Does a Michigan Basement have a Higher Potential for Radon?

What is a Michigan basement? A Michigan basement is basically an oversized crawl space. An area under the house that has been dug out to make room for storage. And most known for the location they stem from. You guessed it, Michigan.

Though they are not typically made large enough to be able to walk around in some people do put their washer and dryer there. Other major machinery and appliances that can be located in a Michigan basement for easier access include the water heater, the HVAC, and the electrical breaker box.

Access to plumbing underneath the house is also a reason people may dig out a larger crawl space beneath the house.

Michigan basements are rarely finished beyond cementing for breaking the walls so that the walls do not cave in. The floor it’s typically just left as dirt.

The climate inside of a Michigan basement is is damp and cool. For this reason the dugout crawl space is often used as a wine cellar.

A wine cellar needs to stay around the 45°, to 60° range and maintain a relative humidity of about 60%. That describes the climate inside of a Michigan basement pretty well.

As you can imagine, being that the floor in the Michigan basement is usually just dirt, it is easy for this type of basement to flood. Especially in heavy rain.

Sump pumps with radon mitigation and dehumidifiers are generally kept on hand to keep the area dryer during the rainy season.

Michigan Basement radonOther drawbacks too keeping a Michigan basement is the exposure to Radon.

The air pressure in a home can perform like a vacuum pulling radon out of the soil beneath the house.
Digging out the dirt beneath the house for a Michigan basement adds to the danger of radon exposure.

Radon is an odorless gas that comes from soil and is the second leading cause responsible for lung cancer when exposed for long periods of time. A Radon test is the only way to know whether or not you have a problem.

Radon Barrier.

The environmental protection agency recommends covering the floor of a Michigan basement with plastic and venting the area outside underneath the plastic to avoid radon exposure.

The plastic sheeting could be as simple as your standard 6 mm polyethylene. But if you go with a contractor you will probably have to upgrade to a fire rated membrane. The plastic won’t stop the radon but it will cause the radon to travel through the path of least resistance. As long as there’s some type of exhaust fan at the edge, the result is good.

Insulating a Michigan basement is also a must to keep right on from leaking into the house. Spray foam is the easiest way to get around joist and makeshift walls.

If you find you have high levels of radon, then you may be looking at installing a radon removal system which could include pouring a cement slab over a radon guard insulation and a vapor barrier to keep the radon from leaking up and also providing a way to capture it.

hardhatThough all houses have the potential of radon coming Getting in, a home with a Michigan basement has a higher potential for Radon.

Homes with Michigan basement should test for Radon often and employ a radon mitigation system for her a radon abatement service to ensure that radon levels in your home are below the accepted safety standard of 4.0pCi/L

Dehumidifier vs. Fan for the Bathroom

Using a dehumidifier versus a fan for indoor humidity. Which one is better?

Excessive humidity inside of your home can happen for multitude of reasons including flooding, leaks, poor insulation especially in the basement and crawl spaces, or the rainy season has just descended on you. But the most common place that you find excessive moisture in the air is the bathroom.

Regardless, living with high humidity inside of the house not only effects your  level of comfort and overall wellness, it also effects the structure of your home as well as your belongings.

Dehumidifier vs. fan 

A fan can be useful to reduce indoor humidity as long as it is blowing dry outdoor air into the room, but it is not controlled or measured.

On the other hand, a dehumidifier will reduce a controllable , measured amount of humidity and does not depend on the outside air being dry.

If you have an issue with high humidity inside of your home, the humidity outside is more likely going to be very high than low.

In a circumstances where the humidity is not overbearing but not exactly helping you out either, placing fans around the room can have a drying effect on the air. If you were trying to paint or some other type of similar art project where you need a dry environment, having a couple of fans osculating and moving air around the room can probably give you the amount of dryness you need for your project.

But other indoor humidity issues, like a damp basement, you need a way to control the amount of humidity in the room because of the problems of mold and fungus it comes with it.

The only way you can get this type of control is by using a dehumidifier that will extract the humidity out of the air to the proper relative humidity is reached.

Dehumidifier vs exhaust fan

Dehumidifier vs exhaust fan

Most people have exhaust fans in their bathrooms so that the moisture left in the air by the shower and bath can be expelled out of the house so but it does not have a chance to promote mold in the drywall and window frames.

But though you typically do fine exhaust fans in the bathroom and the kitchen, they are really not found too much in other areas of the house.

Dehumidifiers and fans or exhaust fans are not enemies. Nor do they have to work exclusive of each other.

Using the exhaust fans in the bathroom in the kitchen or a great idea and do a great job. But they do not work for the whole house.

A Dehumidifier can only help an exhaust fan to reduce the humidity in the house. Likewise, exhaust fans can only help with the dehumidifier do its job.

“The main difference is that a dehumidifier can extract and remove the exact amount of humidity that you need it to whereas a fan doesn’t have the capacity to be measured.”

The second way a fan can help a dehumidifier is the use of a high-powered air mover fan. An air mover is a fan created especially for drying and is usually used on construction sites as a means of speeding up the time it takes for paint to dry and blowing away the fumes left behind by the paint.

An air mover is not generally a piece of machinery that you’ll want to use in your home unless you plan on removing everything from the walls and putting everything away that can be blown away.

Recap

A fan and a dehumidifier can both help reduce humidity in the air but the difference is, it is the job of a dehumidifier to remove humidity from the air and it does so according to how it is programmed.

A Fan on the other hand, even though it does have some drying capacity because oh the natural blowing on something to dry it aspect, does not extract humidity from the air and does not do nearly as good of a job as reducing humidity as a dehumidifier. Nor is it measurable or controllable like a dehumidifier.

One exception is an exhaust fan that is put inside of a bathroom or kitchen for the express purpose of removing moisture created by showering and cooking. Another exception is the use of a commercial air mover, which is a high velocity fan meant that is used to help dry out construction sites as well as remove fumes.
Yet even in these cases it’s not measurable or controllable.

