Could excess humidity be harming your health and home?
After a mild, damp winter, home humidity levels have skyrocketed. You might think that excess humidity is harmless and that it’s just something that happens in every home. However, too much moisture in the air can have damaging effects on both your health AND your property. You could end up with damp and mould issues which are difficult to resolve. You may also end up suffering from respiratory problems and allergy symptoms.
Do these issues sound familiar? A dehumidifier can help to prevent and relieve a multitude of problems. Using a variety of dehumidification methods (such as compressor or desiccant), these powerful machines can extract a surprising amount of moisture from your whole home. You’ll be left with drier air, much less conducive to the growth of allergy-triggering dust mites and mould.
There are a huge variety of dehumidifiers on the market, and therefore it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to work out which one is right for your home. You might be wondering what on earth a compressor or desiccant dehumidifier is and what the difference is. Perhaps you’re concerned that your dehumidifier will cost you a large amount in energy bills and you need help choosing an economical model. Maybe you’re looking for a dehumidifier for a particular environment such as a chilly garage, basement or even a house boat!
We’ve carefully chosen the units we offer on our website - click here to view our home dehumidifiers. We only offer reliable, solid units which work economically from brands we trust. If you need help choosing a dehumidifier, read our handy guide here. If you’d rather speak to a member of our experienced team in person, please call us on 0845 450 5950 or 01453 752216.
So how do you know if you need one? If any of these telltale signs apply to you, we suggest that a dehumidifier may be very helpful and beneficial.
1. Your home is too humid
This is an obvious one! But how on earth do you work out if your home is too humid? Aside from obvious problems like misty windows and mould, you can’t ‘see’ humidity. A device called a hygrometer (or humidity meter) is a key tool to have at your disposal. It’ll tell you quickly whether or not you need to use a dehumidifier (or in fact a humidifier if your air is too dry!)
You may be thinking....hygrometers sound expensive! They are actually very affordable and cost-effective. We offer reliable and accurate hygrometers from just £12.50. These small battery-operated devices measure the humidity in your room precisely, helping you to work out whether your home is in the correct range.
We suggest that the ideal is 50% relative humidity (Rh). If it’s above 60%, a dehumidifier is usually necessary. Try to avoid letting Rh drop to below 40% as this may make the air too dry, exacerbating respiratory symptoms.
2. You have mould or dust mite allergy
It’s clear that excess humidity can promote mould growth. If you have mould allergy, the chances are you are very sensitive to the spores. You can often see mould when it has accumulated on surfaces, but the tiny spores themselves can be invisible. When these are inhaled, they can trigger debilitating symptoms in mould allergic people. These can range from coughing to full-blown panic attacks. You can read more about mould allergy here. If you have this condition, it’s vitally important that you don’t let excess moisture build up in your home. A dehumidifier can be invaluable when it comes to reducing the humidity that fuels the growth of mould spores.
Many people don’t realise that reducing humidity is also very important for keeping the house dust mite population under control. Dust mites need moisture to survive; in fact, they absolutely thrive in the moist conditions found in most modern homes at this time of year. Using a dehumidifier reduces the essential moisture that these critters need to survive, causing them to die out. If you have dust mite allergy you’ll need to take a wholistic approach to tackling the mites, but dehumidification is a key part of this.
3. You get condensation on your windows
If you’ve spotted a foggy mist or droplets of water on the inside of your windows, it’s a sure sign that there’s too much moisture in the room. There can be a variety of reasons for condensation, from simply having a shower in an under-ventilated bathroom up to improper sealing of building materials. You of course need to tackle the root cause of this to fix humidity problems, but a dehumidifier is an important step towards reducing excess moisture in a room.
We don’t advise using a dehumidifier in a bathroom due to electrical safety risks. However, the great thing about a dehumidifier is that it’s not room-specific. Unlike an air purifier, it will deal with moisture throughout your whole home. Just ensure that you pick a unit appropriate to your house size – you can sort dehumidifiers by room size on this page.
4. There’s a ‘damp’ smell
That characteristic musty smell is a clear indicator that mould or mildew has reared its ugly head. Often present in basements and cellars, this smell needs investigation to make sure there’s no ground water run-off, mouldy air vents or structural leaks. Once the root issue has been identified and tackled, a dehumidifier is useful for preventing this odour from returning.
Units in the Ebac dehumidifier range all include a carbon filter to tackle musty odours and smells. An air steriliser like the Radic8 can also be immensely helpful for reducing airborne and surface mould spores and the associated odours. If you suffer from slight excess moisture in cupboards, wardrobes or small storage areas, one of these mini Prem-I-Air dehumidifiers may be all you need to help remedy the problem.
5. You have mould or water marks on your walls
These are big ‘red flags’ which need investigation. There could be a leaking water pipe contributing to the water marks. If you rent your home, ask your landlord to repair any mould problems or water marks as soon as they occur, to prevent this from damaging your property or your health. Once the cause has been fixed, a dehumidifier is essential to help ward off further damage from damp.
We hope that this article has been helpful in identifying whether or not a dehumidifier can help you. Don’t forget to call or email us if you need help or advice. You can also read our ‘Dehumidifiers Explained’ section for further information.
Disclaimer: Information included in this website is not to be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical practitioner.