Dehumidifier

Dehumidifier Buyers Guide

One of the less expensive ways of decreasing humidity in homes and buildings is to purchase a dehumidifier. Humidity control all year round is important to improve air quality, protect building components, and prevent the growth of molds, mildews, dust mites, and other allergens.

Like all household appliances, there are so many dehumidifier brands, types, and sizes to choose from. Your device should match the space of your room and the scope of your moisture problem. You should consider personal preference, your living condition, and many other factors in making your selection.

Mold Growth: A Case of Moisture Accumulation

Humidity is the amount of water vapor or moisture from the air. An ideal indoor humidity ranges from 30 to 50%. High humidity can make you feel uncomfortable and can be dangerous when combined with hot temperatures.

Damp air can cause damage to construction materials, components, or systems through a number of failure mechanisms such as wood rot, corrosion, staining, delamination, mold growth, loss of insulation, dimensional changes, and freeze-thaw damage.

A threat to global health

Indoor mold and moisture is a society-wide problem, as emphasized by the World Health Organization in a 2009 report: “The most important means for avoiding adverse health effects is the prevention (or minimization) of persistent dampness and microbial growth on interior surfaces and in building structures.”

Certainly, there is no fungal growth without moisture. Like all living systems, the development of molds requires the availability of water. Note that molds do not need to be visible to affect you; these are microscopic organisms and can be present anywhere.

Fungal development is high in areas with (1) high humidity, (2) high water content, (3) plenty of organic materials like wood, paper, insulation, and cardboard. Wood and wood-based products are not the only materials susceptible to fungal growth. Molds can grow on painted surfaces, plasters, renders, and wallpapers.

Signs that your indoor humidity is too high

  • Musty smells in the house
  • Condensation on glass windows
  • Mold spots on ceilings or wall corners
  • Water level marks in the basement
  • Rotting wood
  • Recurring allergies

Dehumidification Explained

A dehumidifier is a home appliance that reduces and maintains the level of humidity in the air through a process called dehumidification. These simple machines effectively remove water vapor from damp air. High moisture content in the air can bring a number of problems:

  • Stress and discomfort
  • Assist in the proliferation of dust mites
  • Promotes the growth of mold spores
  • Accelerate the corrosion of metals
  • Reduce the effectivity of insulators
  • Stain surface finishes

Most dehumidifiers work the same way. The moist air is driven by a fan through the appliance, where it passes over a refrigerated metal coil. At that point, moisture is extracted from the air and is stored into a tank or drained away.

In some cases, kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans are enough to reduce humidity to acceptable levels. A typical air conditioner can also remove a certain amount of moisture out of the air, but dehumidifiers do it more efficiently. Home dehumidifiers remove between 10 liters and 50 liters of water from the air each day.
The effects of high humidity levels on your body

Have you ever wondered why humid days feel hotter than dry ones? The main reason is that humid air doesn’t carry heat away from your skin as well as dry air does.

Your body tries to eliminate heat and cool itself down through perspiration. In an ideal setting, the sweat evaporates, taking some of your body heat with it and you will feel a bit cooler.

But sweat cannot evaporate in an environment with humid air, as the air is already full of moisture and cannot hold any more water. In return, your body’s cooling process is slowed down and you feel hot and sticky.

So you don’t actually sweat more on humid days, your sweat just doesn’t evaporate. That is why it is best to use a dehumidifier in the summer, and a humidifier in the winter.

Humidifier vs Dehumidifier

Unlike a dehumidifier, humidifiers increase the moisture level in the air to prevent dryness of the skin, nasal passages, and other parts of the body. You need a humidifier if your indoor humidity falls below 35%. They are recommended during the dry, winter season and are often used in children’s rooms.

Humidifier – adds moisture to the air
DEhumidifier – removes moisture from the air

Different Types of Dehumidifiers

Desiccant or Absorption

Absorption dehumidifiers do not have compressor parts so they are lighter and quieter. They use absorbent materials or desiccants to extract water from the air and then heat it internally. They may include a heater and are able to increase room temperature by 3-5°C. These are useful in residential and industrial areas with high humidity and low temperatures.

Electric Refrigeration

Refrigeration or compressor dehumidifiers are the most common type of dehumidifiers. A small fan pulls damp air over a cold metal coil, which causes the moisture to condense. The droplets drip into a collecting space inside the unit (which needs to be emptied from time to time) or pumped through a drain. They work better in high temperatures so it’s best to use them during hot summer days.

