How to Choose a Dehumidifier – The ULTIMATE Guide

Dehumidifiers get rid of humidity in the air. Eliminating humidity might enhance comfort in your home, yet also helps keep the wood in your home from warping or swelling and prevents the buildup of mildew and mold in your home.

More often than not, dehumidifiers are used in the basements instead of above-ground living quarters.

How to Choose a Dehumidifier

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

Are your walls looking a bit damp? There are just a few things that can make your house unpleasant.

Whether there is moisture that comes from drying laundry or cooking inside or your building has a damp issue, both can lead to a dreadfully musty smell, mold growing on walls and clothes, and increased risk of respiratory illness.

Sorting out a major damp issue takes time so what can you do, then? A good solution is to buy a dehumidifier, an appliance which eliminates moisture from the air.

Dehumidifiers basically work in one of two primary ways.

First is through refrigeration, or cooling air to get rid of moisture with the use of the same technology as that of a refrigerator. The second one is through adsorption or absorption in which moisture is adsorbed or absorbed on a drying material before it is removed.

How Does Refrigeration Work

Moist and warm air gets sucked into the grille on one side of the unit.

The electric fan will draw the air inward. The warm air will pass over the freezing cold pipes wherein a coolant is circulating.

When the air cools, the contained moisture will turn back to liquid water before dripping down the pipes.

Since there is no longer moisture, the air will pass over the heating element that is similar to one in fan heaters.

It will then warm back up to the original temperature.

Dry and warm air will then blowback to the room through a different grille.

The air’s moisture will drip down to the collecting bucket or tray at the lower part of the machine.

The plastic float inside the machine will rise upward while the collecting tray is filled up.

Once the tray gets full, the float will trip an electric switch which will turn the fan off and switch on the indicator light which tells you that the unit requires emptying.

Adsorption and Absorption

Not all dehumidifiers work through refrigeration. There are some that work through mopping out the water from the air with the water-holding material then squeezing away the water to eliminate it.

This mopping action will involve either adsorption wherein water gets picked up from the surface or absorption in which the water gets soak into something.

So, how does this work? The moist air gets drawn in from a room by way of a duct.

Air will then move past a big rotating wheel that is made of a water-adsorbing material that gets rid of the humidity.

Air will be drawn by the electric-motor operated the fan. Dry air will then be blown back to the room.

The air duct below is maintained hot through the electric heating element.

A moisture-absorbing wheel will rotate through a heated space of air with hot air being blown past this which will be dried out.

Air will get sucked pass by the electric motor and fan. The wet and hot air will be blown out by way of an exhaust duct.

Knowing how a dehumidifier works will let you make the most out of your unit and experience the different benefits it has to offer.

Are Dehumidifiers Effective?

RH or Relative Humidity

Relative Humidity is a measurement of the level of moisture in the air that is relative to the moisture level the air can hold at that certain temperature.

RH of 50% means that air holds half the moisture it can at that particular temperature.

Warmer air can hold more moisture compared to colder air. The dehumidifier’s action reduces the RH or amount of moisture in the air without affecting the air’s temperature.

Elimination of Water

Through changing the water that’s in the vapor state in the air into the liquid state, dehumidifiers may accumulate the moisture for disposal.

A lot of effective dehumidifiers get rid of more water from the air.

In a study, it was shown that several dehumidification operations eliminated about 0.6L of water every hour of operation while some removed 0.2L every hour.

Operations of Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers convert moisture in vapor form to liquid water.

The water accumulates in the tank that’s dumped if necessary.

Operating dehumidifiers carefully is important. You keep your unit running through dumping water tank to improve the unit’s operational efficiency and avoid a shutdown.

Some factors include the capacity, model, and size of the dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers and Their Effectiveness

In a test done by experts, it was found that homes that have dehumidifiers had low basement RH or relative humidity compared to homes without dehumidifiers during all months except during winter time.

The levels of relative humidity on your home’s main floor weren’t affected during the time.

It was explained by better air circulation with outdoors occurring upstairs in comparison to the basement.

The humidity on the main floor followed the levels of outdoor humidity.

Humidifiers reduced the level of moisture in the basement’s wood from ten percent during the control period to between seven and eight percent once dehumidifiers were utilized.

The test also showed that more than fifty percent of homes saw lowered or improved RH levels due to installing a dehumidifier.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Dehumidifier?

<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>

Dampness may actually result in lots of problems and most of them are health-related.

