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May 23, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

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This household appliance drops the humidity level indoors. Mechanical dehumidifiers, or refrigerative dehumidifiers, pull moist air in and push it over a refrigerated coil using a small fan. This causes the water in the air to condense and drip into a collecting bucket. The remaining air is then reheated and redistributed into the room.

Dehumidifiers are helpful for people living near water and in humid locales. They can reduce clamminess, mold growth, dust mite breeding, mildew growth, and food spoilage.  Asthmatics are particularly sensitive to rooms that are too humid, often experiencing respiratory problems as a result.

When purchasing a dehumidifier, discuss and research the following capabilities with a salesperson. Find out how much water the unit retains before it is full and must be emptied. How long does it typically take for the container to fill? Be certain the model has an automatic shut off when the tank is full so that water does not overflow. Also look for an easy automatic reset option that can be used once the drain pan or tank is emptied. Choose a unit based on room size.  Look for adjustable humidity controls to control the humidity level in the air. Models should have signal lights to notify owners when the dehumidifier is operating. Inside the unit, look for a hose that connects directly into the tank (or drain pan) and creates an impermeable seal. Finally, some people consider dehumidifiers that add oil or perfumed scents to the air to limit any odors.

Dehumidifier prices range from $100 to over $2000 dollars. Price is dependent on features and technology.

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