Do Dehumidifiers Really Work?
Humidity is one a regularly occurring phenomena that everyone is familiar with, though not everyone necessarily understands the full import of what it can do. The concept of humidity doesn’t seem especially harmful, after all, moisture in the air doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but in the long run, it can lead to the damage of wood, or make conditions within a home more inviting to hazardous organisms like mold. The most common solution to a problem of excessive, regular humidity is a device called a dehumidifier, but does it really work?
A Different Kind Of AC
The operating concept of a dehumidifier is similar to that of an air conditioner, though the final objectives of these two devices are very different. An air conditioner—whether portable or installed in the central heating system of the home—has fans draw in the air in the home. Once that air is in the unit, a refrigerating device cools the air and pushes it back into the home, while the water drawn into the device from cooling is siphoned away. With a dehumidifier, air is taken into the unit, cooled to extract water, but then warm, dry air is now released into the environment, while the water collected is disposed of either manually or through an automated system.
Dehumidifiers really do work. Depending on the type of dehumidifier and the size of the room or rooms, it can work very quickly. Dehumidifiers, like air conditioners, come in two types, portable units that you can buy at the store and move from room to room, and larger house hold units that dehumidify the entire residence but, as with central AC, must be installed by professionals.
In either case, a dehumidifier performs a vital service during the humid months of Maryland’s summers. It keeps the humidity of your home low, preventing the unpleasant, heavy, muggy feeling. More importantly, it prevents surfaces and structures in your home from becoming seeped in moisture and becoming inviting to everything from Brown Rot fungus that can weaken wood, to various molds that are always in the air in spore form, waiting for humid conditions to settle down and start a colony.
While it’s recommended for health and comfort reasons that you get a dehumidifier, the type you’ll need depends on your situation. The integrated home solution is certainly preferred, but sometimes cost—or simply the specifics of the home design—make it unfeasible to install one. A portable solution is cheaper, but this means either emptying its water collection bucket periodically, or running a hose to a drain so the dehumidifier can work continuously.
In either case, it may not seem like an especially glamorous purchase, but buying and using a dehumidifier can save on potentially very expensive repairs down the line, such as having to replace an entire wall because the drywall is infested with mold, or getting beams or other wood construction replaced because a fungus has begun to rot it, threatening its structural integrity.
If you think it’s time to protect your home against high humidity, and want to know if you qualify for a full home dehumidifier installation, contact AA Action Waterproofing for a consultation.