Our New Silent Partner

Shhh. Silence is golden. There is too much noise in most any environment. I call it noise pollution. Libraries have been known to attract chatterboxes with nothing else to do but talk on their cell phones incessantly while paging through a book. In the movies, distractions abound. People simply won’t shut up. Restaurants are impossible with screaming kids and loud voices. Maybe the office is the last bastion of quiet.

This comes to mind because we have a new “silent partner” in the workplace in the form of a quiet dehumidifier. We finally decided we needed one when, during the hot summer months, some old documents started to show mold. Then there was the bathroom problem and dirty-looking tile. It was time to realize that we lived in a humid climate and that something had to be done.

Some employees balked, worrying about a droning sound or constant hum. They felt it would be irritating rather than white noise. We had to do some fast persuasion. The new state-of-the-art models are perfectly noise free so they don’t contribute to the sound background in every nook or cranny.

A dehumidifier is a simple machine that does what the name implies. It takes moisture out of the air to make for a more comfortable environment. People breathe easier, feel better about the temperature, and don’t have to change clothes during working hours. (I hear they do this in New Orleans). Let’s face it. When moisture rises to a certain level, it is harmful to well-being, not to mention productivity, and the latter is what it is all about. Plus, high moisture content is what we associate with that musty odor of basements. While there are chemical ways of dealing with mold, mildew, and smell, they are not always safe.

We had a powwow about the dehumidifier to explain its functioning, cost, and benefits. Quiet was high on most employee’s lists. People don’t mind talking or the shuffling of papers, but they seem to hate a continuous sound. This was not a difficult bill to fill. We were very democratic about taking a vote and seeking unanimity of acceptance. I think management was anxious to show responsibility and consideration. They also wanted to demonstrate that they are up to date. They talked about ionizing, portability, refrigerated coil versus desiccant technology. We were impressed with their knowledge and trusted their choice. We were ready to say yes and call it a day.

The coil system works on the same principle as condensation on a window. Their compact refrigeration systems are generally for commercial use. A fan passes air on the coils which then trap moisture from the air. It is cooled into water and collected in a container. With the desiccant type, air is passed through a rotor that acts as a water absorbent material. There are fans involved, a heater, a motor, and a rotor in the commercial models. Moisture is removed promptly and efficiently.

We are a happy team indeed at work and thankful for the foresight of getting a commercial-grade humidifier. Ask your boss about a suitable model the next time the subject of humidity comes up. You might be surprised at the response.