Thermoelectric

This type removes moisture from the air using a fan and Peltier heat pump to create a cold surface where water can be extracted. It is quiet but has a low-efficiency rating. Peltier dehumidifiers are small and lightweight, but they are only effective in small areas like the bathroom or closet.

Factors to consider when buying a dehumidifier

Size

After deciding what type of dehumidifier you need in your home, it’s time to pick the size. The size of a unit is determined by it’s drying capacity or the total capacity to remove water. Capacity is often rated according to how many pints of water they can remove in 24 hours. Wet spaces need a dehumidifier with higher drying capacity. Medium capacity units are ideal for spaces that are not quite as damp.

Standard dehumidifier sizes

Small capacity – 30 pints
Medium capacity – 50 pints
Large capacity – up to 70 pints

Noise Level

Most dehumidifiers with compressors and fans typically make noise. But some models are advertised as having silent or quiet operation. These models are designed with additional insulation or a smoother-running fan to reduce noise. The average noise level for dehumidifiers is about 40 to 50 decibels (dB), closer to the level a refrigerator makes.

Energy Efficiency

If you want an energy-efficient appliance, look for the Energy Star label. Models that are qualified under the Energy Star program are constructed with more efficient components such as fans, compressors, and refrigeration coils. They can remove the same amount of moisture using 15% less energy. Another thing to check is the energy factor in the unit’s specifications; the higher the energy factor, the more efficient the unit.

Features You Might Consider

Humidity Control – lets you set a specific humidity level and the unit will automatically maintain it.

Automatic Shut off – if the drip pan is full and needs to be emptied, the unit will automatically switch off.
Caster Wheels and Handle – this mobility feature will make it easier to move the unit from one place to another.
Defrost – automatic defrost prevents damage from iced coils.
Auto Restart – automatically restarts the unit after a power outage–a useful feature if you are away from home
Air Filter – this optional accessory protects the coils from dirt and dust–choose models with removable and washable filter

Dehumidifier FAQs


Q: How do I measure humidity in my home?

A: You need a device called a hygrometer. You can find digital hygrometers for less than $10. You can also find tutorials on how to make a simple hygrometer (sling psychrometer), which measures relative humidity and dew point.

Q: What causes high humidity inside the house?

A: High humidity levels at home can be due to a lot of things such as drying laundry, showering, cooking, pipe leaks, and poor ventilation to name a few.

Q: Can high humidity cause health problems?

A: Although damp air in indoor environments does not directly cause diseases, it promotes the proliferation of house contaminants that can cause adverse health effects. Fungal growth or molds have been linked with upper respiratory diseases in children and adults. Dust mites and other allergens exacerbate asthma and can damage lung cells. Indoor pests like booklice, cockroaches, and springtails are also attracted to moisture.

Q: Can I use a dehumidifier in the winter?

A: You can use a dehumidifier at any time of the year. The only factor to consider is the level of humidity in your room. If you have high humidity even if the room is cold, you can run a heater for a few hours to make it easier for the humidifier to control the humidity. Dehumidifiers work best in temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q: Will a dehumidifier kills mold?
A: A dehumidifier does not kill mold but prevents them from developing by reducing humidity. Bleach and vinegar can remove small outbreaks of mold, but vinegar can better penetrate porous materials. Consult a qualified repairman for major mold infestations.

Our full list of Dehumidifier for 2019

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Our full list of Dehumidifier for 2019

#1 Vremi 1,500 Sq. Ft. Dehumidifier Energy Star Rated for Medium Spaces and Basements

Overview

Pros

  • Covers up to 1,500 Sq. Ft. of space
  • Controls excess moisture to get rid of mold and mildew  
  • Lightweight and portable so that you can leave it anywhere in the house  

Cons

  • The bucket may suffer from some design flaws  
  • Some units may also have working issues

bottomlinelogoBottom Line

Despite some of its shortcomings, the Vremi 1,500 Sq. Ft. Dehumidifier is still the best dehumidifier within its ranks, outshining every other product in the same price range and range of features. It mostly delivers on its promise of providing a great living space in our homes by getting rid of all the allergens we don't want in our homes. 