But as a fan, a dehumidifier is only good for blowing hot air on you. Not usually the effect you want from a fan.

See Also: Humidifier vs. Vaporizer

9 Features To Look For in a Dehumidifier

How do you pick a dehumidifier?

Of course you want a machine that takes the humidity out of the air. But what other bells and whistles do they come with? Are there different types of dehumidifiers or size options?

Here’s a layout of the different features  that you can expect to get with a dehumidifier along with how you can best choose a dehumidifier based on your own needs.

1.  Size

Dehumidifiers come in three sizes.

  • 30 pint
  • 50 pint
  • 70 pint

What size dehumidifier you need is based on the size of square footage that you’re wanting to reduce the moisture in and the amount of humidity that you’re wanting to reduce.

Each size is also based on the optimal amount of square footage one can cover versus the minimal amount of square footage that it will be adequate in.

In other words, a 30 pints dehumidifier maybe adequate for 1500 ft if your level of humidity is not excessive.

But if you have an exceptionally high level of moisture in a room, then a 30 pint dehumidifier would be more suited to 500 square feet.

So in the case of a 30 pint dehumidifier, the average would be 1,000 ft.

So based on the same type of calculation:

A 50 pint dehumidifier it’s for an average square footage of 1500 ft. 2500 square feet for a list damp area and 1,000 ft for an extremely wet area.

A 70 pint dehumidifier
An average square footage of 2000.
Excessive moisture 1500 and lighter moisture 2500.

2. Programmable Humidistat.

Also called a hygrometer or just plain humidity gauge.

Whatever you want to call it, it is the difference between a dehumidifier that measures the moisture in the air and turns on and off accordingly and a dehumidifier that you set up manually.

A very nice extra feature.

dehumidifier

3.Automatic shut off

An automatic shut off will turn the machine off before it overflows. Some  dehumidifiers will have an audible beep to let you know it’s time to empty the bucket.

Drainage spout. Dehumidifiers are sized by the size of their drainage tank.
The bigger the tank the bigger the area that it can effectively remove moisture in before the tank has to be emptied.
But another feature that you can get on a dehumidifier is a side drainage connection. This feature is so that you can hook up a garden hose or hard pipe it to drain outside into the garden for instance.

4.Mobility

Dehumidifiers can be a pretty bulky appliance weighing up to 40 lbs and even more. Getting a dehumidifier with casters so that the unit is easily pushed and pulled around is essential especially if you are moving it with the tank full to empty the water.

5.Auto defrost

Dehumidifiers operate the same way that a air conditioner does in that it drags warm air over refrigerated coils and captures the moisture from the air in the form of condensation.

And just like an air conditioner, when the temperature gets too low, the refrigerated coils can freeze over.

There are many circumstances like a damp basement that are not reliant on heat as a source of humidity. Like in the case of a wet basement, humidity can be high while the temperature is freezing.

Many dehumidifiers come with auto defrost so that the machine can be used in lower temperatures than the typical AC dehumidifier can run at.

The idea was simple, the machine runs till the coils freeze over, then the defroster kicks in to remove the ice.

Other types of defrost dehumidifiers simply power the compressor down and blow a fan across the coils.

6.Washable filters

Another way that dehumidifiers are similar to air conditioners is that they have a filter that has to be replaced periodically.
Purchasing a dehumidifier with a washable filter can remove the need and expense of purchasing filter replacements.

7. Noise Control

The noise that a dehumidifier produces is also an area that a dehumidifier is comparable to a window air conditioner.
Comparing dehumidifiers to find one that creates lower dBs is well worth it especially if you’re going to have a dehumidifier in the same room as the TV or if you are planning to edit a video or record sound in the same room with it.

programmable dehumidifier




8. Heat Control 

Dehumidifiers, like a window  conditioner,  expel heat as it is running.

If you ever have walked behind an air conditioner while it is running, you have probably felt heat coming off of the machine. Dehumidifiers have the same type of heat coming off as they operate.

Since it is typically in the summer when the humidifiers are mostly needed, having Heat expelled from the rear of the unit is not exactly what you want.

Some dehumidifiers create less Heat in the process of removing moisture than others do.
Finding out how much heat a dehumidifier puts out is a must when you are researching what type of dehumidifier to buy.

9. Type of Dehumidifier

Finally if removing a lot of humidity from the air is not the most important thing for having a dehumidifier on your list, there is another type of dehumidifier that uses a chemical to adsorb humidity called a desiccant dehumidifier.

The benefit to this type of dehumidifier is that it is much quieter than the typical dehumidifier.

But the downside is that the chemical that it uses to adsorb the humidity has an aroma. 

 
 
 
 

When is it Too Cold to Run Air Conditioner for Dehumidifying?

One of the functions of an air conditioner is that it simultaneously lowers the humidity inside of the house when it is running. But unfortunately as the temperature drops outside so does the performance of the AC as both a cooler and a dehumidifier.

WHEN IS IT TOO COLD TO RUN A AIR CONDITIONER?

Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are not meant to be run when the temperature is below 65° for any extended time.

There are two reasons for this.

1. Freezing up
2. Oil is to Thick

1.  Freezing up
When the air outside is too cold, the warm air that would normally turn into condensation as it crosses over the cooling coils is too cool already and instead of forming condensation it turns to ice.

2. 2. Oil is to Thick
AC Compressors are made to work in warm weather which means that they require a thicker grade of oil. This is because when the temperature is warm, it thins down the oil to a good operating thickness. But when the temperature outside is not warm enough to thin the oil, it remains thick and does not supply the level of lubrication needed without causing a risk of damaging the air conditioning compressor.

Most of the time there is not any use for an air conditioner in the cool months. And turning the heater on helps dry the air out as fast or faster than a dehumidifier.

