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Choosing The Best Home Dehumidifier Machine For Damp Removal

Updated on May 28, 2013
Our trusty dehumidifier
Our trusty dehumidifier

Understanding The different Functions And Features Of Home Dehumidifiers

Excess levels of moisture in the home can lead to problems with condensation, damp, mould and mildew. Apart from the damage these can cause to you property, damp and mould can affect a person’s health, in particular for persons that suffer from respiratory problems such as asthma. Moisture is created in the home by everyday activities such as cooking, washing, and having baths and showers. If there is no outside space available to dry clothes, and a tumble dryer is not an option, drying clothes inside the house may be the only way. This all adds up and can create problems if not removed.. For the property, simple condensation can, in time, result in damage to window frames. Damp and mold can create a multitude of problems with wood, plaster and interior furnishings. A dehumidifier can be of use when it is not practical or safe to leave windows open, and when existing ventilation systems are proving inadequate.

Dehumidifiers are a good way to remove the excess moisture from the property. Specifically, dehumidifiers for home use are designed to do this without taking up a lot of space and to operate efficiently to keep the cost of running low. The advantages of home dehumidifiers are that they are not expensive, need no installation, and can be used when and where required. When considering purchasing one, there are features that should be checked, so as to ensure you have a suitable model for your needs.

The dehumidifier settings
The dehumidifier settings

Functions and Features

Drying indoors. Some dehumidifiers have a setting especially for when drying clothes indoors, which is ideal if drying clothes outdoors is not possible. If you haven't got a tumble dryer or live in a flat, apartment or a house with no garden, this function enables the machine to remove the higher levels of moisture being released by the wet garments. If you will be drying clothes inside, it would be of benefit to choose a model specified as suitable for drawing out the excess moisture in the air created by the wet clothing as it dries.

Speed settings. Some of the more advanced models have more than one speed setting for faster extraction. Using a slower speed setting will help decrease the noise generated by the machine.

Extraction rate. This indicates the amount of moisture that can be extracted in a day. The higher the rate, the better the levels of moisture that can be removed.

Tank Capacity. A smaller tank size will require more frequent emptying, a larger one will require less attention. Most machines will have a cut off switch when the tank is full, so it will have to be emptied in order for the machine to continue working and being effective. If the room is not entered on a regular basis, a model with a large tank should be chosen for this reason. Some models do have a continuous flow facility. A length of tubing is attached and connected to a drainage system, by-passing the tank, allowing the machine to run continuously without requiring emptying, ideal if you will not be able to check it regularly.

Frost protection. Some models will have frost protection. This means the unit will not be damaged if the room temperature drops too low. It's a safeguard which will prevent the delicate parts of the machine being damaged, caused by temperatures dropping to a level that can cause frost to occur on these parts. This can happen in poorly heated areas or at night when temperatures are typically lower.

Dehumidifier carrying handle
Dehumidifier carrying handle

Our dehumidifier

We have been very impressed with our DeLonghi dehumidifier. It was unbelievable how much water was drawn out of the air in our old cottage when we first started using it. We leave it plugged in so that the humidistat will automatically switch it on if the moisture levels rise above a preset level. It is a bit more noisy than expected, slightly more than a refrigerator makes, but it now has become a reassuring noise. When it comes on, we know it is doing its job.

Humidistat. To regulate the amount of moisture in the air, choose a dehumidifier that has a humidistat. This will monitor the humidity levels, switching on when moisture in the air increases above a level that has been set. The cut-off point can be adjusted manually on many machines so the user can set it for their own required level of humidity.

Room size. Look at the recommended maximum room size that different dehumidifiers will effectively cover and choose accordingly to the size of rooms you want to place the machine.

Mobility. If you want to dehumidify different areas of the house at different times, choose one with a good carrying handle or one which is on wheels. It's well to point out that some machines require a period of time to pass, before turning the machine on after it has been moved. This will be addressed in the user’s manual. Also, bear in mind the size and weight before purchasing. Is it a manageable size for you?

Good design. The machine will be in your home so choose a design you like and avoid anything you regard as an eyesore. If you intend on using the dehumidifier in the house, it might as well look good, as well as function efficiently.

Reviews. When you find a dehumidifier you like, check out the reviews by people who have bought the same. You should get an idea if there have been any problems with that particular make and model. Common complaints are running noise, reliability and problems with extraction rate.

Damp, mold and condensation is a problem in many homes.

Does your home have this problem?

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I've been hunting a good dehumidifier. Very helpful.

    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks Roxi. We've had similar problems (hence the dehumidifier knowledge!). I have asthma too, which the damp was aggravating but through making changes at home (keeping windows open as much as poss, drying clothes outside) and purchasing the dehumidifier, the house (and I) are much better. I hope you get yours sorted. :)

    • RoxiM profile image

      RoxiM 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Thanks for this article! We recently bought a window a/c unit that also has a dehumidifier setting, but I don't think this will be enough to get rid of the damp. I have had to throw away things stored in the bottom of my closet because of mold and mildew, so your tips may help me choose the right dehumidifier for my home.