Today, I want to talk about how dehumidifiers can be used to really improve your health, especially your respiratory health! Respiratory problems are some of the most common chronic symptoms I see as a nurse, and the thing is that many of them are completely preventable. It is easy to understand that concept with smoking, because people who choose not to smoke are obviously taking a positive step for their breathing system. But the way you manage your home air supply also has a very big impact on your breathing, especially when it comes to humidity.
A lot of new homes in the Midwest and in the South have really high humidity which is hard to disperse, especially during the summer. You probably know what a damp, dank basement smells like, and it’s not hard to believe that spending lots of time in one isn’t a great thing to do for your health. That same phenomenon is true in a lot of entire houses, as humidity reaches higher levels.
High humidity causes a lot of problems, to your house and to you especially. It creates a warm, wet environment that as a nurse, is just a flashing red light warning for mold. Mold spores are one of the leading causes of respiratory problems. They can range from allergies to really serious infections that will leave you in the hospital for weeks. I also see a lot of patients who get infectious viruses that they might have been able to avoid because the humid air in their house helped germs spread between family members. Once you get to 60% humidity or higher, your house becomes a breeding ground for mold spores and bacteria,
A dehumidifier machine is a really tried and true way to reduce your humidity, and it’s one of the best ways to relieve allergies and other breathing symptoms that are related to really moist air. They pull water out of the air and into a tank or a hose that goes into your drain in the basement. Not only do they make you more healthy but it also makes you more comfortable to make that humidify go down, since you will feel less hot in the summer. Many patients I have seen come in with chronic problems have had good results after they started using dehumidifiers, so I definitely think you should look into using one if your home is very moist during the summer or all year round.
There are two basic types of dehumidifiers. They come in either whole-house or portable configurations, and both of them can be really effective if you use them right. Whole house dehumidifiers work in your central air system and take humidity out that way. They work really well if you have vents in every room and the motors in the basement because then you get lots of coverage and all the water drains right to the basement drain. I use a whole house dehumidifier because I have central air, and I find it works very well for me. Portable dehumidifiers are what you would use for houses that don’t have central air, or for just dehumidifying a room or two, such as an an apartment, or a house’s basement. They’re very inexpensive, and I’ve seen that most patients buy one of these first, just to try out the idea and see if it helps with their symptoms.
I recommend Aprilaire whole house dehumidifiers if you already have a good central air system. I know some of the models have changed since I bought mine, but I have found that they are a very good company to go with. My machine is very easy to use since it has a simpler percentage adjustment and automatic humidity sensors which run on their own so I don’t have to keep turning the machine on and off.
I know that some patients I talk to have had mixed experiences as far as how long their portable dehumidifiers last, so I always tell them to check the best whole house dehumidifier reviews instead of asking me about specific models, because they’re always changing. But I have heard better things about Frigidaire than most other companies, so it may be worth a try to see what they are making these days.
No matter which model you buy, I think that dehumidifiers are a really great tool for making your home air supply healthier, especially during the summer. I suggest them to anyone with respiratory problems, especially if you find you are getting sick often.