On the occasion you need to turn on the air conditioner in the winter for a few minutes, the risk of damaging it is minimal. But turning on the air conditioner and leaving it to cycle on and off is asking for problems.

If you have excessive moisture caused from a leak or flooding and need more than just a fan or a heater to help dry up the air in the winter months, dehumidifiers can be purchased that can be operated at much lower temperatures.

WHEN IS IT TOO COLD TO RUN AIR CONDITIONER FOR DEHUMIDIFYING?These dehumidifiers come in two different types.

1. Dehumidifier with defrost
2. Desiccant dehumidifier

1.Dehumidifier with Defrost

A Dehumidifier with defrost mode is exactly what it sounds like.

Since the standard dehumidifier runs exactly like a refrigerated air conditioning unit which pulls warm air over the AC coils and condenses it into a bucket or outside by the means of a garden hose.
Freezing over when the temperature is too low is a problem.
What’s the solution? Adding a defroster to the unit that cycles on and off keeping the cooling coils from freezing over.
These dehumidifiers are made with areas like a cold damp basement in mind.

2. Desiccant dehumidifier

Desiccant dehumidifiers work by the means of a chemical adsorber which is called a desiccant.

A desiccant can be as simple as a product cold “damprid” which is a product that comes in a small container that is opened and left to absorb moisture in a small area.

A desiccant dehumidifier is a little more complicated than that. The desiccant in a dehumidifier is not only used as an absorber it is also heated up to release humidity also.

A two-part process where humid air is pulled into the dehumidifier and absorbed, reheated into humidity form again and then caught in a tank as condensation.

Desiccant dehumidifiers do not have the capacity to pull large amounts of moisture out of the air like the regular refrigerated condensing units do.

In fact they have been described as a way to keep dry air dry.

This is probably a good point to tell you that the chemical that they use to adsorb air is the same chemical in gel packs and does have an odor.

Nevertheless there are some applications like condensation in the bathroom where a desiccant dehumidifier maybe preferred because it does not rely on a loud compressor running to do the job.

A desiccant dehumidifier can also be a good alternative and a damp basement is long as it is not excessively damp.

Again, running a compressor base dehumidifier can be pretty loud, definitely loud enough to interfere with the TV or sound and video recording.

But a desiccant dehumidifier is definitely not useful in a remedial flood damage type situation.

Recap

When is it too cold to run an air conditioner?

65°

When the temperature outside gets to about 65°, the air passing over the cooling coils on an air conditioner has a tendency to start freezing up. At that point not only will you not have AC, you do not have any of the dehumidifying properties of an AC either.

Another problem with running the AC in the winter is that the oil that is used in the AC compressor is a summer specific thicker grade that thins in warmer weather.

When the temperature outside is not warm enough, the oil does not thin out properly leaving the compressor to work without the proper lubrication which could mean eventual damage to your unit.

Are you going to turn your AC on and winter and have a complete breakdown? Probably not.

There are times when you you may need to turn on the air conditioner in the winter for a few minutes to make sure it works, in that kind of circumstances you should be fine.

If you are using your AC to dehumidify, the same problems exist.

High humidity usually comes with high heat so once the Heat has tapered off, the humidity tapers off too.

If you are having a problem with humidity inside of your house in the cool months, there may be moisture getting into the house through other means.

Dehumidifiers that work in cooler temperatures can be purchased.

For excessive humidity in the winter, dehumidifiers with defrosters and defrost mode are available to help pull the large amount of humidity from your air.

If humidity in the winter is only a casual problem whereas the windows are getting condensation or you have an art room that is too damp for your paint to dry, you might go with a desiccant dehumidifier instead.

Desiccant dehumidifiers use a chemical absorber that pulls a much lower level of humidity out of the air is much quieter than the typical dehumidifier.

and if you are going to use one in a small area like a arts and craft room, beware that the chemical used in these dehumidifiers does have a small odor.

 

How to Lower Humidity in a House?

What humidity level is uncomfortable?

As the old saying goes ” it’s not the heat, it’s the Humidity”

Most people have a hard time dealing with high humidity. The temperature can be somewhat mild but then humidity outside can make it feel extra hot. Andt at a certain time of the year, namely the late summer heading into fall, there are days when you can turn the air conditioner on and not even feel it because of the humidity in the air.

According to shorstmeyer.com, the humidity that most people start to feel uncomfortable is about 65% with the temperature at 90° outside.

Is 65 humidity high?

65% humidity is about the top of the scale before it becomes too miserable for most people. At 65%, according to the heat index, the temperature at 88 degrees feels more like 98°.

Is 70 percent humidity high?

70% humidity can make a 96° day feel like 126° outside. And at 70% humidity, dust mites and mold begin to be a real problem. For persons allergic to dust mites and mold spores 70% humidity can be more than hot, it can be a nightmare.

What causes high humidity in a house?

High humidity can begin in the house with the simplest everyday activities that you wouldn’t give too much of a thought to otherwise.

High humidity in the house can start from activities like:

1. Cooking – boiling water
2. Bathing – showering
3. Drying your clothes
4. Washing the dishes
5. Dirty AC filters
6. Setting the thermostat to “on” rather than Auto
7. Location-climate

Other reasons can include actual structure problems like:

1. Poor ventilation
2. Improper insulation
3. Weather stripping need replaced

How to lower humidity in house

1. Dehumidifier
2. Air Conditioning
3. Ventilation and exhaust fans
4. Heater
5. Dehumidifying plants
6. Fans
7. Shorter & Cooler showers
8. Change thermostat to “auto”
9. Crack the window
10. Charcoal dehumidifier
11. Rock Salt dehumidifier
12. Rice dehumidifier
13. Cat litter

1. Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are mobile devices that work almost entirely the same way that a air conditioner does to remove humidity except that it expels heat into the room rather than cool air.

