- Our Updated Research on Choosing the Best Dehumidifier
- Impatient? Just Jump to our Best Dehumidifiers by Room
- The Right Amount of Humidity
- Dehumidifier Benefits
- How does a dehumidifier work?
- What types of dehumidifiers exist?
- Dehumidifier Capacities and Options
- What is the best dehumidifier for my space size?
- How much electricity does a dehumidifier use?
- How to choose the best dehumidifier
- Where to place a dehumidifier
- Best Dehumidifier for Each Room in Your House
- Is it Worth Investing in a Dehumidifier?
- Dehumidifier Research & Buying Guide (Part 2): Why is My Dehumidifier Not Working
- How to Clean, Maintain and Troubleshoot Your Dehumidifier
- Dehumidifier is not collecting water
Our Updated Research on Choosing the Best Dehumidifier
We've updated our research guide on the best dehumidifiers this year in order to help you find the appliance that will solve your issues most effectively. We hope along the way you also learn a bit about how dehumidifiers work, typical dehumidifier options, and solving the most common problems with your dehumidifier.
As always, we use the Mentor Methodology to conduct our research. That means we start with real problems - not just the end products - to determine what's the best recommendation for a dehumidifier. We hope you find this guide helpful!
Before we begin, here's a quick overview of what you will find in this guide:
- Do you actually need a dehumidifier? Breaking it down.
- How do dehumidifiers work? What are the options I should consider? And what is the right size device for me?
- Best Dehumidifiers by specific use.
- Troubleshooting dehumidifier issues.
Impatient? Just Jump to our Best Dehumidifiers by Room
If you're a "just give me the answers" type of person, this is your section. You can simply skip all the background information!
You can see a table of all our best dehumidifier choices, and links to the deeper reviews if you're interested.
And if you're still reading, then let's begin!
The Right Amount of Humidity
'Humidity is always relative' meteorologists like to say!
What is relative humidity? And how does it affect your indoor environment? Absolute humidity is the actual amount of moisture in air. But, in order to understand how the moisture affects you, relative humidity has to be considered.
Relative humidity is the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold. It is not just the moisture level in the room or outdoors, it also has to do with the temperature inside or out. If the relative humidity is 100%, that translates to the amount of water the air can hold at the current temperature. So if the temperature in your home is 75 degrees and the relative humidity is 80%, the air is holding onto 80% moisture at that temperature. If the temperature rises, the relative humidity goes up as well.
People are affected by relative humidity because our skin rids itself of excess fluid through the air. If you're sweating, the body is trying to cool itself by releasing moisture. When the air is too wet, or at 100% humidity in a room with a temperature of 75 degrees, it means the sweat will not be able to evaporate off your skin. This will make you hotter and more uncomfortable.
A temperature of 75 degrees will feel like 77 degrees with 100% humidity inside your home or office. With an inside humidity level of only 20%, 75 degrees feels like 72 degrees. (See the calculator here.) A lower amount of humidity in your home will help you feel cooler!
Also, when the moisture level in the air is high in your home, and the temperature cools down, the air will 'shed' water. You see this when a glass of iced tea is taken outside to humid, warm air. Condensation forms from the water being released by the air. Problems arise in your home, office, RV, or other indoor spaced when condensation increases. This is where a small dehumidifier is perfect for a small room or if you have too much condensation in your garage, you can purchase a dehumidifier for garages.
The suggested level of humidity in your home is 40 to 60%. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, recommends 30 to 50% moisture for indoor air. Indoor humidity levels over these amounts for a long period of time will increase the negative effects of high humidity in your home.
You need a certain amount of humidity inside to feel comfortable. But too much can cause havoc in many areas.
High humidity in your home can cause microorganisms and allergens to build up and thrive, making allergy sufferers sick. Humidity levels in excess of 75% will provide a thriving breeding ground for dust mites and other allergy culprits.
Damp air inside your living or working space will affect respiratory ailments like asthma, COPD- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and PH - pulmonary hypertension. The dangerous molds and fungi that exasperate these conditions grow freely in moist indoor air. Even people without these medical conditions, can suffer from difficult breathing if the humidity inside is over 75%.
Bugs love high humidity! When it's warm and humidity levels are 70-80% or higher, creepy crawlers and bug mites love to make their home in your living space causing an increase in spiders, roaches, beetles, fleas, and more.
