How to Pick the Right Dehumidifier

How do you find the best dehumidifier for your home? We'll explain. Read about what to consider when buying a dehumidifier.

Best Dehumidifiers: How To Find the Right Dehumidifier

If you find yourself in a constant stage of sweatiness and tend to wear your hair in a ponytail all summer long, you probably live in a humid area. While you most likely have an air conditioner to combat this, sometimes an AC alone is insufficient. And what do you do when it’s not hot outside, but your home still has that damp, clammy feeling?

Enter the dehumidifier: a small, portable device that has the power to suck that wetness right out of the air and leave you feeling cool and dry, and best of all with frizz-free hair. But with so many different sizes of dehumidifiers available, how do you know which one you need? Read on, so you can learn how to pick the right dehumidifier for your home.

What size do you need for your home?

When you see a dehumidifier’s size listed by the manufacturer, it will typically be listed in pints. This measurement, for instance, 50 pints, is an indication of the amount of moisture the appliance is designed to remove during a 24-hour period. This level of moisture removal can indicate how large of an area square footage-wise that it’s designed to cover. You can compare recommended square footage to the level of moisture removal to get a general idea of the pint requirements for your space.

What is the Overall Humidity Level?

While your room’s square footage compared to a dehumidifier’s moisture removal capacity can provide a basis for choosing the appropriate pint-size, there are other factors to consider when making your selection. You’ll also want to determine how humid your home is compared to how dry you’d like it to be.

Let’s define what we mean by humidity levels when describing your home.

Moderately damp describes an area that feels a bit moist on certain days, and you notice it has a musty odor.

Very damp describes a space that always feels moist and consistently has a musty odor.

Wet describes a room that feels humid beyond the point of just moist but feels outright wet when you enter it. You may also notice the floors or walls have a sweatiness to them.

Extremely wet describes an area, typically a laundry room or basement, that always feels wet, and the walls or floors sweat as well.

What Other Factors are important when buying a dehumidifier?

Once you’ve gotten a general idea of what pint-size you need, you’ll next want to consider if any of these additional factors apply to you and add them in when determining your overall required capacity.

  • Add 10 pints if your home is in a humid climate
  • Add 5 pints if multiple people live in the home
  • Add 5 pints if your home has multiple windows and doors
  • Add 5 pints if your washer and dryer are located near the dehumidifier

How to Dehumidify Your Home Environment

In order to retain the proper comfort levels for your home, you’ll need to keep in mind the relative humidity (called RH) that is recommended based on the season. For instance, during summer months an RH of 50% is the recommended level. During winter months, the RH can dip down as low as 30% to maintain proper comfort levels.

Once you’ve chosen and installed a dehumidifier, you’ll want to set its RH initially to 30% in order to stabilize your environment to the proper level. After it runs a couple of cycles, you can then select the level of RH that you find most comfortable for your home environment.

In order to keep your dehumidifier running properly, make sure to always keep your filter clean by checking it regularly. A dirty filter will hinder your dehumidifier’s performance by restricting its airflow and cause it to run inefficiently.

Also, make sure that your dehumidifier has unrestricted airflow so that it can properly do its job. A dehumidifier with top vents is able to sit flush against the wall. A rear or side-vented dehumidifier, however, will need to be placed 6 inches from the wall in order to fully circulate air.

So how do you choose the best dehumidifier?

Selecting the right dehumidifier is important in order to maintain a comfortable home environment. Using the above reference guide, you’ll now know how to choose the right dehumidifier for your needs, so you can stay dry and comfortable, regardless of your climate.

Resources— Lowes, Sylvane