Dehumidifiers help maintain the humidity in your home at optimal levels to improve the quality of air, but they must be correctly sized according to the needs of your home. If the capacity of the dehumidifier is too large, the unit will result in lot of power wastage leading to higher electricity bills. Larger capacity dehumidifiers are generally noisier; so you can cut down on the noise produced by your unit by using an appropriate smaller capacity dehumidifiers. On the other hand, if the unit is too small it may not bring the humidity down to the required levels. It will also have to work continuously reducing the life of the appliance. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you choose the right dehumidifier size for your home.
What is The Capacity of a Dehumidifier?
It is a measure of the rate at which the dehumidifier removes the moisture in the air. The rate is usually determined by determining the maximum amount of water the dehumidifier removes from the air over a 1-day period. The water volume is generally measured in pints. For example dehumidifiers rated with a capacity of 30 pints will remove this amount of water from the air in 24 hours.
Determine the Level of Dampness:
The appropriate capacity of dehumidifiers depends on the amount of moisture in the room where you will be using it. According to Energy Star you can find out the moisture level using this criterion:
Moderately damp (45% – 55%): space is considered moderately damp if the air has musty odors and sticky feeling only in moist weather conditions.
Very damp (55% – 65%): If the space feels damp and has moldy odors at all times and if it shows damp spots on the walls and floors then it is very damp.
Wet (65% – 80%): The space is ascertained as wet if it feels and smells wet and the walls and ceiling appear to be sweating.
Extremely wet( 80% – 90%): If there is a constant source of large amounts of water vapors present in the room like if laundry drying is done in it or there is water on the floor, then dampness level is taken as extremely wet.
Evaluate the humidity in your room using this criterion as the basis. You should also consider the environmental conditions outside your home. If the weather is wet, then your rooms will show signs of higher dampness. If you have a hygrometer available then you can measure the humidity level accurately; however it is not necessary.
Measure The Size of The Space:
To select the proper capacity dehumidifiers you must also consider the size of the targeted space. Use a measuring tape to measure the length and width of the space in feet and multiply them together to get the area in square feet. A low capacity dehumidifier in a large but less damp area may turn out to be extremely inefficient.
Use Sizing Charts:
You can find tables online that will help you determine the minimum required capacity depending on the area of the space and the humidity levels in it. Most commonly table from Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) are used. Get dehumidifiers with capacity a little larger than provided by the table to account for variables like climate and the number of occupants in your home.