 

In the end, the Vremi 1,500 Sq. Ft. Dehumidifier is at the top of its competition, out-performing every other product in terms of removing excess moisture, working efficiently, having a portable design, and being easy to clean. By offering so many advantages, it can make customers forget about its flaws, and excuse it for the price tag that comes with it. Whether or not everyone agrees that this is the best dehumidifier out in the market, it is still our top choice for many reasons. 

#2 hOmeLabs 4,500 Sq. Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier

Overview

Pros

  • This large dehumidifier covers up to 4,500 Sq. Ft. of space
  • An auto-shutoff feature once the tank is full 
  • Removes moist, odor and other unhealthy things from your home

Cons

  • May have problems with collecting water 
  • May suffer from prematurely breaking down

bottomlinelogoBottom Line

The hOmeLabs 4,500 Sq. Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier could've had a shot at being at the top of its competition, but poor customer service paired with poor quality control has prevented this great dehumidifier from being the perfect addition to our homes. This company completely misses the mark on delivering excellent customer service by choosing to ignore their clients instead of helping them, which doesn't help the fact that some of their units are faulty. 

 

In the end, the hOmeLabs 4,500 Sq. Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier provides us with enough positives to keep it from sinking lower in the ranks of the best dehumidifiers of this year. With its excellent features and its capability to purify wide spaces, it can undoubtedly deliver fantastic results for those who get a unit that functions the way it should. 

#3 Yaufey 30 Pint Dehumidifier

Overview

Pros

  • Covers up to 1,500 Sq. Ft. of space
  • Combines efficiency and convenience  
  • Lightweight and portable so that you can leave it anywhere in the house

Cons

  • May not produce the same results from other products like it 
  • May not deliver its promised results

bottomlinelogoBottom Line

All in all, the Yaufey 30 Pint Dehumidifier is an excellent product that could've been made perfect with attention to detail. While it can give an exceptional experience for some customers, others feel that the product didn't deliver what it promised to them, which may lead to bitter disappointment. However, Yaufey counteracts this by providing 100% customer satisfaction guarantee and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee along with a 12-month free replacement and lifetime support. 

 

So it's not all bad since Yaufey proves to be customer-driven when it comes to providing some compensation should their products fail to satisfy needs. However, it is best if they concentrate on improving their quality if they wish for their customers to get anything but the best experience. 

#4 SEAVON Electric Mini Dehumidifier

Overview

Pros

  • Covers up to 1,500 Sq. Ft. of space
  • Small and compact so you can put it anywhere in the house   
  • Easy to use and clean

Cons

  • May have used false advertisement in some of its features   
  • May not always deliver the best results

bottomlinelogoBottom Line

The SEAVON Electric Mini Dehumidifier puts up a great performance in many ways. However, it does lack a few details, which is why it hasn't reached perfection. By neglecting to address quality issues, it isn't able to deliver results that sweep us off our feet, but for its price tag, it is an excellent alternative for people looking for a more affordable option. It's also not the worst thing you can buy since more expensive dehumidifiers do less than what the SEAVON Electric Mini Dehumidifier can achieve while they charge for money. 

 

In the end, the SEAVON Electric Mini Dehumidifier is still a product to look out for and should you see one, it's not a bad idea to pick it up. With excellent features and its compact design, you can take it anywhere with you to provide efficient dehumidifying on wet areas. And for $35 and the promise of a 2-year warranty, you're sure to get more than you lose, so why delay? Buy one now and see the SEAVON Electric Mini Dehumidifier experience for yourself. 

#5 Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier

Overview

Pros

  • Can serve multiple purposes thanks to its desiccant technology 
  • Perfect for drying your laundry 
  • Portable with an easy-to-clean filter

Cons

  • May have possible mechanical flaws that make it loud  
  • May develop issues over time

bottomlinelogoBottom Line

The Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier is a good attempt at a multipurpose dehumidifier that can serve to eradicate mold and mildew, deodorizer, moisture extractor, dryer for wet laundry, and a condensation regulator. But even with all its uses, it isn't able to hide its only flaw, which proves to be a significant problem as it resonates throughout our homes. 

 

However, given its many features, reasonable price tag, and excellent customer service, we can forgive this product's one shortcoming and include it as one of the best dehumidifiers of 2019. In the end, the Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier is a competent and versatile product that serves its purpose and more. Once Ivation catches up to customer feedback and provides a solution to its noise problem, there is no doubt it could be at the top of the list for the years to follow.