Dehumidifiers are appliances that help maintain and regulate the humidity levels in a closed space. They remove the excess water vapors from the air bringing down the moisture content in it.There are several reasons for which a dehumidifier can become a necessity for your home, basement, office, etc. With this comprehensive guide on dehumidifiers you can decide whether you need a dehumidifier and attain all the information you need to choose the best one.
A Word About our Dehumidifier Review System:
We carefully choose different dehumidifiers based on their use and brand. We then analyze these dehumidifiers. We then identify their strengths and weaknesses as pros and cons. Finally we rate these dehumidifiers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. With 5 being the best and 1 being the lowest rating. Each dehumidifier is rated on various different categories, including but not limited to their size, water storage capacity, energy use, brand, price, noise level, low temperature operation and ease of use.
Why Use a Dehumidifier?
High humidity is harmful in many different ways, and it is recommended that the humidity in a closed space should be 30% to 50%. Humidity can exceed these levels if one lives in humid climates like near coastal areas, or if the location is not well ventilated. To remove the excess water vapors from air to bring the humidity down to the optimum levels a dehumidifier is an essential. Excessive humidity in homes, offices, basements, and other closed spaces can lead to a multitude of serious problems:
- Mold and Mildew: Mold and mildew thrive in damp conditions; therefore high moisture level in air encourages their growth. These troublesome fungi are unsightly and can destroy the appearance of your walls and ceilings. They also lead to musty odors, and can damage your belongings like curtains, books, etc. Also mold and mildew are major environmental allergens. Therefore, if you or your family has allergies or breathing problems, these allergens can be detrimental to their health.
- Uncomfortable Living Environment: Highly damp condition is very uncomfortable as it makes breathing difficult and results in clingy and sweaty feeling.
- Weakened Foundations: High moisture can speed up the rotting of wood. With excessive water content in air the wood furniture and wooden parts of your home’s or office’s foundation will deteriorate faster weakening the structure of your home.
- Insects: High moisture attracts insects and centipedes giving rise to bug problems in your home making it look dirty. Insects can also threaten the health of your family.
How dehumidifiers work?
Dehumidifier can be divided into three different types based on their working mechanisms:
Refrigerant dehumidifiers, also known as heat-pump dehumidifiers, can be classified as mechanical dehumidifiers and are the most commonly used type. They work in a way that is very similar to air conditioners. The dehumidifier draws in moist air from the surrounding which is passed over a cold coil. The cold coil cools the air and causes the water vapors in it to condense. The water collects in a storage cup or it is directly drained. The cooled dry air is then reheated using a hot coil and returned to the surroundings.
This type of dehumidifier can effectively remove large amount of moisture from the air, but they consume considerable amount of power. The major downside with these dehumidifiers is that they involve moving parts which includes fans and a compressor, which leads to noise. Many brands are working on manufacturing silent dehumidifiers.
Instead of a compressor, the electric dehumidifiers make use of thermo-electric effect to cool the air. They can also be considered as mechanical dehumidifiers. They consist of two dissimilar metals and electric current is passed through them. This produces cooling effect. These dehumidifiers cannot remove large volumes of water from the air; therefore they are only suitable for smaller spaces. Also, they are less energy efficient. However, electric dehumidifiers do not consist of any moving parts except for a fan, so they are silent.
Desiccants like silica gel have high affinity to water, and they can absorb water from the air when moist air passes over them. Desiccant humidifiers, also known as chemical dehumidifiers, make use of silica gel to dehumidify air.
For larger desiccant dehumidifiers, moist air is drawn in from the surrounding and is passed over a layered rotor. The air passes through channels formed by the sheets on the rotor. The surface of the channel is covered with silica gel which absorbs water vapors from the air as it passes through the rotor. As the crystals absorb water vapors they become deactivated and to reactivate the crystals they are heated by passing hot air over them. The hot air carries off the moisture from the crystals. This moist air is them released in the outside environment. These dry dehumidifiers don’t store any water in liquid form, which means that they don’t need a water disposal system. This mechanism is also used in safe dehumidifiers as they don’t involve any refrigerant.
Smaller chemical dehumidifiers make use of desiccant material stored in a metal casing. They absorb the moisture from the moist air in a small space. The chemical absorbent is then recharged by heating using electricity. They are often used as closet dehumidifiers because of their small size.
