What to Look for When Buying a Dehumidifier


Dehumidifiers are commonly needed to keep the environment healthy and dry for people as

well as property. Standard air conditioning can take care of controlling moisture in the air for

some houses. But even in such houses, there may be separate dehumidifiers needed in

some rooms, e.g. the basement. There are various kinds of dehumidifiers available at

varying price points. The needs and environments for which people need to use

dehumidifiers also vary greatly. Because one size doesn’t fit all, it can be quite a challenge

to decide which dehumidifier is best for one’s requirements. In this post, we look at various

factors that are important for figuring out your dehumidifier preference.


One of the most important factors to consider is the area of the environment (normally

measured in square feet) to be dehumidified. If the area is too big for a dehumidifier, then

even the most expensive ones will not be able to effectively control the moisture levels. If

the area is too small for a dehumidifier, it can over-dry the environment and might be

relatively costlier to run overtime.


Another very important factor is the water removal capacity of a dehumidifier. This is

measured in the amount of water removed (in liters or pints) from the air in a particular

amount of time (generally measured for a day). The amount of water that can be removed

every 24 hours differs from one model to the other. The smaller dehumidifiers may remove

around 20 pints of water per day while the larger ones can extract up to 70 pints per day.


The next factor to be considered is the starting level of humidity in the environment. This is

the normal level of humidity present in the area being considered, before using a

dehumidifier. The higher the humidity, the greater the water removal capacity will be

required to effectively reach the preferred humidity levels. While considering the normal

humidities, it’s advisable to also look at the source of humidity in the environment. The

source of humidity should then be minimized or removed completely, if possible. Having a

constant supply of humidity in an environment can render the best dehumidifiers useless.


The above three factors are dependent on each other too and can be considered together.

A rough guide to how these factors may be looked in combination is provided below.


  • In an area less than 2000 square feet, with just a little starting humidity and

dampness, a small dehumidifier with a capacity between 18 and 25 pints (per day)

should be enough. In the same area, with too much humidity (easily visible signs and

the clear smell of wetness), a bigger dehumidifier with a capacity of around 35 pints (per

day) would be needed.

  • In an area, 3000 square feet, with a little humidity and dampness, a dehumidifier with

a capacity of around 35 pints (per day) would be required as the minimum. In case of

very high humidities, the capacity of the dehumidifier should be between 40 and 45

pints (per day).

  • In areas greater than 3500 square feet, the minimum capacity needed would be 40

pints (per day) and in case of high humidity, the dehumidifying capacity would need

to be 60 pints (per day) or more.


The next important feature to consider is the energy performance of the equipment.

Generally, the more expensive the dehumidifier, the more energy-efficient it is. But this does

not always hold true. One needs to look at the power consumption of the dehumidifiers in

watts, user reviews, and industry certifications. A common way to find this is to look for

Energy Stars qualification.


The remaining factors to consider when buying a dehumidifier are not related to the technical

performance of the equipment but are more of personal preference. One such factor is

how the water collected by the dehumidifier is removed. In some cases, the water container

has to be manually removed and emptied. In other cases, the water can be drained directly

using a drain pipe. Some of these dehumidifiers can also pump the water to be drained so

that the drain pipe can follow any path and water will be pumped out. The second factor of

individual preference can be the availability of handles and wheels for the bigger and heavier

dehumidifiers. While smaller dehumidifiers are portable, even the medium-sized ones can

be fairly heavy to transport. If portability is an important factor, then the availability of wheels

and handles can make a big difference.


These are the factors that should be taken into account when buying dehumidifiers. While

some factors and features are technically important, there are others that should also be

looked at for suitability for use in different environments. We hope this article helps you in

making a better buying decision when looking for the next dehumidifier.

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