Choosing the Best Dehumidifier

If your dehumidifier is running all the time, it's not doing its job. How do we know? If your dehumidifier is set to turn off when the space is dry and it never turns off, then the space is never dry. Alternatively, if your dehumidifier has a collection tray that fills up every 12 hours and you replace it once a week, then it's never running (and it clearly needs to be!)

There's a lot to look for when shopping for a dehumidifier. Read on to learn about five key areas that make a dehumidifier great.

  1. Your Dehumidifier should be Powerful Enough

    One of the most common frustrations that basement and crawl space contractors hear about is that a homeowner purchased a dehumidifier, and while it's running all the time, the area is still damp.

    Purchasing a second dehumidifier seems like an option, but having two dehumidifiers run at the same time is going to be a very inefficient solution when it comes to energy usage. Instead, start off with a 100-liter model that can assure that the moisture in the space is being pulled out effectively. 25 to 40-liter models, such as the ones found in many hardware stores, are simply not what you need to keep the space dry.

  2. Find an Energy-Efficient Dehumidifier

    There are a few dehumidifiers on the market right now that include an Energy Star rating, but those few are definitely worth finding. The best ones on the market can use a third or less of the energy of a conventional model while proving just as powerful for keeping your crawl space or basement dry.

    If energy usage is a concern, you may also wish to find a dehumidifier that allows you to adjust your energy usage to a specified level. This way you can set it to full blast if you want maximum comfort savings on your heating or cooling bills, or you can adjust it to simply make the area dry enough to protect your belongings.

  3. Install a Self-Draining Dehumidifier

    A cheap home dehumidifier's collection tray will fill with water approximately every 12 hours. This means that to keep your basement dry with a dehumidifier like this, you'll have to empty your collection tray 14 times every week. However, if you're like most homeowners, you eventually fall into a routine where you empty it only once per week. If this is true, it means that your dehumidifier is only working 7% of the time, and 93% of the time it's just sitting in the basement. What good is that?

    If you value your time and energy, one of the most important features on your dehumidifier should be whether or not it can drain water by itself. Dehumidifiers can be set to drain to a sump pump naturally, or a condensate pump can help send the moisture to a sink or through the home's rim joist. Regardless of the option used, this will make your home dehumidifier system enormously more convenient and effective.

  4. Your Dehumidifier should include an Air Filter

    If your goal is to kill mold by removing humidity, it makes sense to take it to a new level. While a dehumidifier's air filter should not replace a specially designed air filtration system, a filter that can remove mold spores and dust mite waste from the air can be a big help. The better dehumidifiers can also include an odor filter, which can help to remove any musty smells or other odors present in the space.

  5. Duct your Dehumidifier into the Finished Space

    If you're finishing your basement, the last thing you're going to want to see is a basement dehumidifier sitting in a corner of the room. Avoid this problem by purchasing a dehumidifier than can be stored in a closet or unfinished portion of the basement and ducted into the other space. To accomplish this, the dehumidifier must have a powerful blower to keep the air circulating around the home.

    If you're finishing the basement, it's a good idea to make sure it's waterproof before beginning the work. Even a small flood can ruin carpeting, drywall, and personal possessions in the space. A little preparation before hand will make a big difference.

Learn more about basement waterproofing.

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