Dehumidifiers are useful appliances that bring down the level of humidity in an enclosed area such as a bedroom, bathroom, garage, closet, kitchen, crawl space and basement. It works by absorbing extra moisture from the space’s air. It is this extra moisture that leads to a high humidity level. Too much moisture in the indoor air can lead to not only a disturbed atmosphere indoors but also to a disturbed health.
- 1 Best Dehumidifiers for Whole House (General Use)
- 2 Best Large Dehumidifiers for Basements and Crawl Spaces
- 3 Best Mini Dehumidifier
- 4 Cheapest Dehumidifier by Quality (Mini)
- 5 Overview of Humidity Levels
- 6 Dehumidifier versus Humidifier versus Air Conditioner
- 7 Dehumidifier Working Overview
- 8 Dehumidifier and Savings: Myths versus Facts
- 9 How to choose a Dehumidifier that suits your needs
- 10 Before Buying the Best Dehumidifier
- 10.1 Measure the Current Humidity Level in Home/Office
- 10.2 Find Air Changes per Hour (ACH) Rate
- 10.3 Compute the Designated Room’s Square Foot
- 10.4 Compute the Cubic Feet of Your Room
- 10.5 Find Out the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
- 10.6 Find Out the Quantity of Moisture to be extracted from the Room
- 10.7 About Pint
- 11 Some More Questions to Solve before Choosing a Dehumidifier
- 12 Getting The Most Out Of Dehumidifiers
- 13 Conclusion
Best Dehumidifiers for Whole House (General Use)
While a portable-sized dehumidifier is ideal for most households, a few situations call for a more powerful model. In case you reside in a region where humidity is an issue throughout the year and wish to dehumidify several areas of home simultaneously, you will need a whole home system. Such models have a high capacity as well as ability to cover a huge area. They never have a drainage issue due to high capacity tank or because the water is emptied into your floor drain of your basement. Although they work for the entire home, they are built to operate in a more energy-efficient way than a horde of portable units installed in different rooms or places in your home.
However, they are more expensive than portable models and rely upon the existing ductwork of your house, which is problematic for those having no central heating system. In most cases, they integrate into the furnace’s blower system and come with a humidistat. Most models usually work by gathering wet air through a fan, passing it via a coil for condensation, and release dehumidified air. The modern models do come with automatic controls, less maintenance, quiet operation, efficient performance and personalized features. Here are top 2 consider.
Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 Energy Star 70-pint Dehumidifier with Effortless Humidity Control
This one is a new model with a horde of features, intending to replace the above one. It comes with advanced features such as low-temperature operation, optimum mobility, easy humidity control, auto-shut down, full bucket alert, caster wheels for portability, side exhaust, and incredible three fan speeds. This model is no doubt the best for general use in 2016.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- Better removal rate, resulting in performance beyond energy efficiency rating
- Super quiet
- Continuous and low temperature operation
- Flexibility due to three fan speeds
- Easy to use electric controls
- Front access to tank
- Digital settings
- Smaller tank
- Not so light in weight
- A bit higher price than previous model (FAD704DWD)
Frigidaire FAD504DWD Energy Star 50-pint Dehumidifier
This unit removes 50 pints of moisture from small to big spaces measuring up to 1,400 square feet. This makes it ideal even for basement use. The unit features high capacity tank gathering 16.3 pints of water, direct drain facility for non-stop operation, a level indicator to empty water out, washable filter, and caster wheels for portability.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- Sturdy build
- Highly quiet
- Highly energy efficient
- Non-stop running
- Flexibility with adjustable humidity control and two fan speeds
- Larger water collecting capacity than most units of this size with indicator
- Superior portability with extendable handle
- Lacks auto defrost
- Awkward to empty
- Inconsistent humidity readings
Best Large Dehumidifiers for Basements and Crawl Spaces
A crawl space or cellar below your home is often susceptible to high humidity due to which a dehumidifier designed for such an area is a perfect solution. It is designed to prevent extra moisture from penetrating into the primary living area.
Such dehumidifiers usually do not appear as a plastic, electronic device but more as metal HVAC equipment lying low in such a tight space. Well, they are more heavy duty but compact, rugged, and strong enough to endure harsh temperatures in a crawlspace. These models come with low-temperature operation setting and auto defrost system for melting frost swiftly so that the device can restart working in no time.
Even basement dehumidifiers are similar and are ideal for damp basements, moisture control in home, and flood restoration in both residential and commercial buildings. Most of them run at low temperature and endure a variety of external harsh elements.
While you can have basement dehumidifiers and crawl space dehumidifiers, how about getting just one for both? Isn’t that feasible and economical? Here are top 3 to consider.
