An indoor pool or spa is a home feature that many people love, since it provides a place to relax, exercise, or even entertain guests. Indoor spas and pools require special maintenance and care, however, poor choices can lead to an indoor environment that is unclean, uncomfortable, and even unhealthy. The heating and cooling costs associated with an indoor spa or pool can also be a challenge for most homeowners.
One of the best ways to save money and keep your spa or pool in top condition is to start using a dehumidifier around these areas.
1. Prevent Interior Damage
When a pool or spa water is heated to a comfortable temperature, large amounts of water vapor are generated. Besides high humidity levels, you may notice standing water on the floors, walls, and ceilings of the spa or pool area. This exposure can lead to mold, mildew, and other forms of interior damage, both in the immediate area and in any adjoining parts of your home.
Prolonged high humidity levels can cause wood rotting, metal corrosion, paint damage, and more. Using a dehumidifier can save you money in the long run, prevent potential safety issues, and make your pool or spa area look more attractive.
2. Improve the Indoor Climate
Too much humidity can also adversely affect your ability to enjoy your pool or spa area. Excessive humidity can promote air quality problems, since mold, mildew, and bacteria usually proliferate in humid conditions. You and your guests may notice unpleasant odors or even experience respiratory issues, such as asthma and allergies.
During warmer seasons, high humidity levels can also be downright uncomfortable. With a dehumidifier, you can reclaim your spa or pool area, ensuring that it remains healthy and clean for you and your guests.
3. Decrease Your Energy Costs
Many pool ventilation systems bring in fresh outdoor air to replace the humid air that accumulates in a pool or spa room. Unfortunately, this is a huge waste of energy, since all of the outdoor air must be heated or cooled to the desired room temperature.
As an additional drawback, bringing in outdoor air is not especially effective in climates where outdoor humidity levels are already high. When you install a dehumidifier, you can keep using air that is already at the right temperature. Better yet, dehumidifiers offer special benefits for both heating and cooling.
4. Lower the Apparent Temperature
During warmer months, dehumidifying can make the air in your pool or spa room feel cooler, even when temperature is held constant. This is because your body perceives apparent temperature, rather than absolute temperature. Apparent temperature is influenced by factors such as wind chill and relative humidity.
When humidity levels are high, your body cannot effectively cool off through perspiration. At lower humidity levels, perspiration can evaporate, and since evaporation is a cooling process, your body feels cooler. This means a dehumidifier can help you save significantly on summer cooling costs.
5. Put Latent Heat to Work
It seems logical that, if dehumidifiers lower summer cooling costs, they must raise winter heating costs by making the air seem cooler than it is. However, using a dehumidifier can also help lower your heating costs.
A dehumidifier works by cooling air until the excess moisture is forced to condense out of the air. Heat energy is given off when water vapor condenses into water, since liquid water represents a lower energy state than water vapor. This heat energy can be captured and used to heat your spa or pool area, reducing your utility bills.
Evaluating Your Dehumidifying Needs
When you are ready to take advantage of the various benefits a pool or spa dehumidifier offers, it is important to choose the right dehumidifier to ensure optimal results. Some things you should consider are:
- The size of the pool or spa.
- The size of the surrounding room.
- The typical pool temperature, air temperature, and humidity level.
- The presence of drains to accommodate an automatically draining unit.
These considerations can help you determine what kind of size, power output, and setup you need to look for.
Choosing the Right Option
Once you have considered these variables, you can move onto other aspects of the dehumidifier.
First, think about where and how you will likely use it. You can choose from wall-mounted options, portable units, automatically draining dehumidifiers with hose connections, and dehumidifiers that are emptied manually.
Once you have decided what kind of unit you want, you can consider factors like energy efficiency and price point. Keep in mind that you can expect years of use from a spa or pool dehumidifier, so you may easily earn back the price difference between two models.
Finally, take some time to explore non-standard features. Some units feature unusual capabilities, such as operating at temperatures just above freezing or supporting components that heat the pool. These options can help you get more for your money.
Maintaining Your Dehumidifier
The only potential drawback to using a pool or spa dehumidifier is that it will periodically require cleaning, maintenance and repairs. If you ignore these, you will find yourself dealing with an inefficient unit that may not even perform properly.
You will need to clean the bucket and pipes and change the air filters about once a year. You should also install a hygrometer, which is an instrument that measures humidity, in your spa or pool so that you can check whether your dehumidifier is still working properly. If you follow these simple steps, your dehumidifier should be an investment that truly pays off.
Takeaways on Spa and Pool Dehumidifiers
Some homeowners may not think using a pool or spa dehumidifier is strictly necessary. However, using one can lead to significant savings over the years, especially since it will lower your energy bills and prevent interior home damage. A dehumidifier can also ensure that your spa or pool stays comfortable, clean, and inviting. Considering the value of a spa or pool area, a dehumidifier represents a relatively small one-time cost that will pay off on various fronts.