Dehumidifiers are great for areas like a damp basement or an areas where there has been leaking pipes and or water damage.

Dehumidifiers reduce the moisture by pulling air over refrigerated coils that cause the moisture in the air to condense.

The moisture is then captured into a tank or ran outside with a garden hose.

What humidity level is uncomfortable2. Air conditioning

Air conditioners and dehumidifiers are essentially the same machine only the air conditioners are used to cool the air and dehumidify the air as a byproduct.

Air conditioning is one of the easiest and most effective ways of reducing the humidity inside of the home provided it’s a refrigerated unit that condenses the humidity into the air and moves it outside.
Other types of air conditioners called “swamp coolers” or “evaporative air coolers” will increase the humidity because they are basically fans blowing over water.

3. Ventilation and exhaust

The main rooms in the house that have exhaust fans are the rooms the create the most humidity. The bathroom and the kitchen.
Showers and baths will steam up the house quicker than anything. It’s important to keep the exhaust fan running while you are taking a shower or bath to reduce humidity damage to your structure as well as mildew and mold production.

The kitchen is also a room that creates a lot of humidity from cooking and boiling water. It’s important to keep a lid on your pots and have the exhaust fan running to reduce the humidity produced by simply cooking.

4. Heater

Though most of the time people notice the level of humidity in the air is during the summer, winter also has its fair share of humidity buildup inside of the home.

You probably noticed water droplets and condensation building up on the Windows during the winter.

One of the easiest things to do during the winter to reduce the humidity is simply running the heater. Hot dry air coming from the heater will naturally dry out the moisture in the air.

5. Dehumidifying plants

Plants are natural dehumidifiers. And some prefer more humidity than others.
Some house plants that you can put in your home to help reduce the humidity in the house are:
a. English ivy
b. Boston fern
c. Peace lily
d. Reed palm

6. Fans

Using fans positioned around the house is also a natural way to reduce the humidity. Having fans operating is a simple way to dry the air out.

7. Shorter and cooler showers

A simple way to keep your bathroom from becoming a steamy Haze is to turn the temperature down on the water and not run it as long.
Another word if you don’t like the steamy feeling in the room don’t produce the steam in the first place.

8. Change AC thermostat to auto

There are many proponents for keeping your air conditioning thermostat on the on position because helps keep the air more evenly cooled when the AC cycles off.
But the other side of that argument is that the condensation never gets a chance to drip out before it evaporates and gets blown back into the house as humidity.
Keeping your thermostat on “auto” will help the dehumidifying function of the AC work much better and save you money in the long run.

9. Crack the windows

Sometimes the easiest way to reduce the humidity inside is to crack the window and open the door.
Of course if the humidity outside is 90%, this is not going to work.
But if the inside of the house feels extra muggy, opening the windows and letting the air exchange will help freshen up the room and keep the humidity down.

The next four suggestions falls under the “home remedies for absorbing moisture” heading. These are products that you probably have around the house already that you may not have known were excellent for absorbing moisture and reducing the humidity in the air.

10. Charcoal dehumidifier

Charcoal is a natural dehumidifier that can be a super easy DIY project.
According to Readers digest, charcoal briquettes can be placed in a coffee can with hose punched into the lid and placed in humid areas to absorb moisture.

Placing charcoal briquettes in bookshelves that have glass doors is a librarians trick for keeping musty odors and mowed from getting inside of old books

11. Rock salt dehumidifier

If you have ever owned a pink Himalayan salt lamp, you have noticed that it appears to leak water.
But in actuality it is not leaking water but pulling moisture out of the air onto itself and dripping off.
The same concept can be used with rock salt.
The rock salt humidifier can be easily built by taking an everyday planting pot and filling it with rock salt. The planter works good because as the salt draws moisture to itself and leaks it has a place to leak into instead of the floor.

12. Rice dehumidifier

You’ve probably heard that if you drop your phone into the toilet you can throw it in some rice afterwards. I’m not sure I’ve ever known anyone that that is work for. But rice can definitely soak up moisture from the air over a period of time.
After all, you can put a cup of rice in a pan and fill it with water and the rice will practically absorb every bit of the water.
This is the same concept as placing small containers of rice around a room to help with humidity.

13. Cat litter dehumidifier

Kitty litter is excellent at absorbing moisture. Not only can it be used for your cats, it will also draw a moisture from the air.
An easy DIY cat litter dehumidifier is to fill a tube sock with kitty litter and hang it in the closet or wherever you’re having an issue with moisture.

One application is to hang it from the rear view mirror in your car, which can help keep your windshield from condensation building up on the inside.

Cat litter dehumidifierRecap

Humidity is the difference the temperature being mild outside and insufferably hot.
At 65 and 70% humidity, the temperature can feel 20° hotter.
And when the humidity is at those levels, household allergens like dust mites rise in population considerably.

But when you have high humidity in your house, there are many things you can do to reduce the humidity including some easy do-it-yourself dehumidifiers that can be made with products you already have around the house.

Dehumidifier vs AC – Do Dehumidifiers Cool the Air?

A dehumidifier will help cool a room because it’s function is to lower the humidity in the room and excessive humidity can make it feel hotter than it actually is. But you should not expect the room to cool off while the unit is running because it expels heat into the room at the same time.

Dehumidifier vs AC

Dehumidifier

  1. Primarily use for damp spaces like basements and flooding restoration
  2. Mobile
  3. Catches moisture in a container or is ran outside with a garden hose.
  4. Expels heat in the same room it’s used in.
  5. Heats the room.

AC

  1. Primarily used to cool the air down
  2. Stationary
  3. Moisture is piped outside.
  4. Expels heat in the same room it’s used in.
  5. Expels heat outside

Dehumidifiers and air conditioners both reduce the moisture in the air, and they both do so in exactly the same manner.
Warm air is passed over the condenser coils which causes the water in the air to condense. Which then goes into a attached container or ran outside with a hose or pipe.

