How Does a Dehumidifier Control Moisture?

Santa Fe dehumidifiers are designed to control humidity in basements, crawl spaces and other inside spaces.  By controlling the moisture in these spaces there is a reduced risk of health problems, comfort issues and property damage.  But how does it work? Let’s take a closer look at the internal workings of the Santa Fe Advance2 dehumidifier.

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Humid air is pulled  into the dehumidifier and passes through a MERV-8 filter. The Santa Fe Advance2 uses a high-efficiency filter that captures small particles in the air. The humid air then passes over a cold evaporator coil where moisture in the air condenses. The condensed water drops into the drain pan and runs out of the dehumidifier through the drain tube.  The cold, dry air then moves over the condenser coil where it is slightly heated. Dry air is supplied to the basement or crawl space through the dual outlets.

Blog Post 4: Top 10 Signs of High Humidity

For health and comfort reasons, it’s important to maintain a proper humidity level in your home.  While too little humidity can cause discomfort issues, too much moisture can lead to health problems, discomfort issues, and property damage. Dehumidifiers can help remedy these excess moisture problems.  Let’s take a look at some signs that indicate that you may need a dehumidifier.

First, let’s talk about a few signs that you can’t see but can likely feel. These often contribute to health problems and discomfort issues.  Reducing humidity to control these issues will help create a Comfortable Space.

  • High Humidity
  • Poor Air Quality
  • Sticky Feeling
  • Bacteria Growth

Next, is what you can see. These are common visual indicators that you have a humidity problem which is slowing damaging and destroying your Home and Property.

  • Mold/ Mildew Growth
  • Pest infestations
  • Cupping of Wood Floors
  • Stains on Walls and Ceilings
  • Wood Rot
  • Blistering Pain
Signs of Moisture Problems

Some common tell tale signs that you have a moisture problem.

If you’re not doing so already, take a few moments to look around your home for signs of high humidity. You may be surprised at what your house is trying to tell you.

Next week, in our fifth and final post in this series, we will be discussing how a dehumidifier works to control moisture. We’ll see you then.

Blog Post 3: How Does Moisture Enter the Home?

There are 3 main sources of moisture in your home; the first being air leaks.  Air can leak into the home through walls, roofs and floors and have damaging effects on a house.  Uncontrolled airflow through the shell not only carries moisture into framing cavities, causing mold and rot, but it can also account for a huge portion of a home’s energy use and can cause indoor-air-quality problems.  In a leaky house, large volumes of air – driven by exhaust fans, the stack effect, and wind – can blow through the floor, walls, and ceiling.

The second source of moisture is diffusion through materials.  This is a process by which vapor spreads or moves through permeable materials caused by a difference in water vapor pressure.  An example of this is when the soil becomes saturated and that moisture enters the crawl space through the walls by vapor diffusion.  Installing a vapor barrier or vapor diffusion retarder can help reduce the rate at which the water vapor can move through a material.

The final source is internally generated moisture.  A family of four can add, on average, up to 25 pints of water to the air simply by washing dishes, taking showers, cooking, and breathing. Adding 4 pints of water to the air in a house at 70°F and 30% RH can boost the RH to 50%. Eight pints can boost RH to 70%.

There’s a great article on the Building Science Corporation website which has additional information on this subject. Here’s a quick link Air Leaks How They Waste Energy and Rot Homes.

Next week we will be sharing the top 10 signs of high moisture. See you then.

Blog Post 2: Help! What’s the Difference Between Relative Humidity and Dew Point?

Many people confuse relative humidity with dew point.  They often hear about dew point on the weather channel, but aren’t really sure what it means. Let’s take a closer look at these two concepts.

To put it simply, relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air compared to what the air can “hold” at that temperature.  So if I was to say that the relative humidity, which is always measured in a percentage, was 100% that means that the air is holding its maximum water vapor capacity at that temperature.

It’s important to understand that relative humidity is relative to the temperature.  In order to understand this concept, let’s take a look at the diagram below.  The glasses represent the temperature, so the smaller the glass the colder the temperature and vice versa.  When looking at the first glass you notice that colder air has a smaller capacity for holding moisture and has a high relative humidity.  As the temperature increases (glass gets bigger), the air is able to hold more moisture and the relative humidity decreases.   In fact, for every degree that the temperature increases, the relative humidity decreases about 2%.

RH Chart

We don’t always use relative humidity to describe the amount of moisture in the air.  Sometimes we refer to dew point.  The dew point is the temperature at which the relative humidity equals 100%.  Unlike RH, the dew point does not change with air temperature.  In that sense it is an “absolute” measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air.

Dew Point is also a great measure for comfort.  If the dew point is below 60 degrees it is comfortable, but if the dew point gets above 70 degrees then it gets very sticky and uncomfortable.  If you know temperature and relative humidity, you can calculate the dew point using a psychometric calculator or an online calculator, like this one www.dpcalc.org

Come back next week for part three in our series discussing the sources of moisture in your home!