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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The Benefits of an RV Dehumidifier (and How to Tell if You Need One)

RV owners are tasked with a lot of responsibility. They have the responsibility to take care of their camper, which means they need to know a lot about, well, a lot of different things. There is an entire niche industry devoted to the care of campers and of camper related accessories, and it’s a lot to learn.

Owners of such recreational vehicles will have to take the time to get to learn more about the uses of a water softener and why they are valuable; they’ll have to learn more about the different types of hitches and more about towing; they’ll have to learn, among other things, that some RV fridges must be operated on a level surface in order to prevent damage to them.

This is a very small cross-sectional sample of the world of information that lays before an RV owner, but it barely scratches the surface of what you’ll need to know if you own one. As we stated, there’s a lot to learn.

Luckily, here at RV Upgrades, we have a lot of experience to fall back on, so when you need to learn a lot about something new like an RV dehumidifier, you can come right to us to get the low down.

Without getting into the science of how different dehumidifiers work, all you need to know is that they remove excess moisture from the air. Here are some of the best benefits that you can enjoy from the proper use of an RV dehumidifier. 

1.    Reduce the risk of mold

Mold is a dangerous fungus that can make structures uninhabitable because it poses a threat to the health of humans and animals. Mold, especially the dreaded black mold, can also only survive in locations that have adequate moisture.

If you have never dealt with mold as a homeowner or an RV owner, you’re lucky, but that’s no reason to roll the dice. Any dark location that is typically over 50% relative humidity is at risk of developing mold, but a dehumidifier is a great way to keep it at bay.

Let’s put it this way. A dehumidifier is a much more cost-effective solution for preventing mold than a mold removal and remediation project would cost. If your RV has wet air, invest in a dehumidifier ahead of time.

2.    Control the growth of bacteria and other pests

Mold is not the only nefarious denizen of humid locations. Mildew, dust mites, and other pests, along with other microorganisms are all right at home where the moisture level is high. Take the moisture out of the equation, and away they go.

They’re not just an unpleasant sight (in the case of mildew) or a cause of sickness (in the case of bacteria or mites), they also can diminish the value of your camper and make it much less comfortable, not to mention less sightly, to occupy - but more on that later.

For the present time, know this - you can keep all of these pests at bay and prevent mildew from forming just by keeping a handle on the moisture levels in the interior of your RV.

3.    Control allergies

So you can keep mold, mildew, mites and pests and bacteria, and other microorganisms away with the help of an RV dehumidifier. Luckily, doing so can help to keep a handle on allergies and related symptoms as well.

People who have common allergies associated with all of these factors, or have conditions such as asthma that can be easily aggravated, will not do well in excessively humid environments. Now, granted, that is not a blanket statement, as many respiratory issues can be exacerbated by overly dry air as well. The problem is simply that most areas of the country deal more with high humidity than with low humidity.

The solution is not to make the air too dry, but rather to maintain it within the healthy range of 30-50% and not to exceed it on the upper range. That will keep most people happy, healthy, and allergy-complication-free.

4.    Protect your skin

See, as we mentioned above, low humidity can cause issues for your health, and it can impact your eyes, skin, and hair as well, but high humidity can be just as bad. If you or someone you know has a skin condition that is aggravated by excessively high moisture in the air, then a dehumidifier may be able to help.

Low humidity can cause redness and irritation, but high humidity makes it easier to develop infections and rashes, and therefore as mentioned the best thing to do is to stay within the healthy range. Keep your humidity down and your skin will thank you!

5.    Help to alleviate potential respiratory problems

Besides the allergies mentioned above, other respiratory problems can be complicated and aggravated by high moisture content in the air. Conditions such as asthma, sinusitis, or even something as simple as a sore throat can be caused or exacerbated by excessively humid air. Spending too much time around a humid location with any of these conditions is almost sure to result in more discomfort.

Again, the simple solution is no harder than keeping the air at a comfortable level of humidity, which can easily be accomplished with the help of a dehumidifier for removing moisture from the air.

6.    Protect your RV and its furnishings

Too much water vapor in the air of a small space is sure to make you uncomfortable, and it might even allow mold to develop, but it can damage your RV’s interior and furnishings as well, with or without the pernicious influence of mold.

Naturally, rot (see below) is one of the worst influences associated with excess moisture, and there’s more than one thing in your RV that can be damaged by it. Upholstery and drywall can both be damaged by extra humidity and so can appliances. If you allow the moisture level in your RV to remain high for too long, you might be in for some costly repairs to the interior. Speaking of costly repairs, see our next point.

