A dehumidifier is a not-so-commonly used home appliance. Many people don’t even realize that there’s a humidity problem in their house.
Dehumidifiers reduce the humidity in the room, making it more comfortable to spend time in, especially for allergic people. However, just like other home appliances, dehumidifiers are by no means perfect, and in many cases, it might not be worth it to buy one in the first place.
So, what are the disadvantages of a dehumidifier running in your home all day? That’s what we attempt to uncover in this guide, so stick around.
What Does a Dehumidifier Do?
A dehumidifier is a machine that extracts moisture out of the air in the room. But how would that benefit you?
Well, for starters, if you or any of your family members have allergy symptoms, humid air can be a real issue. Dehumidifiers also make breathing much easier and more comfortable. They work best in humid climates.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Dehumidifier?
The main problem with dehumidifiers is that they don’t address the root of the problem. If your home is poorly insulated, the air inside the rooms will always remain excessively humid, and a dehumidifier will only resolve the problem as long as it’s functioning properly.
Increased Energy Bills
High-quality dehumidifiers are energy-efficient and won’t cause a dramatic spike in your energy bills. However, it’s still a new electrical unit that’s introduced to your home, so expect your energy bills to increase a bit.
It may not be that significant during winter, but in hot, humid summer months, you might have to pay an extra $50 or more every month.
Just like your air conditioner, a dehumidifier requires regular maintenance sessions to keep functioning properly. You might get some free maintenance checkups with your purchase under warranty for a couple of years or so, but after that, you’ll have to pay for its maintenance.
Not to mention, you’ll have to empty and clean its water storage tank every day. One way to get around that is to install a drain hose system. It’ll cost you extra, but it’ll save you the hassle of having to empty the water storage tank every single day.
It’s also worth noting that some models have a removable filter that has to be cleaned at least once a month.
Dehumidifiers are known to fail quicker than many other home appliances. The reason isn’t quite known, but it’s probably because some manufacturers use poorly designed components and cheap materials.
Heat and Noise
Dehumidifiers blow out warm air from the back, which can heat up your room on summer days. At the same time, it’s wrong to put the dehumidifier right against the wall as it’ll prevent it from properly drawing in the damp air. Your best bet is to place the unit in a doorway.
Additionally, dehumidifiers can produce a whole lot of noise, especially if it has to work at its peak levels. You can avoid that by choosing a suitable dehumidifier for your room size.
What About the Pros?
Alright, setting aside the disadvantages, there are several perks to using a dehumidifier, which include:
Dehumidifiers Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms
High moisture levels in the air encourage the growth of allergens like mold and dust mites. A humidity level of 70% is the best environment for mold growth.
By having a dehumidifier in the room, it’ll decrease the humidity level to less than 50%, and you’ll gradually start noticing that your allergy symptoms are improving once the mold stops growing.
Dehumidifiers May Help Control Asthma
Moisturized air is heavy and difficult to breathe, which may cause breathing problems for people who suffer from asthma. A dehumidifier reduces the moisture in the air, which may cause asthma symptoms to improve.
Dehumidifiers Can Create a Healthier Environment
Humid rooms are much worse than hot rooms. For example, sitting in a room that’s 75 degrees with an 80% humidity rate is much less tolerable than being in a 65-degree room with 40% humidity. Why? Simply because humidity will make you sweat till your clothes are completely wet.
And while heat isn’t always a favorable thing for everyone, it’s less annoying than humidity. That’s the whole point of a dehumidifier; it makes the room less humid, which in turn helps you feel more comfortable and less sweaty.
When Shouldn’t You Use a Dehumidifier?
There are some cases when a dehumidifier might just be useless. For example, if you live in a city with a dry climate that’s cold most of the year with a humidity level of around 30%, then a dehumidifier in the house would just be a waste of money.
Oh, and if you do own a dehumidifier and are regularly using it, don’t leave it running when you leave the house for more than a day. It’d be pointless because once the reservoir bucket is full, the dehumidifier will automatically shut off.
On a side note, you might be able to decrease humidity in the room by solving the underlying problems that are making the place humid in the first place.
For instance, you can inspect your pipes and check if any of them are cracked. You should also make sure that your gutters are 100% clean.
Also, if you use a dryer, ensure that the hose is in good condition. Another way to make your home less humid is to install exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen.
Portable vs. Whole-House Models
There are two types of dehumidifiers: portable and whole-house. As the name implies, a portable dehumidifier can be moved around easily. However, portable units are only designed to be used in a single room and are only able to dehumidify a limited space.
On the flip side, a whole-house dehumidifier will reduce the moisture in your entire house. Whole-house models are generally more expensive, but they last longer and are easier to maintain than portable models.
However, they use more energy, and in many cases, it’s not really necessary to dehumidify your entire house because you may not spend that much time in every room in your house.
Is It OK to Sleep in a Room With a Dehumidifier?
It’s perfectly fine to sleep in a room with a dehumidifier turned on. In fact, it can help you sleep faster because it’ll make you less sweaty and more comfortable.
However, some dehumidifiers can be quite loud, which may disturb your sleep or even prevent you from falling asleep altogether. Some premium models are pretty quiet, though, so make sure that you go for one of these if you’re going to place it in your bedroom.
Are Dehumidifiers Worth It? The Final Say
To recap, a dehumidifier in your room can have some disadvantages, but the pros are definitely worth it, provided that there’s no other easier fix for your humidity problem.
Just make sure that you pick a premium model that’s energy-efficient, doesn’t produce much background noise, and has a good reputation when it comes to reliability and life span.