When to Use Dehumidifier? And When Not to

If you have an air conditioner, but the relative humidity is still high indoors, it can be confusing to know when to use a dehumidifier.

Below you’ll find out how a dehumidifier works and signs that you need to use a dehumidifier right away.

Let’s get started.

When to Use a Dehumidifier?

You have mold inside

Noticing mold growth on the ceilings, walls, or floor of your home?

While dehumidifiers cannot kill mold, they can prevent mold growth in the future by reducing the humidity levels in your home.

Mold needs humid air to survive, and the dry air the dehumidifier brings will stop mold growth.

Musty odors

Even if you can’t see mold and mildew, it can still be a problem.

The wet, damp and musty smell comes from mold and mildew.

Once mold spores multiply, they start to release gasses that humans can detect.

If you smell a musty smell but don’t see mold, a dehumidifier would help take care of the musty smell.

Excess condensation

Excess condensation on your windows is a sure sign that your home is too humid.

When the moisture inside of your home air hits the cold surface of your windows, it releases moisture on the glass as water droplets.

Condensation can cause mold and mildew growth as well as damage any electronics that may be around.

The window sill and casings can also become damaged and waterlogged if enough moisture is present.

The humidity levels inside are above 50%

The recommended indoor humidity levels are between 30-50%. If you have a hygrometer and the inside humidity levels are above 50%, this is a sign that you need a dehumidifier to take care of excess moisture.

It feels uncomfortable

If you’re using an air conditioner but it still feels like you’re standing outside, a dehumidifier can aid your air conditioner and reduce the humidity levels.

If you’re dealing with high humidity indoors, even cold temperatures can feel much hotter than they are.

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

A dehumidifier draws in warm air from your room and passes it through a cooling coil through the refrigeration process.

The water vapor then condenses on the cold coils and drops down into the water tray underneath. Air conditioners work in a similar process to dehumidifiers.

Benefits of a Dehumidifier

  • Help reduce musty odors
  • Reduce energy costs
  • Helps prevent mold and mildew
  • Alleviates allergies
  • Reduces condensation
  • Kills dust mites
  • Can dry clothes faster
  • Aids air conditioning system

Which Dehumidifier is Right For You?

When deciding on a dehumidifier, you need to first measure your room and buy the right-sized dehumidifier.

If you have a problem with the humidity in your entire home, it’s recommended to get a whole-house dehumidifier.

If you find yourself in one room at a time, or you have a small apartment, then a residential dehumidifier will do. Large rooms will require bigger dehumidifiers than smaller rooms.

If you are in a high humidity climate, then you will need a dehumidifier that is rated for at least 50 pints per day, and ideally 70 pints per day.

You will need to consider if you need to drain the water that’s collected upwards (think basements) and for that, you need a dehumidifier with an internal pump.

Commercial settings that need to remove 100s of water from the environment a day will need to rely on commercial dehumidifiers.

An average-sized room with a moderate humidity level is going to require a 30-pint dehumidifier. Large spaces up to 2500 feet will need a 70-pint dehumidifier.

Final Thoughts

While it can be confusing when to use a dehumidifier, knowing when to will help your indoor air quality and make your environment more comfortable.

Different-sized rooms will require different-sized dehumidifiers. The more humid the room, the more pints per day capacity your dehumidifier should have.

If you’re still confused, you can rely on one of our HVAC technicians to give you a hand.

About Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen has a burning passion for heating, cooling, and ventilation. He aims to help you save money on expensive repairs and bring you the best HVAC products. He has years of experience behind him in HVAC repair and garage maintenance.

You can find Roy at his LinkedIn or his email: [email protected]

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