While a number of people welcome the summer
heat, few welcome the humidity, particularly
inside their home. A dehumidifier reduces
the water content of the air and makes your
home feel cooler, which can save you on air-conditioning costs. It can also save you from damage
that results form prolonged excess humidity:
wood (such as doors and hardwood floors)
can warp, swell, and buckle, and high humidity
encourages the growth of mold and mildew.
When planning for a dehumidifier,
if it should be a standalone
unit or built
into your heating/cooling system
only if you have a forced air
Built in units are wired into
and drainage so that their only
is cleaning or changing a filter.
dehumidifiers allow you to dehumidify
of your home, and they can be
used even if
you do not have forced air heating/cooling.
Look for these features:
- Power - If the unit is portable, it should
plug into a standard electrical outlet
- Drainage - Water removed from the air is
collected in a tank or pan that needs to
be emptied periodically. Some units allow
for continuous drainage by connecting a hose
between the unit and a floor drain. If not,
make sure the tank or pan is easy to empty.
- Control - The best units have a humidistat
(humidity gauge) that lets you set the desired
humidity level, and an alarm to alert you
when the collection tank or pan is full.
- Filtering - since a built-in fan pulls air
in and blows it out, units include a filter
that will require periodic cleaning or changing.
Finally, when shopping for a
you should think about the location
unit, expected humidity, and
the size of
the room (or house). It is important
the unit be sized in accordance
square footage of the room so
as to ensure
that it can do the job expected
to invest more money than necessary.