But there are some differences between the two.

Namely what they are used for.

Dehumidifiers are used for remediation in areas like a damp basement that does not have any windows or AC vents piped into it.

Because of the basements proximity to the ground, it is usually a moist place where mold growth takes root fairly easy.

Operating a dehumidifier in the basement will rob mold of the moisture it needs to feed and live.

Dehumidifiers, being mobile are also used to help with flood damage and restoration.

How the moisture is captured.

Dehumidifiers have a tank that the condensed moisture drains into. Most have a connector that you can run a garden hose too so that the water runs outside.

Air conditioners are all in one, and in the case of a central AC, the condensed moisture is piped outside. Window air conditioners typically have a hole in the bottom of the casing that drips the condensation outside behind the unit to.

Another difference is the way that heat is expelled from Humidifier.

Since dehumidifiers are mobile and are ran primarily in a single room at a time, the heat that is exhausted from it is released in the same room. Which is good to keep removing moisture but will also heat the room up.

Most people have walked behind a the back of an air conditioner and felt the heat coming off of it. That’s exactly the type of heat you get with a dehumidifier, only the heat is not being expelled outside.

So even though a dehumidifier will reduce the humidity, which in turn will cause the air to be drier and more comfortable after it is used,
So you shouldn’t expect the room to be cooler while the dehumidifier is running.

Air conditioning is stationary and located so that the heat generated is always exhausted outside.

dehumidifiershould you run a dehumidifier and an air conditioner at the same time?

Using a dehumidifier at the same time as the air conditioner can be redundant since both reduce the moisture in the air.
But there are times when running both machines can be an advantage.

When the humidity is excessive, you can put extra strain on the air conditioning, which can lead to extra high energy bill, more repairs, and lower the lifespan of the AC.

Running a separate dehumidifier can take the extra work off of the AC in this type of situation.

 

Also there are rooms in the house where the AC does not reach as well.

Trying to dry the basement with the air conditioner is not likely to do a very good job. It takes a separate device like a dehumidifier to dry the room out satisfactory.

But there are also times when running a dehumidifier with the air conditioning on will do more to make the room hot and muggy than it will to cool off the room and aid the air conditioner.

If you were to put a dehumidifier in the living room , it would basically be like taking a window air conditioner and sitting it on the table. Though it may be reducing the humidity, it is also pouring hot air out of the back.

So in that case, it would be counteractive to run the air conditioning and a humidifier at the same time.

Is it cheaper to run AC or dehumidifier?

It is cheaper to run a dehumidifier than to run the AC because an air conditioner cycles all the way on and all the way off repeatedly. (Unless it is an inverter AC) Dehumidifiers do not have the same type of cycling schedule nor do they turn completely off over and over.
Powering an AC completely on and off takes more energy than a dehumidifier.

will a dehumidifier cool a roomRecap

Will a dehumidifier cool off a room?

A dehumidifier expels heat from the rear of the machine. Though it will reduce the humidity that can cause the temperature to seem hotter than what it is, the heat coming off of the dehumidifier will reheat the room.

 If you run a dehumidifier for a while,  then let the room air out, you will likely find that that room is more comfortable than it was before you ran the dehumidifier.

But as an air cooler, it is definitely better to use an air conditioner. Not only will the air conditioner cool the room, it will also dehumidify as it’s cooling.

Dehumidifiers are made more as a mobile unit to place in a room that doesn’t have access to air conditioning such as a basement. They are also intended to be used as remedial aids for situations like water damage and flood Restoration.

Also being mobile means that the condensation captured by the dehumidifier must either be caught in a tank or ran with a garden hose outside.

Air conditioners on the other hand, can do little in the area of remediation because they are stationary and not meant to move around.

AC Coil Cleaner

Are Himalayan Salt Lamps a Hoax?

Himalayan salt lamps have gathered in popularity over the last few years.

And the truth is they are a pretty sharp-looking novelty item that can add to the ambience of a shaded room nicely.
But having a pinkish, orange and red lamp it’s not really enough to cause the kind of stir they have.
It’s unlikely so many people would be purchasing and hunting these things down if it were just for the look of them.

So why are Himalayan salt lamps so popular?

It’s the health benefits that are associated with using a salt lamp.

There are a number of claims being made about how Himalayan salt lamp can improve your health.

The claims include reducing allergies, lowering asthma triggers, and filtering germs and bacteria out of the air.

The two main health functions that Himalayan salt lamps supposedly perform are:

1.Produce Negative Ions
2.They are Hygroscopic

Himalayan salt lamp hoax?

“Himalayan salt lamps do not create any measurable amount of negative ions but they are conclusively hygroscopic because salt is known to pull moisture out of the air.
Are they a Hoax? 50/50.”

Now I am a skeptic. and certain things like salt lamps just lend themselves to skepticism.

But if you were to show me a study that proves Himalayan salt lamps could actually improve air quality, we can leave it at that.

But unfortunately there is not a single study that can be produced.

But like everything else to do with Himalayan salt lamps, I’ll try to make an educated guess.

Why is my salt lamp leaking waterOne of the biggest claims about Himalayan salt lamps is that they create negative ions.

My first question here is: “Have you ever seen the dust left behind by a negative ion generator?”

Negative ion generators are famous we’re leaving a blanket of dust on the walls and surfaces around around the machine.

It’s so popular they have a phrase that describes it. “Great Wall syndrome” is the effect of negatively charged ions combining with positively charged ions, and either falling to the surface or clinging to the walls.

This is not a effect you get with a Himalayan salt lamp.

Secondly, it’s not just negative ions that affect the mood or atmosphere in an area, it’s the sheer volume of them that makes the difference.

The fresh outdoor feeling you get from a thunderstorm rolling through is caused by an explosion of negative ions created by lightning ,and rain washing contaminants out of the air.

