Best Dehumidifier – Reviews & Comprehensive Buying Guide
Summer is here, accompanied by the sticky heat and perspiration. The high humidity levels and soaring temperatures can crack even the toughest of people. The air is so thick with moisture that you can cut it with a knife! And you just cannot get rid of the sweat no matter what you do. We’re all familiar with the agonies and troubles of the sweltering heat, when staying indoors is pure torture and outdoors is hotter than the deepest pits of hell!It is an absolute nightmare for people living near the equator and tropical areas. This is where dehumidifiers come into the picture sucking out the moisture from the air so that the place goes from damp to dry in minutes!
Does a trip down to the damp and dingy basement fill you with a sense of dread? Does the laundry room feel suffocating? And not to mention the bugs, bacteria and mildew that thrive on in the corners. If this feels like a familiar scenario then maybe you need to reconsider the central temperature regulation system of your house. A dehumidifier helps in purifying the air and removing the dampness. Let us delve deeper into the many uses and perks of a dehumidifier followed by some of the best dehumidifier brands available in the market.
Best Dehumidifier - Our Picks
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Best Dehumidifiers in the Market
There are many brands that have launched their dehumidifiers in the marker. It will be extremely overwhelming and time taking for you to consider the pros and cons of each dehumidifier. Therefore we have compiled a list of the top brands and products in the market:
What is a Dehumidifier?
Dehumidifier as the name suggest reduces the humidity in the atmosphere. In most cases it is not the heat but the high moisture content in the air that causes perspiration. And the dark dingy rooms of the house that don’t really get much of sunlight are more prone to this dampness. Similarly, crawl spaces and attics are also prone to serious humidity issues (and the mildew and fungal growth on the walls). A dehumidifier is a machine that sucks out this moisture from the air, it cuts down about 50% of the water content leaving the atmosphere lighter, drier and much more pleasant. Read on to know more about the intricate workings of a dehumidifier
How Does It Work?
It is well-known fact that hot air absorbs more moisture and humidity levels as high as 60 to 70% can be quite uncomfortable. The job of a dehumidifier is to bring down the humidity to a standard 30 to 50% (anything below that is considered too dry.)
Dehumidifiers use built-in fans to shift the air over cooling coils (refrigerated, copper or rotors coated with desiccants) that result in condensation; these coils in turn suck the moisture from the air and collect it in a tank. Some dehumidifiers also use a thermoelectric technology for reducing the moisture content. The water collected in the tank is distilled and can be used in a steam iron or in your car battery (though it not fit for drinking). The higher the humidity levels, the more powerful the dehumidifier should be.
Why Are Dehumidifiers Necessary?
Dampness and high humidity levels are not only uncomfortable but is also a major threat to the overall solidity of your house. It can weaken the foundations or damage the electronic appliances, central electric installations and wiring of your place. Moisture is also fatal for wooden furniture and often triggers termite infestations and rotting. Even metal is not spared, the iron rods and floorboards are gradually corroded and become brittle. The damp patches in the walls, creaking floorboards and rotting furniture are among the few signs that signify high humidity levels in the area.
High moisture content in the air can even lead to some serious medical issues such as viral infections, breathing problems and sleep apnoea. Dehumidifiers reduce the water content in the atmosphere helping you breathe better. It also cleans out the air, killing all the microorganisms.
Factors to Consider
Dehumidifiers are a blessing for people living in humid climatic zones. However, before you choose a dehumidifier, there are a lot of factors that you must keep in mind. These factors depend on your requirement and setting of your house. Some of these factors are mentioned below:
The space where the dehumidifiers will be installed is of utmost importance and plays a huge role in deciding the kind of machine you’ll buy. Excessive noise can be a major concern in the bedrooms and other residential spaces. And large scale dehumidifiers are surprisingly quiet but occupy more space while smaller versions though compact can produce quite a lot of noise. The dehumidifier must be compatible to the living space and blend in with the surroundings. For instance, basement and crawl space dehumidifier models are designed to fit small spaces and work in comparatively lower temperatures.
