The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation defines a dehumidifier as a device that removes moisture from the air. When placed in a home, it draws the indoor air over a heat exchange coil. As the coil cools, the water in the air condenses and is drained. A separate coil then returns the air to room temperature, and it circulates once again throughout the space.
Dehumidifiers are often required for basements, as their underground location makes them more prone to dampness. Dehumidifiers may also be used in other areas of the home that feel too humid or are showing signs of moisture problems.
If you notice condensation on windows, water damage on walls or ceilings, or a musty smell and/or patches of mould, you may be dealing with high levels of humidity. If you are unsure, an instrument called a hygrometer can be used to determine the relative humidity (RH) of your home.
Place the dehumidifier in the area that is experiencing the highest relative humidity. Typically that will be the basement. However, if you tend to keep windows open in the summer, humidity may accumulate in the higher levels of the house as well. Different areas of the home have different ranges of humidity that are considered normal. Rely on your hygrometer and a guide to measuring humidity to find the best place for your dehumidifer.
If your home is experiencing excess moisture, a dehumidifier is crucial for ensuring the health and well-being of your family and your home. Unfortunately dehumidifers are a pricey investment. However, purchasing an appropriate-sized dehumidifier that is also environmentally friendly can significantly reduce your long-term costs. Check out Natural Resources Canada's guide to picking the correctly sized and most energy-efficient appliance for your home.
Sort of. Modern humidifiers don't require a lot of maintenance. However, checking your home's RH levels every now and then is important to ensure the dehumidifier is working properly and your home is being taken care of. By keeping a lookout for signs and symptoms of high humidity, you'll increase the chances of early detection for such problems.
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