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Importance of Dehumidifiers

6/26/2013 11:08:14 AM | by Anonymous

Dehumidifiers

A dehumidifier does just what its name implies- lowers the level of humidity in the air.

 

Humidity is the measure of water vapour in the air. When the humidity in a room or home is too high, problems such as wet stains on surfaces or squeaky floorboards and hinges will start to arise. Excessive humidity also promotes the growth of allergens such as dust mites, fungus and mold which can cause respiratory problems. Valuable objects such as musical instruments can also be damaged. Generally, a place is too humid when it feels hot, stuffy and has a musty smell.

 

This is where dehumidifiers come in handy. Dehumidifiers can range from tiny packets of silica gel to huge whole house dehumidifiers and can be found in appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners. The most common type is the portable dehumidifier, which are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. These dehumidifiers run on the very simple concept of condensation. Since water vapour in the air turns back into liquid when it comes into contact with a cool surface, the dehumidifier uses a fan to pull air into the room through it and over cooled coils. The water vapour condenses on the coils and drips into a collecting container. Other dehumidifiers use desiccants, which are materials that naturally take in moisture.

 

Portable dehumidifiers use less energy than an air conditioner and also help save energy. Furthermore, the water collected, known as ‘greywater’ can be used for watering ornamental plants. They also help reduce our energy usage because when the humidity in a room is higher, we tend to think that the temperature is also higher and use the air conditioner more.

 

The use of dehumidifiers is especially advantageous to people who have allergies or respiratory problem. Air containing allergens, such as dust and fungi, can lower our immunity if constantly inhaled. Excessive humidity can promote the growth of mold, fungus and dust mites which some people are allergic to. Even if you do not have an allergy, mold only needs a little bit of moisture before it starts growing on your walls and is a pain to remove. A high humidity will also attract unwanted guests such as cockroaches, centipedes and spiders who like moist environments. Using a dehumidifier helps to prevent this from happening. Also, if you have respiratory problems such as easily aggravated sinuses or a blocked nose, having a dehumidifier in the same room could help relieve discomfort and make breathing easier.

 

Excess moisture in the air damages wood, because wood expands when it absorbs moisture. This could cause doors and windows to have trouble opening or crack and eventually the structural integrity of your home could be badly affected. The same holds true for wooden musical instruments such as violins or pianos, as their sound quality is very dependent on their wooden bodies. Using an electronic dehumidifier helps solve this problem, but things that stored away in cupboards could also start to have mold growing on them. To combat this, small dehumidifiers that use desiccant materials that can be placed inside cupboards or cabinets and absorb the excess moisture. These can also be placed inside the lids of grand pianos, or in boxes with electronic equipment.

 

Electronic portable dehumidifiers can be rather costly but in the long run they could be more worth it than having to buy desiccant dehumidifiers every now and then. To keep your dehumidifier as efficient as possible, check and clean the filter regularly and keep it away from areas with too much dust or dirt, which can clog the machine. Whole house dehumidifiers cost quite a large amount and need regular maintenance but they do the job of keeping your whole house and all your furniture from being damaged by moisture.

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