What the best
- Large capacity. Consider the size of
the area needing a dehumidifier. Room size directly correlates to capacity; a
large room will need a large-capacity dehumidifier.
- Ample collection container. If you're
looking at a dehumidifier with a water collection container, consider its size.
A smaller container will need to be emptied more frequently.
- Humidity range. Dehumidifiers can be
set to the preferred humidity, ranging between 30 and 85 percent. Most users say
they prefer a relative humidity level between 50 and 60 percent to avoid mold
and mildew buildup.
- Fan speeds. Dehumidifiers that utilize fans sometimes have two speed options. The
slower speed is typically less noisy than the high speed.
- Automatic shutoff. Automatic
shutoff deactivates the dehumidifier when the collection canister becomes full,
a useful feature if you won't be available frequently to empty the unit.
- Automatic defrost. When used
in cooler spaces, the coils in dehumidifiers can frost up, rendering the
machine useless. Auto defrost helps to thaw the coils without human
- Full-container indicator. It can be
difficult to determine if the container is full, but some units offer indicator
lights to notify you when it's time to empty the unit.
- Automatic restart. Dehumidifiers are often used in homes to help prevent mold and mildew buildup
while vacant for extended periods of time. In the event of a power outage, auto-restart
will reactivate the machine after a power interruption when you'd otherwise
have to physically visit the property to turn it on.
- Low minimum temperatures. Depending
on where you intend to use the dehumidifier, you'll want to choose a model that
operates effectively at the lowest temperatures it will be exposed to.
Basements and crawl spaces, for instance, tend to have lower temperatures than
main living quarters.
- Energy Star rating. Dehumidifiers with an Energy Star rating operate more efficiently than
non-rated models. If you're dealing with an area with high humidity and will be
running the appliance often, Energy Star-rated models will save you money on
- Solid warranty. Be mindful of
warranty options when purchasing a dehumidifier. In general, dehumidifiers last
a few years, although malfunctions are possible.
How large is your space? Before
you buy a dehumidifier, you'll need to know the size of the space you intend to
use it in. This is particularly important for crawl spaces, where some units
may not fit. Dehumidifiers vary significantly in the square footage they can
effectively remove adequate moisture from, so choose a model with sufficient
coverage, or consider buying two units.
Will you want to move the dehumidifier? Sometimes, consumers
purchase a dehumidifier that they plan to rotate through different areas of the
home. If this is the case, heavy models aren't the most practical option.
Consider where you'll be using it, whether you'll need to relocate it up or
down flights of stairs and whether the dehumidifier you're considering is
designed to be permanently or semi-permanently configured in one place.
expectations: the dollars and cents of it
Dehumidifiers vary drastically in price from a few hundred dollars for
a standard appliance to well over $1,000 for professional-grade machines. The
amount you'll want to spend depends on the seriousness of your moisture
problem. If you have a larger space with a significant mold or mildew problem,
for instance, the investment in a high-priced machine can be worth it. Most
dehumidifiers last for just a few years, and warranties don't always cover
repairs. Consider the fact that you'll likely be replacing the machine within
several years before you buy.