Should I Be Using A Dehumidifier

During the summer as temperatures rise, you will also notice that the humidity levels rise as well. This is very typical for the Oswego, IL. area since warm air has the potential to carry a greater volume of moisture then cool air does. One of the greatest functions of your air conditioning system is that it has the ability to lower the air temperature in your home. As you drop the temperature in your home, the air loses its capacity to hold moisture so the air conditioning system also works as a dehumidifier. If your air conditioning system has been properly sized for your home, you should be able to maintain about a 50% relative humidity level which is quite comfortable. However, this may not always be the case as some extremes and other factors may leave your home with higher levels of humidity. Some of the reasons you may require a dehumidifier are:

  • If your cooling system has been over sized, not only will it cost you more in operational expenses (larger compressors use more energy), it may not properly dehumidify your home. Since an oversized unit will take less time to reach your thermostats set point, it will not have a long enough run time to circulate all of your homes air across the evaporator coil which is the point where the moisture is “condensed” and removed from the air.
  • Your home may have an inadequate vapor barrier which will allow the moisture / humidity from the outdoors to continuously seep into your home. Even if your home has a properly sized cooling system and adequate insulation, if the vapor barrier was improperly installed or never existed, moisture will continue to enter your home at a rate faster than the air conditioning system can remove it.
  • If your home has a basement, there may be a few areas that will permit moisture to enter your home. Foundation walls are typically sealed from the exterior prior to backfilling the soil against the exterior, if this has not been done, your walls will act as a wick and draw the moisture present in the soil into your basement. Prior to pouring your basement floor, a layer of plastic is typically laid down before the gravel is distributed. This not only acts as a radon barrier, it also prevents moisture from seeping up thru the floor after concrete has been poured over the gravel. Additionally, if you have high water tables in your area, there will usually be standing water in the bottom of your sump pit, if the cover is not well sealed, moisture will evaporate out of this pit and make its way into your basement.
  • A large family can create excessive moisture by the number of daily showers taken and amount of laundry done with hot water. If your bathroom does not have an exhaust fan, moisture from the daily hot showers will distribute itself around your home just as the moisture will from using hot water for multiple loads of laundry or even the dishwasher.

If you find that any of the above scenarios apply to your or your home, a dehumidifier may be the easiest fix. Keep in mind that they do consume energy so there is not only the initial expense of purchasing one, there is also the expense of operating one. Additionally, not all dehumidifiers are rated the same. All will provide the quantity of water they can remove listed in pints per day. The experts at RJ Kuhn can assist you in solving any of your moisture problems and we have a complete line of products that will do the job efficiently for you