High humidity in an unoccupied home can be detrimental if not managed properly. We frequently encounter owners who have used a moisture absorber product like DampRid to control high humidity levels in their homes. Moisture absorbers are ok to use in small areas (i.e., closets) to minimize mildew-like odors. But moisture absorbers cannot prevent high humidity in your home!

A large 4-pound bucket of moisture absorber removes about 100 ounces (6.25 pints) of moisture IN TOTAL—then it just sits there, waiting for disposal. When the bucket of moisture absorber is full it has to be removed, safely disposed of and then replaced. A small dehumidifier (30 pints) can remove over 400 ounces (25 pints) of water per day! The dehumidifier can be set up to drain continuously into your shower or sink, removing humidity as needed and requires little or no maintenance. When determining the capacity (and size) of dehumidifier, always opt for the larger capacity. If the manufacturer recommends a 30-pint capacity, buy a 40-pint—or even a 50-pint to be on the safe side. The higher the humidity levels get in your home, the more capacity you will need. Most dehumidifiers will average 30-70 pints of water PER DAY.

Moisture absorber products are designed to remove small amounts of moisture from the air and aid in minimizing mildew-like odors. They are made with all-natural inorganic mineral salts called calcium chloride (same salt used on your driveway and walkways to de-ice), which naturally absorbs moisture from the air. Moisture absorbers collect moisture for about 60 days—not a great option when we are trying to remove moisture from your home continuously. Sometime these products leak and/or spill. Our experience has taught us that a high-quality dehumidifier is much more efficient for controlling humidity in your home.

A dehumidifier works by circulating the room air over the refrigerated coils for the dehumidifier. The condensation is removed by a drain line that can be placed in a sink drain or shower stall and empties into the drain line. Dehumidifiers can maintain humidity levels between 45% and 55% and they only operate when the humidity in the residence reaches the set amount. You control the percentage of humidity level by a setting on the dehumidifier. If your humidity runs 60% + for 72 hours or more you are at risk of mildew and/or mold development.

A dehumidifier used in tandem with your AC is a good combination. Your AC is designed to remove moisture from the air and disperses the moisture via a condensate line which empties on the outside of your home. In the event of an AC failure due to a plugged condensate line, which happens FREQUENTLY in Southwest Florida, a dehumidifier provides a backup. Another suggestion is the leave a small area fan or ceiling fan on while away to help keep the air circulating.

Carefree Home Watch provides professional home watch services for residents of Fort Myers, Florida and nearby communities. Call 239-234-1847 or visit www.carefreehomewatch.com and request a complimentary home assessment. We provide exceptional care when you’re not thereTM.