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Choosing a Dehumidifier

Last Updated Oct 4, 2011 · Written by Rob Schneider

A home is a microclimate that is not designed to tolerate high levels of humidity. If the air inside the home is too humid, mould develops and harmful allergens can multiply. A dehumidifier is a good way to remove excess levels of moisture from the air inside your home and create a healthier, safer environment for you and your family. Like heating systems and air conditioning, you need to choose the right dehumidifier for your home in order to ensure that it does its job efficiently. This guide to choosing a dehumidifier will help get you started in the right direction.

Dehumidifier Factors to Consider

There are several factors to consider when choosing a dehumidifier:
  • The area of the room or space where the dehumidifier is to be used.

  • The maximum level of humidity.

  • Frequency of use.
Dehumidifiers have been designed for use in areas as small as a cupboard to as large as a a warehouse and even for applications ranging from simple home use to use in laboratories where a sterile environment is imperative. Because there is a marked difference in price and energy efficiency between dehumidifiers, it is important to choose one that is designed for your requirements. Some of the specifications to look for in home dehumidifiers include:

  • Capacity: A dehumidifier designed for a one or two bedroom home should have the capacity to remove up to 10 litres of moisture from the air per day while one that will work efficiently in a four bedroom home should be able to remove anywhere from 20 to 35 litres, depending on the average level of humidity. If you live in a tropical climate, choose a larger capacity dehumidifier.

  • Noise level: Dehumidifiers are not noisy, but they do produce some noise. If yours needs to be located in a family or work area, check its decibel (dB) rating. Surprisingly, larger capacity dehumidifiers are not significantly noisier than smaller capacity ones.  For example, a unit designed for a 1/2 bedroom home may have a noise level of 30 to 35dB while another unit designed for a home twice the size may produce only 40dB of noise.

  • Transportability: Home dehumidifiers should be transportable. Since they can weigh up to 15kg or more when their water tanks are empty, yours should come with castors and a a fold away handle or hand grips.

  • A good dehumidifier should come equipped with a humidistat that automatically gauges the level of humidity, allowing you to adjust or automatically adjusting dehumidifaction levels as needed.
If you live in a temperature climate, you may only need a dehumidifier for occasional use in limited areas of the home. If this is the case, consider getting a light weight, compact unit designed for a specific room area rather than the entire home. There are quiet, energy efficient models available that are designed for areas as large as 50 square metres which would be perfect for the living room, bedroom, workshop or small office.

If you buy your dehumidifier from a specialist dealer, they can help take all the guesswork out of your purchase. Don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have, including questions concerning your warranty and details about how a dehumidifier works. Some models can be fitted with optional continuous drainage hoses while others must be drained at regular intervals. A reputable dealer will not only be willing to answer all your questions, they will want you to be fully informed before you buy.
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