Unlike mechanical dehumidifiers, this type of dehumidifiers can work at very low temperatures and they are quieter too because they don’t make use of a compressor. However, they don’t have a high capacity to absorb water.
How to choose the right dehumidifier?
No matter where you would be using the dehumidifier, there are some general factors you should keep in mind when purchasing a dehumidifier:
- Size: You must ensure that the dehumidifier you choose has enough capacity to effectively fulfill your dehumidifying needs. A dehumidifier’s capacity is the amount of water it can remove from the air in a day and it is usually measured in pints. To determine the capacity you need you must measure the humidity level of the location you will be using the dehumidifier for and the size of the location. Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity and measure the area in square feet. Then make use of the manufacturer’s sizing guide or Association of Home Appliances Manufacturer (AHAM) sizing guide to determine the capacity your dehumidifier must have.
- Storage Tank Capacity: If you are considering a mechanical dehumidifier then the capacity of the storage container is important as well. If the container is small then the gathered water may overflow and you will have to remove the water from the tank much more often.
- Energy Efficiency: Dehumidifiers work on electricity. To make sure that your power bills remain low the appliance you buy must waste less energy. When buying a dehumidifier check if it has Energy Star qualification to ensure that its efficiency is above the minimum levels. Read dehumidifier reviews online to determine the energy efficiency of a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier should also have automatic shut-off system, which will turn off the dehumidifier when the desired levels of humidity have been reached. This will help save power as well.
- Noise Level: Another important consideration is the level of noise the dehumidifier produces. Some manufacturer’s provide the noise levels in decibels, or if a value is not provided you can browse through reviews on dehumidifiers to choose quiet dehumidifiers. If you will be using a dehumidifier in an industrial environment with a lot of loud machinery or in a garage or basement then the sound produced by the dehumidifier is not an important consideration.
- Ease of Use: You should also consider how user friendly the dehumidifier is. You should ensure that the dehumidifier is easily movable and light weight for portability. It should have a humidistat with which you can control the humidity level you require. Also, in case of mechanical dehumidifiers, it should have a warning system to let you know when the storage tank is full.
- Maintenance: Like every other machinery, dehumidifier needs maintenance as well. Purchase dehumidifiers that are easy to maintain and repair. For larger dehumidifiers, a continuous water drainage system is recommended. It is much more convenient if one can connect a hose to the dehumidifier to remove the water using gravity or a pump; one will not need to empty the tank. Also, the air filter must be easy to remove and wash.
- Low-Temperature Capability: If you are using a dehumidifier in a place where the temperature is constantly below freezing then desiccant dehumidifiers are better options. This dehumidifier works independently of the temperature of the surroundings. If the temperature lowers occasionally then the heat-pump dehumidifier must have auto-defrost feature to prevent the water from freezing up in air passages. The danger of the freezing of water in the dehumidifier can damage it are you might have to invest in costly repairs.
- Price and Brand: The price of a dehumidifier can range from $200 to over a $1000. Buy a dehumidifier that adequately fulfills your needs and is cost effective as well, without compromising with quality. Look for dehumidifier sales and deals on dehumidifier to get fabulous discounts. In addition, the dehumidifier must be from a well reputed brand which have great customer service and which offer longer warranties. Make use of dehumidifier reviews to decide which brand you want.
The durability, strength and longevity of the dehumidifier are also some important factors to consider.
Recommended Brands and Models
Depending on where you will be utilizing the dehumidifier, this section summarizes the characteristics of some of the best dehumidifiers available in the market:
If you need dehumidification in only one or two rooms or office then you should get single room dehumidifiers. The dehumidifier can be placed in living room or bedrooms, so that your family can enjoy a comfortable and healthy life. The dehumidifier must be portable so that it can be moved from room to room, and also it must have low noise level. Use a silent office dehumidifier to provide your workers a comfortable environment to help them focus on their assignments. There are a number of great room dehumidifiers available in the market.
