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The Journal Gazette

Monday, July 23, 2018 1:00 am

Need a dehumidifier?

If you live in an area with damp, humid, summer weather, you probably could use a dehumidifier – and so could many homeowners nationwide who may not realize this small machine's power to create a more comfortable atmosphere in their homes.

Dehumidifiers take excessive moisture out of the air. This can have a huge impact on the environment in your home during the summer, a rainy spell or any time a temperature of more than 60 degrees combines with high humidity. The most common place to install one is in the basement, which tends to be one of the dampest places in the house.

Despite their usefulness, dehumidifiers are a puzzle to some consumers, said Elvin Bautista, a Kenmore product manager at Sears: “Everyone knows what air conditioners or humidifiers do, but not so much dehumidifiers.”

The lesser-known benefits of dehumidifiers include preventing the peeling of wallpaper, protecting home electronics and music equipment, preserving documents, and keeping sofas, chairs and curtains from smelling.

Eliminating those unpleasant odors is one of the top benefits of running a dehumidifier.

Shopping for a dehumidifier isn't too complicated. Lowe's sells models sized at 30 to 100 pints at prices ranging from $170 to $500.

Pros recommend getting one with wheels so you can move it around. There are three basic styles, Ball says. Some models require you to empty the bucket daily; others are equipped with an attachment that allows you to hook it up to a drain through a hose; a third style has a pump that moves water out.

Here are six reasons you might want to get one.

There's a musty smell in your home. When you walk into your home, you want it to smell clean and fresh. Moisture in the air tends to hold and trap odor, Bautista says. A dehumidifier will dry out the air and take away this moldy scent.

There is condensation on your windows. If you continue to let the condensation occur and have water dripping onto your sills, it can deteriorate the wood framing around your windows.

Leaks in your basement are a common occurrence. After a heavy rain, if you have water dripping on your floors, sweating walls or rings of what look like mold spores, you probably will want to set up a dehumidifier to let the area dry out and then help keep it dry.

You like to hang laundry to air-dry in your basement. A dehumidifier can hasten the time it takes to dry them. As a bonus, if you are painting, a dehumidifier could speed up your drying time.

You or a family member has lots of allergies. A dehumidifier could provide some relief from allergies stemming from mold, mildew and dust mites. The dampness is what creates the environment for them to thrive in..

Foods go stale or get moldy quickly. Ball says running his dehumidifier makes his boxes of dry cereal taste fresh longer. It can also keep bread from developing mold.

– Jura Koncius, Washington Post