Humidity is the number one risk to your family’s health and the value of your home. Humidity levels vary throughout the year according to the different seasons. While there is nothing much you can do to control the humidity levels outside, the humidity levels in the door can easily be controlled with a dehumidifier.
Most homeowners understand the use of a dehumidifier – which is to extract the excess humidity from the air, but it is also important to under the different features to look for when choosing the right dehumidifier. For most people, the home will feel comfortable when the relative humidity is between 45% to 55%.
Increased humidity in the house will the following health problems :
- Skin rashes.
- Respiratory problems/ difficulty in breathing.
- Muscle cramps.
- Eye irritation.
Most of these health problems occur because the increased humidity in the house creates the perfect environment for the growth of mold and mildew, increased bacteria and fungi, increased the number of dust mites and volatile organic compounds. All these are known allergens that can cause a variety of health problems depending on your immune system.
This post will provide you will unbiased opinion on all dehumidifier features.
- Capacity – The capacity of any dehumidifier refers to the amount of moisture(measured in pints) any unit is able to extract from the air within a period of 24 hours. When choosing a dehumidifier is if important to buy a dehumidifier with the right capacity.
The right capacity is dependant on the humidity levels and the size of your home. Typically most residential dehumidifiers are above 75 pints a day, while industrial size dehumidifier hasmochhigher capacity levels.
- Mode of the collection – the mode of water collection is also an important feature to consider.
There are mainly the dehumidifier water collection modes :
- Collection tray – most residential low capacity dehumidifiers have a collection tray where all the collected water is stored. Once the tray is full you will have to empty it. To avoid the collected water from spilling, once the tray is full the dehumidifier automatically turns off. Ensure you buy a dehumidifier with this auto shut off feature.
- Continuous drain via a pipe – some dehumidifiers are fitted with an automatic drains feature which allows collected water to continuously drain the collected water of the dehumidifier using a pipe on to a specified collection place. This feature saves time and energy because you don’t have to keep emptying the collection tray.
- Pump and a pipe – some dehumidifiers are equipped with a pump that pumps the collected water out of the dehumidifier to a pipe that pours the water out in a safe area. This feature is great for a basement or tight space dehumidification.
- De-icing and defrosting – when a dehumidifier is operating at low temperatures, frost and ice can form on the cooling coils. Auto defrosting features allow ensures that no frost is formed hence the dehumidifier remains effective. The anti-ice sensor allows the dehumidifier to turn off and warm up the coils to ensure once the dehumidifier turns back on, it’s able to efficiently extract moisture from the air. This is a must-have feature for anyone living in cold places.
- Auto-restart feature – power interruption is unavoidable, hence ensure the dehumidifier you buy has this auto-restart feature. This feature restarts your dehumidifier automatically and ensures that the unit maintains the users previously set settings. It will save you time and makes it easy abdconvient to operate a dehumidifier.
- Humidistat –humidistat provides accurate relative humidity reading. Buy a dehumidifier with a built-in auto humidistat for convenience, as auto humidistat will turn the dehumidifier on and off depending on the changes in humidity. This will ensure your device consumes less power hence your electricity bill will not increase.
- Portability – for residential use, we recommend you invest in a portable dehumidifier. This will allow us to easily move the dehumidifier from one room to the other depending on the humidity levels. A good portable dehumidifier will be fitted with strong carrier straps or cater wheels for easy movement from one room to the other.
It is also much cheaper compared to investing in whole house dehumidifier, which costs up to $2000, plus they must be professionally installed adding on to the cost.
- Duct dehumidification – a dehumidifier with duct dehumidification capabilities provides precise dehumidification. This ensures the dehumidifier is able to produce better results fast.
- Washable filter – it is important for you to buy a dehumidifier with an air filter. The air filter will improve the indoor air quality by filtering out all the mold spores, dust particles, and any other impurities in the air. To make the dehumidifier more economical ensure you buy a dehumidifier with a reusable filter. you would have to waste money replacing the filter every month.
- Noise levels – while most dehumidifiers produce some buzzing sound when operational it is important to ensure the noise is minimal. Check for the noise levels to below a rating of 50 decibels. This will guarantee your home remains comfortable.
- Desiccant dehumidifier –desiccant dehumidifier uses a drying agent to extract humidity from the air. This type of dehumidifier is the best for anyone in a cold place. As the dehumidifier will remain fully operational even in very cold temperatures. A desiccant dehumidifier is light, produce less noise, and consume less power compared to compressor dehumidifiers, however, they are more expensive.
- Mechanical/compressor dehumidifiers – have a lot of similar features like an air conditioner. Compressor dehumidifiers using a series of cold coils to condense the excess moisture in the air, then the air is passed over a series of hot coils to be warmed before it is released back into the room. Compressor dehumidifiers are cheaper, heavier, and more noise than desiccant dehumidifiers. The compressor makes this type of dehumidifier heavier and its operations can create noise. Compressor dehumidifiers remain most effective in warmer temperatures.
- Controls – most of the dehumidifier today, have electric controls and has a LED display screen that makes it easy for users to read the humidity levels and easily adjust the dehumidifier’s settings to be able to control the humidity levels. There are, however, a manual dehumidifier in the market that has a dial to adjust the setting. Check for electric control the dehumidifier might cost more but it will be a lot easier to operate.
- Remote control – a good dehumidifier should allow the convenience of adjusting the dehumidifier settings remotely from any room in the house. This makes it easy for you to change the dehumidifier setting without having to walk all the way to the dehumidifier.
There are additional features to consider while choosing a dehumidifier like :
- The price – not just the initial purchase fee, also understand how much energy the dehumidifier will consume, to ensure your energy bill remains within your monthly budget.
- Your family’s lifestyle – consider how much noise the dehumidifier will produce to as not to affect the comfort levels in your home.
- The climatic condition in your area – if you live in warmer areas invest in a compressor dehumidifier, while if you live in the colder areas buy a desiccant dehumidifier.
- Brand – there is over 20 dehumidifier brand out there in the market. Choosing the right brand is key, to guarantee you invest in an effective and durable dehumidifier. Spend some time researching the various brands, plus read the consumer review on the brands and models you are interested in.