Dehumidifiers are not a Long-Term Solution for Damp
Approximately one in five British homes are thought to be affected by damp caused by condensation. If left untreated, damp can cause extensive damage to the fabric of a building, and also provides the perfect environment for mould to thrive which can affect the health of residents.
The only way to permanently address condensation is through improving air flow through the use of extractor fans or ventilation systems. That said, there are many things that you can do to reduce the amount of condensation in a home. This can include closing doors when cooking or bathing and not drying clothing indoors.
Dehumidifiers are often suggested as a way of dealing with condensation, and while they might help a little bit, they do not offer a good long-term solution to damp.
How Much Condensation is Produced in a Home
Condensation in an average home comes from a variety of sources including cooking, cleaning and even breathing.
According to the Institute of Specialist Surveyors and Engineers (ISSE), the average person produces at least 1.6KG of water vapour each day. In an average household of 4 people, that means more than 6.4KG of water being produced just through normal metabolism.
Additional sources of moisture include showers – on average a shower releases 0.6KG of steam into the air. Cooking with gas releases 3KG per day with washing and drying clothes adding round 2KG more.
Together this creates at least 13.8KG of water vapour each day in addition to the moisture that air naturally carries.
How Much Water do Dehumidifiers Remove from the Air
There are many different types of dehumidifier available. Some dehumidifiers use a desiccant like silica gel to draw moisture out of the air, however these do not typically remove much water from the air and are generally only suited to being used in cupboards where there is little air flow.
The top-rated dehumidifier on Amazon claims to remove 7l of water from household air each day, although this will be dependent on the amount of airflow available to the unit – if air is static in a house, then the dehumidifier will only work in a small area.
This means that even if was working at full efficiency, you would need a minimum of two units to handle the moisture created by the average household, and you would also need to empty the tank multiple times each day.
If a dehumidifier runs constantly day and night, it uses a considerable amount of energy – the best-selling model on Amazon would use 7.2KWh each day which is the equivalent of boiling about 70 cups of tea!
Ventilation is a Better Solution
The main drawback of a dehumidifier is that it is static and requires airflow in order to work effectively. While the headline statistics that you see on the sales website suggest that the device can reduce condensation significantly, the truth is that they are only effective in small areas or single rooms.
In order to address condensation effectively, you need to consider a solution like a Positive Input Ventilation System which draws filtered fresh air into a building to displace the humid air. This reduces moisture while also helping to remove any cold spots around the house where damp can form.
If you have a problem with condensation in your home, it is better to avoid wasting money on dehumidifiers which may not help. Talk to EnviroVent today and book a free home survey from one of our local Ventilation Specialists. They will assess your home and provide advice about the best way to reduce condensation and damp.