The inside of buildings contains many building and décor products that are made from materials that contain small amounts of chemical contaminants such as formaldehyde. A process called 'off-gassing' happens normally as these small amounts of chemicals are released into the air. High humidity will increase the rate of off-gassing, increasing the toxicity of your air.
Electronics hate humidity. Condensation can cause corrosion on electronics and moisture can short circuits. This includes any electronics, which we all have much of in today's society: computers, televisions, cellular phones, tablets, and home security and comfort gadgets.
Viruses and bacteria do very well in damp, humid environments. Air that contains 60% humidity and above, can increase your chances of getting air borne illnesses in your own living space. A work office with high humidity levels is a mixture for danger when you add coworkers who are sneezing and coughing. Those bacteria and virus germs multiply and spread quickly in humidity.
WALLS and FURNITURE
Think about your walls and your furniture. Stains from excess humidity can indicate rot in the wall materials and wallpaper can peel from the dampness. Ceilings may end up with rings of moisture stains and too much humidity can distort furniture and make cabinets hard to close or chairs that don't sit flush on the floor anymore.
A dehumidifier provides quite a few benefits whether you use it at home or at your office. Homes may have damp basements or hard-to-reach crawlspaces that are prone to flooding and moisture buildup. Apartments are typically at the mercy of other units around them, and their tenants. Temperature changes in mobile homes or RVs may cause condensation. All are valid circumstances for too much moisture in your indoor air.
One side effect from moist indoor air can be odors that go with mold and mildew causing a musty or old, rotted smell. When the air permeates with these odors, you know the mold causing it is being breathed in and spreading throughout your home. A dehumidifier will greatly reduce or eliminate the mold hidden in dark, warm moist areas. Mold can also gather on curtains, draperies, in carpeting, and on your clothing.
People in the deep south-eastern states of America know how it's almost impossible to keep dry foods from becoming stale or worse, soggy when the humidity and hot temperatures of summer creep into your home. Breads will mold faster and cereals will become stale. A dehumidifier will create a safer environment for your family by keeping the moisture levels low and foods fresher.
Using a dehumidifier will also prevent germs from multiplying and spreading and will keep dust at bay to reduce allergens. Dust will float out of windows, can be vacuumed up, removed with dust rags, and be eliminated with a dehumidifier. Removing excess moisture from the indoor air prevents the dust from becoming moist and heavy and makes it easier to get rid of. You will find you don't have to clean as often also. Of course, less indoor humidity will reduce respiratory system irritants and allow you to feel more comfortable in your home.
Another great benefit of a dehumidifier is saving money on energy costs to run your air conditioning. Air conditioners may remove a bit of water from air, but not nearly as much as a dehumidifier. The condensation leaves behind excess water which flows into a collection area built into the dehumidifier or in the case of a whole house unit, through a hose and down a drain. Air conditioners run more efficiently when there isn't as much warm, moist air in your home or office. The air conditioner has to work harder to remove the moisture when air is damp. More energy is needed and the unit will likely wear out sooner.
According to your outdoor and indoor environment and regional weather, a dehumidifier can be a valuable and healthy asset.
How does a dehumidifier work?
But how exactly does a humidifier remove excess water and create more humidity in an area? It’s pretty simple, actually:
What types of dehumidifiers exist?
Before picking the best dehumidifier for your needs, you should know there’s a variety of different dehumidifiers available on the market. These include the following:
These are perhaps the most commonly bought dehumidifiers on the market, and work to cool and dry air before releasing it back into the room. There’s many style options, but most will actually take on the look of a miniature refrigerator.
Unlike a refrigerator model, the desiccant dehumidifier will use desiccant materials like silica gel to cool down the air before releasing it into the room. With this model, you can find tiny portable models to large commercial grade options, making it ideal for personal or business use. It can also work through incredibly low temperatures without the worry of freezing.
These are most commonly found inside of a home, as they well worth in small to medium sized spaces. They are a breeze to work; most just require the changing of water from time to time, which makes them ideal for the busy person who wants to get rid of excess water and enjoy more humidity throughout the day and night.
Dehumidifier Capacities and Options
What is the best dehumidifier for my space size?
300 Sq. Ft.
500 Sq. Ft.
700 Sq. Ft.
1000 Sq. Ft.
1500 Sq. Ft.
Keep these things in mind as well:
How much electricity does a dehumidifier use?
Every dehumidifier will differ when it comes to electric costs, and will depend solely on the size of the model and how efficient it is. A larger sized model may be more efficient, but it will cost more as it uses more electricity. To find out exactly what your cost will be, you can always check the label to see how much kilowatts the unit uses.