7.    Prevent wood rot

If there’s one good thing about the modern construction that makes up an RV, it’s the fact that they’re mostly made from metals and composites and these are typically not too pointedly affected by moisture. 

However, any exposed woodwork or wood furniture in your RV will suffer the ill effects of high humidity. First, they will absorb moisture and swell, which can cause two things to happen. On one hand, it will decrease the usable lifespan of the furniture. It may also cause enough damage that the furniture can no longer be used.

Also, though it takes a much longer period of high humidity to cause this, wood rot can occur with too much dampness. There is no way to reverse the damage done due to wood rot; it can only be prevented. 

8.    Energy savings potential

If you need a few more reasons to keep the influence of humidity in your RV under control, consider the fact that preventing damage to your RV is not the only way to save money with an RV dehumidifier. A dehumidifier also has the potential to bring you energy savings.

Never mind the fact that some dehumidifiers don’t even need the power to run; if your RV has an air conditioner, it will take a lot less power for the AC to bring down the temperature of the air without the need to remove all of the moisture first. So think of it that way; a dehumidifier is great for the maintenance of your RV in many ways. 

9.    Improve comfort

Finally, there’s just the simple, plain old fact that the more humid air is, the less comfortable it becomes. Now, there is a degree of personal preference wrapped up in the matter, but maybe you are someone who can commiserate. For some people, humid air is unpleasant regardless of the temperature, and when it gets hot out, it’s even worse. Hot, humid air is a recipe for discomfort and property damage, not to mention some of the problems already mentioned above in this article. If for no other reason, you might want to invest in a dehumidifier simply to keep your RV more comfortable.

How to Tell if You Need One 

That’s all great, and it’s quite a list of safeguards that an RV dehumidifier can help protect for you, but how can you tell if you really need one? As it turns out, excessively dry air is not good for your respiratory system or your skin either, so not every single situation requires the use of a dehumidifier, so we put together a list of conditions that might suggest it’s high time for you to get one for your RV. 

1.    Water stains on the walls or furnishings

You know what water stains look like, right? Usually, they form indoors as a type of weird discoloration on the ceiling or less commonly on the walls, wherever there is a leak or has been moisture intrusion.

If you start to see stains like that anywhere inside of your RV, it means that that surface has been absorbing excess moisture for long enough for it to leave a mark. Also, if it’s occurring in the absence of a known leak, it’s probably due to high humidity.

2.    The air feels wet or close

Here’s a dead giveaway. If you walk into your RV and it feels stuffy, close, or wet, the humidity is too high. There’s no magic in this one; if you know what humid air feels like, and your RV’s interior feels like that, then the humidity is too high - it’s simple.

3.    The windows have condensation on them, even if there isn’t a big difference in temperature between the outside and inside

Another nearly dead giveaway that the humidity inside your RV is too high is if your windows constantly have moisture on them, especially when there is no one cooking or showering inside. This is also a big red flag if there isn’t a huge temperature difference between the inside and outside of the RV. If there’s always condensation on the windows, it’s too wet in the RV.

You have problems with mold or mildew

If you have already had problems with mold or mildew, then you have a humidity problem, considering the fact that both of them need a moist environment to survive and thrive. That’s one of the signs that you need to take some steps to diminish the humidity inside of the RV, as mold and mildew will both damage your RV and cost you money in the long run, either in restoration or with repairs.

5.    You notice a persistent musty smell

Another way to tell if your RV is too humid inside is from the smell. Some people are better than others at gauging the feel of wet air, but if you aren’t, you might be able to tell from the way it smells when you walk in. If there is a persistent musty odor, it is probably due to damage caused by high levels of humidity. It’s also another sign that you need to do something about the levels of moisture in the air because if it smells that way it’s only a matter of time before real damage occurs.

 Where to Get One

Once you’ve decided to pursue some options in an RV dehumidifier, you’ll be pleased by the number of choices that you’ll find here on our site. You’ll love the passive models with quiet operation here on our website - they keep noise levels down because they don’t make any noise!

On the note of energy consumption, they don’t require any, which is the ultimate statement for an energy-efficient dehumidifier. Just keep them charged with their crystals and replace them when they are waterlogged.

Additionally, if you have any questions about dehumidifiers, how to use them, where to use them, or why, contact our customer service team. You can get to us by texting or calling us at 866-332-7881 - and we’d be happy to help!

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