Signs You Need A Dehumidifier


Signs you need a dehumidifier

  1. Damp Rooms
  2. Condensation
  3. Musty Odors
  4. Mold & Mildew
  5. Poor Ventilation

When I sensed that the air in my home was damp and there was a musty smell, I knew that I had to look into the cause. It’s a good thing I went looking. I found mold patches and water stains on some of the walls caused by high humidity!

Does this sound familiar? If it does, these are clear signs that you have excess humidity. You need to get a dehumidifier immediately.

Living with mold or dampness can be harmful to everyone in the home and can trigger allergies. Excessive moisture in the air also reduces the shelf life of medicines, making them ineffective.

The excess moisture can also cause severe damage to the structure of your home, including the ceiling, walls and floors. It fogs up windows and damages furniture. It generally reduces the lifespan of materials used in the construction.

Signs of excess moisture in your home include: water damage on the walls, foggy windows, mold, mildew growth and sticky surfaces.

Do You Need A Dehumidifier For Your Home
Do You Need A Dehumidifier For Your Home

Do You Need A Dehumidifier For Your Home? Why Do You Think So?

There could be many reasons you feel that you need a dehumidifier in your home. For instance, there could be a musty smell, or you could have a damp basement, or mildew and mold growth. Damp and humid air in your home can lead to a damp basement and condensation on the windows and walls.

Excess humidity can also lead to mold growth and musty smells. This dampness can cause you and your family to suffer from illnesses. Moreover, humid air can damage the very foundation of your house. Continued dampness on walls can rot wooden beams. These are clear signs around your home that show that you need a dehumidifier. [1] If left untreated, you will have a huge repair bill. 

How Can That You Need A Dehumidifier
How Can That You Need A Dehumidifier

How Can You Identify The Signs That You Need A Dehumidifier? [2]

A Damp Basement
A Damp Basement

Sign 1: A Damp Basement

Most often, it is the basement that suffers from high humidity. Does your basement feel damp or have higher levels of humidity than the rest of your home? In some cases, there may be leaks because the pipes have become old and corroded.

In others cases, it can be because the faucets have been damaged, causing water to drip. If there are no leaks or other evidence of water intrusion, a dehumidifier may be the answer. Such dampness can be the case even if your house has a HVAC; heating ventilation air conditioning system.  

During hot and humid summer months, the air conditioner; HVAC may not recirculate the cool and dry (A.C. treated) air to the basement. Your basement must have a return vent to recirculate air. Even when the HVAC isn’t running during the fall and spring seasons, damp air can build up inside your basement. Unless your basement is well insulated, it’s natural that moisture will enter through the foundation.

There are other reasons for high humidity. One reason is the incorrect installation of glazed windows. A second reason may be insufficient insulation. Etc…

It’s a matter of your basement’s dew point. The dew point is the point at which air can’t hold more water in gas form in a room.  The excess moisture condenses and the basement becomes damp.

Condensation On Walls And Windows
Condensation On Walls And Windows

Sign 2: Condensation on Walls and Windows

As per the Environmental Protection Agency, the optimal indoor humidity range is 35-50%. A humidity level above 60% is generally considered too high. These conditions are uncomfortable. They’ll either be too cold and clammy, or too hot and sticky. They also allow for mold, which is harmful to your health.

Condensation is an expression of excess moisture. It leaves a layer of dampness on all surfaces, be it near a wall or a window. High humidity throughout your home is another warning sign. We can use smart thermostats to read humidity levels. 

An affordable humidity meter costs between $10 and $50 and can take readings. Continued exposure to high humidity can cause furniture to rot. This causes damage to other building materials like wood, paint, varnishes and metal wiring.

Paint peeling on the walls is noticeable. The presence of moisture can make a good environment for pests. Pest like carpenter ants and termites like moisture. These pests will eat into the wood and can be hard to get rid of. 

A portable dehumidifier placed in the right spot can pull unwanted moisture from the air. Condensation on windows and walls is a clear indicator that your home is humid. This moisture build-up occurs during winter months.

When outside temperatures plummet compared to higher indoor temperatures, moisture builds-up. Cold surfaces, including windows and insulated walls, cause water to condense indoors. If you notice this in your home, you can be sure that you have an indoor humidity problem.

Musty Odor
Musty Odor

Sign 3: Musty Odor

Mold and mildew grow in humid environments. This can result in mold-related health problems. The mold growing indoors releases a foul or musty smell from toxins and spores. These spores and toxins may trigger allergies and asthma attacks in some people.

Toxins & spores can also become irritants to the nose, eyes and throats of healthy people. It is best if you watch out for any presence of mold. The presence of mold may be missed at first. You definitely have humidity issues if you find mold spots on walls, floors or other locations within your home.

If you face mold issues, the E.P.A. advises you to address the root cause as soon as possible. A dehumidifier may not cure all your humidity issues, especially if the cause is leaking pipes or a lack of proper rainwater drainage. However, a dehumidifier can help halt further damage while you find a permanent solution.

Mold Or Mildew Growth
Mold Or Mildew Growth

Sign 4: Mold or Mildew Growth

Mold is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. Mold is a fungal species. It causes a breakdown of natural materials through bio-degradation. When mold is found in large quantities it can be dangerous and will pose a health risk.

Mold triggers eye and throat irritations, skin rashes, sneezing, itchy throat and coughing. Mold can also trigger asthma attacks. Mold thrives in damp air in the range of 50-65% relative humidity.

A dehumidifier can remove the extra moisture and prevent the growth of new mold. If you notice mold growing in your home, you or your family members may start having health issues. You should consider getting a dehumidifier for your home.

Poor Ventilation
Poor Ventilation

Sign 5: Poor Ventilation

The environment can play a big role in your home’s indoor humidity. For instance, if you live in a place that is wet all year and your house lets in too much outside air, it will create increased moisture levels indoors.  

Apart from the general climate, drafty windows and doors are also culprits. Homes that have poor ventilation can create problems, but for a different reason. For instance, if your house is well insulated, it will hold onto excess moisture. Other sources of humidity in your home are:

  • Steamy showers in bathrooms without exhaust fans,

  • Poorly ventilated kitchens (with no vented hood system), and

  • Laundry rooms filled with wet clothes

Can Dehumidifiers Help
Can Dehumidifiers Help

Can Dehumidifiers Help?

If you have seen any of the above signs of high humidity levels in your home, you need a dehumidifier.

You need a dehumidifier is your humidity is more than 50%. You need a humidifier is your humidity is less than 30%.

A whole-house dehumidifier that can be fit into your HVAC; heating ventilation air conditioning system. Whole-house dehumidifiers can dehumidify your home. They are more costly than portable, stand-alone dehumidifiers, but they are more reliable.

You may also select an appropriate unit based on where will your dehumidifier be used. For example, if your clothes feel damp and they have a stale and musty smell you need a closet dehumidifier. 

Consider an appliance based on how much square footage you have as well as the moisture in your home. This price depends on the capacity of your appliance.