A dehumidifier removes excessive moisture from your home and balances the humidity level. Central air conditioners remove humidity from your home while they are running but sometimes that isn’t enough. Air conditioners only run while they are needed to regulate the temperature to the desired level. The humidity can be higher than desired while the temperature is just right. This is where a dehumidifier comes in.
This phrase describes the hot, muggy environment caused by excessive moisture in the air. We measure humidity as a percentage of relative humidity. That is the amount of moisture that is in the air compared to the amount the air could hold at the temperature. Near 100% relative humidity, you have condensation and conditions ideal for mold. Near 0% relative humidity your skin, sinuses and eyes will dry out and be uncomfortable. Ideal indoor humidity is between 40-60%. Sometimes in Florida, that means that a dehumidifier will make our homes more comfortable, healthy and help lower electric bills.
Dehumidifiers pull the damp, sticky air in. Then rapidly cool the air, condense the moisture and redistribute the drier, dehumidified air back out using a fan. Basically it separates the water from the air. The water collected either drains into a receptacle contained in the unit or it drains through a hose and into an exterior receptacle such as a floor drain.
Your Air Conditioning system when used in conjunction with a dehumidifier can yield big savings on your energy costs. The dehumidifier reduces how hard your ac has to work and saves money on your electric bill. As an added bonus, you can save again by recycling the water that is collected. You can use it to clean the house, water plants, wash your car, add to pools etc.
Size Matters. Consider the size of the room the unit will be used in, the size of the unit itself and the capacity of the unit. You need to consider the amount of moisture expected to be collected in 24 hours to determine the appropriate size. This is normally measured in pints. Larger units can dehumidify an area in a shorter amount of time, so if you are between two sizes you might want to consider the larger one. A model with a smaller capacity may run continuously and still not lower the humidity to proper levels.
Here is a guide to chose the right size for your space.
Water Storage Capacity vs Continuous Drainage: Almost all types have storage tanks for the collected water. Consider that you will have to empty the reservoir more often the smaller that it is, but bigger ones are going to be heavier to lift. Units that drain through a hose can be more convenient but more expensive. With these models you can use a hose to drain outside.
Washable / Removable Air Filter: Units that have washable filters trap airborne dust and particles. If the filter is washable, this makes maintenance a breeze: simply pull out the filter; rinse it with mild soap and water; and put it back.
Typical costs are anywhere from $100 to over $1,000. Most people will find that a $100 – $300 portable unit from a home improvement or big-box store will do just fine for balancing the moisture in their home.
Ask your 40 Degrees Air & Refrigeration Conditioning expert during your next service or installation visit how you could benefit from having dehumidifier in your space or call 954.613.5155 for more information.« Three Tips for Saving Energy with Your Heat and Cooling Unit Beware of these 5 little words “You need a new unit” »