Bathrooms don’t always get the love they deserve. But they’re just as important for our health and wellness as the kitchen, living room, and bedroom.
Whenever you turn on the hot water, moisture is released into your bathroom. Bathrooms that are windowless and lack exhaust fans are unable to dispel humidity from the air.
With time, bubbling starts in paint, mold and mildew start to grow and furniture begins to warp. Placing a dehumidifier in a windowless bathroom provides much-needed ventilation while getting rid of excess humidity and that annoying musty smell.
A dehumidifier is a handy electrical appliance that removes excess moisture from the air, keeping humidity low for both comfort and health.
The working principle behind these handy appliances is simple: they draw in air from the room, extract water and release moisture-free air back into the room.
Click here to learn more about the various dehumidification methods used by dehumidifiers.
Read on to learn why a dehumidifier is a must-have item in your bathroom. But if you’re only looking for a quick recommendation for an amazing dehumidifier, I’d recommend Pro Breeze 2200 Cubic Feet Mini Dehumidifier. I love that it is super quiet and automatically turns off once full.
Why You Need a Dehumidifier for Your Windowless Bathroom
One thing I never considered was putting a dehumidifier in the bathroom. But it turns out it solves a lot of problems.
Have you ever noticed how humid your bathroom can get? That can be more than just a nuisance. It can cause a musty smell, mold and mildew, cause your hair to frizz, and make your skin itchy.
Fixing this is simple.
Here are 5 ways dehumidifiers can solve common problems in your windowless bathroom:
- Get rid of humid air
For most people, 30-60% of humidity is optimal. Anything beyond this point becomes not only uncomfortable, but potentially harmful to your health.
In highly humid conditions, our bodies struggle to cool off since the sweat off our bodies doesn’t evaporate. This is why you feel stickier in a windowless bathroom.
In addition, it’s much harder to breathe in air full of moisture as it triggers nerves in your lungs to narrow, thereby constricting your airways.
This could be especially problematic if you suffer from respiratory conditions such as asthma that also constrict the airways, making it harder to inhale.
- Reduce dust mites
Dust mites love humid conditions as the air remains stagnant long enough to trap them and encourage breeding.
They flourish in humidity levels of 70-80%. Dust mites can be found in bathroom furniture such as cabinets, shelves, and seats.
However, dust mites aren’t the only pests that love your humid bathroom. Fleas, woodlice and cloth moths also thrive in damp humid conditions. Placing a dehumidifier in your windowless bathroom will get rid of these pests and the health issues associated with them.
- Get rid of mold and mildew
That grimy, mildew-y, damp smell in your bathroom is a result of an infestation of mold and mildew.
If unchecked, mold and mildew will have your bathroom smelling like a swamp, making you uncomfortable as you handle your business.
Mold is a type of microscopic fungi while mildew is made up of certain molds. While molds are present in the air all the time, they need moisture and warmth to develop mildew.
They can appear as slick black spots, wooly white patches, or slippery orange coatings. Whichever the form, mold and mildew are both unsightly and harmful to your health.
Mold can cause immediate or delayed allergic reactions, resulting in throat, eyes, skin, nasal and lung problems. Mold is also known to trigger asthmatic attacks in persons with asthma.
Click here to read an excllent resource on mold and health.
- Prevent wooden furniture from warping and cracking
Wood adapts to its environment by expanding and contracting based on conditions like humidity level.
Just like your skin, when it gets too dry, wood can shrink and crack. Constantly changing humidity levels in your bathroom can cause your furniture to expand and contract, which could damage your favorite bathroom fittings.
Wood generally does best in moderate conditions of 70-80° F and 50-60% humidity. Placing a dehumidifier in your windowless bathroom will keep humidity levels in check and protect your furniture from damage.
- Reduce your risk of sinusitis
People typically associate runny noses and sinus illnesses with cold conditions, but these symptoms can occur in warm humid conditions among people suffering from sinusitis.
There’s a brief lesson in anatomy to understand the effects of humidity on sinusitis. Cilia are the minute hair-like structures that line the mucous membrane. They are responsible for clearing your sinuses by eliminating excess mucus that would otherwise block your sinuses.
Cilia work best in moderately warm and humid conditions. However, when exposed to high humidity levels, cilia fail to function effectively, enabling mucus to blog the sinuses. In turn, mucus clogs act as the perfect pathways for bacteria and allergens into your sinuses.
Things to Consider When Picking a Dehumidifier for Windowless Bathroom
If your bathroom is small, you’ll want to pick a compact dehumidifier that can fit easily into a limited space.
