Sunshine most of the year, mild winters, and proximity to the shoreline are all things that make Florida an attractive place to live, but subtropical conditions mean high humidity…and dehumidifiers. Unfortunately, a fresh hairstyle isn’t the only thing humidity can wreak havoc with. Florida dew points average significantly higher than almost every other place in the continental United States, which makes dehumidifiers a necessity.
What Are Dehumidifiers?
In short, dehumidifiers are machines designed to pull moisture from the air—most work by moving moist air through cooling coils where the condensation removes dampness. Drier, warmer air is then circulated through a heat recovery system. They range from units on the small side you can wheel from one room to another, with catch chambers that must be periodically emptied of water, to whole-house dehumidifier setups. Most, from the smallest to the most complex, are equipped with special sensors called humidistats to measure and maintain a set relative humidity level.
Just like your HVAC system keeps your home at a preset temperature through the thermostat, a humidistat will maintain the preset moisture balance. Ideally, your home’s humidity level should fall between 30% and 50%. Lower than 30% can contribute to sinus inflammation and dehydrate your skin. Higher humidity levels, however, can cause serious damage to your home and health.
Why Florida Residents Need Dehumidifiers
Your home is your safe harbor. The last thing you want is for it to become an equally safe harbor for moisture-loving microbes that can seriously damage your body and property. Damp, overly humid areas are a breeding ground for microbial growth. In addition to being a strong potential health and property risk, this growth can cause your home to have an unpleasant, musty odor.
If anyone in your household struggles with asthma or allergies, a too-humid environment will exacerbate symptoms significantly. It’s also important to note that even if no one in your home has respiratory issues, excessive humidity can make a room downright uncomfortable. Florida homes can be difficult enough to keep comfortable at the peak of the hot season. Add an extra dose of wet air, and you have a recipe for misery.
Need an even better reason to monitor the humidity in your home? Above a 50% threshold, humid air can also make it seem hotter when the AC unit is running. In turn, you spend more money to run your unit at a higher rate, and the root issue lies unaddressed.
What Should I Look for in Dehumidifiers?
With so many options on the market, it isn’t always easy to know what’s best for your home. No two homes are exactly alike, so it’s important to look for dehumidifiers that fit your unique circumstances and household.
Used properly, dehumidifiers can minimize the activity of destructive pests like termites, keep allergens, bacteria, mold, and mildew at bay, protect against moisture damage, and keep your home comfortable. For these reasons, you want to make sure you get the sizing and functions you need to protect your home. In most cases, it’s wise to call in professionals who specialize in dehumidifiers, HVAC, and air quality management, in general, to ensure you’re making the right choice.
If you’re ready to help minimize the workload on your AC system and boost air quality while keeping moisture-loving microorganisms at bay, A.M.I. can help. With the right systems in place, you can protect your biggest and most important investment from all the trouble excessive moisture can cause.