How to Choose the Right Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier in the home is a must-have for many; it not only keeps you more comfortable during the hot and humid summer season, but it can also protect your home from moisture buildup. Too much humidity can lead to mold behind the walls as well as rotting wood. Repairs for these types of problems can run into the thousands of dollars, whereas a good dehumidifier might cost you less than a hundred dollars. They are a perfect investment, especially for those who live in tropical areas that get more moisture during the summer.
A dehumidifier is a very simple machine; it pulls air towards it and then removes the moisture in the air by running it over cool coils. The moisture typically drips to a pan below, and the less moist air is then blown back into the room. In some cases a dehumidifier will not be necessary; if you have a very strong air conditioning unit, the cooling of the air conditioner works in much the same way. However, a dehumidifier is good if you do not run your A/C unit all day and night, or if you live in an area with more moisture in the air than your unit can reasonably handle. The dehumidifier might also be necessary in especially damp areas of the home such as the basement, laundry room, or garage.
First note the dehumidifying pints per hour or PPH on a unit. This will tell you how strong the machine will be and you can correspond this to the space you need treated, in square feet. If the space is moderately damp, you need a PPH of 10 for the first 500 square feet, with an additional 4 PPH for every 500 square feet after that. So, if the area that is moderately damp is 1,000 square feet, you need a PPH level of 14; if it is 1,500 square feet, look for a PPH level of 18, and so on.
For very damp spaces and those with a constant musty odor, start with a PPH of 12 for the first 500 square feet and add another 5 PPH for every 500 square feet after that. If the space is 1,000 square feet, you need a PPH of 17; if it is 1,500 square feet, the PPH should be 22, and so on.
Other features can make it easier to use, such as an auto shutoff feature once the moisture level in the air reaches a certain number, and a signal light to tell you the container is full. A hose attachment can help to automatically empty the dehumidifier; this might go over a sink or out of the house to your yard.
Invest in a good dehumidifier that is strong enough for your home or a certain space, to protect your investment and keep you comfortable.