When Is Dehumidifier Season?

October 04, 2017

Summer in Massachusetts seems to go hand-in-hand with plugging in your dehumidifier. How else would we be able to manage the sticky summers without dehumidifiers helping to remove that unwanted dampness and humidity? But even though dehumidifiers are most often associated with beating the summer humidity, these appliances provide benefits during several other seasons, too. With summer ending and the cooler months of autumn approaching, now’s a great time to check out these tips for when to use your dehumidifier.

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

As air loses heat, it begins to lose its capacity to retain moisture. This is the reason why the outside of your iced coffee cup sweats on a hot day – as the air around the cup cools, moisture condenses out. Similarly, a dehumidifier pulls in hot and humid air with a fan and, as this air passes through, it comes into contact with cooled coils; when contact occurs, the moisture condenses out of the air and remains on the coils. From there the collected moisture drips into a bucket, and the air is exhausted back into the room. Through this process, dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air, helping eliminate uncomfortable dampness in your home.

When Do I Need a Dehumidifier?

By removing unwanted moisture, dehumidifiers help prevent the build-up of mold, mildew, fungi, and dust mites in your home, all of which are common allergens. Mold allergies, for example, are a significant contributor to childhood asthma. This means dehumidifiers can benefit you and your family’s health by reducing these allergens and improving indoor air quality. Dehumidifiers are great for pets too, which can suffer from the same allergies and infections. Plus, dehumidifiers help remove that “wet dog” scent or similar musty odors, another bonus.

Managing moisture levels in your home also prevents structural damage. Basements and crawl spaces are often prone to dampness, which can ultimately lead to rot in your home’s foundation. Perhaps more surprisingly, a less humid indoor climate also helps ensure things like bread and cereal don’t go stale too quickly, and you’ll be less likely to find rust and corrosion on tools, computers, and other electronics. These benefits promote a healthy indoor environment and make dehumidifiers great to use not only during muggy summers, but also during damp weather in the spring and early fall.

Hibernating for Winter

While comfort may improve by having a dehumidifier on during the warmer, more humid seasons, it is not only unnecessary to leave running during the winter – it could do harm to the appliance itself. Most dehumidifiers should not be operated in temperatures under 60° F because of the potential for moisture removed from the air to freeze on the coils, which can damage the unit. So, while a dehumidifier can prove beneficial during the spring, summer, and early fall, it’s best to unplug your unit as the colder weather arrives.

Making the Upgrade

As the end of the year approaches, the weather cools down, and you unplug your dehumidifier, it’s a good time to think about whether you should upgrade your unit. If you’re not using an ENERGY STAR® certified dehumidifier, it’s a great idea to invest ahead of time for next summer’s promisingly humid season. ENERGY STAR certified models remove the same amount of moisture from the air as non-certified models, but use 28 percent less energy! Over the course of five years this can amount to more than $300 in energy savings.

Plus, you can save even more by taking advantage of rebates provided by the sponsors of Mass Save®. In addition to a $30 rebate available for purchasing an ENERGY STAR certified dehumidifier, you also have the opportunity to receive a $30 rebate for recycling your old dehumidifier at no-cost during an upcoming dehumidifier turn-in event. This means you could earn up to $60 in rebates!

To learn more about rebates available through the Mass Save program, visit MassSave.com/Rebates! You can also check out the Mass Save Facebook page for additional tips and tricks to improve your home’s energy efficiency. For now, we leave you with this simple one: use a dehumidifier during the spring, summer, and early fall to keep moisture at bay, but unplug and stow it away during the winter to prevent damage to your unit.

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