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Allergies Health Center

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Dehumidifiers for Allergies

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

Where Allergy Triggers Thrive

Mold and mildew grow in moist areas, like a damp basement or the cabinet under your kitchen sink. Molds reproduce through tiny spores that float through the air. If you are sensitive to molds, breathing in these spores can cause:

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

A dehumidifier brings down the level of moisture in your home, making it unfriendly to dust mites and limiting the growth of mold and mildew.

Who Needs a Dehumidifier?

Use a dehumidifier if you have allergies or asthma and you live in a humid climate or have signs of moisture in your home, like:

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

What to Look for in a Dehumidifier

Check the capacity rating to see what size dehumidifier you need. The rating you want depends on how big and how damp the room is where you'll use it.

  • A small-capacity portable dehumidifier may work for a small damp room.
  • A large capacity portable may work for a large wet or damp room.
  • A whole-house dehumidifier may work for a small- or medium-size wet or damp house.

Cost of Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers range widely in cost, depending on their size and capacity and whether they are portable or built into your home's ventilation system.

  • A small portable dehumidifier for a bathroom can cost well under $200.
  • A built-in home ventilating dehumidifier may cost $1,500 to $2,000.
  • If allergy symptoms from molds and mites plague your family, dehumidifiers can be well worth the cost.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Stanley M. Fineman, MD, MBA on October 24, 2014
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