If you’re allergic, triggers to allergic responses might be attributed to the allergens due to molds and mildew. Luckily, you can say goodbye to all of your problems by having a unit called a dehumidifier.

You can also read: Best Dehumidifier For Allergy Sufferers: EcoSeb DD322EA

The advantages of this unit are mainly health-related, yet it can also safeguard your property.

Dehumidifiers are an appliance that’s almost the same to air conditioners, yet these have two coils, which include the cold and hot coil.

The appliance works by extracting water vapor from the air, warms the air, and release it back into the room.

Typically, the levels of humidity of about forty-five percent are suitable for a comfortable and healthy living.

Thus, if the level of humidity is higher, dehumidifiers may help you regulate the levels of humidity.

Below are the wonderful benefits of using dehumidifiers:

Helps to Maintain Your Home Clean

Maintaining cleanliness in homes is guaranteed by the appliance’s presence in your home.

Dehumidifiers can clean the air around you, leaving air with a clean smell. Mold is more likely to generate bad odor in your home, yet mold can be prevented by using dehumidifiers.

The capabilities of dehumidifiers to filtrate air are enough to justify that air is free of any dirt particles.

Dust-free air isn’t only safe for breathing, yet also establishes a good fragrance, leaving your home with a sense of neatness.

Dehumidifiers Let Your Households Last Longer

Household items that are made of wood like furniture are exposed to decay under high levels of humidity.

Windows and door frames and hardwood flooring are also exposed to decay when the air around your home is actually filled with water vapor.

So, dehumidifiers may come in handy to decrease the property’s deterioration.

Mold growth on clothes, furniture, curtains, and some items in your home is reduced immensely through the use of dehumidifiers.

Aside from that, it prevents rust and corrosion of appliances and electronics with metallic parts that are present in your home.

Helps to Take Care of Your Health

High level of humidity in your home will nurture the growth of mildews and molds that lead to unwanted health complication to you and your family.

If someone in your family might be suffering from some complications like asthma, their overall health condition would be posed to risk.

With dehumidifiers in place, you can be assured that you will always have a clean and neat living environment since your appliances eliminate the presence of bacteria and some microorganisms that might pose some health risks.

Dehumidifiers also make your home comfortable in various ways.

You will be able to get rid of the musty smell and you can control allergies, asthma symptoms, and some complications that are related to one’s respiratory health.

Dehumidifiers have more to offer. With those listed benefits, you can never go wrong with your investment on a dehumidifier.

Just make sure to provide it with proper care and maintenance to get the best results.

Are Dehumidifiers Safe?

There will always come a time when you feel as if the air around you has become too humid or a bit musty.

If this happens, it can feel very uncomfortable and, this is when a dehumidifier can come in handy.

Dehumidifiers are the home appliances meant to lower the humidity levels or reduce a room’s musty odor.

This helps get rid of as much amount of water in the air as possible in order to dry the things surrounded by the air.

A dehumidifier basically works through extracting water from the humid air in rooms or enclosures. This is then disposed of either in the form of vapor or liquid.

Dehumidifiers are available in different types depending on how they work.

A few examples include thermal condensation dehumidifiers, ionic membrane dehumidifiers, and absorption dehumidifiers. But, are dehumidifiers safe to use in the first place?

Leaving Your Dehumidifier Running for an Extended Period of Time

It takes a long time for running dehumidifiers to do their job effectively.

Similar to dry washing, it can take around 2 to 4 hours.

There might be a need to leave your dehumidifier on low setting for long hours to maintain the moisture levels and air quality in your home.

If this happens, you are probably worried if it is safe to leave your dehumidifier running for several hours.

Dehumidifiers use a minimal amount of electricity and are designed with built-in safety features to keep you protected if it tips up or overheats.

These units have also been designed to be used for long hours.

Once the water tank gets full, an automatic switch off will function. It stops the unit from using any electricity or from working until its water tank gets emptied.

A dehumidifier also comes with tilt safety features. This means that when the dehumidifier tilts, it will automatically stop itself from operating to keep you safe.

These appliances are also equipped with protection from overheating. When the motor gets overheated, the unit will turn off itself until it becomes safe to start working again.

You can also read: Is It Safe To Leave A Humidifier On All Night?

Is the Air from Your Dehumidifier Safe?

Dehumidifiers have an integrated filter operation system that helps clean and purify your air.

