humidity

Dehumidifier Buying Guide

High humidity can be a massive issue. Often, high humidity environments can create the perfect conditions for airborne pollutants like dust mites and mold to get established. These dangerous pollutants can impact on your health, especially if you have asthma.

One of the best ways to protect your family is by purchasing a dehumidifier.

This removes the moisture from the air,allowing you to control how humid the environment becomes. To help you choose the best dehumidifier for your family, we’ve put together this helpful buying guide.

How Do Dehumidifiers Work?

Let’s start by briefly look at how a dehumidifier works. The dehumidifier can be likened to a vacuum cleaner. It sucks air into the system and removes the moisture from the air. Then, it pushes the air back into the room. The excess moisture is then trapped in a tank underneath the unit. In addition, most dehumidifiers come with the ability to measure how much moisture is in the room. This allows them to controlhow much moisture they remove. This ensures that your house doesn’t become too dry.

Benefits of Using a Basement Dehumidifier

There are several reasons why you should consider investing in a basement dehumidifier. As we mentioned earlier, they can create optimal environments for mold. Also, many people choose to use the basement as a storage space for important materials, like books and magazines, which can be sensitive to humidity. In addition, a high humidity environment can damage any electronic equipment that you have in the basement. This environment might also cause some structural damage to your home, such as peeling wallpaper from the wall.  The basement tends to feel these effects most acutely. Often, because these areas lack ventilation, causing moisture to build-up.

2 Types of Dehumidifier

Though there are multiple models of dehumidifiers, they can all be broken down into two basic types, based on how they remove moisture from the room. These are; condensate and desiccant. The best model for your needs will vary, depending on your unique circumstances. To help you make the right choice, let’s look at both of these types and how they work.

Condensate Dehumidifiers

Condensate dehumidifiers are one of the best solutions for people looking for a way to remove a lot of moisture from the air rapidly. Though these units tend to be larger and slightly heavier than desiccant models, they compensate for this by being more affordable to run. Let’s take a closer look at how these devices work.

How Does a Condensate Dehumidifier Work?

This model works using refrigerated coils. The air is sucked into the machine, and run along the coils. As it does, the water vapor starts to get colder, causing it to condense.

Then, the water on the coils falls into a tank or an extraction line, to be removed. Free of water vapor, the dry air gets pushed back into the room. This process continues until the desired humidity temperatures are reached, then the machine stops.

Desiccant dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers are the second type of unit. There are several conditions that might be more suited to this type of dehumidifier. First, these units can be used in a range of temperature conditions. They tend to easier to transport and maneuver into position. Finally, these units tend to be slightly quieter to operate.

How Does a Desiccant Dehumidifier Work?

This type of dehumidifier relies on a silicone gel to remove moisture from the air. The moist air gets sucked into the machine, then it goes through the gel. This special gel has been designed to remove the water from the air. This absorbent material is kept on a rotating wheel.
When not in use, the desiccant material is heated, this removes water particles. One of the biggest benefits of this design is that it doesn’t have any consumable parts. This makes maintenance a lot easier and helps reduce running costs.

Signs That You Need a Dehumidifier

There are several potential indicators that you might need to consider purchasing a dehumidifier for your basement. First, you should consider whether the area has been ventilated properly.

There should be windows, which will allow the air to flow to the outside. Another common sign of high humidity is a build-up of condensation on the windows. In the summer, you might also notice condensation on concrete floors and walls.

The best way to check whether you need a dehumidifier is to measure the humidity levels. The optimalhumidity range is between 35 to 50 percent. If it’s over 60 percent, you should consider purchasing a dehumidifier.

Signs of Excess Moisture in Your Basement

After measuring your humidity levels, you should have a good idea of whether you need a dehumidifier. However, you should also inspect the site. This can provide you with further evidence about whether you need to purchase the dehumidifier.

When doing this inspection, you should keep your eyes open for warning signs like the carpet starting to deteriorate or the wall rotting. If not addressed early, this can cause significant property damage. In some cases, you might need to remove and replace the damaged wood. This can be a very expensive task.

You should also keep an eye open for mold. This can result in a mildewy smell and dark patches on the walls, which resemble water damage. If you spot this, you should make sure to take immediate action.

For example, if you are allergic or have a breathing condition like asthma, you might want to wear a mask in the area. You can try removing the mold by applying a baking soda solution to the area. You might also want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier, which will prevent future mold outbreaks from occurring.

