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It's Not the Heat: A Guide to Dehumidifiers

The current trend in Central Texas appears to be sneezing your head off and constantly hunting for tissues. We’ve hit prime time for seasonal allergies, and it’s shaping up to be a particularly brutal year. On top of that, rising temperatures mean stepping outside is about to become synonymous with acquiring a sheen of sweat. We can’t control the heat (though we can crank up the AC!), but we can do something about the humidity — and get some relief from allergies at the same time. Let’s get to know a handy device that can help make your summer a little more tolerable: the dehumidifier.

Balancing Act

We feel most comfortable when the humidity level in our home is properly balanced. If the air is too dry, we suffer chapped lips or notice cracks in our wood furniture. When there’s too much moisture in the air, our homes become a petri dish for mold, mildew, and bacteria — and we suffer the consequences in the form of a myriad respiratory issues. Dehumidifiers draw excess moisture from the air, reducing humidity to a healthy level and keeping allergens at bay.

Allergy Alert

Some of the most common allergens include mold, mildew, and dust mites, all of which thrive in warm, wet environments, like humid homes. A dehumidifier can significantly decrease the presence of these allergy triggers, allowing you to breathe easier. For example, while dust mites live in almost every home, they are far more prevalent in humid ones. Using a dehumidifier can reduce their numbers by over 50 percent.

Moisture Monstrosity

Other signs that indicate your home would benefit from a dehumidifier include water stains on walls or ceilings, small black spots growing on walls (especially in poorly ventilated areas like bathrooms), a musty smell, or condensation forming on windows. These are all caused by excess moisture in your home. If the problem is contained to one room or area, a small dehumidifier should take care of it. For widespread issues, whole house systems are available. Most models run quietly and are basically unnoticeable.

In addition to helping with allergies and reducing mold and mildew (eliminating those black spots and odors), dehumidifiers do the following:

  • Prevent mold from growing on fabrics, including clothing, bedding, upholstery, and curtains
  • Keep breads and cereals fresh longer
  • Help clothes dry faster
  • Prevent rust or corrosion on electronics and tools
  • Reduce the amount of dust in your home

Finally, a dehumidifier will improve your air conditioner’s performance. Your AC removes moisture from the air in addition to cooling it, so allocating part of that job to a dehumidifier helps the air conditioner run more efficiently. Adding a dehumidifier to your home could help your AC unit last longer and lead to fewer repairs.

Humidity Heaven

If you’re suffering from allergies this season, we strongly recommend using a dehumidifier to help alleviate your symptoms. And if you’re noticing other warning signs that there’s excess moisture in your home, dehumidifiers are an easy, fairly inexpensive solution. Improve your family’s health and the overall health of your home by maintaining proper humidity levels, and stay comfortable this summer and beyond.

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