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What Does a Dehumidifier Do and How Can It Help Your Home?

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Mar 19, 2018

What does a dehumidifier do for the environment in your home? It can make you more comfortable, keep mold out of your basement, and reduce allergens.


There are plenty of reasons to have a dehumidifier in your home. Among the most surprising? Saving money. A dehumidifier can work in conjunction with your air conditioner, lowering your energy costs. A less humid environment also helps breads and cereals stay fresh, and it reduces the potential for hefty repair bills due to buckling wood floors.

Those are certainly good reasons but perhaps hard to quantify. So what does a dehumidifier do that offers more apparent benefits? Depending on where you live, there could be a multitude of advantages to using a dehumidifier.




How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

According to Sylvane, a retailer dedicated to air quality products, a dehumidifier will “pull damp, sticky air into the unit, rapidly cool it and condense the moisture, and redistribute the drier, dehumidified air back into your environment using a fan.” Once the dehumidifier collects the moisture, you can manually remove the collection bucket and dump the water, or some models have an included hose or pump that automatically removes the water into a nearby drain. 



What Does a Dehumidifier Do?
4 reasons your home needs one

1. Reduces mold
Mold never shows up in your home without other problems. The dampness creeping into your walls or basement is more than just a cause for unsightly mold. The warm, humid environment that mold thrives in may also lead to rotting structural supports or walls. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links mold exposure to respiratory tract conditions, including the possible “development of asthma in some children.” 

2. Helps with allergies
Dust mites love humid environments, especially carpets, curtains, and bedding. These little creatures are one of the most common allergens, but reducing the humidity in your home can help control them.


3. Keeps your space more comfortable
That muggy feeling in the middle of summer is humidity. When your hair is a frizzy mess? Humidity. When the garbage smells worse than usual? That’s probably humidity. Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. Higher levels of humidity carry odor particles and make it more difficult for your body to cool itself through sweating. A dehumidifier can help regulate the moisture in your home, making it more comfortable for you. (Speaking of frizzy hair, in 1783 a Swiss physicist, Horace Bénédict de Saussure, used human hair to make the first hygrometer to measure humidity.) 


4. Reduces odors
In a study published in the European Archive of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, researchers report that we do, in fact, have a better sense of smell in humid environments. More precisely, when there is more moisture in the air, odor particles have more molecules to carry them to your nose. Therefore, taking moisture out of the air gives that smelly bacteria fewer ways to move around.



How to Choose the Right Dehumidifier

Like any appliance, there are more than a few dehumidifiers to choose from. A small, portable dehumidifier works well for basic living areas. Your basement may need a larger capacity model with added features such as a drain hose and pump. In especially damp environments, installation of a whole house dehumidifier can help you reduce the overall humidity throughout your home.

Dehumidifiers are expensive to run, but it’s not impossible to keep your costs down. Power company National Grid estimates that a dehumidifier could cost up to $22 per month to operate. By comparison, a refrigerator averages around $20 per month, a gas oven is $4.60 per month, a dishwasher is about $4 per month, and an electric water heater adds $55.25 per month to your utility bill. Buying an Energy Star-rated dehumidifier can cut your expenses by an average of 15%, and a larger model is, in general, more efficient.

You can narrow the choices down with a few additional considerations:

  • How much coverage do you need? One room? Your entire basement? Your entire home?

  • How big is the job? Are you trying to make your home more comfortable or do you have a leaky basement that needs attention?

  • What features do you want? Can you be happy with the minimum features or do you want options like a programmable timer, quiet operation, or automatic restart if the power goes out?

A dehumidifier may not be at the top of your home appliance checklist, but there are some good reasons to think about it.


At Pekin Insurance, our goal is to help you take care of your home. That's why our home insurance is built around your needs. Get in touch with your local Pekin Insurance agent today to find out how we can help you keep your home secure.




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