When humidity levels top 70%, most people begin to feel uncomfortable. That’s when a dehumidifier can help. It works by drawing air over cold coils, condensing out moisture, then passing the air over warm coils and back into the room. Water drips into a reservoir that must be either periodically emptied or connected to a drain. In addition to making your home or business more habitable, removing moisture helps prevent rot, mold, and bacteria.

  • Save about $100 in energy costs over the life of an ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifier
  • Combat mold and rot, for a safer and more durable building
  • Reduced moisture and bacteria create a fresher environment

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers reduce smoke, dust, dander, and pollen. With many different types on the market, the most important feature to look for is a HEPA filter to trap very fine particles. It’s important to know that some purifiers produce ozone, a pollutant that aggravates asthma (although ENERGY STAR certified models have a low ozone output). Regardless of type, most air purifiers require frequent filter changing—so remember to factor in this cost when comparing models.

  • Remove smoke, allergens, gases, and dust from the air
  • Purifiers with carbon filters can also remove odors
  • Models with HEPA filters work best to trap fine particles

Choosing the Right Size Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are rated by the amount of water they remove from the air over 24 hours—anywhere from 10 to 70 pints. Use this chart from ENERGY STAR to select the right size dehumidifier based on the square footage and humidity of your space. A larger tank may make sense if you’re unable to empty it frequently and can’t connect it to a drain. But keep in mind that mold can grow in any water basin that’s not regularly emptied and cleaned out.

  • Choose the correct size based on your square footage and current humidity level
  • A dehumidifier’s energy factor (EF) measures overall efficiency: look for a minimum 1.85 EF
  • Some ENERGY STAR certified models are rated for use in colder temperatures, as low as 42 degrees

How to Prevent Moisture in the Home

Damp basements are a reality for many in Vermont. Signs of excessive moisture include rotting wood, musty smells, and condensation. Although it can enter from many sources—even cooking and bathing—there are ways to reduce moisture in the home. Keep your crawl space sealed off from outdoors, install gutters, improve grading around your foundation, and vent your dryer outdoors (or consider a ventless dryer).