Summer stickiness can sneak up on you, taking a toll on your comfort, health, and the structure of your home. Is your home in need of dehumidification action?
7 Signs It’s Time for a Dehumidifier:
Sticky, stuffy home feel. Relative humidity levels over 60% are too high, creating a sticky summer home environment, even with air conditioner use. Not sure of home humidity levels? Upgrade to an Ecobee or Nest smart thermostat with built-in humidity reading capacity, or purchase an inexpensive humidity meter separately for $10-12.
Musty odors. Musty odors go hand-in-hand with high humidity levels. As mold, mildew, and bacteria grow in this environment, offensive odors are released.
Condensation on windows and wet stains on wall/ceilings. Condensation on windows and wet stains on walls and ceilings can quickly lead to water damage and mold spots in these areas if moisture buildup remains unaddressed.
Mold and mildew. Bathrooms are a prime locale for mold and mildew, especially when adequate ventilation isn’t used during showers. What can start out as a few small spots can quickly spread, creating not only an ugly site, but effecting the health of your family if toxic black mold species stachybotrys chartarum proliferates releases mycotoxins.
Water damage and rotting structural components. If you see water stains on ceilings and walls, it is wise to immediately begin investigation into what is causing moisture buildup. You could have a hidden plumbing system leak. Left unaddressed, the structural wood framing of your home can become permanently damaged over time, drawing pests that love moisture and rotting through.
An abundance of pests. Because, bugs love moisture, high humidity levels draw destructive pests like termites and carpenter ants.
Upper respiratory issues. If you and your family are constantly sneezing and coughing, high humidity levels in the home could be to blame. Dust mites, pests, mold, and bacteria that negatively impact health are attracted to moisture, propagating and irritating allergic and sensitive individuals.
Where’s All the Excess Moisture Coming from?
Showering, cooking, and even breathing can release moisture into your home, where it can build up due to a tightly sealed building envelope. Though cooling units can remove some of this moisture, it may not always be efficient in doing so, especially in fair weather days when your air conditioning isn’t on. Since your air conditioner can’t measure humidity, people also tend to overcool their home in their efforts to reduce humidity levels, thereby increasing energy costs. Adding a whole home dehumidifier can more efficiently remove moisture from the air in your home, closely monitoring humidity levels and using as much as 80% less energy than your air conditioner.
How Much Can a Dehumidifier Help?
A whole house dehumidifier added to your air conditioner or heat pump can help you ensure comfort and prevent moisture-related problems in every conditioned area of your home, keeping humidity levels in the home to 30-60%, the level recommended by the U.S. E.P.A. for health and comfort.