The 10 Best Dehumidifiers
10. Ivation Mid-Size IVADM45
9. Black & Decker BDT70
8. EcoSeb Simple DD322EA
7. Honeywell Energy Star DH70W
6. Friedrich 50-Pint D50BPA
5. Keystone Electronic KSTAD70B
4. Alor Air Sentinel HDi90
3. DeLonghi Energy Star 50 Pint
2. Pro Breeze
1. Frigidaire FFAD7033R1
Picking The Right Dehumidifier
If you live between the latitudes of 37 and 60 degrees North, then you live in a zone known to scientists and meteorologists to have a Humid Continental Climate. However, residents of many southern states will tell you that humidity is plenty prevalent there as well. And when humidity is at its worst during the summer months, interior air in these regions can become so damp as to be unpleasant or even unsafe. The only way to consistently remove humidity from the air in your home or office is to use a good dehumidifier.
The most basic component of your decision when it comes to choosing a dehumidifier is to know how much area you need the unit to cover. Don't worry, dehumidifiers are rated based on the square feet (or sometimes square meters) of area they can cover, so there is no need for a computation of the actual volume of air in the rooms in question. Unless your home or office has exceptionally high ceilings, you can generally achieve an accurate assessment of the coverage you need just by knowing floor area.
Once you know how much area you need your dehumidifier to cover, it's time to consider the various settings and features available on different models. If you want to allow a certain humidity level for comfort (or for the maintenance of indoor plants, a large cigar humidor, or for any other reason), then select a model that allows you to program the desired humidity level. Also, consider units with variable fan speeds and with timers, as these features can help you deal with the most humid times of the day, such as the early morning in many regions, and then reduce the power or turn off the unit before its reservoir is filled.
Many dehumidifiers can be set up to run indefinitely when paired with a drain hose. If your property gives you the ability to set up continuous operation, doing so is the best way to reliably reduce moisture in the air without the need for regularly emptying a reservoir.
Finally, remember that while larger dehumidifiers can handle larger areas, that doesn't necessarily mean one massive $400 dehumidifier is the best answer to dealing with your large, humid property. Instead, consider buying several smaller dehumidifiers that can be strategically placed about the home or throughout a suite of offices.
If you do choose a smaller dehumidifier, consider one with an indicator light that lets you know its reservoir is full. Many diminutive dehumidifiers operate so quietly as to be scarcely noticed, which is a bonus save for the fact that you may fail to realize they have ceased running once their tanks are filled, thereby inadvertently allowing ambient humidity to build up again.
Why A Dehumidifier Is An Important Appliance
Most people think the primary purpose of a dehumidifier is to maintain creature comfort in the home, office, shop, or school. And in most cases, this is correct: dehumidifiers make interiors more pleasant for people. But their function goes well beyond this purpose, as well.
It might come as a surprise to learn that one of the chief culprits for severe indoor allergies has nothing to do with pollen or dander, but is in fact humidity. Excess indoor humidity facilitates the growth of bacteria and dust mites that can greatly increase an allergy sufferer's symptoms.
Excessive humidity can also lead to the growth of mildew and molds, many of which can be quite hazardous to human health, with the young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems at the greatest risk of affliction. A dehumidifier can't necessarily do much to reduce mold growth that has already occurred, but it can create an environment less hospitable to new mold growth or to the spread of existing spores.
Beyond impacting human (and animal) comfort and health, excess humidity can damage carpets and wood flooring, artwork, photos, wall paper and paint, and more. By ensuring your home or offices are at a moderate level of humidity, you help to protect everything and everyone within.
Giving Your Dehumidifier A Hand
A good dehumidifier can do much to reduce the moisture in the air inside your property, but there's plenty you can do to help these devices out.
First and foremost, you must remove any sources of actual liquid water. This means drying up everything from a spilled glass of water to a carpet sodden after a flood. Using a good shop vacuum can do much to help suck up spilled water whether it's on tile, carpet, concrete, or any other surface. Inspect water pipes periodically to make sure they are not dripping or even actively leaking.
If your property has a central heating and cooling system, make sure that all vents are clear of obstructions, all air filters are clean and properly inserted, and that all ducts have been recently inspected to ensure they are in good working order. Your HVAC system is a great ally against humidity provided that it is running as intended.
Make sure that all other appliances that deal with water and moisture, such as your washing machine and dryer, are properly connected and, if applicable, are venting their heated, moist air out of the house or building. Also inspect the lines of your dishwasher from time to time.
One of the best ways to reduce interior humidity is also one of the simplest: provided it is not excessively humid outside, simply open as many windows and/or doors as possible now and then, allowing your property to circulate fresh air throughout its rooms. Make sure to have basement doors open during this airing out.