Why Use A Dehumidifier? 8 Benefits Of Home Dehumidifiers

With energy becoming more expensive, it’s natural to ask whether adding another device to your home is really worth the money.

It’s a fair question – but we think a dehumidifier is often worth the cost! By pulling moisture out of the air, these machines can reduce humidity, prevent mould, improve allergy symptoms, and make your home more comfortable to live in.

Of course, we can’t deny that we’re biased when it comes to dehumidifiers (our company is called Choose Dehumidifier, after all). But to back up our point, here are eight benefits of home dehumidifiers.

1. Make Your Home Easier (And Cheaper) to Heat

Did you know that homes with lower humidity require less energy to heat? To understand why, we need to explain relative humidity.

Relative humidity is the percentage of the air’s maximum capacity for moisture. For example, a relative humidity of 70% means that the air is holding 70% of its maximum moisture. When the humidity is 100%, the air can’t hold any more water.

However, relative humidity varies depending on the temperature. Warmer air can hold much more moisture than cold air, so warm air at 70% relative humidity contains more moisture than cold air at the same 70% relative humidity.

When you heat your home, you need to heat all the moisture in the air too. This means that the higher the humidity, the more expensive it is to heat your home!

So, while a dehumidifier uses electricity to dehumidify your home, it can also make it cheaper to heat it.

2. Prevent Mould and Mildew

Mould needs humidity and warmth to grow. It’s almost inevitable that homes with a humidity of more than 60% will have mould growth, although this may be in hidden locations that aren’t noticeable.

Humidity is most common in bathrooms and bedrooms, although it can grow anywhere in the home.¬†Window condensation is also a common moisture source for mould. That’s why many UK homes suffer from mould around window frames.

A dehumidifier can pull moisture out of the air and into a tank. This reduces the overall humidity in a home to a healthier level, which can prevent mould growth, while also allowing moisture on windows to evaporate into the air.

It’s important to understand that a dehumidifier won’t kill existing mould though. It limits mould growth, but you’ll need to treat existing mould to remove it. If there’s a source of humidity, such as a leaky pipe or broken extractor fan, you’ll also need to fix the underlying problem.

Note: While a hygrometer can be useful for assessing the humidity in your home, it’s important to be aware that relative humidity can vary a lot depending on the location. For example, corners are often more humid than the middle of the room.

3. Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Environmental allergens can make your home uncomfortable for anyone with an allergy. The good news is that a dehumidifier can reduce the quantity of certain types of allergens in the home, which may control symptoms.

Which allergens can a dehumidifier help with though?

Four of the most common household allergens are pollen, animal dander, dust mites, and mould. While a dehumidifier won’t have much effect on pollen or animal dander, it can help with the other two.

For example, dust mites are a common allergen due to the proteins found in their dead skin cells. These tiny critters need a relative humidity of at least 50% to live and reproduce (and 70%+ to thrive), so maintaining a lower humidity can greatly reduce the quantity in your home. It’s also important to vacuum regularly to remove any dead mites that could be stirred up into the air.

Mould is another common allergen. Reducing moisture in the air with a dehumidifier can limit mould growth and may reduce allergy symptoms.

4. Improve The Health of Your Home Environment

Aside from reducing dust mites in your home, lowering the humidity can also make the environment less suitable for other small creatures such as silverfish, earwigs, moths, spiders, and cockroaches.

These insects thrive in humid environments with lots of moisture, dust, and mould, so using a dehumidifier can make your home healthier for humans.

5. Prevent Musty or Stale Odours

Does your home have a musty or damp smell to it? This is often caused by a combination of mould, mildew, and excess moisture, which is why a dehumidifier can prevent these unpleasant odours.

Keep in mind that a musty smell can also be caused by damp carpets or other fabrics. If there’s an external source of humidity, such as a leak or rising damp, then you’ll need to sort this first.

6. May Control Asthma Symptoms

Moist air is heavy and more difficult to breathe than dry air. This excess moisture can be particularly problematic for people with asthma, as the excess moisture requires more effort from the lungs.

Therefore, drying out the air could have a positive impact on asthma symptoms.

It’s important to note that there’s currently little scientific evidence supporting this fact. But it’s certainly worth a try, as some people with asthma find that lower humidity makes it easier to breathe.

7. Protect Your Furniture

As we’ve mentioned, excessive moisture can cause mould and mildew to grow around the home. While mould patches are often found on walls or ceilings, they can also develop on furniture, leading to permanent discolouration and damage.

For this reason, a dehumidifier can protect your furniture, curtains, bed sheets, and other soft fabrics. Lowering the humidity can also prevent wooden windowsills from rotting.

8. Dry Clothes Indoors Without a Tumble Dryer

It can be difficult to dry clothes quickly during the cold winter months in the UK. If you don’t have a tumble dryer, then running a dehumidifier next to your laundry rack can dramatically speed up drying times.

Using a dehumidifier to dry your clothes also helps prevent the added moisture from raising the relative humidity too high. This is a common issue for busy households during the winter months, when daily loads of washing can release large amounts of water into the air.

Tip: If you have a tumble dryer, make sure it’s vented outside to prevent the moisture from escaping back into the home.

Are There Any Reasons Not To Buy A Dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers are useful tools for reducing humidity – especially in the UK climate. However, they aren’t the right choice for everyone. In the interest of giving a balanced overview, here are some reasons not to buy one:

  • With electricity costs at a high level, it’s important to be aware of how much a dehumidifier costs to run before buying one.
  • In some cases, you can tackle high humidity without getting a dehumidifier. For example, you can try drying clothes outside in warmer weather (or next to an open window), using an extractor fan when hob cooking, making sure you have a powerful extractor fan in the bathroom, and using a cloth to wipe away excess moisture after showering.
  • A dehumidifier won’t solve a damp problem that’s caused by leaking pipes, broken appliances, faulty extractor fans, or rising damp. While a dehumidifier can help to mitigate some of the effects of these issues, it’s vital to solve the underlying problem.
  • A dehumidifier also won’t kill existing mould.

We hope this article has helped you decide whether a dehumidifier is a good choice for your home. If you’re not sure which model to buy, take a look at our guide to the best dehumidifiers in the UK.

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