Dehumidifiers are necessary for rooms which have an excessive moisture level such as the basement or a bathroom.
Too much moisture in the air can cause unpleasant odors and it can lead to respiratory problems if you don’t address this problem quickly, that’s the reason I created this small guide on how to choose the best dehumidifier for home or commercial use.
Although you might have an air purifier to remove allergens or an HVAC system to reduce the indoor humidity level, these units are not very efficient in most cases.
It is wise to purchase a separate dehumidifier which can remove a great amount of moisture as well as bacteria and allergens from the air, improving its quality.
If this is the first time you are thinking of buying a dehumidifier then continue reading. These devices are available in numerous shapes and sizes, they can have different features, and are suitable for certain rooms.
Keep in mind that some portable air conditioners already have built-in dehumidifiers, so it might be worth checking yours to see if it has this functionality.
This buying guide contains vital information which will help you purchase a dehumidifier suitable for your needs, so stay on this page.
Dehumidifiers usually come in two types – silica gel and electric dehumidifiers. If you want to remove the moisture from a small space such as a mini-bathroom, you can go for a dehumidifier which features silica gel technology.
This device doesn’t need to be plugged into a power outlet and it doesn’t need batteries. The built-in silica gel will absorb moisture from the air without requiring electricity and it usually lasts for a couple of weeks.
When the dehumidifier is full, you just have to plug it into a power outlet for a couple of hours and let the built-in heating elements remove the moisture from the silica gel, renewing the device. Now you are able to use it again.
This type of dehumidifier is designed for small rooms up to 50 sq. ft. If you need to dehumidify larger rooms, I suggest going for a bigger model which can be plugged into a power outlet.
These models can run 24/7 and many of them have a built-in filter which removes most of the bacteria and allergens from the air.
For large dehumidifiers, these filters are removable and washable, so you might not have to buy a separate appliance for improving indoor air quality.
Dehumidifiers are designed to extract moisture from an area of a particular size. You cannot possibly expect a small dehumidifier to be suitable for a large commercial space, right?
When buying a dehumidifier, you should find out how much space it can cover and this usually ranges from 50 sq. ft. for really compact dehumidifiers up to 4,000 sq. ft. for large, commercial ones. You can calculate the capacity here.
If you are thinking of dehumidifying your house, you probably need something in between. You can also buy several smaller dehumidifiers and place them in different rooms or floors in your property.
Pints per hour
Like a humidifier, the best way of measuring the power of a dehumidifier and knowing how efficient it can be is to look at how many pints of moisture it can draw from the air in 24 hours.
Small devices can eliminate from 0.5 to 10 or 20 pints per day and they are usually ideal for relatively small areas.
More powerful dehumidifiers can extract up to 70 pints per day and they are suitable for large commercial kitchens, basements, large garages, and other vast spaces. Like this one below.
In some cases, you will see this value mentioned in gallons, not necessarily in pints, but the same principle applies – the more units of moisture it can remove, the more powerful the dehumidifier is.
This is probably one of the most important details you need to keep in mind when shopping for dehumidifiers because it shows you exactly how efficient it can be.
There are two factors you need to take into account here – the square footage of the room and how moist the air can become on a regular basis.
For example, if we are talking about a large bath or a basement which usually gets very moist, consider getting a slightly more powerful dehumidifier to make sure it keeps up with the demands.
Homeowners who plan on using the dehumidifier on a regular basis might want to pay attention to this aspect. Most devices can be connected to a power outlet and they can function 24/7 or until the moisture basket is filled.
If you want to keep the energy consumption as low as possible, try to use the dehumidifier in certain moments of the day and go for an appliance which is Energy Star certified.
These dehumidifiers are specially designed to consume less energy while still maintaining an impressive power output.
Moving a small dehumidifier from one room to the other isn’t a problem and some of them even fit in a medium-size purse.
However, if we talk about large dehumidifiers which might be as tall and wide as a small fridge, the situation is a bit different.
Luckily, manufacturers have designed these appliances with portability in mind and they incorporated handles and caster wheels to make your life easier.
You can move the dehumidifier from one room to the other with little to no effort and thanks to the side handles, you can also put this device into the back of your car to be transported somewhere else.
If you are curious about weight, some dehumidifiers can weigh less than 10 pounds while larger ones can go up to 40 pounds or even more.
Needless to say, ask a friend to help you move a large dehumidifier, to make sure you don’t get injured or damage the appliance.
Most dehumidifiers have intuitive control panels and they don’t feature a lot of buttons, so you can access the functions of the device without necessarily having to read the instructions manual.
For example, you can adjust the timer, dehumidifying mode, and other functions by just pressing a couple of buttons.
The control panel is usually mounted on top or in front of the dehumidifier and it might feature a small LCD screen which displays vital information.
To make things even easier for you, most dehumidifiers come with a remote which allows you to control the appliance from a distance.
This is another important aspect we need to cover. Since dehumidifiers extract moisture from the air, this amount of liquid has to go somewhere.
Large devices have built-in baskets with different capacities and they can hold from 10-15 ounces of water up to 2 gallons or more in some cases.
As the dehumidifier eliminates moisture from the air, the basket gets filled up, a process which might take several days or several weeks, depending on how often you use the appliance.
When the basket is full, you will usually receive a notification or a warning, letting you know that now would be a good time to empty it.
However, some dehumidifiers also give you the option to release moisture outside the building. They come with an attached hose which eliminates moisture through a window or door.
This is an ideal scenario for large commercial spaces as it allows the appliance to work 24/7 without your intervention, eliminating as much moisture as possible.
If you think you don’t want to be bothered to empty the basket, look for a dehumidifier which comes with an outdoor drainage kit.
Here’s a video showing how to drain a dehumidifer:
Dehumidifiers function by drawing air from a space, extracting the moisture, and then releasing this air back into a room.
To move air, each device is equipped with a fan and as you probably already know, fans tend to make noise when they spin.
However, don’t think that a dehumidifier will be very loud because it usually incorporates mechanisms that keep the sound level as low as possible.
On the maximum fan speed setting, most customers agree that the dehumidifier is barely audible, so you can take a nap in the middle of the day with this unit turned on.
To keep the noise level low, make sure the dehumidifier is placed on an even surface and the filter is not clogged.
A dehumidifier is a sophisticated appliance which can last for several years, especially if it is properly maintained and handled.
Manufacturers offer great warranty periods which might span one, two or even three years in some cases. Before ordering, make sure that you check out the details of the warranty period to get the best bang for your buck.
The cost of a dehumidifier is usually reflected by how powerful it is and how much space it can cover. For example, smaller and less powerful devices usually cost something between $15-$20 and $50-$60 for a decent model.
Larger dehumidifiers which can cover several thousand square feet and are designed for large properties can cost several hundred dollars, but they come with multiple features, the possibility to drain moisture directly outside, and large fans.
Now you Know How to Choose a Dehumidifer!
It is up to you to assess your needs and find out which dehumidifier is more suitable for a particular room or commercial property.
At this point, you are prepared to make a better decision when buying dehumidifiers. They are essential for improving indoor air quality, preventing respiratory problems, and making you feel more comfortable in your house. Set a budget and start shopping today!