If the size of your room is large and the room is very damp then you should get large-capacity dehumidifiers, which have capacity of over seventy pint. Two of the best 70 pint dehumidifiers are Danby DDR7009REE and Frigidaire FAD704DUD both of which are cost effective and can be bought at the price range of $300 to $400. They have Energy Star rating and have noise levels of around 40 dB which will allow you to sleep peacefully at night. The humidity is adjustable and they have a great direct drain system as well, making the maintenance of the dehumidifier much easier. They also have low temperature capability. Soleus SG-DEH-70-2 is a great option as well with equally fabulous features. These appliances are also useful as office dehumidifiers.
For average sized room a medium-capacity dehumidifier will work. There are many remarkable medium sized dehumidifiers available. The capacity of these domestic dehumidifiers ranges from 25 to 50 pints. Soleus CFM40 and NewAir AD-400 are two of the highly rated buys. They both have a capacity of around 40 pints and cost around only $200 with the latter being slightly cheaper. Danby DD50P is a great option as well; however it is pricier because it has a capacity of 50 pints. All of these dehumidifiers have the required features including continuous drainage system, portability, Energy Star compliance and easy controls. They are quite compact and light weight too. These medium capacity units are also useful as garage dehumidifiers to keep your garage dry. Several brands also offer wall mount dehumidifiers that don’t take up any living space.
Many other manufacturers like DeLonghi, GE, Haier, Honeywell etc. have a great collection of cheap dehumidifiers. Using dehumidifier reviews, which are available online, you can compare the products from there well known brands and make a great decision.
If the numbers of rooms you need to dehumidify are greater than two then it is recommended that you should get whole-house dehumidifiers. These home dehumidifiers can be placed in the basement and connected with the existing heating and cooling system, so that the air in the all of the house passes through it and is dried and returned to the surrounding lowering the humidity level in the entire home. This will help you solve all your mold problems and provide you and your family with a healthy and comfortable environment to grow in.
These house-hold dehumidifiers have a capacity of around 90 pints, which means that they are very effective. In addition, you don’t need to worry about the noise they produce as they are placed in the basement. You also don’t need to maintain them regularly as they can be directly connected to your home’s current drainage system. They even don’t take up any of your living space either, and one does not require them to be portable. One of the best whole-house dehumidifier available is Aprilaire Dehumidifier Model 1750A. This product costs around $1100 and has a capacity of 90 pints. It can work at temperatures of 40 Fahrenheit and have low noise level. However this model hasn’t been rated by Energy Star, but the dehumidifier reviews mention it as being energy efficient. If you need a dehumidifier for a larger home then Williams Air Sponge Dehumidifier (DH 130A) is a great option to consider. It costs just around $1100, which means that it is quite inexpensive. It hasn’t been Energy Star rated either, however it has received great reviews for its power usage. Since the home dehumidifiers are quite expensive, you can get used dehumidifiers which haven’t been used for more than a year.
Purchase dehumidifiers for your home and get rid of the harmful effects of excessive humidity.
If as soon as you enter your basement the first thing you smell is musty and woody odors, then there must be mold or mildew growing in your basement. The mold can damage the things in your basement’s storage. In addition, the air in the basement can spread to the rest of your home leading to poor air quality in the entire house. The humidity levels are higher in basement then the rest of the house because of poor ventilation. Therefore basement dehumidifiers are an essential. The unit for basements must be low temperature dehumidifiers because the basements are the colder rooms in a house. Also, continuous drainage is a very convenient feature because you will not have to worry about emptying the tanks ensuring constant dehumidification.
Some of the best basement dehumidifiers to consider include Winix WDH871, Frigidaire FRIGFAD704DUD, and Whirlpool AD70USR. All of these products have a capacity of 70 pints and are energy efficient with Energy Star Qualification. The Frigidaire and Whirlpool dehumidifiers cost only around $250 and the Winix dehumidifier costs around $350. The Winix dehumidifier is more expensive, but it can work at a much lower temperature of 36⁰ F. All three of the dehumidifiers have all the features one can wish for, except the Winix dehumidifier is slightly louder.
The crawl space under your home can suffer from very high levels of humidity because of lack of ventilation. A dehumidifier is necessary for a very damp crawl space, as the moisture can cause increased growth of mold and it also attracts insects including termite. High dampness can also weaken the foundations of your home, because it causes the wood to rot faster. Crawl-space dehumidifiers must have better air filtering mechanism because this part of a house is generally dirtier.
