Dehumidifiers help reduce the risk of serious health issues by controlling moisture levels in the home.
1. Research has found that common household dust mites may be a factor in as many as 80% of asthmas, hay fevers, and other allergic ailments. Along with respiratory symptoms, high levels of dust mite allergens have also been correlated with atopic dermatitis (AD), characterized by itchy, irritated skin.
Dust mites are microscopic hardy creatures that live and multiply easily in warm, humid places. They thrive at temperatures at or above 70°F with a relative humidity of 75% to 80%. They die when the humidity falls below 50%. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, to reduce dust mites, it is important to keep humidity below 50% throughout the home.
2. Mold is a fungus that feeds on organic substances and survives in moist conditions. Besides causing allergies, they produce harmful chemicals such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and mycotoxins. Health hazards related to mold are coughing, wheezing, running eyes/nose, skin rashes and muscular aches, loss of appetite, inability to concentrate, and fatigue. Keeping the relative humidity levels low is the only way to actually reduce mold growth in a home.
3. Relative humidity also affects the rate of off-gassing of formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds from indoor building materials and furniture. Chemicals will off-gas more under warmer conditions with high humidity.
Several organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, American Lung Association, and American Medical Association all recommend using dehumidifiers in basements and crawl spaces to maintain humidity levels of 50% or less in the home, like the ones offered by Santa Fe.