Once the air gets sucked into the unit and moisture is filtered, the air will be blown out cleaner and filtered.

So long as you take proper care of the filter and you clean it on a regular basis, you can expect to enjoy having clean and safe air circulating in your home.

When you purchase a dehumidifier, most brands come with a filter coated in an antibacterial solution or layer.

You can get new filters with antibacterial properties to help with air quality.

The antibacterial property can wear off in time but you can still achieve it by simply replacing the filter.

Washing the filter with water is not recommended because it can decrease its antibacterial properties.

Instead, just dust it off lightly using a clean cloth or you can hover it lightly to get rid of dust.

Needless to say, dehumidifiers are safe, and you can make them much safer with proper and regular care and maintenance.

What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need For My House?

If you have decided you would like to purchase a portable dehumidifier, the first thing that you would probably ask yourself is about the size of the dehumidifier that is best suited for your needs and home.

Answering questions about dehumidifier’s size are simple only if you have the right information.

Dehumidifiers – How Are They Sized?

The size of dehumidifiers is basically determined by the total capacity to get rid of moisture.

Capacity is actually rated in the paints of moisture eliminated daily or twenty-four hour period. Thus, for instance, once you see 30-pint dehumidifiers, you are looking at the model rated to get rid of thirty pints of moisture daily.

The capacity of the dehumidifier shows how big of a space will it cover in square feet. Thus, if you know the area’s square footage you want to dehumidify, you may get an idea of the capacity you’ll require.

Where Do You Like to Use a Dehumidifier?

The first thing you should do before you launch a full-blown search for a dehumidifier is measuring the area you like to put it in.

You have to work out the area’s square footage. It can be done by multiplying the length and width of your rooms. Therefore, if your place is twenty feet long by ten feet wide, it is 200 sq ft.

It is crucial to know as many companies that use square footage as your guide in dehumidifier sizing.

There are numerous power settings for the dehumidifiers and you do not like to end up getting the one that’s very weak or too powerful for your needs.

A good way to measure the level of humidity in our room is by looking around your space.

Check in the corners and furniture for mold growth, pick up the soft furnishers and feel how damp these are and smell the air for damp musty odor.

Added Features and Extras to Think About

There are several good additional extras that come with the dehumidifiers and all of them are worth checking.

In a garage or basement, you like a device that works at low temperature and some come with a de-icing feature to ensure they work effectively and efficiently.

If you have a dehumidifier that’s too powerful for your room’s size, get one that has a built-in humidistat.

This will monitor the moisture level in the air and uses the dehumidifier once it reaches a particular pre-programmed level.

Not only it will save you money, but also it would provide peace of mind that your room would always be at the right humidity.

Finding the best size for your dehumidifier does not need to be challenging.

The next time you are wondering what size of dehumidifier you need, just follow those things mentioned above. Start by measuring your room, check the moisture level, check the capacity, and some extra features.

With these things in mind, you will be able to make the right choice for your needs.

Where Is The Best Place To Put A Dehumidifier In A House?

Dehumidifiers work by extracting moisture from areas of your home where the humidity level is high.

By controlling the moisture level in the air, dehumidifiers protect the building’s structure and make the spaces much healthier and comfortable.

A stand-alone dehumidifier provides flexibility in their placement so they can be used in places where excess moisture can be a problem.


Basements are a perfect location to place dehumidifiers.

Most basements are wet or damp because of humidity from the surrounding soil.

A low water table also contributes to the moisture levels in your basement.

Placing dehumidifiers in your basement lessens moisture, which could damage the structure of the home.

Also, it reduces the level of moisture, which fuels the growth of mold.


When homeowners run the hot water in the bathtub or shower, the humidity will be released.

Several bathrooms lack windows or exhaust fans, which enable the humidity to dissipate.

Without enough ventilation, excess humidity may cause paints to bubble as well as the mold to grow.

Dehumidifiers placed in bathrooms help in the room’s ventilation and reduce too much moisture.

Placement Within the Room

A dehumidifier needs clearance for the air to flow out and in of the unit. They also have to be plugged into an electrical outlet. In a big room, place your unit near the moisture’s source.

In smaller rooms, the central placement is perfect. For best results, keep the windows and doors to the rooms shut.

Dehumidifiers must be placed in the areas where accumulation or buildup of moisture seems to be an ongoing concern or where there are limited ventilation and absence of air conditioning, fans or windows.

