Will a Dehumidifier Get Rid of Musty Smell?

A musty smell isn’t something you can forgo especially considering it’s caused by mold spore growth. These things spread in the air, and they can be everywhere in your house. When they find a welcoming, moisture-filled environment, they begin to multiply, and the smell gets worse. One way of taking care of the problem is to remove the spores.

So, will a dehumidifier get rid of a musty smell? A dehumidifier will take away the moisture in the house. The air filters, depending on the quality, will take care of the mold spores. However, even though you cleaned the air of the mold spores, those on the surfaces remain dormant, waiting for conditions to get better.

So, what can you do to make sure you get rid of the musty smell and the mold spores causing the smell? Well! That’s why I prepared this article. It has everything you need to get rid of the musty smell, including taking the problem source. Read along.

How to Get Rid of Musty Smell Using a Dehumidifier

It is high humidity levels and dampness that cause a musty smell and stuffiness. These conditions lead to mold and mildew growth.

When the moisture levels get worse, mold, mildew, and other airborne allergens multiply fast. And that’s when you start getting the musty smell, especially in enclosed spaces such as wardrobes.

If the musty smell and the stuffiness are in your living spaces, basement, laundry room, bedrooms, home office, or any other room, you can get a portable dehumidifier.

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It makes the work easier as all you need is to move it room by room; it might even come with castor wheels and a portable design for easy mobility.

If the smell is coming from the enclosed spaces, such as the wardrobe, you can invest in a rod dehumidifier. These units are available in 12”, 18”, and 24” sizes. You can pick a model that fits in the spot.

Both types of dehumidifier, portable and rob, are plug-and-play; there is no installation needed.

The dehumidifier will reduce and maintain the humidity levels inside your home. That’ll ensure you enjoy a dry and healthy indoor environment. It will help prevent the growth of nasty organisms that can reintroduce the musty smell again.

Apart from preventing dampness and a musty smell, a dehumidifier can protect your interiors and electronics from moisture damage.

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Steps on how to get rid of musty smell using a dehumidifier:

Step 1: Get your portable or rod dehumidifier and place it in the area or room with the musty smell. Keep it around 6-inches or more from the walls, curtains, or furniture.

Step 2: Close all room’s doors and windows.

Step 3: With all the room’s doors and windows closed, open all the wardrobes and closets, and don’t forget the dresser drawers.

Step 4: Plug in the dehumidifier, turn it on and set it high. Leave it running for a week or two. You can leave it running without attendance if yours drains outside.

However, check it once or twice a day if yours uses the drain tank. If it were to fill, the unit would shut off automatically.

What Do You Need to Know about Musty Smell

1) What is Musty Smell Like?

It’s not easy to relate musty smell with anything specific. The odor smells differently for everyone. Some people compare it to the scent of many sweaters locked up for months and need airing out. Others relate it to rotten wood or cheese.

There are multiple labels people use to describe the musty smell caused by mold and mildew. However, once you smell it once, you will recognize it from thereon. It’s a moist-like smell that tells you mold and mildew is growing inside your home.

2) Why Do You Have the Smell in Your Home?

Mold and mildew are the reasons why you get the musty smell that’s crystal clear. But what’s the root of these problems? What caused the growth of mold and mildew in your home?

Mold spores are almost everywhere. All they need is a dump environment to start growing. If you live in humid areas, the air outside will have mold spores. When they get inside your home and find the exact humidity level or higher inside, they start to grow.

Before you notice it, you’re hit by the musty smell. The same could happen if your wardrobe stays dump. The scent will get there first and spread to other places.

3) What Environment Supports Mold & Mildew Growth?

The most common spots that support mold and mildew growth are basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, laundry room, and attics, especially if there are no vents.

However, they are not the cause of the bacteria. But, there one thing they have in common; they are all damp environments.

These rooms are subject to high humidity, the catalyst for mold growth, and warm temperatures needed by these microorganisms to develop.

4) What are the Signs of Mold and Mildew Growth?

One common sign is black or greyish stuff growing from wet walls; that’s mold. If you notice it on basement walls, under the sink, or in the basement, it might be a sign of a mold growth problem in your home.

The bacteria could be hidden behind the walls, and if the dampness gets worse, it could start causing health problems even after you clean the affected surfaces.

