Dehumidifiers: How to Buy Right One

This expert, unbiased purchasing guide will help you selects the right dehumidifier for your home. Consists of details on fixing humidity problems and selecting in between portable and whole-house dehumidifiers.

If your home is stuffy or moldy, and water condenses on windows and pipes, it is revealing signs of humidity levels that are expensive. Showering, running a washing machine or dishwasher, cooking– all of these activities put wetness into the air, which can be problematic, particularly if you reside in an environment where humidity levels are already uncomfortably high.

Dehumidifiers How to Buy Right One

Well balanced humidity inside a house is important not just for your family’s optimum health and convenience but also for your house itself. When the humidity level– the amount of water vapor in the air– increases too expensive or drops too low, a variety of problems can establish. This short article is about dealing with high humidity; for details on managing low humidity, please see Humidifiers.

Solving Too High Humidity

High humidity can be an issue during both winter and summer. During winter season, the first sign of overly damp air is condensation forming on the inner surface areas of windows, motivating mold and mildew. Though this generally isn’t really a major problem, the exact same condensation may gather on the inner surfaces of exterior walls unless the walls are fitted with a correct vapor retarder. This can rot the structure and ruin insulation. Peeling, blistering, or cracking paint on siding– specifically if bare siding is visible in spots– typically indicates this condition.

Dehumidifiers How to Buy Right One

Too-high humidity in the summer season is just plain unpleasant. When room air is damp, the natural cooling evaporation of moisture from your skin is slowed down and, as an outcome, you feel hot and “sticky.” You can really measure room humidity levels with a simple room humidity display like the one shown here– cost is under $10.

Sometimes humidity can be lowered to an appropriate level just using kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. Other approaches consist of ensuring the clothes dryer is vented outdoors (for safety, a gas clothes dryer definitely ought to be!), keeping showers short, and running only full loads in washering and dishwashers. Likewise eliminate sources of leaks or standing water in the basement or crawlspace. But when you have actually attempted these measures and they’re inadequate, it’s time to rely on mechanical assistance.

On sultry summer days, when indoor humidity rises above the comfort range, the simplest way to solve high humidity is to switch on air conditioning system. Then again, if your home isn’t really geared up with AC or the weather is too cold for Air Conditioning, a dehumidifier might be essential for drying the air.

Choosing the Best Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are a practical and easy option for minimizing high humidity levels. A dehumidifier is a fairly simple device that is designed to draw out excess wetness from indoor air, making interior areas much more comfortable and healthy for occupants.

When purchasing a new dehumidifier, the first choice is the size of the system needed. For substantial, seasonal problems of high humidity, you may wish to opt for a central whole-house dehumidifier that uses your home’s heating-and-cooling system to reduce the humidity throughout your entire house. Then again, if high humidity is just periodic and in localized areas of your house, such as a basement, a portable dehumidifier that serves a single area will do the job.

After choosing the size of system, you’ll have to choose an innovation– dehumidifiers use any of numerous concepts for getting rid of wetness from air. For more about this, please see How a Dehumidifier Works.

Portable Dehumidifiers

Portable dehumidifiers, which you just plug in, are the most popular models for houses that have simply routine, localized issues with wetness. They are offered at huge box hardware stores and major home enhancement centers. Advances in innovation have made these dehumidifiers simple to use, inexpensive, and efficient at improving a home’s air quality. The goal is to select one that s efficient and reliable at minimizing indoor humidity and keeping it at optimal levels.

Portable dehumidifiers vary in a variety of ways. Following are some recommendations for picking one that will operate optimally in your house.

Dehumidifier Size

Pick a dehumidifier to fit the area where it will run. To obtain an effectively sized dehumidifier, you need to know the square video footage of the space you wish to dehumidify and have a general idea of the area’s moisture levels. A dehumidifier’s drying capacity is determined by the number of pints of water it can get rid of from the air in 24 hours.

Dehumidifiers How to Buy Right One

The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) sets the standards for sizing dehumidifiers to match a house owner’s requirements. Many producers print an easy-to-follow sizing chart on the packaging of their dehumidifiers to assist you select the right size for the space. If you do not see a sizing chart with the model you are considering purchasing, ask a sales clerk for the AHAM Choice Guide.

You are much better off buying a higher capability dehumidifier than an unit that is too little. Smaller units may run constantly without bringing the humidity to ideal levels. Greater capacity humidifiers also can deal with spaces that may be exceedingly damp from clothes dryers or dishwashers, which include wetness to the air. Also, if the outdoor environment is humid, it will increase indoor humidity levels. If you reside in a damp area, you may want to choose a greater capacity dehumidifier than what the square video of the room indicates.