Keystone KSTAD70B Energy Star 70 Pint Dehumidifier
The one removes 70 pints of moisture per day from a room measuring 4,500-square-foot, which is the largest area of all dehumidifiers available. It does so with a minimal amount of time. The unit comes with a variety of features that majority of other dehumidifiers do not offer, such as automatic features for setting the required level of humidity. It is ideal for hot, humid areas where a dry home environment is desired or needed. Just plug the unit and you are ready to use it. Some of its admirable features include auto-restart for saving settings during a failure of power, full bucket alert, electronic controls, 1.3-gallon water tank with water level indicator, LED display, auto defrost, dust filter, and rolling casters.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- Incessant operation
- Most energy efficient
- Easy to use
- Two-speed fan
- Quietest in its class
- Above average removal rate
- Separate adapter for gravity drainage
- Low quality LED display
Friedrich D70BP Energy Star 70 Pint Dehumidifier
This one with internal pump covers up to 1400 square ft. The drain pump is capable of pumping condensation horizontally or vertically up to 15 feet. You can also expect non-stop drainage performance as well as set it to have desired RH level ranging from 30% to 90%. Such a precise control over humidity is essential due to which it comes with a digital humidity readout display. Other features include front-loading bucket, detachable bucket with carry handle, low temperature operation even at 41 degrees Fahrenheit, auto defrost, and digital touch controls atop showing room temperature even in Celsius and humidity. It also has three drainage options ensuring non-stop running namely, gravity drain, condensate pump drain, and manual drain.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- High-quality parts and controls
- Attractive build
- Built-in pump
- Two-speed fan
- Precise built-in hygrometer
- Separate display of temperature
- Removable bucket with carry handle
- Easy to use
- Three-way drainage mechanism
- Caster wheels for portability
- Energy efficient
- Questioned durability by customers
- A bit noisy
Whynter RPD-702WP 70 Pint Energy Star Portable Dehumidifier with Pump
This one is a high capacity model with incomparably low-temperature operability, ideal for attics, basements, or any other place with high humidity. It removes 70 pints or 33 liters of water from space measuring almost 3,800 square feet. It runs nicely at low temperatures, provides an energy-efficient as well as a cost-effective way of discarding removing extra moisture from even compact storage areas and basement, and has an 18-pint removable bucket capacity for ensuring hours of usage.
With an internal condensate pump, this one delivers high volume usage without bothering about interrupted performance. It comes with three drainage options providing continuous performance namely, condensate pump drain, gravity drain, and manual drain. Other features include auto shutoff and auto restart for compressor, adjustable humidity range from 30 to 90% setting, operative capability at 40°F, auto-defrosting capability, 24 timer function, washable pre-filter, and non-ozone-depleting refrigerant.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- Portability with casters and rear handles
- Three drainage options
- Powerful pump
- Energy efficient
- Two-speed fan
- Highly quiet
- Fan running even if compressor has stopped
Best Mini Dehumidifier
A mini dehumidifier is smaller in size or capacity, quieter in operation, and cheaper to run. This seems to be highly appealing, but the question to ask is this – is it the best type for use in a room? If you research about it online and see some customer reviews, several customers will favor and recommend these small devices for home use.
However, the fact is that they are ideal but for small areas such as closets, bathrooms, gun cabinets, nurseries, wardrobes, small storage places, caravans, boats, but are not for room-sized spaces. You can even use them under the sink, in smaller garden sheds, and in smaller garages. In short, they can fit in any of those areas where a standard size dehumidifier cannot fit.
The only purpose of a mini model is to remove moisture from a small enclosed space. Although small, these mini models are powerful enough to remove moisture, protect valuables from dampness and mold/mildew, and help allergy patients breathe more easily.
These models are available in different varieties: A regular unit with a smaller capacity, a thermo-electric unit without a compressor and less capacity than a portable unit, a passive but rechargeable device with crystals or silica gel extracting moisture.
Several small dehumidifiers do not need a power source to operate or any extra effort. These types of units utilize specific minerals to do the job effectively, which are known as mini desiccant dehumidifiers.
Most of them use water and salt glass crystals. Due to nor power requirement, you can use them in small and mobile spaces such as small carrying cases, window ledges, and safes with more dampness.
All mini humidifiers are compact and portable, a few being too compact to fit in a camera case for keeping the equipment dry. Many of these models are energy as well as cost efficient. Here are top 3 to consider.
