If you are a Friends junkie, you may remember the episode of the gang in Barbados. Monica's hair becomes progressively bigger and frizzier throughout the episode. "It's the humidity!!!"
I have noticed my hair, which is semi-wavy, but mostly straight, gets curly when the humidity rises. Though not to the proportions Monica's hair did in that episode.
Not only does high humidity cause our hair to curl and frizz, it can cause the two most common allergens in your home to thrive. Dust mites and mold.
This is about to get gross... Dust mites eat shed skin cells. Go ahead and move on if this gives you the heebie-jeebies. I won't be offended. When there is more humidity in the air, our skin cells become softer. Dust mites love a good skin cell feast. The more the dust mites eat, the more they have to, well, you know. And, dust mite feces is the primary component of dust mite allergens. The higher the humidity in the home, the more likely there will be an increased amount of dust mites (and cockroaches).
Mold. Did you know it only takes 14 - 16 hours of highly humidified air to activate dormant mold units. These units come into a home through the ventilation system, doors and windows. Anywhere there is a direct opening to the outside environment.
My intent is not to scare you from even breathing in your own home. My intent is to make you aware of dehumidifiers.
There are two ways to dehumidify your home. A whole house humidifier that works with your HVAC system and single room dehumidifiers.
Whole house dehumidifiers are not always an ideal resolution for many people as it can be a bit pricey. Units can range anywhere from $1100 - $1700 according to Angie's List. Add an additional $500 - $700 for the labor and you are looking at almost $2500. The plus side of a whole house dehumidifier is that it will conquer the humidity in every room of the house. Unlike a single room dehumidifer.
Single room dehumidifiers also reduce the humidity levels (ideal levels should be between 40% and 50%) in your home. They are portable and less expensive than a whole house unit. Units may start at $50 (super small) and go up to $400 (all the bells and whistles). For the full potential of a single room dehumidifier, you must make sure it is large enough to accommodate the space in which you will place it.
In addition to everything discussed earlier, dehumidifiers also keep food such as bread and cereal fresher, keep that mildew odor out of your home, help clothing to dry faster, reduce the dust in your home and can even lower energy costs by helping the AC to run more efficiently.
Now the fun begins: to go with a whole house dehumidifier or a room dehumidifier.
Here is a list of trusted companies you can contact if you do decide to go with the whole house humidifier and need a reliable company for installation.