There is also a distinctive smell left behind by a thunderstorm. The smell is ozone.

Negative ionizers also create ozone and it is one of the reasons they come under fire as an air cleaning method.

“But Himalayan salt lamps, if they create negative ions at all, do not manufacture enough ions to leave behind any dust, much less create enough that would be considered the volume to change the atmosphere in a room, and they leave no noticeable smell of ozone behind whatsoever.”

Verdict: Every action has a counter reaction and Himalayan salt lamps don’t have any of the side effects of a negative ionizer simply because they do not ionize air.
( Butt least they don’t generate high levels of ozone as a by-product. That’s healthy!)

They Are Hygroscopic

On this point, I’m not quite as skeptical.

It is known that humidity droplets can actually be microscopic containers that carry air pollutants like bacteria and viruses and help them travel further through a room.

Humidity is also a natural food source for mold spores and dust mites which are known household allergens.

And we all know how miserable humidity can be in certain climates and times of the year.

Consider this:

Himalayan salt lamps are known to attract moisture.

And most concerns about pink Himalayan salt lamps are about the device leaking or melting.

In truth Himalayan salt lamps neither leak or melt.

The water the gatherers on and around a salt lamp is humidity pulled out of the air by the salt.

Seeing is believing.

Unlike the ionic air purifier claims that people make about Himalayan salt lamps which offer no proof either by leaving behind dust or the residual smell of ozone that negative ions create,

A Himalayan salt lamp leaving behind a puddle of water is a very noticeable side effect that can be construed as the salt pulling moisture from the air.

And it is also a fact that sodium chloride(salt) can be used as a dehumidifier and is often stored in the basement to help reduce the natural humidity typically found in the basement.

So on this point, I would have to concede,

“It is possible that a pink Himalayan salt lamp can help purify the air by absorbing potentially harmful humidity droplets from the air.”

Though it is possible, keeping a Himalayan salt lamp will not reduce the humidity in your home nearly as well as turning the air conditioner on or running a dehumidifier.

And as a ionizer, forget it.

Are Himalayan salt lamps safe for catsAre Himalayan salt lamps safe for cats?

The allure that salt lamps have for cats to lick them, potentially makes them a health hazard for felines and dogs if the lamp is placed where they can get to them.

The potential problem with keeping salt lamps around your animals is that salt can be very addicting for an animal to lick. And they will probably lick the salt till they’re sick or even worst case scenario, to the point of death.

That fact alone is enough to go with the fake version of Himalayan salt lamp in my house.

Why is my salt lamp leaking water?

Another issue that I rarely see people bringing up when it comes to Himalayan salt lamps is the maintenance involved to keep them.

I for one did not realize that you had to keep wiping them off or they would create a puddle underneath them.

It is actually suggested that you place a plastic bag over the salt lamp when it’s not in use so that it will not continue to pull moisture from the air and become sad.

(Yes, the moisture that gathers on the outside of the salt lamp is called crying. And they can get very sad if not attended to. Don’t be so insensitive.)

And the fact that they are so heavy and brittle is not something I anticipated.

Though they are very pretty and obviously add a nice ambience to the room.

I’m still glad I never bought a Himalayan salt lamp as a Christmas gift for someone without knowing how much attention they would need to give it.


On a positive note, if you happen to own a cow, Himalayan salt lamps make an excellent salt lick, chuck full of iron and minerals.
You may be sitting on a delicious glass of milk and didn’t even know it.

Also: Does a Humidifier Help With Dust?

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier

Did you know that the humidity in your home not only can affect the structure of your house, It can interfere with your health to?

Humidity or lack of humidity can have adverse effects on your health it may lead you to begin a search for a humidifier or a dehumidifier.

Humidifier vs dehumidifier

A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air, a dehumidifier is a device that subtracts moisture from the air.

What should humidity be in the house?

Without knowing the humidity level in your house, it’s impossible to know whether you need a humidifier for a dehumidifier or either?

The humidity leveling the house that is generally the most comfortable for everyone is 40 to 60%. This study by The National Library of Medicine states “The majority of adverse health effects caused by relative humidity would be minimized by maintaining indoor levels between 40 and 60%. “  A hygrometer is needed to to let you know what the humidity is in your house.

Humidity levels may need to be tweaked throughout the year to keep a level of comfort in the home.

What should humidity be in house in winter?

in the winter you’re shooting for more like 40 to 60% humidity because the air usually much drier in the winter. And with the addition of the furnace running, the air inside of the house can get very dry.

What should humidity be in house in summer?

Humidity in the summer should be kept around 30 to 45%. There are many times when the heat that you are feeling in the summer is humidity. By maintaining a lower humidity, you can achieve comfort and reduce the need for a continuously running AC.

What do you do when the humidity is affecting your overall health? How do you know whether you should add or reduce the humidity

Humidifier or dehumidifier for coughHere is a few tips

Humidifier or dehumidifier for allergies?

Allergies are many times seasonal. And depending on the season, you’re probably able to narrow down whether you need to moisten or dry out the air.
In the winter, a humidifier is usually better when you’re suffering from allergy symptoms.
But in the summer months, humidity can actually help allergens travel further. So you probably need a dehumidifier.

Humidifier or dehumidifier for sinus problems

A humidifier is best for sinus problems when the air is dry. The reason is that the particles that are in the air that can aggravate the sinus cavities will be weighted down with the use of a humidifier which will keep them from floating and  entering your nose and mouth. The added moisture will also help relieve the irritation and pain that dry air can do to your sinuses.

Humidifier or dehumidifier for stuffy nose.

A stuffy nose is usually caused by the air being extra dry. When you have a stuffy, stopped up nose, a cool mist humidifier is a great way to reduce the stuffiness and get a better night’s sleep.

