No one likes the feeling of humidity in their surroundings, much less inside their actual house. Harsh summer heat or winter cold is unbearable already, but when you introduce the ever sticky, frustrating humidity into the mix, everything becomes ten times worse.
Fortunately, modern technology has given us opportunities to escape these temperatures and climates through home heating and cooling systems.
Taking it a step further, modern technology has brought us: Dehumidifiers, which are intended to bring down humidity and moisture levels in your home as much as possible, and ensure that homeowners don’t remain subjected to its clamminess in the comfort of their own homes.
How you use your dehumidifier also matters in improving your home’s air quality. Sometimes, people face dilemmas as to what setting they should set the humidity level to in order to get it just right for the home environment.
After all, an inaccurate setting can be just as burdensome as having no humidifier at all, as this not only makes the air uncomfortable, it also facilitates bacterial and mold growth due to unsuitable temperatures.
In general, it is recommended that one keeps the humidity level in their home below 60 percent, more ideally, the level should fall right in between 30 and fifty percent, but even within this range- how much is too much? And how much is too little? You might find your answers in this guide to Dehumidifier settings.
What is Humidity?
Humidity is a term used to reflect moisture levels in your home. It is also called ‘relative humidity.
In your living space, the humidity levels can largely affect your health and your ease of living. This is where dehumidifiers come into play. They are specifically designed to eliminate moisture from the air and drain them outside your home.
Basement dehumidifiers are especially useful, as these locations are more prone to higher humidity levels. Using a dehumidifier in this area can result in lowering the chances of mold and mildew growth.
The recommended way to use a dehumidifier is to first set it to a 45% level, and flit between higher and lower levels according to whatever feels the most comfortable to you.
Setting the right level on your dehumidifier matters because it successfully removes problems like smells, dust mites, mold, and mildew growth, as well as ensures your comfort and relaxation.
If you set your dehumidifier setting to a level that is lacking in any way, the high humidity levels can take over and even trigger health issues like lung problems.
Best Dehumidifier Settings For Your Basement
The dehumidifier setting is especially important when it comes to your basement, as this area already has high moisture content.
It is more vulnerable to odors and mold growth compared to the rest of your house, and one must take care not to encourage this by accidentally setting the dehumidifier to an unsuitable level.
When getting a dehumidifier, we recommend that you ensure that windows, doors are closed and all gaps are sealed off, as these openings not only bring in more moisture but also rack up the monthly electricity bills for your dehumidifier.
Some general tips to keep in mind are as follows:
- Dehumidifier levels above 60% are not advisable as they can activate the growth of mold further. Ensure that you maintain the settings below this number.
- 45 or 50% is a good place to start with your dehumidifier settings. You can adjust the settings according to how your basement reacts. For instance, a decent setting is one in which humidity is reduced, smells are eliminated, and mold growth comes to a stop.
- Outdoor temperatures are also crucial to pay attention to. Sometimes, during winter months, harsh lower temperatures can halt your dehumidifier’s performance and cause it to freeze up.
Dehumidifier Settings for Mold Growth
At high relative humidity, say, 80%- mold growth can happen at a faster rate. Mold growth is also higher when it comes to extremely high temperatures.
For instance, in summer, mold growth is likely to increase, and you’ll possibly have to change your relative humidity settings you’re your humidifier to suit this temperature.
Mold growth is considered to be easily stimulated in high relative humidity levels around 60%, so unless you want to create more problems than solve them- this setting is not advisable.
At around 50 percent relative humidity, you’ll find that mold growth is reduced considerably. However, the humidity level is still very high and not considered safe, especially in high outdoor temperatures.
The 40% humidity level window provides both adequate comforts and leaves little to no room for mold growth.
At 30%, you’ll find the difference to be negligible from the 40% level. This setting isn’t the most energy-efficient as your dehumidifier is prompted to draw more energy to keep the humidity levels lower.
Dehumidifier Settings For Different Temperatures
As temperatures increase- reaching a peak of 80 to 90F, it is recommended that you lower the relative humidity and bring it down to about 40% or 30% accordingly.
During winters, however, it is recommended to not use dehumidifiers entirely as humidity levels naturally drop. Using your dehumidifier at this time might unnecessarily increase the moisture content in your surroundings and further stimulate harmful consequences like mold growth and health issues.
Dehumidifier Settings for Dust Mites
Where the mold is considered dangerous at a 60% relative humidity level, dust mites are more common above 50%. Dust mites can be quite problematic as they can trigger allergies, asthma, and other lung diseases. Dust mites are also considered to cause skin problems and breakouts.
Dust mites increase in high temperatures as well as high humidity- so you have more cause than ever to avoid any setting above 50 percent in the summers.
Again, 40% or 45% seems to be the most optimal humidity level for both mold and dust mite control, all while operating at a fairly decent level of energy efficiency.
Getting The Best Out Of Your Dehumidifier
A big contributor to a smoothly functioning dehumidifier is its maintenance and upkeep. As long as you are creating the right conditions for your dehumidifier to work in, you’re making your own life easier to deal with. Here are some tips to get the best out of your dehumidifier:
An adequate humidity level ensures the prevention of mold and dust mites and fights off allergies as well. As you know, the ideal humidity level is considered to be between 30% and 50%, with 40% being just right to ward off mold and mildew growth and reduce electricity consumption.
Close all gaps
Ensuring that there are no undetected openings in your room or basement goes a long way in increasing the effectiveness of your dehumidifier. If you leave any windows or doors open, moisture from outside will undoubtedly be cycled into the room.
In turn, this not only increases your room’s humidity levels but also requires your dehumidifier to use more energy, ultimately increasing the electricity bills.
Where you situate your Dehumidifier plays a big role in how well it works. Generally, it is a good idea to keep the space around your humidifier clean and unobstructed.
Also, note where the vents of your dehumidifier are, and ensure that there is nothing blocking the outflow of air. Free space around your dehumidifier will ensure that air remains well regulated and evenly distributed throughout the room.
Cleaning the filters
To keep your dehumidifier working efficiently, you must see to it that it is maintained and cleaned regularly. After all, you can’t expect a dirty unit to work in its best condition.
Your dehumidifier is vulnerable to dirt, dust, and debris due to its air filter. All air absorbed from the room into the dehumidifier passes through the filter. The filter entraps these particles to improve the air quality.
Filters tend to get all clogged up with the entrapment of such materials, and thus, need to be washed regularly so that they don’t deteriorate the performance of your unit.
Some dehumidifiers have indicator lights to tell you when the filters need to be cleaned.
Cleaning the grills
A similar phenomenon occurs with the dehumidifier’s grills. If you don’t keep the grills clean, this can slow down the air movement of your dehumidifier.
In consequence, you’re going to experience less satisfactory humidity removal. The user manual that comes with the device usually has certain guidelines to clean the grills in a safe manner.
The dehumidifier tank stores all water content that is retrieved from extracting the moisture in the air. The water that is meant to be drained out is in the tank- and your dehumidifier will not function with a full tank.
So make sure that you regularly clean your tank to avoid such problems. Some dehumidifiers also have indicator lights that tell you when your tank is due for a cleaning.
The dehumidifier is a very useful device in regulating your home’s humidity level and making your living space as breathable as possible. Knowing the best settings of your dehumidifier can go a long way in smoothening its overall performance.
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