When working properly, dehumidifiers may help get rid of moisture, smell, and some accumulated airborne issues such as mildew, mold, and smoke.

Kitchens, basements, closets, laundry rooms, bathrooms, and some enclosed areas where moisture may collect are the spaces where too much moisture could wreak havoc on furnishings, flooring, walls, and appliances.

Both bigger and small dehumidifiers may be placed in any of those mentioned locations to eliminate the buildup of moisture and deter mildew and mold growth.

Talk to the Experts for Best Results

If you are not sure on where to place your dehumidifier at home to get the best results, a knowledgeable expert will help you determine the space that should be covered and the best size appliance for good distribution within an area or room.

You can also ask about the perfect brand and model suited for your unique needs and budget.

You can find dehumidifiers in various stores.

You can even shop online if you don’t want to go out and just want your unit to be delivered to your home.

However, if you want to check the unit personally and get help from the experts about the right unit to buy, make sure to choose the service providers who are known for their good reputation and would offer you nothing but great quality dehumidifiers.

What Is The Best Humidity Setting For A Dehumidifier?

The setting of the dehumidifier shows what size dehumidifier you require.

Dehumidifiers used in a big basement, for instance, should be bigger than dehumidifiers used in a small laundry room or bathroom.

First and foremost, know the square footage of a room where you’ll use a dehumidifier to ensure you know what best humidifier to buy.

The dehumidifier’s size used should also be based on the level of moisture in the area you like to dehumidify.

For instance, basements that feel a bit damp and has musty odor would require smaller dehumidifier compared to a basement with the same size, which smells and feels wet and has sweat walls. In areas where you have issues with mold growth, you will require a bigger dehumidifier.

Best Dehumidifier Setting to Control Humidity

If you have a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth in a home, you need a unit with a dehumidifier setting to control humidity.

This setting enables you to choose the exact level of humidity you like in your house.

To avoid mold growth all other associated health issues, humidity in a home should stay below fifty percent humidity.

Good dehumidifiers must shut off automatically when the humidity in the room drops below your selected amount. It must automatically turn back on when the humidity starts rising.

Not only it will keep humidity in your house constant at your preferred level, yet it’ll also save on energy and save you more cash on electric bills.

When choosing the best dehumidifier for your unique needs, you must also look for one on which the humidity setting of the dehumidifier can be controlled easily.

You would want a dehumidifier with easy to use controls.

Looking for the Best Dehumidifier in Your Home

When it comes to the size of a dehumidifier, it means how much moisture level your dehumidifier will get rid of the air. This is actually measured in pints.

Majority of the companies that make dehumidifiers provide several various sizes.

For instance, there are 30-pint dehumidifiers, 50-pint dehumidifiers, and 70-pint dehumidifiers.

The dehumidifiers used in a big space or damp space should be bigger than the one used for small spaces that are not very damp.

Selecting the right size dehumidifier is crucial for the reason that if you have chosen the one that is very small, the results won’t be satisfactory.

You do not like to select the one that is bigger than what you require since bigger dehumidifiers basically cost more than the smaller ones.

When you are considering the different sizes of dehumidifiers available in the market, you have to control the exact humidity level in a house and to control this easily and considering the efficiency of various brands of dehumidifiers.

The right dehumidifier used in any setting can be any brands as long as you have chosen the brand you trust.

You can purchase online or in local stores. If you are confused with the options, ask for assistance from the experts.

How Long Do You Need to Run a Dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is installed and used in homes or rooms with high levels of moisture.

Most of the time, moisture levels of around 30% to 50% are comfortable. Levels above or below this percentage can lead to some problems to both the occupants and the house itself.

High moisture levels also serve as breeding grounds for mildew and mold. When your dehumidifier runs excessively, there are several things that can be done to reduce the operational time.

Eliminate Sources of Moisture

Make sure that your outdoor environment has been sealed off from getting inside and remains outdoors.

Keep all doors and windows close every time your dehumidifier is running.

Put some door and window seals to openings to avoid the moist outdoor air from getting inside. Install and utilize a bathroom vent fan for exhausting air laden with moisture during hot showers and baths.

If your dehumidifier is located in the basement, seal and caulk all vent and pipe openings even when they exit underground.

Air from outside will still find small open spaces and get inside.

Choose the Right Unit Size for Your Room

Small dehumidifiers will need to work much harder to eliminate the moisture when its size is too small for the room.

Bigger units can also pass more air across their cooling coils.