Humidity Control

Pick a humidifier with automated controls for tracking and setting relative humidity levels. The optimum relative humidity in a home ought to be between 40% and 50% in summertime and 30% and 50% in winter season. Dehumidifiers with built-in hygrometers step relative humidity and show the number. An adjustable humidistat permits you to call a preferred humidity level and the system will instantly preserve it.

If the dehumidifier you select does not have these settings, you may wish to purchase a hygrometer to hang next to the dehumidifier. The device varies in price from $10 to $60 and will measure the indoor humidity so you know when to switch the system on and off.

Water Capacity

Think about the system’s bucket size. Dehumidifiers with larger tubs or drip pans have to be cleared less often. However expect to pay a bit more for the convenience. A general rule is that the more water a dehumidifier can extract and hold, the more it is likely to cost. Look around because costs can vary. Anticipate to pay about $140 for a 25-pint dehumidifier and $225 for a 70-pint dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers with front-loading buckets are easiest to empty.

Dehumidifiers How to Buy Right One

The majority of portable dehumidifiers are equipped to be self-draining and come with a drain-hose connection. However the dehumidifier will have to be put in an area where the hose can empty water, such as into a basement floor drain or an utility room sink. Some dehumidifiers, such as the Honeywell model revealed here, use evaporation innovation so no drain hose pipe is needed. This design can deal with up to 95 pints of water daily. It uses heat pump technology, so it functions as an air conditioning unit and uses energy fairly efficiently.

Defrost Features

Select a dehumidifier that can function at low temperatures. Unless you reside in a climate that is warm year-round, consider an unit with an automated defrost function. The heat-exchange coils on a dehumidifier can frost over when indoor temperature levels drop below 65 to 60 degrees F. so try to find a system that is Energy Star licensed to 45 to 40 degrees. Although you may pay a little bit more for the automated defrost feature, it will spare you the cost of replacing a system harmed from iced coils.

Quiet Operation

Sound can be a nuisance, specifically if the dehumidifier is in or near a bedroom. Dehumidifiers with two-speed fans run silently at lower humidity levels. They likewise save money on energy expenses. It’s not a bad idea to test a dehumidifier’s sound level prior to you make your purchase.


Make sure your new dehumidifier includes casters so it can be rolled from space to room. A long power cord will allow you to put the unit anywhere you want it.

Automatic Shutoff

An overflow security valve will cause the unit to turn off when the tub is full and
needs to be emptied. This is an essential feature to have on any model you select. Some dehumidifiers have indicator lights to show when the container is complete.

Energy Efficiency

Dehumidifiers that carry the Energy Star label will save loan on energy bills. Dehumidifiers licensed with the government-sponsored label are ensured to use less energy yet run efficiently.

Washable Filters

Some designs have filters that protect the coils from dirt and dust. Make sure you can easily eliminate the filters and clean them, a task you must do about twice a month. This will allow you to replace the filters less frequently.

Whole House Dehumidifiers

Entire house dehumidifiers are the most pricey models, costing in between $1,000 and $2,000 or more. They normally are repaired units professionally installed and linked to existing ductwork in a home’s central air or heating unit (typically right at the furnace or air-handler cabinet). Some types are also freestanding units that are not connected to the system.Dehumidifiers How to Buy Right One

There are three common types of home dehumidifiers: heat pump dehumidifiers, chemical absorbent dehumidifiers, and dehumidifying ventilators. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Heat pump dehumidifiers extract water from the air using a heat pump that is similar to an ac system pump. First, a fan pulls the indoor air across an extremely cold coil, which causes the wetness to condense. The droplets leak into a container inside the unit or are pumped to a drain through a tube. The dry air is warmed by a second, heated coil and tired at room temperature level. These dehumidifiers are thought about amongst the most reliable.

Dehumidifiers How to Buy Right One

Chemical absorbent (desiccant) dehumidifiers work best in warm climates. They use a chemical drying representative, or desiccant, on a heat exchange wheel to absorb water particles from the air. Damp air is sent outside by means of vents. Desiccant dehumidifiers use a lot of energy. They are more commonly used by industries than property owners.

Dehumidifying ventilators have a sensor controller and exhaust fan. The sensing unit controller triggers the unit when humidity reaches a specified level. Dehumidifying ventilators are less effective in clammy climates because they draw outdoors air into your house. These dehumidifiers often are used in basements. However they can depressurize a room and cause gas spillage. Make sure gas heaters are appropriately vented.