Run A Dehumidifier In A New House? De-Jinx Your New Haven!
Should you run a dehumidifier in a new house? This is a very common question among people buying or moving to a new home.
And the answer is yes and no, meaning … it depends!
Unless you live in a high humidity place such as Florida, there is really no need to run a dehumidifier in a new house.
But to dispel any doubt, just buy a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level. If you see that the humidity is above 50 percent, then you can run a dehumidifier. You need to keep the humidity level between 30 and 50 percent, all the time.
The outdoor humidity affects the indoor humidity level. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on the humidistat to know the outdoor humidity level. If the dewpoint temperature is high, you need to run a dehumidifier.
5 reasons to run a dehumidifier in a new house
It is not always that you will need to run a dehumidifier in your new home, that is, unless you experience the following factors:
1. The overall humidity is high
If your new home is in a high humidity place such as Seattle, which experiences an average humidity of 66 percent a year, you will definitely need a dehumidifier.
It is important to control humidity in your house. High humidity damages electronics, and you don’t want that to happen. It can also damage your carpets, walls, furniture and so on.
With high humidity, there is an imminent danger of mold. Your family can experience mold toxicity symptoms, and you would spend a lot of time in the hospitals.
To prevent all of these, just run the dehumidifier.
2. You see condensation on the windows and walls
Condensation on the windows in the morning means you have high humidity indoors. However, humidity increases after rain, but that should be easy to rule out as the cause of the high humidity.
If the condensation appears only after taking a hot shower in the bathroom, after steamy cooking in the kitchen, or after rain, it is not too bad.
However, if the condensation persists for almost all the summer months, you have a problem of humidity. Run a dehumidifier!
3. There is condensation in the basement
If you have condensation in the basement, you need to run a basement dehumidifier with a drain hose.
The problem with high humidity in this area of your home is that it spreads to other rooms. It can also lead to mold growth, which would produce spores. These would start mold colonies in other rooms in your home.
In really humid places, you might need to run the dehumidifier for several hours a day. Also, remember, the best place for a dehumidifier is as close as possible to the source of the humidity.
If the humidity is 70 percent and higher in the basement, you might consider buying a dehumidifier with a built-in pump so that it can dispose of the water over a vertical distance, easily.
4. When there is a musty smell in the house
A new house should have the smell of newness, you know building materials have their own unique smell. If there is a musty smell, it could be indicative of mold somewhere in the home.
Even a new home can have mold. Remember, in the humidity and mold growth chart, we said that under the right temperature and humidity level, mold can grow in as little as 24 hours.
Mold smells musty. In that case, you not only need to run a dehumidifier, but you also need to find the mold and remove it.
To remove the musty smell that lingers behind even after removing the mold and lowering humidity, you can use an air purifier for musty smell.
How long to run a dehumidifier in a new house?
The key thing is to run the dehumidifier in a new house as long as is necessary. This is why I keep insisting that you should do either of the following:
- Buy a dehumidifier with a built-in humidistat so that it can automatically go on or off when necessary
- Buy a wall hygrometer to check the humidity level and crank the dehumidifier when necessary
- Buy a humidistat to monitor the outdoor dewpoint temperature
Assuming you already have a good unit, for how long should a dehumidifier run? Usually, when the unit is new, we say you should run it for at least 12 hours.
If it is not new, about 5 to 7 hours should be fine. For good measure, you can switch the dehumidifier on at 10.00PM or 11.00PM and then switch it off at 6.00 o’clock in the morning. This will maintain the right humidity level in the bedroom.
If you are using the dehumidifier to remove dampness from a room, from the basement or from the laundry room, run it for as long as necessary.
When the humidity level in any room in the house exceeds 50 percent, you need to get the dehumidifier running.
Will dehumidifier dry out damp walls?
Sometimes, the materials used in the construction of the new house are not completely dry. Therefore, you might want to know whether you can use a dehumidifier to dry them out.
Of course, you can. Since their moisture will from the area of high concentration (the walls, for instance) to the low concentration area (the surrounding air in the room), the dehumidifier will help.
But it will not get rid of all the dampness. Therefore, you will need to run an exhaust fan in the room to get rid of the dampness. Together, the two will do a faster job.
Of course, opening the windows and keeping the ventilation working helps a lot too.
Does a dehumidifier make air fresh in a new home?
Unfortunately, a dehumidifier is not designed to remove smells from your home. It is specifically designed to remove excess moisture from the air and keep the humidity level low.
To make sure it is doing that, check how it is operating. If the dehumidifier blows warm air, it is working correctly.
When the dehumidifier blows cold air, it is not working correctly, and it needs to be checked.
Back to whether a dehumidifier can make the air fresh in your new house, well, it cannot. But there is just the right appliance that can help with this – an air purifier.
The air purifier will remove the smell of formaldehyde from your rooms. Building materials contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which pollute your air. This is why you need to purify the air.
The good thing is that if the need arises, you can run a dehumidifier and air purifier at the same time.
Just a mention – a dehumidifier will prevent mold from growing in your home, so you will never experience the musty smell that comes from this fungus.
Wrapping it up
If it is necessary, you should run a dehumidifier in a new house. But most importantly, to get rid of the smell of newness, which is caused by VOCs, please run an air purifier first.
If you don’t have a hygrometer, you might now know for sure whether the humidity is high. In that case, you can switch on the dehumidifier and see whether it will draw any water from the air. If the humidity level is below the set the threshold, the dehumidifier will go off automatically.
So, for the avoidance of doubt, just run the dehumidifier, if you have one.