One of the best recommended dehumidifiers available for larger crawl space is Santa Fe Advance 4029800. It costs around $1200 to $1300; however it has a large capacity of 90 pints. Many people state in dehumidifier reviews that this unit is very effective and energy efficient, and it has been given full ratings. It is quite costly and it cannot work for temperature below 50⁰F, but it can be a worthwhile investment because it is not too heavy on the electricity bills. For smaller crawl-space one can make use of room dehumidifiers to achieve optimal humidity.
Swimming Pool Dehumidifier:
It is very difficult to regulate the humidity levels in an indoor pool area and avoid molds there. Therefore, one needs a heavy-duty dehumidifier. To keep the water in the pool at comfortable temperatures it is heated, which cause rapid evaporation of water into air. The air also contains chemicals like chlorine which can be harmful for one’s health if breathed in excess and make the environment uncomfortable as well. To ensure that the quality of air in an indoor pool area is good one needs commercial grade swimming pool dehumidifiers.
According to dehumidifier reviews Hi-E Dry are one of the best manufacturer’s of pool dehumidifiers. The most highly rated models include 4030060 and 4030050. Both models cost around $3500 and have a capacity of 180 to 185 pints. The capacity is high enough to keep the surrounding of your indoor pool dry. These units also provide continuous drainage, which makes the very convenient and easy to use. Since the units for pools are very expensive, one can rent dehumidifiers to prevent excessive humidity when the pool is in use.
If you need a dehumidifier for a small room or closed space then small-capacity dehumidifiers will work well. For small rooms with lower dampness compact dehumidifiers with capacity of around 15 pints will be adequate. These dehumidifiers make use of thermo-electric effect to remove water from the air, so they are quiet. These dehumidifiers are portable, light weight and energy efficient. Recommended dehumidifiers for smaller areas are De’Longhi DEM10 and De’Longhi 180E.
For smaller spaces like bathroom, closet, etc. portable dehumidifiers are useful. They have capacity of around 1 pint and they are very compact, which means that they can easily fit into any small space. They make use of desiccant crystals in a plastic casing. The water vapors around the desiccant crystal are effectively removed. There are several disposable dehumidifiers available that make use of this mechanism. Once the crystal within the dehumidifier has become saturated the dehumidifier can be disposed off. Use these as your car dehumidifier during long family trips. There are also small rechargeable dehumidifiers available, which make use of desiccant material as well. They make use of the heat energy produced from an electric current to remove the water from the crystal to reactivate them. The recharging must be done after every four to six weeks for efficient dehumidification. These small units are useful as boat dehumidifiers and bathroom dehumidifiers. The advantage of using these dehumidifiers is that they are inexpensive, silent and they can work at any temperature. Some of the best non-electric dehumidifiers are offered by Eva-Dry.
Commercial areas like plants and warehouses may make use of machinery that releases water vapors in the surrounding, causing higher humidity levels. One needs to dehumidify these locations in order to protect the building structure and the goods it contains. Commercial dehumidifiers must be heavy-duty and durable and they must have the ability to work at low temperatures. Also, they should also have the ability to dehumidify larger areas. For many industrial applications one can order custom air dehumidifiers with design that is modified according to the needs of the plant.
For larger spaces Santa Fe Max Dry Dual XT Dehumidifier is one of the top rated industrial dehumidifiers. It has a capacity of 150 pints, which makes it useful for plants that have moisture producing machinery. For smaller commercial areas Ebac Triton Dehumidifier is a great option. It has a capacity of 50 pints and its greatest capability is to work at temperatures as low as 33⁰F.
Dehumidifiers manufactured by different well-known brands can be fairly similar in their specifications and characteristics. To choose the best from these seemingly identical options one should make use of the dehumidifier reviews and dehumidifier ratings, which will give you insight on the actual competence of a dehumidifier. Another way to differentiate between your options is to look if you can get the dehumidifiers on sale for cheaper prices.
Once you have chosen the dehumidifier, you can buy it online or at your nearest electronics store. Many online store offer great dehumidifiers deals; make use of the fabulous offers to get discount dehumidifiers. Get an outstanding air quality at home and office with your new air dehumidifier. If the dehumidifiers are well maintained they can serve you for three years to 8 years. If you need to replace your unit or dispose it off, recycle dehumidifier to conserve the already depleting resources on earth.