New and Improved Eva-dry E-500 Renewable Mini-Dehumidifier
This rechargeable, renewable unit is reliably designed for small spaces measuring not more than 500 cubic ft, and is ideally for light to mid-level moisture areas. It is not to keep up with bulky workloads but is smart enough to last for two months with ‘set it and forget it’ facility. The model employs a renewable silica gel technology to absorb moisture, as crystals turn from Orange to Green. When you see green crystals, you need to plug the unit in a well-ventilated area to bring them back to Orange for reuse.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- No need of electricity, cord, or battery; energy efficient
- Compact and portable
- Easy to use
- Low maintenance
- Renewal up to 10 years
- Renewal after every 30-60 days
- 12-14 hours to recharge
Ivation Renewable/Rechargeable Wireless Mini Dehumidifier
This passive one is ideal for smaller areas and spaces with fairly lower humidity. You can install it anywhere, and that it needs no electricity to run. It works by using small blue crystals that absorb water in a better way in a 500 cubic feet room. As they do so, their blue color fades to become pink, which marks the height of their saturation level. Once they become pink, you need to discharge the molecules by plugging the device into the wall outlet (this takes almost 8 hours).Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- No need of electricity, cord, or battery; energy efficient
- Easy to use
- No leakage
- Limitless renewal
- Renewal after every 30-60 days
- Limited capacity
- 12 hours to recharge
New and Improved Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini-Dehumidifier
This one gives you the ultimate convenience of not using any electricity due to which you can place it in storage containers, closets, and under the sink for working more efficiently than those electrical models. This model works by utilizing renewable crystals to capture up to 6 oz. of water from 333 cubic feet room before demanding a renewal, enabling itself to perform without wires or batteries. For renewing, you only have to plug the unit into a standard wall outlet residing in a well-ventilated space. It is economical but quite powerful.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- No need of electricity, cord, or battery; energy efficient
- Renewal up to 10 years
- Truly low capacity
- Occasional heating up
- 12 hours to recharge
Cheapest Dehumidifier by Quality (Mini)
A few mini models are ideal for small rooms, condos, as well as small apartments. They are mini but come with more capacity to cover small rooms such as bathrooms, storage areas, sheds, and even somewhat big march-in closets. Following are two most recommended models for the same, which never make you compromise with quality.
Ivation GDM20 Thermo-Electric Dehumidifier, 1100 Cubic Feet
This is one of the smallest and genuinely as well as affordable compact model. It is ideal for anyone on a budget and covers several features of more expensive options. At 80% RH level and 86° Fahrenheit, the unit extracts around 8 oz. of water. However, the larger capacity tank spares you from botheration of emptying an overflowing tank. Covering 1,100 cubic feet of space, the unit employs the Peltier technology, which ensures smooth, simple, and easy operation.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- Super quiet
- Ease of use
- 16-oz tank capacity with full tank indicator light
- No moving parts
- Washable air filter and automatic shut off
- Rare smoke leakage
- Not for big areas
- More maintenance than a few units
Ivation ERSDM18 Mini Dehumidifier
This one is a bit different than other mini models because of its pretty stunning build coupled with one of the smallest and lightweight build. This mid-end unit comes with a capacity of 12 oz per 24 hours in 200 square feet at 86°F and 80% RH level, thermoelectric Peltier technology for smooth working, and Advanced Energy Recycling System (ERS) for increased rate of moisture conversion.Click Here to Buy from Amazon Click here to read our review
- Stunning exterior and interior
- Boosted dehumidification rate
- 20 oz tank capacity
- Ease of use
- No moving parts
- Energy efficient due to low power consumption
- Standard efficiency level of mini builds although it works much more than a mini model
Now let’s talk about humidity and how it affects your life.
Overview of Humidity Levels
Humidity is often linked to the typical sticky and stifling feeling, usually being experienced on a warm day. Usually, two forms of humidity exist namely, relative and absolute. First, you should know what absolute humidity is. It is the mass of water vapor divided by dry air’s mass in the air’s volume at a specific temperature. In simple words, the hotter feeling of air indicates more water or moisture in it.
In contrast, relative humidity is the ratio of the existing humidity to the maximum absolute humidity the air can have. If the surrounding has 100% Relative Humidity (RH), it indicates that the air is saturated fully with the amount of vapor in it and now is longer to hold any more moisture. This actually leads to rain.
Usually, the optimal level of humidity in a residential environment should be 50-55% RH. This means that the air holds only half of the total moisture it can clutch. If there is a fall in the atmospheric temperature, the amount of water in it might be constant, but the RH level dramatically tends to rise. As a result, a dehumidifier proves to quite handy in winters.
When Humidity Level Rises…
In general, a human body is fairly sensitive to humidity, as the skin depends on air to dispose of moisture. Sweating is the common way for your body to keep cool and sustain its current temperature. This is exactly why we feel sticky (sweaty) and hot when the level of humidity is high.
