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Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Dehumidifier

Top Three Things To Consider Before Buying a Dehumidifier

Do I really need a dehumidifier?

Even if you don't have allergies, keeping your home environment at proper humidity levels is beneficial for everything made out of wood in your home like furniture, hardwood floors, and window frames. In addition, keeping humidity levels in bathrooms in check will save you from the time-consuming and often hazardous undertaking of cleaning mold and mildew from grout and shower stalls. The same is true of basements and crawlspaces where unchecked moisture can lead to major mold problems that require costly clean up and repairs.

The "greener" we've become the more we have realized the impact of indoor air quality on our health. Poor indoor air quality affects both allergy sufferers and those fortunate enough to be allergy-free. It's important to be mindful of what not to introduce into your home's air (for instance, chemical fragrances, unhealthy cleaning supplies, etc.); but it's equally important to address the underlying causes of some of the more natural indoor air pollutants like mold and dust mites. Dehumidifying your home is an excellent way to reduce both of these allergens.

Perhaps you live in a dry climate and don't think humidity is ever a problem in your home. But mold and dust mite allergen can proliferate anywhere there is excess moisture. Even damp under-the-sink cabinets or poorly ventilated bathrooms can host mold and mildew. These areas require proper dehumidification just as much as a basement in the deep South during the summer when the weather is persistently humid.

Lastly, just as humidification helps the dry air feel warmer during the winter months, dehumidification helps keep the temperature feeling cool during humid summer months.

In case you still have any doubts about needing a dehumidifier, let's summarize some compelling reasons to invest in a dehumidifier:

Dehumidifying protects furniture
  • Dehumidifiers cut down on mold and dust mite allergen
  • Dehumidifying the home guards against moisture damage to wooden furniture, floors, and other household items
  • Using a dehumidifier prevents mold and mildew clean-up projects that range from mildly inconvenient to dangerous and expensive
  • Dehumidification helps keep indoor air both clean and cool

How large is the space you need to dehumidify?

Answering this question is probably the first thing you need to do when narrowing down your search for the right dehumidifier.

Small spaces: If you are worried about moisture problems under the sink, in a small bathroom, or in a closet, a portable or mini-dehumidifier will do the trick. Some small-scale dehumidifying methods leave you with a bucket of water that you have to empty. And a container of water in a closet is not what we would call a good combination.

Eva-Dry Mini Dehumidifiers, however, are an excellent solution. The odorless, non-toxic gel they contain adsorbs moisture. As the unit fills, an indicator turns from blue to pink, at which time you simply plug the unit into an outlet in a well-ventilated area. The moisture is released as steam and the dehumidifier is good to use again!

Medium-sized living spaces: For regular in-home dehumidification (as opposed to water damage restoration or commercial applications), several different sized units are available depending on your dehumidification needs.

With good reason, Danby is perhaps the most trusted name in home dehumidification. The Danby dehumidifiers are extremely efficient at removing moisture from the air. They are durable, energy-efficient, and affordable. Choose from the Danby 70 Pint dehumidifier or the Danby 50 Pint Dehumidifier option based on the size of space you're drying.

Stadler Form and Soleus dehumidifiers are also exceptional options for similar in-home or single-room dehumidification needs.

Basements, crawlspaces, and whole house dehumidification: Aprilaire offers both portable units for use in basements or crawlspaces and whole house dehumidifiers that tie directly into your existing HVAC in either regular size or large capacity.

Ebac, Santa Fe, and Dri-Eaz dehumidifiers are suitable for crawlspaces and many other dehumidification applications.

Don't think that your air conditioning unit alone is sufficient for all your whole house dehumidification needs. Rather, especially during times of the year that may be humid but not necessarily hot enough to run your air conditioning (such as during early summer and late fall), you should consider the benefits of a whole house dehumidifying unit like the Aprilaire units mentioned above.

Special circumstances: When water damage occurs, problems with mold and mildew may be just around the corner unless affected areas are dehumidified quickly. We are proud to offer a sizable selection of Ebac restoration dehumidifiers, which are also appropriate for commercial use. Dri-Eaz Dehumidifiers are also an excellent choice for water damage restoration.

Go to our Dehumidifiers for Water Damage Restoration page for a full lineup of our offerings in this category.

How will you empty your dehumidifier?

There are two basic options when it comes to emptying your dehumidifier. First, you can empty water reservoirs by hand. Dehumidifiers that require emptying a condensate bucket shut off when they are full. To decide if this option is fine for you, consider your dehumidifying needs, where your unit will be, and your schedule. For instance, if your unit is small and in the bathroom, it's probably not a problem to empty it out when it gets full.

However, if your unit is in a humid basement that you rarely set foot it and the closest place to dump out the collected water is a ways away, this may pose a few issues: you don't want to run the risk of spilling water on the floor; if the unit is large, the reservoir may be heavy and awkward to carry; and if the whole process is inconvenient, you may avoid the task and your full unit won't run causing your air to become too humid again.

The second option is to port your dehumidifier which involves attaching a hose to your unit and connecting it to an existing drain. This is a great way to let your dehumidifier do its thing without you having to remember to check on and empty the water tank. For porting to be a viable option, however, the drain must be below the unit.

If this scenario is not possible, you can still port your unit, but you will need to use a dehumidifier condensate pump which will pump the water up so it can still empty into an existing drain. A condensate pump may also be used to pump water across a distance if the available pump is not nearby.

For answers to some commonly asked questions, see our Dehumidifiers FAQ page.