If the air in your home is especially humid, your home may be at risk for mildew and mould growth. One option for reducing humidity in the home is to install a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier utilises three primary components: a fan for sucking in air, a cool refrigerant coil for condensing and removing the vapour in the air. and a hot refrigerant coil for reheating the air before sending it back into the room. Whether or not a dehumidifier is right for your home will depend on a variety of factors.
In especially humid or damp home environments, a dehumidifier may only be worth the investment if the unit is capable of removing high quantities of moisture. While many small-capacity dehumidifiers are only able to remove 25 pints of moisture in a 24-hour span, large-capacity dehumidifiers can achieve moisture removal amounts of 75 pints in the same time span. According to Consumer Reports, the modest additional cost of a higher-capacity model over a lower-capacity model is worth if it you are serious about removing moisture.
Consumer Reports warns that running a dehumidifier in the home can add more than £97 to the yearly electric bill. An energy-efficient model, however, can reduce this expected cost by £13. As Energy Star points out, this annual £13 savings can net you over £143 in total savings over the lifespan of an energy-efficient dehumidifier. The most energy-efficient dehumidifiers tend to be large-capacity models, as they can remove the most water per kilowatt-hour of energy used. To earn an Energy Star qualification, a dehumidifier must use 15 per cent less energy than a similarly-sized, conventional dehumidifier model.
If you are sensitive to noise or are worried about disturbing the sleep of babies or small children, a dehumidifier may not be worth it. A typical dehumidifier will generate between 55 and 67 decibels of noise from a range of 4 feet. By comparison, loud conversations, street traffic and vacuum cleaners produce noise at similar decibel ranges. While low-capacity dehumidifiers tend to be quieter than higher-capacity options, they are also less economical and less efficient.
If the humidity issues in your home are especially severe and you know the source of the moisture, investing in a dehumidifier may not be worth it. Instead, you should remedy the cause of the problem, as opposed to continually addressing the aftermath. Common causes of humidity in the home include steam from hot showers and hobs, improperly vented dryers and water seeping in through the basement. You can fix these issues by installing exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen; cleaning out dryer ducts and sealing leaks; and waterproofing the basement by filling foundation cracks and applying moisture-resistant coatings.