When the RH level is low, one tends to feel cooler than the actual temperature, as perspiration evaporates swiftly to cool us down consequently. In simple terms, in case of 76 degrees Fahrenheit with 0 RH level, it feels as if it is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the RH level is 100%, it feels as if it is 81 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most instant effect of a high humidity level is discomfort due to suffocation. If it becomes too humid and hot, our body becomes less efficient to emit heat, meaning it perspires. This is not something to worry about. However, if you try wearing a suit, your shirt can stick to the skin and your forehead constantly releases streams of sweat. Nevertheless, this does not mean that high humidity level is friendly for humans and environment. Here are its negative effects:
- On Health: A high humid surrounding is a proliferation ground for all types of microbes that are likely to harm your health. It is likely to attract mold spores and mildew that are highly toxic if they enter into the body. Even if not clearly visible within the house, mold and mildew can unfold via the vents, or from at the rear of walls. Humidity is also an inviter of dust mites, which are the most common cause of allergies as well as asthma. Further, all types of bacteria and several pests such as termites tend to breed in spaces with high humidity. With so many risk factors breeding around, the people living in such residences often fall sick, and that their health tends to deteriorate. For example, asthma patients might suffer from more often attacks.
- On Home: You must have already got an idea of what high humidity can do to your home from the effects mentioned above on health. It is seriously not something that you can take lightly. This is because those are not the only effects. With high humidity, your home can give you musty odors, peeling paints on walls and ceilings, and rotting wood items. Moreover, humidity can percolate into every hole of your house to weaken its structural integrity. Humidity also affects the wood items the same way when at the time of creation; they are exposed to steam for bending them without breaking. So, you are likely to see cracks and bends in wood works, which finally can pave the way for full damage of your wood works.
- On Pocket: If it is made up of leather, your wallet can get spoiled due to high humidity, but this is not all. When you try to resolve or reverse the damage caused by too humid air, it is certainly going to prove you costly. It is actually tough to get rid of grown up mildew and mold. Further, you need money for your allergy treatment. Even your power bills go up, as enough loads come on the air conditioner. In this way, humidity damages your home, health, and budget.
Causes of High Humidity Indoors
As moisture evaporates, it tends to carry heat. When you hang up the washed attires for them to dry, water evaporates from them and carries heat with it for making them cooler and drier. This is also something that occurs in the air. When the vapor resides in air (representing humidity), it makes you feel hotter and warmer. Well, there are several chores that we do almost daily to increase the humidity levels, which are:
- Cooking, showering too frequently or too much, drying clothes
- Using individual room humidifiers
- Blocking the external air supply to heating system
- Exposing the ground in crawl spaces and basements
- Closing rooms and curtains for long (lack of air circulation)
- Putting furniture very near to walls (lack of air circulation)
- Keeping windows and doors open to moisture generating areas such as indoor pools, greenhouses, and hot tubs
- Using no exhaust fans in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry room
- Adding new things in home, whose construction materials have high moisture content, including paint, concrete, and lumber
- Removing or blocking a chimney
- Leaking taps and other sources
- Flooding crawlspaces and basements
- Sealing air supply to reduce fuel consumption
While there is not an effective step you can take while being outside, you can definitely lower the level of the internal humidity level in your house with the help of a dehumidifier. It brings back the ideal humidity level in your home.
High and Ideal Humidity Levels
Obviously, there has to be suggested or ideal relative humidity level. Well, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), relative humidity for residences should be between 30 to 40% in winter and 30% to 50% in summer. Overall, the RH level should not be beyond 40-50%. If it is beyond 50%, you need a dehumidifier even though the modal and mildew may not be visible. This has been computed by considering the human perception of moisture levels in air, as shown below.
|Perception||RH at 90° F|
|Uncomfortable and very humid||52 – 60%|
|Fairly uncomfortable for several people||44 – 52%|
|Suitable for a majority but some may see it as the upper limit||37 – 46%|
|Comfortable||31 – 41%|
|Very comfortable||31 – 37%|
|A bit dry for some people||30%|
Dehumidifier versus Humidifier versus Air Conditioner
A humidifier aims to add moisture to the air while a dehumidifier does exactly the opposite; it removes moisture so that you can retain different rooms at a safe and comfortable humidity level. For instance, dehumidifiers in laundry rooms, bathrooms, and basements deter the growth of dust mites, mildew, and mold to safeguard your belongings. At the same time, the dried out air (without excess moisture) makes you feel much cooler.
Similarly, by having a dehumidifier in a bedroom or living room, you will not need to switch on the air conditioner, which can significantly save power and consequently money. In short, if indoor air is too dry, using a humidifier brings up the moisture level in it. On the other hand, if your air is too moist, a dehumidifier removes that extra content to retain the desired indoor RH level and protect your home as well as health.
