The Benefits of Using a Dehumidifier in the Home

The air around us always contains a certain amount of moisture, and this is certainly true of our homes. Ever escalating energy costs have led to modern houses being better insulated than ever before, and therein lies the problem. Effective insulation prevents precious heat being lost but it also cuts down on the exchange of air with the outside world and traps humidity inside, where it can cause problems for householders if left unchecked.

Moisture in the form of water vapour is in the atmosphere. Within our houses our domestic activities create even more moisture. Cooking, bathing, showering, washing up, washing and drying clothes can add up to 12 litres of water into the air around us each day. We ourselves are another major source of moisture due to our breathing and our perspiration. During eight hours of sleep one person can emit a quarter litre of water and as much as a litre and a half during a busy day.

We tend not to think about this water vapour until it reaches saturation point, condenses out of the air on cold surfaces and becomes noticeable. One sign that this is occurring is dew gathering on the insides of windows. This can accumulate until it turns into droplets that can leave your window frames and window ledges soaking wet, eventually causing damage to vulnerable surfaces.

Drifting airborne fungal spores germinate in the water produced by condensation and this leads to the growth of mould and fungus, which are both unsightly and hazardous to health. Surface condensation can even penetrate into painted woodwork or other porous materials, causing rot to develop. The same process in walls can cause plaster to break down and become crumbly. Humidity can lead to your clothes and other stored items becoming musty, furniture and other items becoming breeding grounds for microorganisms, and even the malfunctioning of electronic equipment.

When a home suffers from these problems, they need to be addressed. This can be achieved by lowering the relative humidity of the air with the aid of a dehumidifier. The ambient air is circulated continually through the dehumidifier and the water vapour it contains is condensed into a container without the loss of any heat.

This process creates an environment where mould can no longer find a medium in which to grow, resulting in cleaner air for breathing, improving health and helping to keep allergies at bay. The air will feel fresher, bad smells will be reduced, dust mites discouraged and cool surfaces will remain dry.

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