A Buying Guide for Dehumidifier

By in Accessories, Buying Guide

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2018)


High humidity inside your house can be a problem as it can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. So it is essential to have a balanced moisture inside a home for your family’s optimal health and also for the house itself. When the humidity level rises too high or drops too low, a variety of problems can develop. Depending on the issue, you would need a portable or whole house dehumidifier.

whole house dehumidifier

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know to find the right dehumidifier for your home. You don’t want to end up purchasing any model and regret later, do you? A wrong dehumidifier will not solve your humidity problem, and of course, it will cost you money.

Dehumidifier Buying Guide:

Before we get too far into the discussion, let us introduce to the basic of a dehumidifier.

What is a Dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is a home improving appliance which is designed to suck the moisture from the air. It does quite the opposite of a humidifier. A dehumidifier is used to control the amount of moisture available in any given space. The reduction of humidity provides many benefits including human health and house foundation.

You can also read our article on best dehumidifier for basement for the list of top rated dehumidifiers.

Why Do You Need a Dehumidifier?

Above 50 percent of humidity or moisture can breed dust mites, mildew, and mold. It triggers allergies or other health problems.

Humidity can ruin your furniture, wall or other appliances. It is also responsible for the peeling, blistering, or cracking paint on the siding of your home. It rots the structure and ruin insulation. A dehumidifier can solve all these problems.

A whole house dehumidifier can take the damp of a basement and prevent a few other sticky situations.

Typically, the best dehumidifier for basement will do these things:

  • Provides more breathing comfort
  • Eliminates allergens
  • Removes excess dampness
  • It makes your air conditioner more efficient


There are two types of dehumidifiers: Portable and Whole-House.

portable dehumidifier

Portable dehumidifiers are for one particular area. It can be your basement, bathroom or crawl space. You will be able to move it from room to room quickly due to its portable design.

The Whole-house dehumidifiers can be integrated right into your HVAC.

There are three common types of home dehumidifiers:

  • Heat pump dehumidifiers
  • Chemical absorbent dehumidifiers
  • Dehumidifying ventilators

Each has its advantages as well as disadvantages. The size and category you need depend on the area of the space need to dehumidified and how damp or wet it is.

How Dehumidifier Works?

Dehumidifiers use a fan to flow air over refrigerated coils to remove moisture. It pulls moisture from the air and drips it into a tank. For that, it uses a compressor. The humidistat will show the humidity levels.

top rated dehumidifiers

A desiccant dehumidifier works differently than the compressor one. Sometimes, the only dehumidifier can’t control the humidity in your basement. In that case, you will need the best sump pump for the basement.

Things to Know Before Buying a Whole House Dehumidifier:

After the introduction of dehumidifier functionality, now we will talk about the things you have to look for before buying a dehumidifier.


Every dehumidifier releases heat; that’s how they work. Before buying a dehumidifier, you should test for the “heating effect.”

Dehumidifiers often produce tremendous amounts of heat with their exhaust fans. This heat can be counterproductive to house cooling systems. So you better check it out.

Size or Capacity

You need to make sure that the dehumidifier has the appropriate moisture removal capability. It will be based on the size and dampness of your basement.  For a damp area, a large capacity dehumidifier is better.

Dehumidifiers come in three different sizes based on their capacity. Small sizes are rated to remove 25 to 40 pints of moisture per day; Medium sizes remove 45 to 50 pints per day, and Large sizes remove 75 pints per day.

Here is the comparative review of dehumidifier based on the scale of the moist area:

  • 30-45 pint dehumidifier for 300 sq. Ft. area
  • 40-60 pint dehumidifier for 500 sq. Ft. area
  • 50-70 pint dehumidifier for 700-1000 sq. Ft. area
  • 70-90 pint dehumidifier for 1500 sq. Ft. area

Drainage Options

Portable dehumidifiers have a water tray which collects fluid that drips down from the coils. There is little chance that the reservoir will overflow and spill over if you forget to empty it. Because most of today’s dehumidifiers have an auto-shutdown feature, and some even have an indicator light to inform you the container is full.

Some dehumidifiers have what is referred to as a “continuous drain option.” It means that you can hook a hose up to the back of your unit and allow the water to drain directly out of your house. You can direct the hose pipe to a basement drain, a shower, a sink, a large bucket, or a sump hole. This option will ensure continuous moisture removal.

basement dehumidifier systems

Quiet Operation

The noise of a dehumidifier can be very problematic, especially if the dehumidifier is in or near your bedroom. Dehumidifiers with two-speed fans run quietly at lower humidity levels.

They also save on energy costs. So it is a good idea to test a dehumidifier’s noise level before you make your purchase.

Humidistat/Built-in Hygrometer

Without a built-in humidistat, getting the right level of humidity is very difficult. So it is wise to think about a dehumidifier with humidistat or built-in Hygrometer.

It will enable you to set the desired humidity level.


Other Features You Might Find Useful

Auto Defrost & Low-Temperature Operation

For a whole house dehumidifier in the basement, it is a good idea to find one which can operate at low temperature. The low-temperature dehumidifiers are best for basements in cooler climates. They will continuously draw moisture out at lower temperatures.

best dehumidifier for basement

Also, try to get a unit with an auto-defrost feature which prevents frost from building up inside the device. This will prevent the coils from icing up and allows the dehumidifier to resume removing moisture from the air.

Auto Restart & Shut Off

This feature will help in the case of a power outage. A whole house dehumidifier with automatic restart feature will continue operation when the power is back.

It will start up along with the previously programmed settings. So you don’t have to tinker with it all over again.

Auto shut off will make sure that the dehumidifier will turn off when the reservoir is full.


A dehumidifier with a built-in timer will allow you to control when the unit will turn itself on or off. It will help you to conserve some energy. These timers will enable you to set the unit to operate automatically within 24 hours.


Make sure that your portable dehumidifier comes with casters so it can be rolled from room to room. Also, a long power cord will enable you to put the unit anywhere you want it.

Final Word:

If you have a severe damp problem in your house, choose a whole house dehumidifier rather than a portable one. With the information we provided, now it will be effortless for you to choose the top rated dehumidifiers. This is a must-have home appliances in your home. For other types of home improvement products, read our review on microwave toaster oven combo.

Watch the video below to know more about how does a dehumidifier works.

Our buying guide is not the ultimate one, but we can assure you that we have gathered all the scattered information from all over the web. So we are confident that you’ll find most of the information you need for the damp basement solutions is right here.

Do you find the provided information helpful? Let us know through the comment below.


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