Even an air conditioner is capable of absorbing moisture from the air if the area is well ventilated. However, a dehumidifier takes this function a step further by reducing humidity in all areas. It is most handy in poorly ventilated and moist areas where moisture in the air is higher than other rooms.
Dehumidifier Working Overview
A majority of residential dehumidifiers feature a cooling system having four basic components namely, the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and a circulating fan.
The compressor is referred to as the quiet motor that is a black, football-size part seen at the dehumidifier’s base. It operates as long as the humidity sensor or humidistat triggers the action of reducing humidity. As a set of finned tubes, the condenser is much like a radiator and is typically located close to the circulating fan.
Nestled close to the unit’s back is the evaporator, sitting just over the container gathering water. It is also much like a radiator and consists of a coiled set of tubes. When the humidistat detects raised humidity, these tubes start their cycle, which activates the fan and compressor.
The fan makes the air flow over the condenser coils and evaporator for condensing the moisture, which usually trickles into the container. The dry air now goes through the hot coil for reheating and gaining its initial temperature. A dehumidifier is much like an air conditioner having both cold and hot coils in one pack.
Working Principle: Have you even seen a glass of cold water or ice on a hot day? Well, if yes, you can see that the external surface of glass becomes wet. This is condensation and even the fundamental principle of the dehumidifier to operate. Hot air usually holds a huge amount of moisture. However, it begins to cool down when it confluences with a cold surface, such as the outside of a glass having cold water. Lastly, when the temperature comes at a suitable level, the air cannot keep moisture, and that moisture gradually condenses into liquid water.
The Probable Uses of a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a reliable device for anybody who needs to exert control over the environment in either home or office. This control is perhaps essential to sustain a healthy environment, especially for those who are vulnerable to allergies or respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD. Listed below are the vast uses of a dehumidifier.
- Removes excess moisture
- Prevents or minimize the growth of all nasty critters such as fungus, mold, pests, and bacteria
- Keeping all air pollutants at a more controllable level, particularly if used together with an air purifier
- Preventing the onset of respiratory flare-ups and other disorders such as headaches by providing a better environment
- Preventing healthy people from being susceptible to the related medical disorders
- Increasing the comfort level by regulating the impact of humid climate in the form of discomfort and suffocation due to muggy air
- Regulating leak related issues in basement as well as making the furnace function more efficiently
- Removing musty smell from stagnant water or mold
- Minimizing flood water damage in basement
- Protecting all wood items
- Minimizing condensation on windows and doors, especially during winters
- Reducing your utility bills by making ACs work more efficiently by creating air that is easier for them to cool
- Stopping squeaking wooden floors by absorbing excess moisture from wood
- Offering a cool respite from humid outdoors in a moist climate
Note: A dehumidifier is not a cure for all occurring disorders due to high humidity. It just helps in regulating the causes of probable disorders and preventing them from attacking a human body. It also makes one feel relieved by alleviating the symptoms but is incapable of curing any disease.
Best Areas Where You can keep a Dehumidifier
Whether it is home or office, you need to decide the most suitable place from where a dehumidifier can work in the most effective manner. Well, these probable places are those where the moisture level in the air can tend to be really high. These places are:
- In a basement from protection from mildew, mold, leaks, and floods
- In a bathroom to keep hot shower steam away from percolating into other internal areas of your home
- In a laundry area where moisture comes from washing machine
- In pool areas indoors to ward off mold and discard risky pool chemicals from air
- In a bedroom to keep allergy symptoms at night away for a sound sleep
- In a kitchen where much hot or steamed water is used along with a dishwasher and other such appliances
- In a crawl space to protect the stocked seasonal items from water damage
Dehumidifier and Savings: Myths versus Facts
Whether or not a dehumidifier saves money on power bills is one of the most common queries. For that, let’s recall the working: The unit moves air over cool coils due to which the moisture in steamed form in the air cools down to form droplets. The air then passes through a re-heater to be emitted as drier and warmer air. Now, several of us believe that this emitted dry air heats up more swiftly than moist air. Well, this is only a myth. This is because moist air is capable of conducting heat better than the dry counterpart.
In fact, dry air is quite poor in transferring heat. This fact is not realized because we often consider a dehumidifier as the exact contrast of a humidifier. So, according to the myth, if a humidifier adds moisture to the air by increasing heating bills as it is more time consuming, a dehumidifier does the opposite by reducing heating costs as it takes less time. However, the truth is that even the best dehumidifier does not do anything to reduce the heating bill.
Nevertheless, a dehumidifier can still save on your energy bills by reducing the cooling costs. In simple terms, if you use an air conditioner together with a dehumidifier, you will certainly end up running the air conditioner less often. When the temperature is not too high but the humidity level is, you may not even run the air conditioner at all. As a result, you can really save during summer.