The Energy Efficiency
Another factor that you must consider is the energy efficiency and power consumption rates of the dehumidifier. Now, the size of the machine is directly proportional to the amount of power it will consume, this means, larger dehumidifiers though more powerful would require more energy to function. Go for a dehumidifier that saves on power without compromising on the performance. This not only has a positive impact on the environment but also cuts a lot on your electricity bills every month.
Moisture level of the place is another major determinant in deciding the kind of dehumidifier you’re going to buy. Also the size of the dehumidifier decides its moisture retaining potential. Larger dehumidifiers with bigger tanks and stronger motors can retain more moisture than smaller machines. Also larger dehumidifiers work quicker; they can reduce the dampness and dehumidify a place faster than a small one. They are more competent to deal with high humidity levels of the whole house. However, if you need to dry a smaller area with low moisture content, then a smaller dehumidifier would be a better option.
Check for Other Plumbing Issues
High humidity levels often cause more damage than a few damp spots on the walls. Leaks and clogged drains are among the most common effects of moisture filled atmosphere. Even the best dehumidifiers may fail under such circumstances. Therefore before you invest in a dehumidifier it is necessary that you take care of the overall plumbing of your household. Repair the leaking ceiling and seepages, clean the pipes and unclog the drains before you install a dehumidifier.
Types of Dehumidifiers
Now that you know the purpose and advantages of a dehumidifier, let us look into the many types of dehumidifiers and the many functions that it performs.There are a lot of factors to consider before you buy a dehumidifier (mentioned below). Listed below are the different types of dehumidifiers,
- Domestic dehumidifiers (desiccant dehumidifiers and refrigerated coil dehumidifiers)
- Portable dehumidifiers
- Whole house dehumidifiers
- Large, medium and small scale dehumidifiers
- Basement and crawl space dehumidifiers
Domestic dehumidifiers are especially designed for personal use and can be divided into two major types namely Desiccant and Refrigerated Coil dehumidifiers. The refrigerated coil system works on the principle of condensation- it blows air over a set of refrigerated coils that in turn convert the hot air into water droplets that is collected in a container. Most dehumidifiers automatically replace the water in the tank for increased efficiency and higher moisture extractions. But in the case of Desiccant dehumidifiers, the hot air is passed over a motor that contains a desiccant material to absorb water. There are two fans set on either side of the machine to transfer the hot air from the room to the rotor and back.
Portable dehumidifiers are those that can be easily moved from one room to another. The compact and lightweight framework of the machine can be easily manoeuvred throughout the house and works wonderfully on removing the damp patches on the ceilings, walls and curtains. Portable dehumidifiers focus on comparatively smaller areas and if pretty effective in cutting down the moisture from the laundry room, attics and bathrooms.
Whole House Dehumidifiers
Whole house dehumidifiers on the other hand are better suited for users who want to regulate the overall temperature of the entire household. They are larger and hence have more power capacity to cover more surface area. Whole house dehumidifiers are installed in the central air conditioning system or can be integrated into the central vent of the house. This allows the machine to access all the nooks and corners of the house.
Large Medium and Small Capacity Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers can also be classified on the basic of their power and water retaining potential. The size and moisture content of the room decides the intensity of the dehumidifier. A large capacity dehumidifier can cover a wider area and produces minimum sound. They are known to absorb about 75 pints of moisture per day. Medium capacity dehumidifiers are suited for average sized spaces with normal humidity levels and can absorb up to 45 to 50 pints of moisture every day while small capacity ones work on small spaces and absorb about 25 to 40 pints per day.
Basement and Crawlspace Dehumidifiers
Excessive moisture levels in the basement and crawl space can create a big nuisance for the entire household. A basement dehumidifier helps you get rid of the moisture in the dingy corners of the house. They can work in low temperatures and cover a relatively larger surface area than any conventional defrosting equipment. On the other hand, crawl space dehumidifiers have a horizontal design and are best suited for compact spaces.
