Carpet Drying and Humidity

Use fans and A/C to help dry carpets after cleaning

Ceiling fans work great for helping the drying process after carpet cleaning

After a great carpet cleaning the number one follow-up question is “How long before it’s dry?” I can only give an averaged estimate based on experience because the answer is highly subjective. The key to fast drying is a low relative humidity and adequate air flow. Carpets can only dry if the air doesn’t already contain a lot of water vapor (high humidity). In addition, the air that holds the moisture from the drying carpet also needs to be removed and replaced with newer air to continue to accept more moisture. The typical range for humidity usually hovers just below 50%. That is usually comfortable enough without feeling too humid or too dry. So, what’s the best method to aid in a fast drying process? Air conditioning and ceiling fans (…or box fan or standing fan). The A/C does it’s job on removing moisture from the air and the fans obviously help circulate the air over the drying surface. A window may also be opened to aid in the process assuming low humidity outside. This is all standard during the hot summer months, but what about the winter? These cooler months are generally dryer but running heat in the house actually tends to maintain humidity. But moisture is still removed since heated air can hold more moisture and is then usually replaced by cooler, dryer air that leaks through the house from the outside (air infiltration) or condenses out on colder surfaces in the house or is expelled from the heating process (and I’m sure there’s a few more processes at work here). It’s also usually a good idea to change the fan setting on your thermostat from “Auto” to “On”. This will make sure you get maximum rotation of the air. So how long does it take to dry? It’s fast …with the right conditions!

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