While it is disappointing that a dehumidifier does not reduce your heating costs, it is equally beneficial to know that it saves cooling costs.
How to choose a Dehumidifier that suits your needs
Selecting the most suitable type is a part of buying a dehumidifier. It is essential to keep in mind that there are several different types of dehumidifiers, each of which is engineered to cater to specific needs of your office or home. Right from the size to the draining method, all models come with necessary features to restore the desired humidity level effectively in different spaces.
Different kind of spaces call for a different type of dehumidifier and exploring each one of them is essential for making an informed choice. In terms of places and applications, dehumidifiers are classified into the following four categories:
- Home and Residential Dehumidifiers: These models have different capacities to absorb moisture and this correlate to space’s area wherein they will be used. Usually, a higher capacity unit is relatively more efficient in terms of not only moisture removal but also power consumption. Majority of residential models come with an automatic shut-off feature for alerting when the water bucket is full and built-in drain hose connection for incessant draining. In case the room where one such dehumidifier is to be used is bound to have an ambient temperature below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, it is recommended having a model capable of dealing with such low temperatures for performing optimally.
- Mini Dehumidifiers: These are small in size due to which they are ideal for small spaces such as closets, bathrooms, storage areas, and laundry rooms. They tend to fit in any place or corner of your home or office. A mini model is ideal to have when clothes in laundry room and bathroom do not dry fully. It is also ideal for smaller areas infamous for musty odor.
- Crawlspace and Basement Dehumidifiers: These are ideal for crawl spaces, workspaces, garages and basements, due to their rugged design and higher capacity. While all can run well in low temperatures, a few come with drain pumps for incessant draining. This is either a gravity drain or a condensate pump. Unlike gravity drains, condensate pumps enable water to pass through long distances.
- Commercial and Industrial Dehumidifiers: These types of dehumidifiers are engineered to cover extremely large spaces such as manufacturing plants and warehouses. They are also widely utilized for remodeling and in restoration tasks. Just like the crawl space and basement models, these units are rugged and come with gravity drains. Many of them have connected hoses while more heavy duty ones have integrated condensate pumps.
Each of these humidifiers are further classified as per their capacity size and working mechanism. Click here to know more about them.
Before Buying the Best Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are available in a vast assortment of sizes and designs, ranging right from small capacity, portable units to larger capacity devices that tend to dry out a room swiftly post pipe bursting or flood. Regardless of the current situation, you will surely find a dehumidifier within your budget to make your humid home a more comfortable place for your family.
Well, in today’s high-tech world, the first though to strike your mind for buying the right model is searching through Google or any other search engine. It really might see very easy to go online and select one to buy. However, the moment you start your search, your mind is likely to be boggled by the different sizes, types, features, and designs.
Well, you can overcome this experience and reach to the perfect dehumidifier by following a few simple steps explained below. Carrying out these steps saves money, time, and even frustration.
Measure the Current Humidity Level in Home/Office
It is easy to know that the home is humid due to discomfort feeling, but it is not that instant to know how humid it is. For measuring the current humidity level, you need to invest in an affordable, small hygrometer before going out and purchasing the dehumidifier. It is a device that shows whether the humidity level is too low or too high. It gives precise humidity readings so that you know the right capacity to choose while buying a dehumidifier. Once this is known, you can easily take the desired action by purchasing a dehumidifier.
You can easily find a hygrometer online or at any home improvement shop. Although it is not mandatory to buy a hygrometer, it makes it easier for you to choose the best dehumidifier. In case you do not want to invest in the device, it is recommended performing a simple appraisal of your home to know the humidity level. Although this will not be as precise as a hygrometer, it is bound to offer a baseline. Listed below are a few ways to assess the humidity level of your room:
- When humidity level is 90-100%, you will find settled water puddles in the room. You may also find that the room is too wet.
- When the level is 80-90%, you will have a musty smell in the room along with visible stains due to water or mildew.
- In case of 70-80% humidity level, you will feel an obvious mold or mildew smell.
- When the level is 60-70%, you will have a bit damp smell.
Find Air Changes per Hour (ACH) Rate
This is the next step after you find out the humidity level of your room. This is the rate at which you need to dehumidify effectively. For 90-100% RH level, an ideal ACH rate is 6, while for 80-90%, 70-80%, and 60-70%, it is 5, 4, and 3, respectively.
Compute the Designated Room’s Square Foot
The next step is to calculate the area of the room in terms of square foot. For this, you need to find out the length and width of the room with the help of a tape measure and multiply the two to get the area. For instance, if there is 10 x 5 feet room, its area is 50 feet.