Checklist Before Buying a Dehumidifier

There are several things that you should consider when you are considering buying a dehumidifier. By thinking about these factors, you will be able to choose a model that will suit your needs.

Noise

One of the most important things to consider is how much noise the device will produce. Getting something too loud can disturb you and your neighbors. Thankfully, most household dehumidifiers are designed to be fairly quiet. However, you should still check this area in the product specifications. If possible you should try to find something that is below 70 dB. This is the level where you can carry out a conversation without shouting. Most dehumidifiers should produce around 50dB.

Size

There are usually multiple sizing options for a dehumidifier. When deciding how large or small you want it to be, there are a few factors to consider. First, you should think about the size ofyour basement. This will determine the amount of power that you will require. Generally, the bigger the room, the larger your dehumidifier will need to be.

Also, you might want to think about the amount of space that you have available. In some cases, this might limit your dehumidifier options. You should also think about whether you want to install the dehumidifier permanently or have the option of moving it around.

Room Temperature

A third factor for you to consider is the temperature in your home. Some models might be better in certain conditions. For example, condensate dehumidifiers might not be as effective in colder temperatures, as the moisture starts to condense on the coils in the machine. When considering this aspect, you should look at the product specifications, which usually feature the temperature range the device was designed for.

Water Collecting

You should also make sure to think about how the water will be collected. Some machines might use a tank. Alternatively, you might want a dehumidifier with a drain hose. Which model you prefer will depend on your personal preferences. However, if you choose a tank, you will need to empty it regularly.

Special Features

Finally, some dehumidifiers might come with special features. For example, you might find one that can connect with your smartphone, allowing you to control it remotely. How important these features are will depend on what you are looking for in a device.

Features of a Good Dehumidifier

Now that we know some of the things that you should keep in mind before buying a dehumidifier, let’s look at some of the most important features to look for. This can help you separate one model from the other, finding which one is best for you.

A Pump

You should try to find a dehumidifier with a pump. This will significantly reduce the amount of maintenance that you need to perform, as the water can automatically get removed. This will also ensure that the dehumidifier can go for longer periods without you needing to maintain it. In addition, a pump gives you more flexibility about where you can place the dehumidifier, rather than relying on gravity to remove the wastewater.

Hose Drain Outlet

This is generally an optional feature in most modern devices. By choosing a device that has this feature, you will be able to attach a hose. This will let the water trickle through the hose and into the garden or sink. This will allow you to leave the machine running for longer.

A Filter Indicator

As your dehumidifier works, it sucks in air. This also means that it sucks in things like dust and airborne particles. In order to protect their internal components from damage, most dehumidifiers will have filters. However, over time these filters can get clogged up. If you continue to run the device with a clogged filter, it can overheat, damaging the dehumidifier. Thankfully, you can avoid this situation by choosing a device with a filter indicator. These warn you when you need to change the filters.

An Auto-Humidistat

This is another essential feature in your dehumidifier. It will detect how much humidity is the air and will only turn the device on when it’s needed. Having this automatic turn-off will prevent the room from getting dried out.

A Low-Temperature Setting

You should also think about how the device will perform at lower temperatures. This is something that you should consider if you want to purchase a condensate dehumidifier and you experience temperatures lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) during winter. This can significantly reduce how effectively the device will be able to work. Thankfully, most models seem to have catered for these circumstances, being able to work down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius).

Auto-Defrost

Even if it has a low-temperature setting, you should make sure to purchase a dehumidifier that will automatically defrost. At lower temperatures, the water vapor condensing on the coils can freeze, reducing the device’s effectiveness. If left unchecked, this can even damage the dehumidifier coils, causing the whole device to need to be replaced. The auto-defrost setting is able to sense when this is happening and take action. Usually, the device will be shut off, but the fans will remain on. By running air over the coils, the thawing process can go faster.

Auto-Reset

Finally, you should try to choose something that has an auto-reset function. This will return the dehumidifier to its previous settings if there is a power interruption, saving you from having to re-program the device. Considering that most Americans experience around 1.3 power outages each year, this can be a great way of saving you time.

Conclusion

Living in a high humidity environment can have a big impact on your health. As we discussed, it can increase the chances of mold becoming established, which can be dangerous for people with asthma. This environment can also impact on your property, causing damages like rot. To make sure that you protect yourself from these effects, you want to make sure that you purchase a dehumidifier. This will allow you to control the amount of humidity in your home, keeping it at healthy levels. Hopefully, you now know some of the factors that you should be looking for when you purchase a dehumidifier. So, purchase this device today and control the humidity levels in your home.

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