It can't make Cappuccino. It doesn't warm your towels. It's incapable of keeping your wine chilled to the proper temperature... and no, it doesn't make a killer Margarita.
It does make your home healthier and it has the potential to save you thousands of dollars when you decide to sell your home. The even better news, it costs only a few hundred dollars to buy... and a few dollars a month to operate.
How do you know if you need one? Simple, if you live in a location where it rains or snows, you need one.
It's the dehumidifier. Not the sexiest of appliances, but one you should not be without.
The recommended humidity for a home is 35-55%. Most homes, unless you live in an arid climate, wander north of these recommendations over certain times of the year. Factors including rainfall, snowmelt, poor drainage, high water table, leaky foundations, restricted air movement around the exterior of the home, and below grade rooms... all contribute to potentially higher than healthy indoor humidity.
A good first step is to invest in a hygrometer to determine, and then monitor, the humidity level throughout your home. Once you identify the areas that would benefit from reduced moisture you can then build your plan to manage your in-home humidity. Hygrometers are built into most small digital thermometers that you can pick up at your local hardware store for less than $20.
Every day things such as heat and air conditioning can work to help address the humidity in your home. However the best way is to deploy a dehumidifier, especially in basements or below grade spaces. Dehumidifiers move air across a cold surface causing the moisture in the air to condense. This moisture is then disposed of either in a receptical integrated into the unit, or via an externally attached hose that drains into a sink or other drain. If you go the integrated receptical route, expect to empty the bucket regularly.
Signs that indicate that you could probably benefit from a dehumidifer:
1. Condensation on windows and glass doors.
2. Visible mold/mildew on sheetrock, ceilings or walls.
3. Musty odor.
Moisture and mold are two of the biggest non structural issues come pre-sale inspection time. Mold remediation is costly and scares away some buyers.
Do some research to identify the right dehumidifier for your needs and space. Always buy bigger than you need. The additional cost will be minimal, and the unit won't work as hard to maintain the right level of humidity.
I'm available to help you with your Real Estate buying and selling needs in Ridgefield, Redding, Wilton, Weston and Stamford, Connecticut.