to those living in the home. Dehumidifiers are rated according to how many pints of water they can remove from the air in a given period of time.
Homeowners must be able to recognize when dehumidifiers will work best in their home. According to the North Dakota State University, dehumidifiers work best when removing moisture from warm, humid indoor environments. Indoor humidity levels should remain below 65 percent to reduce the likelihood of mold growth and below 50 percent to reduce dust mite infestations. Humidity gauges known as hygrometers allow homeowners to determine what their level of humidity is inside their home.
Dehumidifiers are not designed to remove moisture from the air indoors at a rapid rate. Instead, these units work by cooling the air over time to reduce humidity. Each unit is rated to work at a certain temperature and rate. According to Oregon State University, homeowners should purchase a dehumidifier rated to remove at least 24 pints of moisture each day. Purchase a dehumidifier with the Energy Star seal for best results. Standard capacity dehumidifiers will remove up to 75 pints of water in a 24-hour period. High capacity dehumidifiers remove up to 120 pints of water in a 24 hour period. Dehumidifiers work best in warm, humid environments, as the temperature drops the dehumidifier removes less moisture from the air.
Situate your dehumidifier in a manner that allows the indoor air to circulate out in front of the unit. Keep the interior doors of the home open so it reaches all of the rooms. Place the dehumidifier near a drain or you will have to remember to empty the condensation pan the water runs into after it is pulled from the air. Use a hygrometer so you can measure indoor humidity levels daily.
Using a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels inside your home, is merely treating the symptoms of a larger problem. If you must run a dehumidifier regularly, you have a moisture problem that must be addressed. Repairing all water leaks, running exhaust fans and venting clothes dryers to the outside will help reduce indoor humidity. If you do use a dehumidifier, you must empty and clean the drain pan every few days. Failure to remove stagnant water from your dehumidifier may result in mold and bacteria growth which can cause adverse effects in those living inside the home.