However, a basic overview of the running costs of the best dehumidifiers show:
- Dehumidifiers have an average cost to run of around 6 to 10 cents an hour,
- which equates to anywhere between $15 and $30 a month.
This number can skyrocket during the winter times, though, as it is used far more often, with a bill landing at around $50 a month.
To reduce cost of the dehumidifier, you can try the following:
How to choose the best dehumidifier
The two most important factors to consider when purchasing a dehumidifier is the size of the location it will be placed, and how damp the room is. A larger area that is extremely wet like a basement or crawlspace will need a large, 90+ pint dehumidifier, while someone needing a dehumidifier for their bathroom during the summer may only need a small, 30 pint unit.
Some of the other things to consider when buying a dehumidifier is the style that you and your space needs. You may opt for an energy efficient model to save on cost, or you may find that you need a dessicant style to ensure the unit will not freeze in the sub-zero temperatures found in your area.
1500 Sq. Ft.
Where to place a dehumidifier
Placement is key when you’re trying to get the most out of your dehumidifier. First and foremost, it’s important to note that a lot of systems will have an air discharge that is located on the top, so placement is less of a factor in terms of optimal production and should be put up against walls. However, if you do not have a unit with a top air discharge, you will want to make sure your unit stays away from walls and furniture so the air can circulate without any issues.
Make sure that the unit is never placed near electrical outlets or potential sources of dust, as this can cause potential danger and clogging to the dehumidifier.
Best Dehumidifier for Each Room in Your House
There are several locations inside of the home (or office) that will benefit from a dehumidifier. Knowing where you’re going to place your dehumidifier will ensure that you choose the best dehumidifier for the space you need, without buying anything too large for the space and moisture level, or buying something that isn’t large enough to benefit from the affects of a dehumidifier.
Room or Location
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Room or Location
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Some common places a dehumidifier is placed includes the following:
Is it Worth Investing in a Dehumidifier?
Yes! If you have a high moisture problem and mustiness in your home or office. Seasons, climates, and locations will affect the relative humidity of your indoor environment. Once you notice signs like mold, condensation on windows, water stains on walls or ceilings, or detect the musty odor of heavy, wet air, it's time to look into purchasing a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers are not loud and will not be a nuisance in your home or office. You'll hardly know it's there. The energy cost to run them is minimal versus the advantages. When you consider the benefits for your health, preservation of your home or office and belongings, the protection of the numerous electronic devices we live with, and the safety benefits for foods and even clothing, a dehumidifier is a practical and smart investment.
Dehumidifier Research & Buying Guide (Part 2): Why is My Dehumidifier Not Working
Starting to notice troubles with your priceless dehumidifier? Don’t fret. This handy guide will teach you how to handle all of the potential problems you may run into when dealing with a dehumidifier.
How to Clean, Maintain and Troubleshoot Your Dehumidifier
How to clean your dehumidifier
With all of the moisture that a dehumidifier traps, it’s a breeding ground for all types of mold and mildew. That is why it is extremely important to make sure you’re cleaning your dehumidifier at least once a month. This will also make it more energy efficient, which equates to a smaller bill on your side.
How do you tell if your dehumidifier is working properly?
The best way to know if your dehumidifier is working properly or not is to troubleshoot it. You should look for these specific signs. If you notice any of the following happening, you may need to fix your dehumidifier to make it run well and efficiently again:
Dehumidifier is not collecting water
Dehumidifier not collecting any water? There are several issues that may be causing the issue:
Dehumidifier is icing up
If you’re noticing that the dehumidifier coils continuously freeze up, these issues may be to blame:
How to fix a dehumidifier that is freezing up
The biggest reason a dehumidifier will freeze up is simply because it is in an area that is far too cold for it to function. Most dehumidifiers will work best in an area that is above 65 degrees. If you think that temperature is to blame (which is the cause in most cases) then you need to make sure that the temperature is high enough to avoid freezing in the future.
You should also ensure that there is adequate air flow throughout the unit. Fans can become clogged with gunk, so ensuring that the fan- and the rest of the unit- is cleaned properly at least once a month, you can have a better functioning product that is less likely to freeze up.
Dehumidifier fan is not working
If you find that the dehumidifier fan is not working, there are simple solutions to see if you can fix it at home. The easiest way is to ensure that nothing is blocking the fan or there is no grime buildup. Clean the fan and see if that fixes the problem. If not, you may need to purchase a new fan motor to get the unit operating again.