Compute the Cubic Feet of Your Room
While the square foot refers to the area of your room, cubic feet refer to the volume. You now need to find your room’s height, from ceiling to floor and multiply it by the room’s square footage. This will give you the cubic footage. The height should be there in consideration as you wish to dry the air of the entire space, and not just across the floor. For instance, if the height is 5 feet and square footage is 50 feet, then 250 is the cubic feet.
Find Out the Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
CFM refers to the quantity of airflow measured in terms of cubic feet that is required for dehumidifying the room properly. To calculate this value, you need to multiply the volume of your room by the determined ACH value and divide the result by 60. Taking our own example with the ACH determined as 5, this formula will be 250×5=1250/60, which equals to 20.83 as the CFM.
Find Out the Quantity of Moisture to be extracted from the Room
This quantity of moisture to be removed is measured as the number of pints of water to be absorbed from the room depends. This measurement is actually dependent upon the square footage and ACH.
The capacity of dehumidifiers is usually mentioned in pints or as the volume of the tank collecting water. A pint refers to a unit of measurement for capacity or volume, which is commonly used in many Commonwealth nations. However, in the United States, pint is expressed in two ways: 0.125 Gallon or 473ml as liquid or wet pint and 0.145 Gallon or 551ml as dry pint.
When first introduced, pint was expressed as one-eighth of a gallon. However, it was confusing enough due to several different types of gallon in use, as per the substance. This indicated different kinds of pint as well.
The US pint differs from that of UK pint, as the United States has adopted the 231 cubic inches (British wine gallon) as a measurement unit for volume. It was from this measurement that the US wet pint was computed. The dry pint came from the 268.8 cubic inches indicating British corn gallon. However, in the U.K, these gallons were abandoned and were replaced by a new gallon, 277.42 inches.
Now, that the concept of pint is clear, you can find out how many pints of water are required to absorb moisture each day. Here is a small guide on the same.
- For ACH 3, 10 pints is enough for 500 square footage and 4 additional pints for each extra 500 square feet
- For ACH 4, 12 pints is enough for 500 square footage and 5 additional pints for each extra 500 square feet
- For ACH 5, 14 pints is enough for 500 square footage and 6 additional pints for each extra 500 square feet
- For ACH 6, 16 pints is enough for 500 square footage and 7 additional pints for each extra 500 square feet
Let’s apply the above guideline by taking an example. If the room’s area is 1,500 square feet and the ACH is 6, you require a dehumidifier that absorbs 30 pints of water every day. However, if the room is only 500 square feet, a 16-pint dehumidifier is an ideal choice.
Now that you know the size, you need to ensure that the model is as per your specifications. It should be in line with the CFM requirements apart from the pints per day need. For this purpose, you need to read the specifications of the model you shortlist. Doing so also ensures that the model fits your needs.
There are some more things for you to consider before investing in the unit, with respect to CFM.
First, in case the CFM needs are much higher that you do not find any unit fulfilling it, it is an indication to invest in multiple units for your room’s proper dehumidification.
Second, if the CFM is between what two promising models offer, you should consider purchasing a model with a higher CFM. Then, you simply need to operate it less often.
Third, you need to keep in mind that when it comes to stating how big area a dehumidifier can dry out, the manufacturers will always do so in terms of square feet and that they consider an average height of 8 feet. So, if there is 12-foot ceiling with a 1,000 square foot area, a model covering 1,000 square feet can be inefficient as you need a model with 50% more coverage.
Fourth, while finding the room’s size, you must consider the full open area including any adjacent floors or rooms it opens to. This is because the moisture in air tends to balance out itself by moving from a space of high humidity to a space of low humidity. For example, if there is a basement of 500 square foot area and its door opens to a big room that is 1,000 square feet, you need a 1,500 square foot rated model unless you obstruct the air flow by closing the door.
Finally, look up when you are sizing it too because if you are running it in your basement and it opens to the first and second floor you will be basically dehumidifying the entire house. Furthermore, if the windows are open on the first and second floors, you are dehumidifying the neighborhood.
Well, the above steps might seem as if there are many steps to perform, which can take some more time as calculations are involved. However, the fact is that spending this time is well worth the effort. This is because you will just not prefer purchasing a unit that does not have enough capacity to dehumidify your room efficiently. At the same time, you will also not want to go for a model that is bigger than the desired capacity needed for your room. Both these don’ts are taken care of, when you follow the steps above. You also increase your chance of getting the best dehumidifier as per your specific needs without spending more than what is required.
Some More Questions to Solve before Choosing a Dehumidifier
Once the capacity is known, there are some points to consider before you shop for a dehumidifier. Analyzing these points can help accelerate the process of finding the best dehumidifier as per your area of living.
The Part of the Nation in Which You Live
The area of your country in which you live shall govern how much moisture shall be there in the outside air and consequently how much dehumidification shall become mandatory. For example, if you are living in a gulf region or Texas, dehumidification will be required most of the year, particularly during the summer, fall, and spring.