Other signs that will tell you you’ve mold spores in your home are triggered allergies, headaches, dizziness, memory loss, trouble concentrating, and shorter attention spans.

5) What’s the Difference between Mold and Mildew

One of the considerable differences between the two is their appearance. Mold expresses itself as black, green, or red stuff, with a fuzzy look. It can grow about anywhere.

Mildew, on the other hand, appears as a white or grey powder-textured stuff. It can sometimes turn brown, yellow, or black when given time. It grows on walls, baseboards, and other surfaces. It can also damage crops and plants.

Similarities: they both grow in damps areas, and they cause respiratory illnesses.

6) When Should You Consider Mold Inspection?

When buying a house: if you’re planning to buy a home, get a mold inspector to check the house. You don’t want to spend a fortune and time replacing the mold-affected areas such as the walls.

Mold situation in your home: If your home is starting to get a musty smell, you can find the mold-affected areas, or if there is someone in the family experiencing triggered allergies without the apparent reasons, the best move is to hire a mold inspector expert. You can also get the services if you don’t know what to do when you find mold growing in your home.

If there was flooding or a leak in the past: if you see water stains in the house, it’s a clear indicator there is a potential of mold growth in the place. It would be best if you got someone to inspect the area and assess the damage before things get worse.

7) What are Health Risks Associated with Mold Growth?

Mold and mildew are associated with lots of health issues. That’s why you’ve to take care of mold and mildew growth in your home as soon as you see the first sign. These health risks include:

Minor health issuesMajor Health Issues
• Nasal congestion• Difficulty in breathing
• Triggered allergies• Asthma attacks
• Coughing• Chronic sinus infections
• Sore throat• Chronic sore throats
• Eye irritation• Bronchitis
• Wheezing• Pneumonia
• Runny nose• Fatigue or exhaustion
• Skin irritation• Migraine headaches

Infants, small children, and senior citizens are the most vulnerable to mold and mildew. It worsens for those with compromised immune systems because of certain long-term illnesses such as HIV, liver disease, cancer, or lung disease.

How to Prevent Musty in Your House

As the saying says, prevention is better than cure. If you prevent the mold from growing in the first place, you can avoid the musty smell. Here are the simple ways you can prevent mold and mildew growth in your home:

a) Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is an excellent appliance that will help you take control of the relative humidity in your home as it’s the leading cause of mold and mildew growth.

By investing in a dehumidifier and putting it to work, you’re sure that the room humidity will stay standard, preventing the mold spores from growing.

And when the mold is not growing, the musty smell won’t exist. You will even be able to keep yourself and your family safe.

The best part is, dehumidifiers are available in various shapes, types, and sizes. You can get a room fixed, portable, large or small, depending on your room size and usage.

b) Proper Ventilation

Suppose you don’t have any air cleaning appliances such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and the likes. In that case, it’d be best to allow unrestricted airflow in and out of the room by opening the doors and windows. The air needs to circulate properly.

Allow the room to stay clean and dry. You can install the fan to help with ventilation, especially in those damp rooms such as bathroom or laundry spaces.

c) Inspect and Stop Leaks

If you suspect a leak from the water pipes, dripping faucets, plugged drains, and pipe connections, fix them right away or get someone to repair them. If left to leak, they will contribute to mold growth and contribute a musty smell.

Check your home roof and exterior walls for holes and loose gaps. If you find any, get them fixed. Don’t forget to do the same to the shingles and sidings.

d) Use a Mold Control Fogger

You can use a mold control fogger to stop mold growth in your home. It’d not eliminate the mold spores if there were already there, but it will offer mold remediation. And the best part is, it can also help get rid of other smells such as cigarette odor, decomposition, skunk, and more.

Using Dehumidifier to Get Rid of Musty Smell

A musty smell can be irritating, and installing a dehumidifier can make things better for you. The appliance will take away the excess humidity in the air, and as the air passes through the filters, it will take away some mold spores. When the air becomes dry, the mold spores stay dormant, and the musty smell starts to reduce. If you get a mold control fogger and use it with the dehumidifier, the smell will disappear completely.

About the author

Sharif Hasan

I am Sharif a data-driven marketer by profession and run The Spruce Air. I am very interested in keeping good-quality air inside of my home. Besides, I love to share my air-related knowledge through my website.

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