Additionally, dehumidifiers come in a range of coverage capacities, measured in square feet (sq ft)
Consider your bathroom’s square footage to get a dehumidifier with sufficient capacity. A dehumidifier with a capacity of 300-1,500sq ft should be enough for most standard-sized bathrooms.
High-efficiency dehumidifiers are the best for domestic and commercial use as they work like oversized dehumidifiers despite their relatively small size.
Check for this Energy Star label that shows that a dehumidifier is energy efficient.
The industry standard for measuring energy efficiency in dehumidifiers is the amount of water (in pints) removed for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy consumption. This is displayed as PPD (pints per day).
The higher the PPD, the more efficient the dehumidifier is. For instance, a dehumidifier of 100 PPD will extract 100 pints of water.
This is under AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) rating conditions of 80° F and 60% Relative Humidity.
It’s important to note that a dehumidifier can eliminate more or less pints of water in conditions above or below the rating standards, respectively.
If your windowless bathroom is large and very damp, you’ll need a dehumidifier that can handle at least 60PPD. However, if your bathroom is not extremely damp, a dehumidifier of around 30PPD will suffice.
Dehumidifiers aren’t cheap, with most ranging between $150-1,200.
To protect your investment, you should look out for dehumidifiers made from quality material such as tough plastic or steel.
It is good practice to get a light and compact dehumidifier for your home as you may want to move it to and from different rooms from time to time.
Any appliance fitted with a fan or compressor will undoubtedly make some noise. However, a noisy dehumidifier could be a major nuisance.
A low-noise design is best unless you like the rattling sound of noisy home appliances. Most manufacturers list the working sound of their units. A dehumidifier below 45dB (decibels) of sound should keep your home nice and quiet day and night.
Dehumidifiers come in automatic and manual variants with regard to mode of operation. Get a dehumidifier with automatic features for restart and drainage to save you the hustle of having to manually drain your dehumidifier or restart it in case of power issues.
Where to Place a Dehumidifier in a Windowless Bathroom
Proper placement of your dehumidifier is crucial to getting the best out of it.
In principle, your dehumidifier will work best where there is free air circulation. Don’t tuck it away under your sink or in a corner. You’ll want to place your dehumidifier in the middle, or as close to the middle of the room as possible.
Additionally, dehumidifiers with vents on the sides should be placed away from furniture, doors, walls and curtains that could interfere with air circulation in and out of the appliance.
However, those with air vents at the top of the appliance can be placed anywhere, just be sure not to place anything on top of the appliance. As with all your electrical appliances, dehumidifiers need an electric outlet. But the wet conditions in the bathroom pose the risk of electrocution.
Pay close attention to where and how you connect the appliance to a power source. If possible, consider plugging in your dehumidifier to a socket outside the bathroom such as in the hallway or another room, or getting a cordless dehumidifier.
Should You Run Your Dehumidifier All the Time?
As a homeowner, you know the struggle of balancing between costs and keeping your home in a comfortable state. While dehumidifiers, especially energy-efficient ones, don’t use a lot of power, the bills can still add up.
The simple answer is no, you don’t need to run your dehumidifier all the time. You could only run it immediately after showering when humidity levels in your windowless bathroom are at the highest. However, if you prefer to leave your dehumidifier on all day, picking an energy-efficient unit will help keep power costs low.
Additionally, drainage could be another challenge if you opt to run your dehumidifier full time. Luckily, there are plenty of dehumidifiers with automatic drainage that will automatically channel wastewater into your bathroom drain.
As always, read through your instruction manual for the manufacturer’s guidance on the proper use and placement of your dehumidifier.
Keeping our home at a comfortable temperature and moisture level can be a struggle. Many issues can arise from unbalanced humidity levels, and they’re even more prevalent in a windowless bathroom.
When the humidity levels in your bathroom are too high, you run the risk of health issues and damage to your property. Placing a dehumidifier in your windowless bathroom solves this by getting rid of excess moisture from your bathroom.
If you’re wondering why your bathroom gets so dusty, you can trace the problem to anywhere in your house. People in your house, your pets, and common household objects and appliances could be the source of your dust problem.
Dust can accumulate on surfaces no matter how often you clean them, so dusting, vacuuming, and keeping a tidy home are necessary for preventing dust from settling.
We found that vacuuming more frequently with a HEPA filter vacuum, replacing your terry cloth towels with microfiber toilets, and using anti-static sprays greatly help control dust in the bathroom.