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Dehumidifier: The Ultimate Buying Guide
A dehumidifier removes excess moisture or humidity from the air in your home. Some people prefer to use a dehumidifier to create a more comfortable environment. Some use a dehumidifier for health reasons including allergies. Others use one to prevent damage to their belongings.
Dehumidifiers vary in price, capacity and features. Whatever the reason for buying a dehumidifier, our shopping guide can help you find the right dehumidifier for your needs and preferences.
Why You Might Want To Purchase A Dehumidifier:
Excessive humidity can make health conditions like allergies and asthma worse. Higher humidity also creates an environment for mildew and mold to thrive.
Too much humidity can negatively affect health and also damage property such as books, electronics, antiques, and furniture.
Some rooms are more prone to higher humidity. These rooms include laundry rooms, bathrooms, and basements.
Most people feel most comfortable in an environment with 35 to 40 percent humidity. When the humidity is below 30 percent, the air typically feels dry to people. Humidity levels of above 50 percent are known to cause mildew, mold and breed mites. You can measure the humidity with a hygrometer device.
A dehumidifier can solve these problems by removing excess moisture in the air and providing a more pleasant environment with better air quality.
Signs That You May Benefit From A Dehumidifier:
Evidence of excess humidity include condensation on windows and creaking floors. The room often has an unpleasant musty or mildew scent.
In extreme cases, there may be obvious mold and even standing water.
Humidity levels also affect physical comfort and well-being. People with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues may have trouble breathing. Higher humidity also promotes dust mites which can negatively affect air quality.
Those who are susceptible to health issues caused mold or mildew may experience worsening symptoms.
If the room feels muggy, that is another sign of higher humidity.
How Common Dehumidifiers Work:
Dehumidifiers remove the excess moisture. Different types of dehumidifiers that work in different ways.
The capacity of a dehumidifier is measured in the pints of moisture removed per 24 hours. According to Energy Star, there are a couple of the main factors including the size of the space to dehumidify and the existing conditions.
The Most Common Types of Dehumidifiers Include:
1. Desiccant Models
They work by pulling air and passing it over a desiccant material such as silica gel. These materials naturally absorb moisture and are typically reusable. They work well for milder humidity problems.
2. Mechanical or Refrigeration Models
These dehumidifiers use a fan to push the air over refrigerated coils. The moisture is normally collected into a tank or bucket. This type of dehumidifier is known to raise the air temperature slightly. It is popular for high humidity areas as it tends to have a higher capacity.
3. A Conventional Air Conditioner
Works in a similar way to a mechanical or refrigeration model. The fan pulls the moist air over cold evaporator coils then back into the room.
There are also a few other types of dehumidifiers, but those are the most popular options. Most of the top ten models we feature are mechanical dehumidifiers.
Common Features And Options Found In Popular Dehumidifiers:
Dehumidifiers have varying featured options. When selecting a dehumidifier you may want to consider which of the following popular features are important for your needs.
Easy to Use Controls:
User-friendly controls make any device easier to use.
Many prefer a device they can easily maintain.
Washable or Replaceable Air Filter:
Some prefer to reduce waste with a washable air filter, and others may prefer the benefits of a replaceable air filter.
This may save a little energy by turning the device off at specified times.
This goes well with the timer, the device may cycle on when humidity rises too high.
This may sound trivial, but consider whether you will need to move the dehumidifier. If so, you may prefer a model with casters or wheels.
Continuous Drainage and Hose:
This can save the hassle of having to empty the condensation tank.
Auto Defrost Feature:
This feature can help you avoid stress and trouble if your dehumidifier tends to frost.
Some models are quieter than others. Be sure to check whether the base noise level is acceptable to you.
How to Choose The Right Dehumidifier:
Once you decide that you want to purchase a dehumidifier, the next challenge is finding the right one for your needs. You should consider a few primary factors including the space you need to dehumidify.
First, consider the size of the room or rooms in square feet. A larger dehumidifier has more power and capacity, but may use more power than you need. A small dehumidifier is portable and may be ideal for smaller spaces.
You may not want to invest in too large a dehumidifier for space.A large capacity dehumidifier will help dry a small area quickly, but it may also use more energy as it cycles on multiple times throughout the day. You may find the best efficiency by choosing the right sized unit for your needs.
Some smaller dehumidifiers are portable. If you need to dehumidify a couple of small spaces such as bathrooms, this may be an option to consider.
Price is another important consideration. The top ten dehumidifiers we reviewed range in price from $145 - $3244. They range in capacity from being able to dehumidify 400 square foot rooms to 4500 square foot rooms.
How To Make Best Use Of Your New Dehumidifier:
Once you purchase your dehumidifier, you will want to make best use of your investment. There are a few simple tips to make best use of it and to maintain it.
While running your dehumidifier, keep your windows and doors closed just like you would when running a heater or air conditioner.
Dehumidifiers feature air vents that require unobstructed air flow. Be sure to position your dehumidifier at least a foot away from your walls or anything else that may block the airflow.
Keep your dehumidifier clear of dust to keep it running well. Most importantly, the coils must remain clear of dust, dirt, or mildew to work correctly. Be sure to check the dehumidifier, clean it as needed and have it serviced as necessary.
Finally, weatherize your home to ensure that too much moisture isn't coming in from outside. Doing this will make your dehumidifier more efficient and effective.
The right dehumidifier can make your home more comfortable and protect your property. For people with allergies or asthma, a dehumidifier may even help your breath easier and feel healthier. Be sure to read our reviews and summaries of the ten most popular dehumidifiers.
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