Cleaning & Maintenance

Dehumidifier or Air Exchanger? This is the Device You Need Buy

Dehumidifier or Air Exchanger? This is the Device You Need Buy

My brother moved into a dump.

Its was a zoo in there, all kinds of creatures; eerie molds, mildew and crawlers alike.

My worst was slugs, their trails were all over the walls; that slime that sticks like glue, ew!

Argueably, moving into a new house that's been vacant for a year is not all rosy.

Gradually, months of neglect start to manifest in drafty windows, broken seals, aging insulation and leaking sinks: all this barrage spiking in-house dampness.

In our need to find the solution to baby bro's new house problem, which was overly damp; coz place was a bargained garbage, we figured two appliances that would do.

So, between a dehumidifier and air-exchanger, which one did we have to buy?

Short answer.

Any household produce moisture by cooking, washing, bathing and exercising. Even breathing brings moisture into the air.

In unoccupied houses, poor insulation, insufficient heating and water soaking up through walls and floors heavily contribute to dampness.

Then in regions where it seriously pours, basements frequently get the damp, too.

And that's when we need a dehumidifier.

Then, when would anyone buy an air-exchanger you ask?

If you want fresh and clean indoor air, especially in Winter when you spend more time at home, get an air-exchanger; if not, your health may be at risk.

To get a more detailed answer...

...journey with me.

What the Heck is a Dehumidifier!

A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance which reduces and maintains the level of humidity in the air, usually for health or comfort reasons or to eliminate musty odor and to prevent the growth of mildew by extracting water from the air.

When there is humidity in the environment, you will notice damage on your wall, mold and feel the musty smell. The only way to reduce humidity is by choosing a dehumidifier.

How a Dehumidifier Works

Dehumidifiers are designed to take moisture out of a room and reduce condensation within the immediate environment. Under optimum conditions, your dehumidifier should remove the rated amount of moisture, no problem.

The basic functional principle of a condense dehumidifier is really simple. A fan drives in humid air and carries it through a refrigerated evaporator.

The air is cooled well below dew point then the condensed water on the cold surface of the evaporator drips into a water container. The cold dry air continues through a hot condenser which heats it up and returns it to the room to pick up new humidity.

This procedure continues until the desired conditions are achieved.

Why Do I Need an Air-Exchanger?

An air exchange system helps to enhance indoor air quality and minimize heating costs. The system use fans to maintain balanced airflow into the house while exhausting stale indoor air.

Proper ventilation assumes a key part in reducing pollutants and odors from your home, it imperative all seasons. Dust mites, mold spores and smoke float in your rooms but since you can't physically see the pollutants it's easy to assume you air is clean.

Air exchange systems are helpful especially in winter with poorly ventilated spaces when the cold outside make open windows and doors daunting.

Air exchanges systems can either be Heat Recovery Ventilators or Energy Recovery Ventilators. These are similar devices but the operation varies.

The primary difference between the two is that HRVs transfers heat while ERVs transfers both heat and moisture: Most people assume ERVs double up as HRVs and Dehumidifiers, which of course is a fallacy.

These ventilation systems-HRVs and ERVs- are ideal coz the control of air quality and air exchange in the hands of the homeowner rather than relying on inherent, often inadequate, leaks in the home to provide the necessary airing.

An ERV is Not A Dehumidifiers

A typical assumption about an ERV is that it's useful for a moist atmosphere; which is partly true since it minimally dehumidifies your home.

The ERV would be the better option for damp houses when you need to settle on either an ERV or HRV, yet not on the grounds that it's a dehumidifier. It's anything but a dehumidifier.

An ERV system will actually dampen a room when outside air is more humid than the air inside. The system will draw the humid air inside and since the heat and moisture exchange in the core is not perfect some of the moisture will sip through with the cleaner outside air.

The ERV is however still adequate since it reduces the amount of humidity that would have come in something that an HRV with supply-only or exhaust-only ventilation cant do.

Generally ERVs bring in less moisture but don't dehumidify. If you need to ventilate and dehumidify it makes more sense to get theVentilating Dehumidifier.

You Can Opt for a Humidifier to Improves Air Humidity

When the air inside is mostly cold and dry, you probably need a humidifier, which is a device that increases humidity in a single room or an entire building.

Something of a surprise, cold air in winter sipping into the house is mostly dry which mean instead of a dehumidifier you need a humidifier. Try not to get confused, coz a lot of people do, Winter air is cold and dry, and Summer air warm and humid

Surfaces are damp in Winter because of contact with the low temperatures. This way walls and roofs get colder from the outside through to the inside, which you can solve with proper insulation

In the home, point-of-use humidifiers are commonly used to humidify a single room, while whole-house or furnace humidifiers, which connect to a home's HVAC system, provide humidity to the entire house.

How Do You Know You Need a Dehumidifier

Besides suffering from continuous symptoms of allergies, you might want to consider a dehumidifier if you have some obvious signs of high humidity level in specific rooms or areas of your house, comprising:

  • Water stains on home walls or ceilings.
  • High moisture in rooms with poor ventilation or no ventilation -especially in areas like bathrooms, kitchen and basements.

  • Recurrent condensation on windowpanes in some or all areas of your home.
  • Little black stains -mildew spores-rising on the walls or in parts with high moisture, such as the shower area or bathtub.
  • Mold or mildew odor; Smells like something is moist in the room. Some people compare it to the smell of wet clothes, or rotten wood or paper.

Also, is your place actually humid enough to matter? Pick up a hygrometer -maybe ten bucks for a digital one including temp, but simple analog ones go for about three bucks-. If the humidity comes in around 60 percent or higher, yes, it will probably help to have a dehumidifier.

If you're in the 50 percent or less area, it's probably not worth it and you're better off with a fan.

Still some rooms are more humid than others, including bathrooms, the kitchen, basement or laundry rooms. Let air pass through these rooms by letting the windows open while turning on fans.

If the humidity level is still not below 50 percent, you have to think about getting a dehumidifier because then issues could start arising: mold, mildew and allergies.