Dehumidifier Buying Guide
Musty odours. Dampness. Mildew. Condensation. None of them are pleasant, and some of them can actually be harmful to your home and your health. But they're all easy to manage with a dehumidifier. By choosing the right dehumidifier size, you can make a dramatic improvement to your home's comfort and reap the additional benefits of a healthier environment. Using a dehumidifier can help prevent musty odours, dripping pipes, warping wood, and mould that can aggravate asthma and allergies.
Dehumidifier work by pulling moisture out of the air. Inside of the dehumidifer is a small fan that rotates and pulls humid air into the unit. Once inside, the air passes through a cooling coil and is chilled. This causes condensation to occur, which is then released through a hose or into a bucket. The drier air is then released back into the room.
Finding the Right Humidity Level
Optimal relative humidity levels can change from day to day and season to season. In the summer, a higher relative humidity level can be quite comfortable, but in the dryer winter weather, the same level could cause condensation to form on your windows, because dry winter air cannot hold as much moisture. Although you can adjust the dehumidifier's level to suit your situation, you should feel comfortable if you keep the relative humidity at no higher than 50 percent in the summer, and as low as 30 percent in the colder months.
If the capacity of a dehumidifier is too low for the room, it may run too often, not remove enough moisture and drive up your energy bill. In addition, the compressor may fail sooner, forcing you to repair or replace the dehumidifier unit. Conversely, choosing a unit that is too large for the room may dry the air too much and adversely affect your health and home.
Dehumidifier Energy Benefits
A 40-pint Energy Star™ rated dehumidifier can save you approximately $20 per year in energy costs. This could add up to $200 over the life of the unit -- enough to pay for most of the unit itself.
Dehumidifier Features to Look For:
- Auto humidistat - Can help you save energy. It senses moisture and activates the dehumidifier only when it is needed
- Bucket full indicator - Tells you when the bucket must be emptied to keep dehumidifier operating at its peak
- Auto defrost - Prevents ice build-up on coils during low temperatures. This makes dehumidifiers ideal for basements, cellars and year-round use
- Energy Star™ rating - This is your signpost to energy savings
Be sure to keep the filters inside your dehumidifier clean. Check them every few weeks to see if they are dirty. Coils should be vacuumed twice a year if they get dirty.