Humidifier or dehumidifier for eczema

Dry air can exasperate skin problems, especially eczema. A humidifier is generally the “go to” device for eczema sufferers because it will add moisture to the air and ease the pain associated with eczema.
Humidity can also have an adverse effect on the skin when the moisture in the air is full of mold spores and bacteria.
It’s important that the humidifier be kept clean or if you’re living in a house with a dirty HVAC, that the vents or not distributing mold and dust mites throughout your house.

Consider adding an air purifier to your arsenal. A mold air purifier will help keep bacteria out of the when the humidity is high too.

Keeping the air clean is as important as adding or reducing humidity.

Humidifier or dehumidifier for mold

Moisture is one of the essential ingredients for mold to grow. Anytime the humidity in the home is high, you have chance of mold taking root somewhere.

A dehumidifier will pull moisture out of the air and help starve and mold that is already forming.

But dehumidifiers themselves must be maintained or else they can become a source for mold and spores.

Humidifier or dehumidifier for baby

Babies can be susceptible to bacteria in the air. A humidifier can help clear the congestion in a baby’s chest. But you should also consider pairing it with an air purifier to ensure that bacteria and mold are introduced to a baby’s room through adding humidity to the air.

Keeping the humidifier clean and filled with distilled water is a must when it comes to babies.

During the hot, muggy months of the year, a dehumidifier can make the air easier to breathe. And the baby you can suffer from the uncomfortable effects of high humidity just like everyone else.

Humidifier or dehumidifier for allergiesHumidifier or dehumidifier for snoring

Snoring is usually related the air being hot and dry.
A humidifier will add moisture to the air that can help soothe the larynx
And help you breathe a little easier while sleeping.
Some people refer to turn the heat up and dress less in the winter.
This is a recipe for snoring.
Cool air is easier to breathe. Consider turning the heat down and adding more covers or wearing pajamas with a cool mist humidifier running.

Humidifier or dehumidifier for cough

A dry cough can be helped with the use of a humidifier. When conditions are dry, a humidifier can aid in hoping to loosen up mucus and phlegm.
Humidifiers often come with compartments that allow essential oils like eucalyptus and oregano to be dispersed into the air and help you recover from a cough faster and add a soothing agent to the air make it easier to breathe.

Humidifier or dehumidifier for nosebleeds

Nosebleeds are a symptom of dry air.

Even now you can find many homes that still have the furnace under the floor with the heat coming out through a grill.

To avoid the furnace making the air too dry and the kids getting dry bloody noses, a pot of water is placed on the grill so that the water will evaporate and moisten the air. Clove or eucalyptus   might be added to add an extra layer of soothing.
A humidifier does the same thing.
When you are getting a nosebleed from the climate, you will want to pick a humidifier over a dehumidifier.

 
 

Why is My House so Humid with the AC On?

Why is my house so humid with the AC on? If the air conditioner is not reducing at least a little bit of humidity in the home, then you know there is an issue somewhere. And finding out what that issue is is hopefully not too difficult. Following is a few of the most common issues when the humidity is overtaking the AC.

AC is cooling but not removing humidity 

One of the most common reasons that the air continues to feel humid when the AC is running is that the thermostat is s set on “on’ instead of “auto”.

1.AC fan mode 

When the AC fan mode on the thermostat is on the “on” position, it continues to run after the compressor has shut down.

What does that have to do with the house feeling humid?

Because as a air conditioner is cooling the air it is also gathering the humidity from the air in the form of condensation on the refrigerant coils.

And then  when the air conditioner cycles off, the moisture gathered on the condenser coils drains into a drip pan and either continues through a drain line outside or is pumped outside with a condensate pump.

But when the AC fan mode is set on the “on”  position, the condensation that has gathered on the refrigerant coils doesn’t get a opportunity to drip off. Instead it is blown by the fan which is causing it to evaporate back into the ductwork.

Which means that even though it is gathering the moisture out of your air as the air conditioner is running, it is circulating it back around your house while the AC compressor has cycled off.

Try turning the AC to “auto mode” and seeing if the air starts to feel less humid.

Humidity goes up when the AC is on

2.  Foam insulation

Another reason build a home can feel extra humid with the AC on is the type of insulation that is used in the Attic.

Foam insulation is notorious what causing the Attic to be extra humid.

Heat and moisture from the attic can
make its way into your duct system a few different ways.

3. Leaky ducts

If your ductwork has got any leaks, it can be pulling hot humid air from the attic into your ductwork and then into your home.

4.  Kitchen fans

If the powered vents above your range are extra strong, they could be pulling air from the attic.

AC is cooling but not removing humidity When the Attic is the source of the humidity that is circulating in your home , there’s a couple of things you can do to alleviate the problem.

1.  Have your attic inspected make sure that it is sealed properly.
2.  Have you heard ductwork checked for leaks.
3. Run a dehumidifier in the Attic.
4. Reroute the ductwork so that the Attic is air conditioned along with the rest of the house.

House feels damp with AC on

A.Heat rises

Sometimes you might find that the reason your house is feeling humid is the layout of the house itself.

If you have a two or three story house and the top floors feel extra humid compared to the bottom floor then your air handler is not equipped to handle the downstairs and upstairs equally.

You may find that you need to run a dehumidifier upstairs to help your air conditioner run easier and do a much better job at controlling the climate inside your house.

B. Room is muggy

Many times it’s not the whole house that feels muggy with the AC on. It could be relegated to just one or two rooms.

The most obvious solution is that the ductwork that specific room is leaking and mixing the humidity from the attic for crawl space with the air coming into the room.

5.Ductwork design

If the ductwork is not zoned correctly or if additional vents have been added to the zones, the rooms were they additional vents have been added may not get the same level of dehumidification that the AC provides to the rest of the house.

Some rooms like basements do not even have AC ducts ran to them. Proximity to the moist ground is usually the culprit for high humidity in the basement.

Running a dehumidifier is a great way to dry out the basement and make it useful and livable.

