Whether you're looking to reduce mold and mildew or get the musty smell out of your house, these dehumidifiers can help.
You know that wet, sticky feeling you get when you walk into a basement? Though it’s more common in basements, closets, laundry rooms, and three-season porches, you might experience this in any part of your home, despite a functioning climate control system. If your house smells musty, feels wet, or is showing signs of excess humidity (stained walls or ceilings, condensation on windows, or rotting wood, for example), you’re probably in dire need of a dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier does wonders to increase your home’s comfort level, but that’s not all it can do: these devices can keep you healthier, too. Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air, which keeps mold and mildew at bay and can also reduce certain allergens in the air.
"Dehumidifiers are often helpful when used for the treatment of allergies such as dust mites and mold,” says Amy Shah, MD, a double board-certified allergist and immunologist. "These types of allergens proliferate when the humidity is high in a room. By decreasing the humidity in a room, you can decrease the growth of these allergens."
It's a good idea to choose a dehumidifier with clear controls that allow you to see the relative humidity level of your room. Set the humidity level to somewhere between 40 to 50 percent humidity, explains Princess Ogbogu, director of allergy and immunology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
But don’t expect your dehumidifier to solve all of your respiratory problems; it won’t do much to help those with pollen and pet allergies, says Dr. Ogbogu. These particles are too small and require air purification systems complete with HEPA filters.
Think you could benefit from a dehumidifier? Here, the best ones on the market.