When thinking about how to make our house lovely and cosy for the winter, very few people think of a dehumidifier! A dehumidifier is a household appliance which reduces the level of humidity in the air, used for health and comfort reasons, or to eliminate musty odours. Maintaining the correct moisture level within your home is essential for creating a comfortable living space.
A cosy and pleasant home environment is never more important than in the cold winter months, when we spend more time inside. It’s not only the temperature of the air which affects how we feel when we are at home, but also the humidity and quality of the air.
There are many obvious signs that indicate that you need a dehumidifier. One sign to look out for is condensation or ‘foggy’ windows, or moisture dripping down the window interior. Another tell-tale sign that there is too much moisture present is mould on the ceiling and in the corners of walls.
A damp, musty smell is another indication of mould and mildew. Even If you cannot see mould it can grow underneath carpets and inside walls. Basements, garages, windowless bathrooms, inside closets and other badly ventilated areas are prone to high humidity levels.
If you live in a basement flat or sleep in a poorly ventilated area a dehumidifier is necessary. If you are unsure whether you need a dehumidifier, you can check the humidity of the air in your home by using a hygrometer. Humidity levels vary greatly around the home, so take at least one reading per room. 35-45 percent is a healthy moisture level reading which will support comfort and good health. Anything above that and a dehumidifier is highly recommended.
High humidity levels in the home can cause a multitude of health problems such as allergies and respiratory problems, which are troublesome for anyone but are particularly dangerous for children and the elderly. Many people are allergic to dust mites which thrive in humid conditions. If you or a family member is allergic it is essential to keep humidity levels to below 50 percent.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to dust mites include itchy eyes, dark under eye circles, sneezing, blocked ears, a runny nose and rhinitis. Moulds and the spores that they release into the air can also trigger allergies and asthma attacks. The humidity of a bedroom can also affect sleep quality, as sleep disturbances can stem from breathing problems experienced throughout the night.
Ideal in winter
Winter is a great time to invest in a dehumidifier as it can be too cold (and energy inefficient) to keep the windows open. Moist, stagnant air is a breeding ground for bacteria and controlling moisture inside your home can limit the spread of the common winter cold and flu viruses.
A dehumidifier will ensure that your family are breathing in fresh, clean air and get rid of unpleasant stuffiness in the home. Drying clothes can also be a problem in winter, particularly if you do not have a tumble dryer – with a dehumidifier your clothes will dry quicker. A basement dehumidifier will also ensure that furniture and valuables are protected from the damp, and electronics are not damaged.
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