Will a Dehumidifier Help My Allergies?

Mold, mildew, and dust mites don’t have to make you miserable. A home dehumidifier can help you breathe again.

How? It can dry out your air, which keeps things that set off allergy symptoms -- called triggers -- at bay. It can help you fight:

Mold and mildew. They thrive in moist areas, like a damp basement or the cabinet under your kitchen sink. Molds reproduce through tiny spores that float through the air.

Dust mites . They're the most common trigger of allergy and asthma symptoms, and they also love high humidity. They can live in bedding, curtains, and rugs, as well as the air in your home.

If you’re sensitive to either one of these triggers, you might have:

Signs Your House Is Humid

  • Wet stains on walls and ceilings
  • A stuffy feeling in a room
  • Rotting wood
  • Condensation on windows
  • Musty smells

How Do You Pick a Dehumidifier?

Check the "capacity rating" to see what size dehumidifier you need. The rating you want depends on the size and dampness of the room it’s for. The options include:

  • Small-capacity. These are portable and work for a small damp room.
  • Large capacity. They're also portable, and they can handle a large wet or damp room.
  • Whole-house dehumidifier. This is built into a home’s HVAC system. Try it for a small- or medium-size wet or damp house.

How Much Do They Cost?

It depends on their size and capacity, and whether they're portable or built into your home's ventilation system.

  • Small portable models can cost under $200.
  • A built-in system can run $1,500 to $2,000.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Stanley M. Fineman, MD, MBA on October 24, 2014

Sources

SOURCES:

Brigham and Women's Hospital: "Air Filters, Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers."

Environmental Protection Agency: "Mold Resources." 

Environmental Protection Agency: "How Do I Know If I Need a Dehumidifier?"

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: "Tips to Remember: Indoor Allergens."

Louisiana State University Agricultural Center: "Control Humidity to Control Mold, Dust Mites."

Home Depot: "Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers."

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