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How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

As a Maryland resident, you’re all too familiar with the high humidity that plagues us every summer. The muggy, heavy air makes you feel hotter than ever. Your body sweats in an effort to combat the heat, but the already saturated air fails to evaporate the moisture from your skin, making you feel miserable.

Fortunately, when you step inside your home, the air conditioner does a pretty good job of cooling you off. Along with removing heat, the AC also dehumidifies the air.

However, on the muggiest afternoons, the air conditioner may reach the desired temperature before it’s had a chance to remove all the desired moisture from the air. This leaves you with a cool but clammy feeling that makes rooms feel stuffy and smell musty. Excess humidity can also be bad for your health, attract pests and even threaten the structural integrity of your home.

You could keep turning down the temperature on your thermostat to allow the air conditioner more time to remove humidity, but this could leave you feeling cold and drastically increase your cooling bills. Conserve energy and feel far more comfortable at home by running a dehumidifier.

How Do Dehumidifiers Work?

Most dehumidifiers have five parts: a fan compressor, compressor cooling coils, reservoir, and reheater. These parts work together in a simple but effective process.

First, the fan draws air into the system and directs it toward the compressor cooling coils. Like the side of a cold soda can, moisture in the air condenses on the cooling coils. When enough moisture collects, it drips into the reservoir. Then the reheater warms the air slightly and exhausts it back into the room much drier than when it entered the unit.

In most dehumidifiers, the reservoir is a removable plastic bucket that you need to empty when it gets full. Most buckets also have a spot to attach them to a floor drain or pump so can run your dehumidifier without giving it a second thought.

Most dehumidifiers also have a humidistat used to measure the relative humidity in your home. Similar to a thermostat, you can set the humidistat to the desired level so the dehumidifier runs just the right amount. In the summertime, you’ll feel the most comfortable when you program the humidistat between 30 and 50 percent relative humidity.

A whole-house dehumidifier is the best way to keep every room at a comfortable, consistent humidity level. You can hook the unit up to your air conditioner so the two machines work in tandem. You can also set the dehumidifier to run independently of the air conditioner so you can save money and still remain comfortable on mild days just by dehumidifying the air.

Do You Need a Dehumidifier?

To help you decide, answer these questions:

  • Is the humidity level too high? Measure the relative humidity with an inexpensive hygrometer. If it’s higher than 50 percent on a regular basis during the summer, you could benefit from a dehumidifier.
  • Is your home uncomfortable? You don’t need a hygrometer to know if your home feels clammy and smells musty.
  • Do you want to save energy? By avoiding the urge to crank the thermostat down, and keeping your home comfortable without air conditioning on some days, a dehumidifier helps you save energy and money.

Install a Dehumidifier in Your Maryland Home

Now that you know how a dehumidifier works, you may realize this is the solution you’ve been looking for to combat high humidity in your home. If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of a dehumidifier, contact GAC Services in Gaithersburg today for a free consultation.

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