Less use of energy is possible when there is more amount of air dehumidified within a short period of time.

Bigger units will cycle less often when there is enough flow of air across the machine.

No Hard and Fast Rules

The truth is that there are no strict rules when it comes to the length of time that a dehumidifier should run per day.

All dehumidifiers have been rated according to the water amount that the unit manages to remove on a daily basis.

Most of the time, the ratings are in the form of gallons or pints. When the unit doesn’t shut off, the amount of moisture present might be higher than what the unit can eliminate from the air.

Simply put, dehumidifiers are only designed by their capacity to remove moisture and they will never go beyond the set capacity rating.

You might want to measure the water amount removed in a period of 24 hours to know if your unit is efficient enough.

Preventive Measures

You will know the moisture percentage by checking the dehumidifier’s control knob settings.

Ensure that the air vents and coils are also free of any debris or dust. There might be a need to use your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment to maintain the cleanliness of the vents.

Replace your older dehumidifier unit with a newer and more energy efficient model.

Units installed in basement areas should be rated for basement use. Underground spaces tend to have lower temperatures.

Most dehumidifiers cannot operate lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are special units manufactured which can operate in the lower temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Such units don’t freeze over.

As long as you need to remove moisture from the air, you can keep your dehumidifier running without worries.

How Long Do Dehumidifiers Last For?

Dehumidifiers are special appliance units that get rid of moisture from the air.

The number of years that your dehumidifier can last is depending on different factors, such as the local weather conditions and climate in your area. Dehumidifiers tend to work less effectively when used in colder temperatures.

Homeowners with energy-efficient and well-sealed houses have a bigger need for dehumidifiers since the air filled with water vapor stays trapped indoors.

On the other hand, draftier houses tend to experience better ventilation, thus naturally lowering the levels of humidity.

Life Expectancy of Dehumidifiers

Experts have estimated that a dehumidifier can have an average lifespan of 8 years.

Residential units that are consistently used in typical operating conditions can last for 3 to 5 years.

These numbers have been based on the findings of surveys conducted among researchers, trade associations, and manufacturers.

Factors That Influence Life Expectancy

The frequency of using your unit is among the main determining factors which affect how long your appliance is going to last.

A unit that is in constant use and one that is not properly matched to the size of the space you are trying to dehumidify is going to experience greater wear which can potentially shorten their lives.

Aside from the mechanical failures and defects, some other reasons why you might want to replace your dehumidifier include the design for a more efficient and more silent model, or the need to upgrade to a unit with better or more features.


Choose a dehumidifier with a size suitable for the room you like to treat.

Dehumidifiers have a varying capacity. The smaller units can eliminate 25 up to 30 pints of water from air for every 24 hours.

The medium sized units can get rid of as much as 45 pints and can do well in places like kitchens.

The biggest units can remove 50 up to 75 pints which make them great for places with wet conditions like garages. There are also whole house units that you can find in the market.

Life Extensions

For you to extend your unit’s life, experts recommended waiting for a minimum of 10 minutes prior to turning on your dehumidifier again after you turn it off to allow the equalization of pressure in the unit’s refrigeration system.

Install the dehumidifier in a place which allows proper airflow around the machine.

Maintain and understand the appropriate relative humidity indoors for conditions and temperature.

Trying to eliminate all the moisture from the air could be very damaging to wood, make humans and pets uncomfortable, and lead to undue wear on the dehumidifier.

Machines which run on a constant basis may need maintenance, have a defect, or may also be in a wrong setting.

Moisture Reduction

Take off some burden from the machine through decreasing moisture indoors in several ways.

You can use some ventilation fans in places where greater use of water causes moisture buildup in the air like kitchens, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.

If the weather is good to keep the windows open.

You can also install a central air conditioning or heating unit that can treat the air in your living area.

Dehumidifiers can last for many years, and you can further lengthen its lifespan through proper care and maintenance.


If you have doubts about the effectiveness of dehumidifiers, you might want to research more about these units and find out if it is what you are looking for your needs.

There are numerous types of dehumidifiers you can find in the market.

If you find it hard to choose the one that would benefit you most, select the one that is equipped with features and functionalities that will keep the level of humidity in your home.

You can also ask around for recommendations or suggestions. You can read forums or other articles regarding how dehumidifiers work.

If you don’t want to choose the wrong unit for your needs, ask for assistance from the professionals or your preferred unit provider. In this way, you will be able to make most of your dehumidifier.