Best Dehumidifier Buying Guide

Do you need a dehumidifier?

Perhaps you are suffering from some allergies and sneezing or coughing a lot. Maybe you have noticed some signs of high humidity like:

  • Condensation on windows.
  • Mildew spots on the walls.
  • A musty smell hanging around your home or in certain rooms.
  • Watermarks in your basement.
  • Rotting wood (beams or floors).
  • Wallpaper peeling

NOTE: Mildew spots are different from mould. Mildew can be easily cleaned with standard cleaning materials and a scrubbing brush. Black mould is more insidious and can be more difficult and costly to remove.

These may be signs you need a dehumidifier, but not necessarily. The first step is to test the humidity in your home using a hygrometer, taking note of the visual signs.

Even if you have a home air conditioner, you may still need a dehumidifier. It's a good idea to run a dehumidifier or use a basement dehumidifier in your basement because air conditioning alone may not be enough to remove moisture from these spaces. 

How Dehumidifiers Work

Dehumidifiers work by forcing air with a fan over coolant-filled coils to remove moisture. Depending on the model you use, the moisture will either drip from the coils into a basin or be pumped out of the unit. Drier air is then expelled back into the room.

Dehumidifier constant humidity principle

  • The current humidity is lower than the target humidity of 3% 
    dehumidifier will automatically stop running.
  • When the dehumidifier detects that the current humidity
    rises back to 3% above the target humidity, the machine will
    begin to run dehumidification

Selecting the Best Dehumidifier

There are several factors you should consider when selecting your dehumidifier: 

  • The square-foot dimensions of the area you wish to dehumidify 
  • The method you wish to use to remove the water collected by the dehumidifier (bucket/basin or pump)
  • The energy performance of the unit 

The dehumidifiers you use in a small bedroom will be different than the dehumidifier for basement usage. Dehumidifiers vary according to pint removal capacity every 24 hours. The following guide will help you choose the right capacity model for your needs. The numbers listed are in pints per 24 hours.

How to Use a Dehumidifier

5 Basic Steps to Follow:

  • Choose the right dehumidifier that meets all your requirements:
    It is very important for you to choose the right dehumidifier depending on your room size. There are multiple dehumidifiers available in the market. So, choose the one that suits your needs. You will also have to consider what features you require in your dehumidifier. Some of the common features include built-in hygrometer, automatic defrost, adjustable humidistat, etc. The price of your dehumidifier will also depend on the features that you wish to opt for. 
  • Deciding when to use the dehumidifier: You must use the dehumidifier only when your room feels humid and it also smells musty. Using a dehumidifier, the right humidity level can be restored. You can also use a dehumidifier to improve your respiratory health. Dehumidifiers are mostly used in places having warm and moist climatic conditions. It will make your room feel fresh and computable. There are various dehumidifiers available for a cooler environment as well. One such dehumidifier is the desiccant dehumidifier. It works well at lower temperatures also. 
  • Placing the dehumidifier in your room: You need to make sure that your dehumidifier is not positioned against the wall. Otherwise, proper air circulation will not take place. You should also place the hose of the dehumidifier carefully so that it rests in a sink or tub or else the water will overflow. You should also keep your dehumidifier away from dust and dirt to give it a very long service life. 
  • Operating the dehumidifier properly: You need to carefully go through the user manual of the product to become familiar with all the operational instructions. You should try measuring the humidity level of your room using a hygrometer to get appropriate results. Also, make sure that the dehumidifier is plugged into a grounded electric supply. Otherwise, it may easily get damaged. Also, make sure that you close your doors and windows while you are operating the dehumidifier. 
  • Cleaning your dehumidifier:
    It is also important for you to get your dehumidifier cleaned at regular intervals. You should properly turn off and unplug your dehumidifier before cleaning it. This will protect you from receiving an electric shock. You should also clean the water reservoir along with the body of the dehumidifier. Make sure that you check the machine's coils at regular intervals. The air filters should also be inspected after every 6 months. 

Please follow the setup instructions in the user manual

Dehumidifier Features

Depending on the model, your dehumidifier may have the following characteristics:

Senses the moisture level in the area around the unit and automatically shuts off the unit once the desired humidity level is reached

Drain Options

In very damp or wet conditions, the unit will collect a large amount of water, so you'll need to empty the internal bucket regularly.
Most units have a direct drain feature, which allows for continuous operation without emptying the unit's bucket, but it requires a floor-level water drain.
If you don’t have access to a floor-level drain and want to avoid regularly emptying an internal bucket, buy a unit with an internal pump feature that can pump water vertically up to a sink.

Maintaining your dehumidifier

About All

  • Turn off and unplug before maintenance.
  • Empty the tank after each use.
  • Clean the tank with warm water and washing up liquid every two weeks to prevent mould growth.

About Compressors

  • Check for dust on the coils and remove with a cloth to keep your dehumidifier efficient.
  • Check the coils for ice build-up and raise the position of the dehumidifier if you find any (it means the temperature is too cold).

About Desiccants

  • Remove the air filter and clean with soap and warm water when dust starts to build up – at least every two weeks in regular use.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the filter if it is antibacterial.

About Peltiers

Clean the air vents with a soft brush to prevent dust build up.