MISHAWAKA/FORT WAYNE/PLYMOUTH IN; ST. JOSEPH/NILES, MI — Indiana and Michigan are at record rain levels this year leaving the air, ground — and possibly your basement — feeling clammy and damp.
Many homeowners purchase a small dehumidifier from a big box store and are disappointed they don’t make the moist feeling go away.
A store-bought dehumidifier may claim to remove up to 70 pints of water a day, but in reality, they remove closer to 30-35 pints. It’s not bad, but they only remove water from the room they are in, and unless you install a drain, require you to constantly dump them out.
A better bet is a whole-house dehumidifier ducted into your HVAC system.
A professional grade dehumidifier can pull up to 130 pints of water from your home every day. They are installed with drains and a thermostat-like device so you can set your whole home at, say, 45 percent humidity (below 50 percent is ideal for summer weather) and it will run until your whole home reaches that point, shut off on their own and turn back on if humidity rises due to cooking, a shower or an open window.
In addition to comfort issues, humidity can cause breathing and allergy problems.
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Humidity levels above 50 percent can breed dust mites, mildew, and mold, triggering allergies or other health problems.
Plus, high humidity often causes homeowner to turn down their air conditioner temperature, say, from 78 to 75 degrees.
Every 6 percent increase or decrease in relative humidity in a home feels like 1 degree Fahrenheit change.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), every 1 degree you lower your thermostat creates 5 percent savings on your energy bill.
Consequently, if you lower the relative humidity in your home by just 18 percent, you can raise the thermostat 3 degrees and feel exactly the same.
If the thermostat is set at 78 degrees, rather than 75, the air conditioner won’t run as much, saving wear and tear on the equipment and money on your energy bills. That 3 degree setting could equal a 15 percent savings each month.
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As we all hope for the rain to stop, we know the result when warm weather finally comes will be soggy basements and that wet-feeling outside for a long while.
Even on a normal year, a home gains 4,000 pounds of moisture just from the air. It then sheds that moisture in the winter, causing your furniture, flooring, woodwork and drywall to expand and contract.
Getting a whole-home dehumidifier even in the best of years, makes a lot of sense.
A reputable HVAC company will offer a number of dehumidifying solutions for large and small spaces, starting with a thorough inspection, measuring your space, windows, moisture level and more to develop the best solution to keep you in home comfort every day, all day.
If you have any other questions about how dehumidifiers can help keep your family comfortable, please contact us.