Recap

Does your house feel extra humid when the AC is on?

And air conditioner is made to dehumidify the air as it is cooling. One of the primary ways it cools the air is by reducing the moisture in the air.

So when your ear feels extra humid with the AC on, it is definitely not a natural cause.

What are the main reasons a house will feel muggy when the air conditioner is on is that the humidity that the AC is supposed to be reducing is being redistributed throughout the house.

This can happen when the AC fan mode is switch to the on position so that the fan is running continuously when the AC compressor has cycled off.

” AC auto mode” is  the setting on the thermostat to use to ensure that the humidity gathered on the condenser coils drains rather than being evaporated and redistributed around the house.

Another culprit for humidity getting into the house with the AC on is leaky ducts. If your ductwork has leaks in it, then the humid air inside of the attic can leak inside of your home through your ductwork.

Another reason that the home feels muggy with the AC on could be the layout of the house. If for instance, the house is a two-story house, the top level may feel extra humid simply because heat rises.

A easy fix that will not only reduce the humidity on the second floor as well as aid the air conditioner is a dehumidifier.

Do it yourself AC Coil Cleaner

Difference Between Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier

What is the difference between a air conditioner and a dehumidifier?

The difference between an air conditioner and a dehumidifier is where the warm air and condensation that the unit is generating are dispelled.

Air conditioners dispel the heat and moisture outside of the house and a dehumidifier dispels the heat and moisture inside of the house. (Though most modern dehumidifiers have a port to drain the water with a garden hose to a sink or outside)

Mechanically they are very much the same. Both have a hot side and a cold side.

The difference is how they are used.

And the air conditioner is primarily used to cool down a room. So the hot side of the air conditioner is outside.

A dehumidifier is used to reduce the moisture in the air. Instead of dispersing the hot air outside of the room, it releases it back into the room.

Releasing the hot air back into the room helps the dehumidifier continue to draw out more humidity from the air.

Do dehumidifiers cool a room?

A dehumidifier is not made to cool a room. Though indirectly it will help the room feel more comfortable because of the reduction of humidity.

But remember the heat generated from the dehumidifier is being released back into the room as it is dehumidifying.

And though the heat may not be significant because of the lack of moisture in the air now that the dehumidifier is running, there is still going to be an increase in the temperature.

Do dehumidifiers help with heat?

Dehumidifiers do help with heat in directly because they reduce the moisture in the air that is perceived as heat.

But you should know that the room that the dehumidifier is being used in is not going to be cooler.

How much heat does a dehumidifier create?

Think about it this way. If you were to take a window air conditioner and sit in the middle of the room, one side of the air conditioner would be cool and the other side would be hot.

With a dehumidifier, you’re only getting the hot.

Dehumidifiers are meant to reduce the humidity in the home more as a way to reduce the effect of moisture on the structure of the house and as a preventative for mold growth then they are as a way manage the climate in the house.
The fact that a dehumidifier can make the room feel more comfortable is more like a happy side-effect.

Air conditioner as a dehumidifierAir conditioner as a dehumidifier

Does AC dehumidify?

An air conditioner also dehumidifies the air as it is operating. Part of the way it is able to cool the air is it is pulling moisture out of the air and draining it outside.

Air conditioning is infinitely better as a dehumidifier because it not only cools the house as it is dehumidifying, it disperses the hot air outside and drains the condensation in the outside as well.

Many central air conditioners come with a dry mode setting to be able to dehumidify a room without cooling it when the outdoor temperature is more muggy than hot.

Is dry mode more economical?

Dry mode consumes much less energy than cool mode on the AC because it runs the compressor at about half-speed.

Does a dehumidifier use a lot of electricity?

Dehumidifiers are known energy hogs.

If you look at it a breakdown aware most of your energy cost are going,
It is to the main appliances like the refrigerator and the HVAC that use compressors.
99% of dehumidifiers on the shelf run off of a compressor. So you can expect your electric bill to show a small increase when you run the dehumidifier.

is it cheaper to run an AC or dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier uses only about a tenth of the electricity that an air conditioner uses. An standard AC runs full on and then off as the temperature is reached.
And then restarts when the temperature rises above the temperature designated on the thermostat. This repeated cycle results in an enormous amount of energy consumed and a very high energy bill. See Inverter AC

A dehumidifier doesn’t cycle off and on like a AC which keeps the cost much lower than an AC.

But though the air conditioner is a dehumidifier, its primary use is to cool down the air so it doesn’t reduce the humidity in the air as much as a dedicated dehumidifier.

Also air conditioning is typically not ran to the basement or crawl spaces.

And those are two of the main spots you need a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.

Portable air conditioner as a dehumidifier?

If an air conditioner and a dehumidifier are mechanically the same, does that mean I can use a portable air conditioner as a dehumidifier?

It does sound great in theory, but a portable air conditioner does not drain condensation like a dehumidifier.

The condensation of a portable AC  basically spits out through the rear show the unit and drips of a drainage hole.

Collecting the water so that it is not become part of the humidity problem that you’re trying to resolve is not easily solved.

Unfortunately when it comes to portable air conditioners and portable dehumidifiers, they are not interchangeable.

Though in many cases they are combined into one unit.

Recap

Dehumidifiers and air conditioners are very closely related and mechanically run nearly the same.

The main difference is or how they expel the heat and condensation that they generate.

The AC dispels the heat and condensation outside and a dehumidifier dispels the heat and condensation inside.

But how they are used and what they are used for is the real difference.

Air conditioning is used to cool off a room. De-humidification just happens to be part of that process.

Dehumidifiers are not made to cool off a room but to reduce moisture.

Though running an AC can help reduce the humidity in a room, a portable dehumidifier will do much more to reduce moisture and can go
into areas where there is no air conditioning like the moldy basement and crawl space.

Dehumidifiers also do not cool of a room directly and in fact will make a room temperature rise.