Similarly, those living on in the area of the West Coast shall need to dehumidify during the winter, as it is the rainy season for them followed by hot and dry summer. In case of semi-arid and arid regions, there might not be any need of a dehumidifier. However, it might be needed during unseasonal rains or other such humidity spells.
So, just as in case of any other electronic device, it is essential to consider how much you wish to use a dehumidifier. This will directly help in deciding how much you need to spend and what kind of quality and build you need. For example, if you wish to use only for a few days or a few times in a year, it makes no sense in buying an upscale model. On the contrary, if you are living in Florida, you would surely require a big capacity unit for using it up to 10 months. Such a unit should be designed to last long with sturdy internal parts.
The Room’s Temperature
For those who do not know, it is important to know the temperature of your room in which you will be using a dehumidifier. This helps you in deciding whether or not you require a low-temperature unit. A majority of dehumidifiers perform well when the temperature of air is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit and above. However, if it fluctuates to 65 degrees and below, it is a bit tough to remove more moisture. This is where a specially designed low-temperature model is required.
The Desired Humidity Level
If you feel the need of dehumidifier, it can be concluded that the humidity level is above 55%, which can give invitation to mildew, mold, termites, dust mites, and consequently damage to your home assets. This is applicable to most cases. Usually, the humidity level in such homes should be brought back to 50% to keep these possible risks at bay.
Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that every person has a different level of comfort. This is why many feel all right at 40% RH while some prefer 45%, and others demand for 50% RH. Moreover, when you wish to defend a musical instrument, an RH level of 45% is essential.
You need to decide on the basis of cost versus comfort. The lower the humidistat is set on the dehumidifier, the longer it will run to sustain it.
Areas to Be Dehumidified
This is a vital factor to analyze, considering the difference in the temperature and humidity of the air, as per the location. The fact is that each room or area in your home or office will have some specific demands from a dehumidifier.
For example, if you intend to dehumidify your bedroom, you certainly need a quietly running unit. Similarly, if it is a crawl space, you need a model that shall fit into the location considering that the ceiling is low. It should also be robust enough to discard the moisture, particularly if the floor is unsealed and dirty.
In case of a basement, it is likely that the air temperature shall be lower, and humidity level will be higher. So, a vital decision to make is to have a model that can run even if the temperature falls 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why you will find low-temperature basement units.
Use of the Chosen Area
Is the chosen area used for storing some types of tools or musical instruments? For storing tools and other equipment, you will have to ensure that the humidity is at 50% or even lower. Similarly, for instruments, you need to keep the humidity at 45%. If it is a basement where you wish to prevent mildew, mold and other risks and odors, 50 to 55% should be fine.
In case the chosen area is kept for entertainment, you will prefer to dehumidify it for sustaining a comfy environment having 40-50% RH level for all guests or attendees. In case of a bedroom or office, it should be not only quiet but also comfortable for good sleep or desk work.
Other influencing factors are the presence of open water and human activity. For instance, in case of an exercise or gym room, you need to consider the rise in humidity level due to sweat and breath. Similarly, if there is a spa, aquarium, or pool left uncovered indoors, there will rise in humidity in that area, as water will evaporate into the air.
All the above steps are performed before you go out and choose the most promising models. For buying the best dehumidifier, you will surely short list a few models and choose one of them by using the major buying factors. Click here to check them out now.
Getting The Most Out Of Dehumidifiers
To ensure that the chosen dehumidifier performs at its best, it is recommended keeping the windows and doors closed while the device is in use. Further, you should place the unit away from walls, furniture, and curtains for having a good air flow. It also makes sense to vacuum first so that all dust particles go away.
Initially, you are suggested using the device on the highest setting. This should continue for not more than 15 days. Then, you can put the unit in a corridor or hallway with doors open for regulating the level of humidity. As per the unit’s capacity, it can control the level of humidity in the whole house. However, if not, you can use it on one floor at a time.
If you are going for lasting installation, ensure that the hose is appropriate at the rear of the device. You should ensure that the hose is plumbed rightly for the sake of adequate drainage. In case of basement or removal of moisture upwards or over a long distance, an inline pump is essential.
Because there are several types of dehumidifier models in the market, it might be a very confusing job to take the right purchasing decision. Most models seem to look the same, but each of them differs in price, extra features, and brand. Price typically tends to vary as per the model’s size, capacity, and extra features. You should always choose as per the above calculations and other place-related and expectation-related factors.
So, have you found your model? If not, you can navigate our site further to check out some more options and their reviews. You will not be disappointed! Our goal is to make you find your dehumidifier here from just one place!!!