Spring is the time of year we start experiencing the sniffling and sneezing caused by seasonal allergies. While many people suffer from seasonal allergies – some experience these symptoms year-round. Dust mite allergies are a common trigger for asthma, non-seasonal allergies, and atopic dermatitis and can effect those who are allergic year-round. Here are some tips of mite reduction, dust mite facts and information.
- 10% of the human population is allergic to the waste of these little creepy crawlies and 80% of allergy suffers are sensitive to them as well.
- Dust mites thrive in temperatures 68-70℉ and a RH of 70-80%
- The America College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that as many as 90% of people with allergic asthma are sensitive to dust mites, and at least 45% of young people with asthma are allergic to dust mites
Dust Mite Control Tips
- A dehumidifier can help bring humidity down below 50% RH where dust mites cannot survive. This is one of the easiest ways to control dust mite populations in your home.
- Use micro-filtration bags in your vacuum this can help keep mites and mite wast from being recirculated back into the air.
- Use dust proof zip-able covers on mattresses and pillows.
- Dust mites are too small to be seen with the naked eye but when seen on a microscope they are light in color and have eight legs
- Mites feed on dead skin
- The average lifespan of a dust mite is 80 days
- There are 13 different types of dust mites, the most common species in the United States are the Dermatophagoides Farinae and the D. Pteronyssinus.
- Common dust mite hiding spots include mattresses, bed linen, upholstered furniture, long-fiber carpets, and soft toys
This series will cover a variety of topics that have to do with the importance of understanding and controlling humidity and moisture in your home. We will discuss the difference between relative humidity and dew point, and why these are important concepts to understand. We will then dive into how moisture enters and is created within your home. Next we will talk about the top 10 signs of high moisture, and finally we will discuss how a dehumidifier can help control humidity and reduce the risk of health problems, comfort issues and property damage.
Check out the first part of our series next week, when we discuss the difference between relative humidity and dew point!
Stack effect is the movement of warm, dry air rising and escaping through the upper levels of the home and cooler, wet air finding its’ way into the lower levels in order for the home to equalize.
Excess moisture in crawlspaces and basements often migrates to the upper levels of the home through a “stack effect”. In essence, whatever air is below the house is also inside the house.
Stack Effect Contributes To:
- High Humidity
- Pest Infestations
- Poor Indoor Air Quality
- Mold Growth
- Musty Odors
- Damage to Property
Indoor humidity levels, especially in basements and crawlspaces, can rise dramatically in the summer months and during the shoulder seasons. This is why dehumidification in these spaces is essential for proper humidity control. Santa Fe Dehumidifiers are the solution to healthy, comfortable living.
The Santa Fe Compact2 was specifically designed to fit into tight, low-clearance spaces, such as crawlspaces. But don’t let its’ small design fool you – the unit removes up to 70 pints of water a day and can treat spaces up to 1,800 square feet. No other conventional dehumidifier can perform as efficiently and effectively in crawlspaces and basements as the Santa Fe Compact2 Dehumidifier.
Q. I have a finished basement (about 900 sq. ft), and I would like to improve the air quality and reduce humidity in the space. My dehumidifier runs 24/7 in the spring and summer months, and it produces a fair amount of heat that makes the basement uncomfortable in the summer. I’ve read some good things about systems like the WAVE or EZ Breathe. But I also understand that a system like that depends on the upstairs air being conditioned in the summer. Installing central air (which we currently don’t have) might not be incredibly expensive since we have a small ranch style house with an open attic. I don’t think that installing ductwork in the basement will be an option since the ceiling is sheetrocked. . . How do you suggest I best ventilate my house (including the basement)?
A. The primary source of the basement humidity is generated from the outside air infiltrating into the home. You also have to factor in the temperature difference in the basement. Cooler surfaces will form moisture on them (any surface below the dew point). Basements are generally cooler and therefore damper than the rest of the home. So how much water is actually being removed by your dehumidifier? Most small basements that are fairly air tight need 20-30 pints per day of dehumidification. High efficient, Santa Fe dehumidifiers can do this while generating 50,000 BTU’s of heat per day. Inefficient, conventional dehumidifiers can run 24/7 adding 100,000 BTU’s per day while not removing very much water. High humidity and warm temperatures are uncomfortable. So the more efficient dehumidifier will keep the space cooler and more comfortable.
The idea that you can remove the moisture in a basement by sucking the moisture loaded air outside the home is impossible. While removing the moist air from the basement, additional damp outside air is sucked into the home (the home is put under a negative pressure). The entire home will end up loaded with moist air. So what started as a basement humidity problem has now turned into a whole house humidity problem.
Get a good high efficiency dehumidifier like the Santa Fe Compact. Make the basement as air tight as you can and operate the dehumidifier to maintain your relative humidity down to 50%RH.
Regarding ventilation, close any open vents to control the amount of outside damp air infiltrating the space. You will also have natural ventilation through any imperfections in the home (any leaks and cracks). In most cases, unless the home has spray foam insulation throughout, natural ventilation is sufficient for the correct amount of fresh air.