If you have a dehumidifier in your home, it’s simple to notice that a lot of water will be pulled and condensed from the air, making you replace the container frequently. Thus, it is quite tempting for many homeowners to make use of recycled water from this device to conserve energy and water.
But is condensed water really safe to feed to your consumable plants? In fact, it is a heated debate among many people as they wonder if contaminants might accumulate in the plants, thus penetrating our body through foods. Keep reading to know whether this is a possible solution.
Anatomy of the dehumidifying process
Before answering the question, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the dehumidifying process. A dehumidifier is basically a refrigeration unit with 2 coils (hot and cold) which are similar to the automotive radiator. These coils are constructed from copper and aluminum help with transferring heat.
The system will pull heat from the cold coil and get rid of heated air through the hot one. A built-in fan blows the air through the dehumidifier to remove heat from the coil and water from the air. As a result, water will run off the coil and accumulate in the reservoir.
Can you use dehumidifier water to water plants?
As said earlier, collected water will run off the coil before being collected in the reservoir. That’s why many people consider that the water might be contaminated by heavy metals, including aluminum and copper, from the coil. However, this isn’t correct.
Many water analyses have shown an insignificant level of these components. Zinc, aluminum, and copper feel below the recommended levels by the Environmental Protection Agency. In other words, it is completely safe to water your consumable or edible plants with water collected from a dehumidifier.
However, make sure to use a unit with a high-quality filter so that it can get rid of all pollen particles, dust mites, and other harmful chemicals in the air. Otherwise, these components will eventually go into the water, thus risking your plants.
In fact, many inedible plants love collected water from a dehumidifier because it is basically softer and more neutral in pH than normal water. Some types of flower like orchids can even thrive with it thanks to the capability of handling microorganisms and metals. Thus, consider collecting dehumidified water and water your plants to save money on utility bills.
Do you need to process or treat condensate water before using it?
There is no reason to treat fresh dehumidified water in the reservoir any differently than other sources of reasonably uncontaminated and clean water.
In summary, most laboratory water tests show that regular use of collected water from a dehumidifier shouldn’t be an issue for the nutrient system and growth of a plant in your garden. Lead isn’t a problem as it is not used in the brazing procedure of the copper tubes in the coil.
Dehumidifier recommendations and practices
It is usually a good idea to have the source of water analyzed if you are growing a large or commercial garden. If the sample analysis gives positive for an elevated level of heavy metals, bacteria or nitrates, it is necessary to find out and address the underlying cause for the contamination. In most cases, these problems are often independent of collected water by your dehumidifier.
If the dehumidifier in your home has been idle for a long period, make sure to run it at least 3 days before recycling condensate water from it. This will give enough time for the machine to minimize the buildup of organic content or mold and ensure the resulting water is as clean as possible.
Due to the continuing washing effect of the condensing water, it is unlikely that mold will grow inside your dehumidifier. But when you want to store it for a few days or weeks, keep in mind to make it dry out thoroughly. Otherwise, standing water or remaining moisture can create an ideal environment for mold and other harmful bacteria.
A well-maintained dehumidifier might be an efficient piece of equipment which can provide you with thousands of water recycling cycle over the lifetime. In the long run, this can save you a lot of money on the utility bills.