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Dehumidifier Shopping Guide
Imagine: You wake up, you’re not sniffling, you don’t have to take Zyrtec, and you can smell everything around you. No, you’re not dreaming...you’re just living a life with a dehumidifier. If you have allergies, you may not have considered a dehumidifier as a solution, until now.
Allergens like mold and mildew love water. If you’ve ever left clothes in the washer for too long, you were probably punished by the nasty, musty smell of mildew.
And then there’s mold. Mold grows best when surrounded by dampness, so bathrooms and laundry rooms are especially prone.
Let’s not forget about dust mites, which absorb water through their bodies to grow and live happy little dust mite lives in your home.
Where there is mold, mildew, and dust mites, there is sneezing, puffy eyes, and potentially respiratory problems like asthma.
Allergies aren’t the only reason to buy a dehumidifier. In your tool shed, you may have noticed rust forming on your wrenches or a bike chain. You can give your tools and other metals new life by removing the water hanging out in the air around them.
For a price range from under $50 to max out at $300, you can get a home dehumidifier that can solve these annoyances and give your space better air quality.
How to Find the Right Dehumidifier for your Home
Since dehumidifiers address environmental issues in your home, purchasing the best unit depends on your environment.
First, consider your geographical location and how humid the outside air is. You can live in a humid environment where frizzy hair is the involuntary trend, or you can be located in a dry environment where lotion is your best friend.
Whichever type of climate you’re in will determine the power and type of dehumidifier you’ll need.
When shopping for your new dehumidifier, you’ll notice models based on the quantity of water they can remove from a room at a time. For example, Keystone Energy Star has both a 50- and 70-pint dehumidifier, which is relative to the amount of water they can take out of the room’s air in a day.
The size of a unit does not necessarily correlate with these numbers. Instead, the more pints a dehumidifier removes, the more powerful its compressor must be.
Back to the climate differences: If you live in a drier climate, you may not need as powerful a unit that’s capable of removing 70 pints of water from the air per day. However, you will want a dehumidifier you can set to your humidity preferences. Since your body is already dealing with dryness, you may want to consider a unit that will shut off at a certain percentage of humidity.
For a dry climate, the Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier would be the cost-effective, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance option that you can control with the push of a button.
Dehumidifiers range from eliminating 9 ounces to 70 pints per day. This huge difference means it’s important to know exactly how much power you need for your home or space.
Colder vs. Warmer Climates
For some dehumidifiers to operate, they need to be in a space where the temperature does not fall below a certain number.
Homeowners whose rooms face extreme temperatures need to take this into consideration when purchasing a new dehumidifier. For standard home units, 65°F is the normal operating temperature in which you won’t need to consider specialty functions in your dehumidifier.
In colder spaces, take a look at low-temperature models. The Frigidaire 70-Pint can operate at 41°F, and other similar models will specify their low-temperature capabilities if they’re designed for it.
Other models have a defrost option, such as the Keystone Energy Star 50-Pint. If the room where your dehumidifier is located will be at a low temperature, like below 65°F or 18°C, this could cause the water to freeze within the dehumidifier, ultimately causing damage. With a defrost function, the unit takes care of this issue automatically, lowering the maintenance needed in a colder room.
Homes with warmer air typically do not need to consider this feature when making their selection.
Size of the Unit
The size of the dehumidifier itself does not correlate with its power. Along with the physical space it takes up in a room, the unit’s size has a lot to do with how much water it can store before needing to be emptied.
The water taken out of the air doesn’t just disappear — it’s collected by the unit and stored in the unit’s bucket or emptied into a drain if that unit has a hose attachment.
You’ll notice that some units feature continuous draining options, which means they can attach to a hose which spits the water out into a nearby drain. Without this option, the unit will stop any time its tank capacity has been reached, meaning that it will not continuously run without you emptying the tank.
Check out the water tank capacities of each model to ensure you’re not emptying your dehumidifier every few hours. Tank capacity can only be so big as the unit allows. The amount of water you’ll be emptying depends on how humid the space is. In the most powerful non-industrial units, 1.5 gallons of water is the max tank capacity.
Our top choice, the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier, can remove 70 pints of humidity from the air per day, but it can only collect about 1.6 gallons of water at a time. So, if you want to reach that potential of 70 pints, you’ll need to empty the water collection tank every few hours.
Luckily, Some Dehumidifiers Have Continuous Draining Options
Is the thought of emptying a water bucket every few hours making you reluctant to buy a dehumidifier? Well, stop your worrying.
Most units in our top picks have the ability to continuously drain the water they collect. They don’t come with a hose, but they do come with a hose attachment that is easy to set up.
Before buying a unit that has this capability, consider drain placement and where your unit will be. For a continuous draining option, your dehumidifier will need to be above the drain so gravity can do its thing and eliminate the water collection.
You’ll also need a place to drain that water, or you can consider running the hose to a condensate pump, which is a different appliance and expense altogether.
Continuous draining can make the difference between a high maintenance or low maintenance appliance, so if that’s a priority for you, then make sure your future dehumidifier has a hose attachment.
The World of Dehumidifiers is Yours to Conquer
You’ve now got the knowledge to pick out the perfect dehumidifier for your home. Just like real estate, it’s all about location, location, location with dehumidifiers. If it’s a jungle out there in your home, then dry it up. For those deserts, clarify just how much you want to dry it up. You deserve top-of-the-line air quality, so compare our top 10 dehumidifiers and breathe easier.
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