Dehumidifiers pull excess moisture from the air inside your home. Some moisture is preferred in interior environments (which is why you might run a humidifier during the winter), but too much humidity can cause a variety of problems. High humidity makes a space feel muggy and contributes to the sticky, uncomfortable feeling when the temperature rises. It also aggravates health issues like allergies and asthma. Excessive levels of humidity can also lead to mold and mildew growth. A portable dehumidifier lets you maintain an ideal level of humidity in your home.
How do I know if I need a dehumidifier?
Whole-house and window air conditioning units remove some of the moisture from your home's air, but if you live in a particularly humid climate, you might need additional help. Major signs of excessive humidity in a home are: condensation on the inside of windows (especially double or triple-pane windows), dripping or "sweating" pipes, peeling wallpaper, warping wood floors, and difficulty opening wooden doors or windows in the summer. If you're dealing with any of these issues, you could benefit from running a dehumidifier.
Small Capacity Dehumidifiers
Rated to remove 25-40 pints of moisture from the air per day. Best for small spaces that are damp, but not wet, and have a musty odor in humid weather. A good choice if you're looking to make the air in a bedroom or living room more comfortable.
Medium Capacity Dehumidifiers
Rated to remove 45-60 pints of moisture from the air per day. These are used for spaces that feel and smell wet, the walls and floors sweat, or seepage is present.
Large Capacity Dehumidifiers
Rated to remove up to 65-70 pints per day. These are used for large rooms or extremely wet spaces. A good choice for large unfinished basements that are prone to flooding or excessive seepage.
An air filter cleans the air that is being drawn into the dehumidifier. This helps eliminate some allergens from the air, but more importantly it keeps dirt particles from entering the inner workings of the dehumidifier, which can build up and affect the unit's performance. Look for a dehumidifier with a washable air filter, and remember to clean it on a regular basis.
Frost can form on the inner workings of a dehumidifier in temperatures below 65°F. An automatic defrost function turns the compressor off until the unit defrosts.
Auto-Restart is a helpful function that, in the event of a power outage, automatically turns the dehumidifier back on when the power returns. Great for basement dehumidifiers or remote locations like a lake house.
Caster wheels are typical on most dehumidifiers, and allow for easy transportation and portability.
Collection Tank or Bucket
This is where the water collects after being pulled from the air. Once a dehumidifier extracts enough moisture to fill the tank, the tank must be emptied. Nearly all dehumidifiers have an automatic shut-off feature, which turns the unit off when the collection tank is full to prevent water from overflowing.
A direct drain-off eliminates the hassle of emptying the collection tank, by allowing you to attach a hose to the dehumidifier and running it directly to a drain. This also lets the dehumidifier run constantly, with no breaks for water removal. A great feature for when you're away from he dehumidifier for long periods of time.
Like a thermostat in an air conditioning unit, a humidistat measures the humidity in the air and adjusts the dehumidifier accordingly. This lets you dial in the precise humidity level you desire.