The Advantages of Installing a Dehumidifier
The ill effects and discomfort caused by humidity is well- known. Dehumidifiers come with an extensive range of functions that heavily impact the overall atmosphere of your place. Check out the major advantages of using dehumidifiers.
High humidity levels often become the breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that can cause infections. Also, moisture laden air hampers breathing and may cause sleeping disorders such as sleep apnoea. Dehumidifiers protect you from such infections and diseases.
Effectively Reduces the Moisture Levels
A damp humid place is uncomfortable and gives out a foul stale smell.Excessive moisture and dampness affect the wooden furniture and metal furnishings in the house. Dehumidifiers solve this problem ensuring a more comfortable stay
Boosts the Functionality of the Air Conditioner
Dehumidifiers are pretty effective at cooling your house this not only reduces the load on the air conditioner but also reduces your electricity bills! Thanks to dehumidifiers, you can regulate the temperature of the house better
Controls the Growth of Bacteria and Other Allergens
Dehumidifiers cleanse the air and reduce the moisture levels considerably. This automatically kills the bacteria, mould and mildew thriving in such humid climate. The extra air filters attached also purify the air effectively controlling the allergens.
The Water Collected Can be Re-used
The moisture or condensed water collected in the tank is in distilled form. This water can be used in charging car batteries or in steam irons, although the distilled water is not fit for human consumption. You can even use a small scale dehumidifier for blow drying wet clothes.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Dehumidifier?
Mentioned below is a checklist of sorts that defines the basic criteria required in a competent dehumidifier. Check it out:
Size, Shape and Power of the Dehumidifier
The size shape and power capacity of the dehumidifier must be ideally suited to the location you’ll install it in. For instance go for a compact dehumidifier if you want to dry a smaller area. The overall framework and design also determines its storage. A large dehumidifier though more powerful might be difficult to install and occupy more space as compared to a smaller or medium sized one. Most dehumidifiers also come with an air filter and bins that can be easily dried manually.
The user friendliness and ease of operation are perhaps the most important of features that a dehumidifier must possess. Most dehumidifiers run for the better part of the day (and night) and therefore must be efficient enough to provide the maximum output with minimum energy wastage. Therefore, a competent and efficient dehumidifier is relatively silent, easy to use and is powerful enough to meet your demands. Also, a lightweight and portable dehumidifier is a much more convenient option for it can reach the nooks and crannies easily reducing your workload.
The physical dimensions, weight and power capacity of the dehumidifier must also be taken into consideration. The capacity of the container or tank decides the water retention, while the motor decides the rate at which the dehumidifier would absorb the damp air and reduce the moisture in it. Other technical features include the console (auto on/off, and “tank full” indicators), built-in humidistats and external accessories such as a power cord that enhances the functionality of the dehumidifier.
The overall framework and performance of the dehumidifier should satisfactorily match the needs of the house. It should be compatible to all surfaces and work well in high moisture levels. The size shape and framework of the appliance determine its strength and durability. Most brands test their dehumidifiers in artificially generated conditions to check whether the machine can deliver optimum output under extreme conditions. On comparing the performances of the many dehumidifiers, we can safely conclude that the ones discussed below are among the best available in the market
The Money Factor
The large and heavy dehumidifiers though more effective can be quite an investment for a simple household. Also dehumidifiers with copper coils require a lot of power and can heavily impact the electricity consumption. The smaller Peltier models with thermoelectric cooling technology are a better alternative.
The Bottom Line
Dehumidifiers save you the trouble and discomfort of living in a hot and humid climate. Now you don’t have to deal with leakages, damp spots and moulds anymore! All hail the dehumidifiers that effectively control the moisture levels and regulate temperature. The products reviewed above are only a handful of the competent brands in the market.