Air circulation inside the house is essential, especially during the warm and humid weather. The moist and damp environment not only harms the structure of a house, but it also makes the living uncomfortable.
A fan is an inexpensive way to circulate the air inside the house and can reduce the temperature by 2°C, but can a fan also dehumidify? No, fans do not help reduce the humidity level because they work in a different way than dehumidifiers. A dehumidifier works by extracting moisture from the air by temperature-controlled coils, while a fan only circulates the air at high speed. This circulation only makes the air cool, but it does not decrease the humidity inside the room.
Fans don’t affect the humidity level much, but they can be used with or without the dehumidifiers to make the air clean and fresh in general; therefore, they still need to be discussed in detail.
Fans Vs. Dehumidifiers
A device that can remove the moisture from the air is the solution to humidity but which of these appliances should be purchased is the main question. The pros and cons of both fans and dehumidifiers can be helpful in making your decision.
A dehumidifier removes the moisture from the air by passing the moist air over the cold coils to condense the moisture in the air. After its extraction inside the dehumidifier, the moisture-free air is then expelled back in the room.
The extracted moisture is collected in a tank, which needs to be emptied periodically. Although, most dehumidifiers have a hose drain as well (in case you don’t want to constantly empty the tank).
Dehumidifiers have been used for many years and have become a popular mode to remove moisture from the air. They come in a range of types and sizes, but the most common dehumidifier is the refrigerant type.
- Help with Allergies
Humid air promotes mold growth and makes the environment dangerous as the mold causes allergies in many people. Similarly, dust mites, the reason for dust allergies, usually thrive at a 70% relative humidity (RH) levels or above.
Problems regarding mold and dust mites present in the air can be eliminated by running a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier can reduce RH down to the 40% to 50% level, resulting in better health and less irritation.
- Provide Comfort
Dehumidifiers serve their purpose well and remove the air’s humidity efficiently, making the environment more comfortable. A room with 80°F and 40% RH is preferable to a room with 80°F and 90% RH. The sweat can evaporate more quickly from your body in a less humid environment. You’ll often find that despite the temperature being identical, it can feel like it’s a lot warmer in rooms with higher humidity levels.
At first glance, dehumidifiers seem (relatively) expensive for some people, and their energy cost can be over $30 a month each for larger, less efficient units (read more about how much electricity you can expect your dehumidifier to cost in this post).
Fortunately, this increase in electricity cost is typically only incurred in the summer, unless you live in an area that stays warm year-round. Once you buy an energy-efficient one, and take into consideration the fact that your central air conditioning will turn on less frequently, as well as that you’re protecting your home and body from potential damage and mold in the long run, a dehumidifier actually turns out to be quite inexpensive.
- Noise and Heat
A typical dehumidifier is loud, but it is usually only a problem when they are being placed in the bedroom or a family room. Therefore, while purchasing a dehumidifier, please select a model that advertises itself as quiet enough for the room environment. There are several models on the market with what’s called “whisper” technology.
Dehumidifiers blow warm air from the back of the unit, which can be beneficial in the winter but not in summer. Therefore, dehumidifiers should be placed near a doorway or commonly ventilated area so that they don’t keep heat trapped in the room.
Fans are an inexpensive way of making the environment cool. The fan blades rotate at a high speed and force the air away from the machine. It creates a cooling effect and brings the fresh air inside through air circulation.
- Improve Air Circulation
Ceiling fans are less effective in the air circulation process as they can’t move air from outside to the inside, but if the fan is placed near a window, it can work more efficiently. Enclosed rooms are more humid as there is no way for the air to escape; therefore, opening a window also helps make the environment cool.
A fan are inexpensive to run, but can clearly make a noticeable difference in comfort. They reduce the temperature up to 2°C and can be used with air conditioners as well.
For example, if the air conditioner reduces the temperature by up to 5°C, a fan can add 2°C – making it 7°C less warm than outside.
This essentially could translate to a drop from 30°C to 23°C, or 86°F to 73°F during an average summer day.
- No Control Over Humidity
Fans don’t affect humidity because they only circulate air. In fact, if the environment outside the house is humid, a fan will most likely draw more humidity inside.
- Become Dirty
Fan blades are quick to accumulate dirt mites and debris present in the air. Besides being unsightly and having to constantly be cleaned, this can cause the fan to become overworked, which then can burn out the motor.
What Causes Humidity in a House?
Before you go out to buy a dehumidifier and ditch your fan, it might be worthwhile to consider why your home has high humidity levels in the first place.
A dehumidifier will inevitably help, but finding the source of the problem will be even more useful to solve it.
- Inadequate Ventilation
The ventilation of the room is directly linked with the quality of air inside. If a room is adequately ventilated, the air will circulate, and fresh air will come inside. However, lousy ventilation makes the air stale and can cause mold to grow. Adequate ventilation reduces the humidity collected inside the home through showering, cooking, and anything else that creates vapors.
- Water Damage
Neglected water damage in the house can become a main reason for humidity. If leaking pipes are being ignored, they will become a reason for further damage like mold growth and foundational damage. If you haven’t checked the walls in your basement for dampness to the touch, now might be a good time to do it.
- Gas Heaters
Gas heaters burn gas to produce heat, and this burning process is called combustion. Burning the gas produces water vapors, and if the ventilation is not adequate, it can cause high humidity and wet surface.
- Old and Leaky Windows (and Other Problems with Your Home)
Most windows should be replaced every 20 years or so, and it isn’t unusual to have condensation creeping into your home through the cracks around old windows. It might be time to replace or reseal. Think about other ways moisture can seep into your home.
Is it coming in through an open sump pump in the basement, or maybe poor insulation in the attic? Is your yard sloping towards your patio door or basement window? Are your gutter downspouts extended far away from the home’s exterior walls?
- Indoor Plants
Indoor plants are a great way of improving air quality, but plants require water to live. Having an abundance of greenery inside will raise the temperature inside. Keeping the plants on the balcony or near a sunlit window can reduce such problems.
- High Rainfall
The humidity level inside the home during seasonal months can get quite high. And in today’s airtight homes, once this moisture comes in, it may be hard to get rid of it even wall after the rainy season has passed.
- Drying Laundry Inside
If you are still air drying clothes inside the house after washing, it’s time to start using the dryer or take them outside.
Can a dehumidifier replace a bathroom fan?
A dehumidifier is a better choice to remove the dampness in the bathroom than a bathroom exhaust fan. As the water causes humidity and triggers mold and mildew, using a dehumidifier will help reduce such problems.
It might be difficult to find a place a portable dehumidifier in most bathrooms, but a good idea is to try a plug-in version like the Eva-Dry. Even better, a desiccant dehumidifier is probably the most realistic solution for small, humid rooms like bathrooms.
Does a dehumidifier cool a room?
Technically, a dehumidifier generates heat just like most other appliances would. However, it will feel as if it cools the room as it replaces the warm and moist air with the dry air, thus making it feel refreshing.
What is the best humidity setting for a dehumidifier?
Relative humidity (RH) greater than 55% is enough to support the growth of black mold. A basement should have an ideal moisture level of 35% to 50% because the environment feels comfortable at this humidity level, and it also prevents the mold from growing.