How to choose the Best Dehumidifier?
Living in a damp environment can worsen your asthma and allergies. This is attributed to the fact that humidity levels beyond 50% contribute to the increased growth of mildew, molds and breeding of dust mites.
A dehumidifier is therefore, your best solution for drawing out the excess humidity and to ensure that your basements and crawl spaces are damp free. The dehumidifier has a fan to draw in the moist air over two sets of coils filled with refrigerants. The moisture within the air is absorbed by the coils and collected by dripping into a tank
Recent research on dehumidifiers has found that the highly priced dehumidifiers are not always the best ones. On testing different models, in our test chamber, we found that all of them exhibited adequate performance overall. However, some models came closer to the humidity levels set on the humidistat as opposed to others. They also differed in their consumption of energy and production of noise levels. The tests revealed that some models were more efficient at handling simulated power outages than others.
Hence here are some points to go through, before making your first dehumidifier purchase. You also can find the comparison chart of best dehumidifier for basement here.
Noise is a cause of concern especially in small living spaces. It was observed that most of the tested models emitted sounds in the range of 55 to 67 decibels when measured from four feet. In other words it’s like a bit between the sound of a loud conversation and that of street traffic.
2. New energy standards
On testing for energy efficiency most of the models scored high, owing to the new federal energy standards. This is beneficial as we can now enjoy an increase in savings of the operating costs, as compared to the older model dehumidifiers.
If your area is a large wet or damp space; say like a basement; then the large models are best suited for your needs. These models will be able to take care of the dampness quickly and efficiently. A large or a medium capacity model works well if a small or damp spot has to be taken care of. As per the industry, the larger model is faster in removing moisture, while the medium one gets the job done with less cycling.
4. Time of purchasing
Know you sale timings. While late spring and early summer times bring out the new model collection, promotions and sales commonly occur during the months of June to August. Fall and early winter is a season of close out deals. Therefore time your purchase to get the best deal.
5. Take care of existing problems
Sometimes, even the best model may be ineffective if there is too much of moisture seeping into your homes. The first step therefore, is to fix your existing problems.
Start by checking your gutters and drains. They should not be blocked and rainwater should be diverted away from the foundation of your house, to a minimum distance of 3 feet away using downspouts. Grade your property so that the rainwater can flow away from the foundation of your house.
The duct to your clothes dryer should have an outside vent that it is not leaking or blocked. Other measures include opening a window or using an exhaust fan while showering and wiping down or squeegee the walls after a bath. Use a range hood or exhaust fan while cooking and this should be directed outside.
There should be regular checks of the basement plumbing, to see for presence of leaks or condensation. Application of water proof coating on your walls once dried can do wonders for a damp basement. Silicone caulk is useful for sealing openings in your foundation and hydraulic cement is useful for sealing cracks.
Sump pump, installing outside drains and excavating and waterproofing exterior foundation walls are some solutions you might want to try out if your problems are extensive and more serious.
Dehumidifiers are categorized based on their capacity; that is the amount of moisture (in pints) absorbed within 24 hours. These are some of the models that you might want to take a look at:
Large capacity dehumidifier
They can dehumidify a large space owing to its capacity of 75 pints per day. They are programmed to deal with higher levels of humidity, have reduced noise emission and can also be adjusted to work at a “quiet or low sound setting”. Though costly these models are worth the cash spent.
Medium capacity dehumidifier
These have a capacity of over 45-50 pints of moisture per day and are best suited for both medium and large sized damp and wet areas. Though these models are also highly priced, on comparison with the large capacity models, it works out to be less expensive. This is the best dehumidifier for your home basement, take a look at these basement dehumidifier reviews for more details.
Small capacity dehumidifier
These are apt for small damp spaces rather than wet areas and have been reported to remove over 25-40 pints of moisture per day. As expected, these are the least costly models. See list small capacity dehumidifier here
Whole house dehumidifier
Reported to be capable of handling large areas (up to 3,000 square feet), they can be added on to the existing air conditioning or central heating system and is portable. The enhanced capacity of these models assists you with saving on air conditioning usage and therefore is a good purchase even if slightly expensive. See list whole basement dehumidifier here.
One important thing to look out for is the specifications of the dehumidifier. Though all of them come equipped with the standard features and specifications, some of them may have a few that makes it a better buy than the others. Here are some points to consider before purchasing a dehumidifier.
Automatic shut off
To avoid cleaning up after a overfilled bucket, choose a model that comes with an automatic shutoff option. With this facility, the unit is automatically switched off immediately once the tank is filled.
If you face frequent power outs, having an auto restart option is beneficial. This prevents you from having to manually restart the dehumidifier each time and is most useful if there has been a black out while you were out.
On and off switch
Avoid fiddling on the humidistat and use the on and off button to get your dehumidifier working.
These are especially useful when we are away at home. We can also program the timers to switch on the dehumidifiers at night time as it is less power consuming and cheaper than during mornings.
The buckets or tanks
Every dehumidifier should have an easy to empty tank or bucket, with 10-75 pints capacity. Inclusion of comfortable handles and covers also allows for easy carrying and emptying of the bucket when full.
An easy to clean, washable air filter is ideal in a dehumidifier.
User friendly controls
As compared to electronic controls that comes with the standard humidity level settings (normal, dry and very dry), the digital controls allows us to program a specific humidity level with percentage numbers.
To avoid wastage of energy, choose a model with a frost sensor. Chances of frost forming on the coils is high in places that are cool. These changes can be detected by the sensor, which immediately turns off the unit, resulting in saving energy as otherwise the unit would continue running without dehumidifying the air.
Connection of hose
If your dehumidifier is in a basement that has floor drain, then instead of emptying buckets, you can use the hose connector to directly divert the condensed water into your drains. If there are no floor drains you can still direct the water out the window or onto a slop sink or high drain by using a pump.
Wheels or coasters
These are specifically useful when it comes to maneuvering a heavy and large model.
If you want to know how to choose the best dehumidifier, then the following brands are the major sellers of dehumidifiers. Each one differs in their prices, features and sizes and can be compared using the following profiles:
GE line models are equipped with a capacity of 30-65 pints and include specifics like electronic controls, auto shut off and low temperature controls. They are Energy star qualified and are sold by online retailers, independent and regional appliances dealers and can be found in electronic stores and Walmart.
Sold at appliance stores, Walmarts, Targets and by online retailers; Haier models come equipped with LED displays, washable filters, auto defrost and Energy star qualified electronic touch- button controls.
Whirlpool dehumidifiers have models with capacities ranging from 25-70 pint; are Energy star certified and include features like electronic controls, continuous run mode and auto shut offs. Their prices range from $160 to $260 and are found at online retailers and independent and regional dealers.
LG has models that have a capacity of 40-65 pints, Energy star certified and equipped with the core facilities. They are found at Home depots, appliance stores and through online retailers.
Kenmore also has models with an Energy star qualification and is commonly marketed by Sears. These model dehumidifiers have a 35-70pint capacity, a built in pump, remote control and electronic controls.
Two other brands that have obtained a market share are Frigidaire and Amcor due to their placement in big box stores. While Amcor is available at Home Depot, Target and Best buys, Frigidaire is from Lowe’s and Sears.
And don’t forget, all of these top brands and how to choose the best dehumidifier is available right here at Amazon.