LESLIE: Pat in Arkansas is dealing with a humid house and wants to know how to control humidity. What’s going on there?
PAT: Well, I have a new heat pump and it’s not taking out the humidity. Of course, I live in a humid area but I just wondered. It’s supposed to take out the humidity, as I understood.
TOM: Well, not really. Air conditioners, in general – central air conditioners, which is essentially what a heat pump is, are not designed to be dehumidifiers. They do dehumidify by virtue of the fact that they’re cooling the air but they’re not as effective to control humidity as other forms of dehumidifiers.
There’s a couple of other ones that you could consider to control humidity, one of which is called a whole-home dehumidifier. And that’s built into the HVAC system and it would be built into the duct system. And that can take out about 90 pints of water a day.
There’s another type of stand-alone dehumidifier. In fact, I just put one of these in my own house and I thought it was absolutely terrific. It’s by Santa Fe and it’s a small dehumidifier that installs – in my case, I put it in my basement. And it actually is suspended from the ceiling in an unfinished part of the basement. And it’s only 12x12x22.
And it takes out 70 pints of water a day. And it’s really neat. Once I had it up for an hour or so, I went down there and you can just see this pretty strong stream of water dripping out of it. And all that water used to be in the air and now it’s no longer there.
So, you need to do some dehumidification and I think that you’ll find that that will do the trick, Pat.
PAT: OK. What is the average humidity supposed to be in a house?
LESLIE: Thirty to fifty percent?
TOM: Well, yeah, I was going to say around 40. So we’re in the same neighborhood.
TOM: And if you put a good dehumidifier in, that will be set up to a humidistat so that you’ll always know what the humidity is and be able to control humidity.
LESLIE: And it’ll come on as it’s needed.
TOM: Right, exactly.
PAT: OK. Alrighty. Well, I thank you so much.
TOM: Good luck, Pat. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.