Are you experiencing a humid indoor environment but not sure if you need to invest in a solution? This article will help explain how to check for warning signs and if you do need to mitigate a problem, what are the best options.
The theory behind “humidity”
Understanding humidity is based on the fundamentals of a “water cycle”: Evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. This natural cycle is a continuous movement but is more prevalent during specific times of the year when the weather is warmer.
Engineers use a tool called a Mollier diagram as a graphic representation to theoretically predict the performance of systems and installations based on the relationship between air temperature, moisture content,and enthalpy.
In simpler terms, it’s an explanation of how temperature and humidity correspond together.
The basic principle is, as air temperature increases, air can hold more water molecules, and its relative humidity decreases. When temperatures drop, relative humidity increases.
How does this correlate to indoor climate?
As stated above, when warm outdoor air enters cooler, indoor areas, moisture levels are raised, creating dampness, especially in cooler, darker areas of the home.
When your indoor environment is overly humid, the fastest way to remedy this is through dehumidification. A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance (of varying sizes) that removes water from the air, essentially collecting it into a reservoir or tank to be emptied, or sent out through a hose to a drain.
Here are some points to take into account when considering a solution to one’s humid indoor climate.
Do you know your indoor humidity level?
A hygrometer is a device that measures humidity levels, similar to how a thermometer measures temperature. Unlike a thermometer, the amounts are shown in percentages, e.g., “the humidity is at 50%”. Hygrometers are relatively inexpensive and a great gadget to have in multiple areas of the home.
Is your current indoor humidity above 60%?
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that indoor relative humidity (RH) should be kept below 60 percent — ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible, in reducing the growth of harmful mold.
This level of humidity indoors is optimal for people’s health, comfort, and well-being, as well as being a safe humidity level for homes, sensitive equipment, art and musical instruments.
An indoor relative humidity (RH) greater than 60 percent provides enough moisture for the growth of mold. If you experience dampness in your house, you should check your humidity level to avoid possible damage to the home or risk of illness.
Where in your home are you experiencing issues?
(Excess moisture, dampness, mold, condensation, musty odors, clothes not completely drying, etc.)
The most common areas where excess humidity occurs are:
- The basement
- The bathroom
- The laundry room
- In crawl spaces
Basements and humidity
What to look for: Damp concrete and moisture in the air, especially in corners where there is little or poor airflow.
Subterranean bedrooms also are affected by higher humidity than other parts of the home. Look for musty-smelling clothes and space.
There are two distinct ways to decrease humidity in a basement:
- Raise the temperature in the room.
- Dehumidify the space.
While raising the temperature inside the space would work theoretically, it is not practical for two main reasons:
- No one wants a warm basement in the summer.
- The energy and money wasted from heating your basement is not logical.
That leaves dehumidification as the optimal solution.
Due to the size and construction material of basements, powerful dehumidifiers are needed to dehumidify and control the moisture level of the entire space. Here are several models of basement dehumidifiers to choose from offering different capacities, programmability, and energy efficiency. Look for extra features, such as:
i-EcoDefrost, intelligent defrosting system
Coverage of large spaces (Some models up to 230 sqm)
Digital and manual controls
Smart operating modes
Working capacity from + 2° C and up to + 35° C
Crawl spaces and humidity
The inside of a crawl space is rarely seen but should not be overlooked! When outside, warm air enters through the vents of a crawl space and mixes with the cooler air inside, the temperature, and relative humidity level rise, along with dampness and condensation.
If left untreated, mold and fungus can rot wood beams and flooring, negatively affecting the stability of your home.
Keeping your crawl space below 50% humidity will help improve its functionality and maintain the lifespan of structural supports, as dryer environments are inhabitable to mold, mites, and spiders.
Click on the link to find dehumidifiers optimized for crawl spaces.
Humid laundry rooms
Dehumidifiers for laundry rooms and drying rooms are designed to dry clothes quickly by blow-drying the laundry, allowing clothes and textiles to last longer than conventional tumble dryers. They are also more energy-efficient. Wood’s carries many models that suit different sized spaces, needs, and energy efficiency.
Bathrooms are usually quite compact and do not have a lot of space for extra appliances, so bathroom dehumidifiers should be compact, light-weight, effective, easy to move and store, as well as offer several smartfeatures. Click on the link above for our best suggestions.
Dehumidifiers for summer houses
Many summer cottages and lake houses are near large bodies of water (lakes, rivers, or oceans/beaches). Because of this, there can be excess humidity in your vacation home.
Our actions also contribute to elevated indoor humidity levels in the summer months. When it’s hot out, we may have wet towels and bathing suits hanging indoors, creating more moisture in the ambient air.
Pay attention to musty odors or the presence of mold and mildew as they are indicators of excess moisture in your home which may impact your health.
SW Series Dehumidifiers for Summer Homes
We recommend the SW Series of dehumidifiers because of its ability to cover larger spaces, its ability to operate from +2°C to +35°C, and their intelligent defrosting system, i-EcoDefrost. All SW model dehumidifiers are designed and built in Sweden.
The best action is preventative action
Don’t wait until you notice a problem, as it may have already started causing damage to your home, personal items, or someone’s health. Keep track of your indoor climate and collect excess condensate with a dehumidifier developed exactly for your type of space.
Wood’s offers dehumidifiers for just about any type of indoor environment. If you are still not sure which type of solution you need, visit us at woods.se or drop us an email here and we’ll be happy to help.