Those who have basements in their homes can often relate to having a cool, damp unpleasant smell in their basement which many of us don’t know is actually mold and mildew from too much moisture in the air. With a strong pungent smell, this means you probably need an effective dehumidifier. It is important to understand how damaging the growth of mold can be for your home and your health. Using the best dehumidifier will help remove any excess moisture and safely reduce the humidity to a proper level.
Once you have lessened the basement’s humidity level to lower than 50%, you will start to notice the freshness of the space and can finally place your storage, files, and such in the basement without having to worry about mildew. Along with the musty smell, you may also notice common sides of humidity, such as condensation on the floors and walls, and the physical present of mold. Your belongings may also show signs of it as these can be the most dangerous. When mold spores become airborne, this can lead to harmful risks to your respiratory system and trigger allergic reactions as well as asthma.
The dampness from excessive moisture can the foundation and walls to rot, which will lead to structural damage and other potential health problems in the near future. Here, we will help find the right dehumidifier for your basement to get rid of excess humidity once and for all.
First, let’s learn the basics of what she should know before buying a Dehumidifier…
How does it work?
The functions of a dehumidifier helps to remove moisture from the space to make air dry. The machine is basically the same of a refrigerator though the operation makes it different. The moisture in the air is sucked into a grilled as he electric fan draws the air through the evaporator and turns it back into liquid, which is then collected in the water tray. There’s a certain amount of water that passes in the line, which the machine then goes into automatic shut up.
This will also inform you to empty the collecting tray. With new modern dehumidifiers, there is a pipe that will allow the water to go straight out of the room without your assistance of repeatedly emptying the tray. The remaining air is then sucked through the heater to warm up the space.
What’s Inside a Dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers are pretty standard in their built as they only require a few basic parts like the fan, water tank, compressor, and coils while some include an added air filter as well.
Harmful effects of Humidity
A humid environment is the ideal place for microscopic organisms and bacteria to grow. Mold and mildew spores excel in humidity as they can become highly toxic when somehow consumed in your body. Dust mites are also one of the biggest issues as these are harmful to those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Bottom line: Bacteria are most definitely found in humid spaces and those with mold growth tend to get sick more often, resulting in poor health.
Popular Symptoms of Allergies
- Stuffy Nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Skin Rashes
- Difficulty breathing
You may always notice a distinct smell in your clothes as well as purses and shoes in your closet. When a kitchen or bathroom has little to no ventilation, the humidity will raise and develop bacteria fast.
Benefits of a Dehumidifier
We can notice humidity whether in a steamy shower, a sauna, or outside on a foggy day. The advantage is to make air dry safely as indoor humidity leads to many health risk and problems in the home. Humidity can affect your electric equipment like the TV and the computer, along with creating mold in living spaces. This is also harmful to your health as it can lead to respiratory diseases.
Another benefit is that a dehumidifier reduces dust at home without the hassle of cleaning it as much. Creating dry hair also helps with the air conditioner. The AC doesn’t have to work as hard with removing moisture and cooling the air. With the dehumidifier, your air conditioner only have to create cool air.
What Features Does a Basement Dehumidifier Require?
It is important for a dehumidifier to be able to work in lower temperature environments. Basements are usually cooler than the rest of the areas in the house, while covering a large amount of floor space. Dehumidifiers for the basement must be capable of extracting 100% of moisture in spaces up at least 2,000 square feet. Here are other important features we should consider.
The dehumidifier must have the appropriate removal capability along with length coverage for the size of your basement. The letter the area, the better is it to have a larger capacity dehumidifier.
Water Colleting Tray
Since the dehumidifier is working to control moisture, it is important to know where the water will go. Consider the capacity of the product as well as its volume. For many of us, we might find it to be a waste of time having to remove water constantly. Therefore, it’s essential to choose a model with a large water collecting tray.
If you plan to place your device in the basement, a hose connection will direct the vapored water straight to the drain without any use of a tray. If your home does not have a drain, a simple pump will be needed to send the water to the sink or any drains through the window.
This is used to prevent the coils from freezing while allowing the dehumidifier to continue removing moisture.
Low temperature Operation
Dehumidifiers with low temperatures are ideal in cool climates as they will continue to draw moisture out.
This allows you to set a desired humidity level at your own control.
Continuous Drain Option
This will ensure that the dehumidifier will continue to remove excessive moisture without the stress of emptying water buckets repeatedly.
This feature is useful when it comes to a power outage as the dehumidifier will restart once the power is restored.
Automatic Shut Off
For dehumidifiers that don’t offer the draining option, make sure it must have an auto shut off so the dehumidifier will not overflow. If the water tray gets full of water, the machine will automatically shut off to protect the machine and prevent any risks of water overload.
A timer is ideal and may come in handy if you tend to forget that it’s on. This will also lessen your electricity bill when the rates are lower during certain parts of the day. The device will easily turn back on after a power outage or off when you are out. This feature is also great for saving money, since the longer the machine runs, the more energy this device to use.
Search for models with wheels to easily maneuver your dehumidifier, also choose products with easy-to-read settings and dials. With complicated functions, this will cause a lot of wasted time and energy when using. Look to those with digital settings for easy to read.
What to Really Look For
As the main function for a dehumidifier is to simply remove humidity from the air, there are several characteristics that can differ from other models. Make sure to look for the reviews based on performance, easy-to-use, warranties, and the simple designs of the models that will best fit your home and needs. Knowing the size of the space and amount of moisture you want to remove is important as it will determine what type of dehumidifier is right for your needs.
For large floor coverage, you will need a high-capacity dehumidifier that will remove at least 70 pints of water vapor in a day. Make sure not to purchase anything small as you will end up spending more time on checking it often. Check the manufacturers list to get a proper estimate of the minimum and maximum footage the model can manage.
Top 5 Best Dehumidifiers
Below, we have listen the top 5 dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers vary in features and sizes, which may lead you into confusion on what model is the best for your home. We’ve done all the research and listed down special features of these models.
1. Frigidaire FAD704DWD 70-Pint Dehumidifier
This energy efficient dehumidifier falls in the high capacity category as it is so powerful, it will take out any humidity in the air. The water tank can store around 16-17 pints of water along with a splash guard to prevent excess water from spilling. The air purifier has a washable air filter that is able to capture airborne pollutants like dust, pollen, mildew and mold spores. The device provides highly accurate read outs as the humidity level will itself off to conserve energy on its own.
2. Eva-Dry Edv-1100 Electric Petite Dehumidifier
Small but very efficient, this dehumidifier works best in enclosed small spaces like bathrooms, small bedrooms and other small areas that are prone to mold and mildew formation. It efficiently eliminates moisture and stores the collected condensed water into a spill proof container. An alarm light or indicator lights up if emptying the basin is needed. It has a capacity to hold collected condensed water up to 16.oz. Compact dehumidifiers can be as energy efficient as larger models. Selecting the right size dehumidifier for your room, rooms or basement is important. Finding a model that does it efficiently is a definite must.
3. Keystone KSTAD70B 70-Pint Dehumidifier
This is among the top basement humidifiers as it can pull 70 pints of water vapor from a 3,800 square foot area. This model is also energy efficient as it uses 720 watts when in use. There is a full-bracket alert that lights up when the reservoir bucket reaches its limit as well as a small window to see how high the water level actually is. It is also equipped with a transparent water level indicator, which also tells you when the water try is full along with an LCD panel that is easy to ready. A 24-hour timer provides the perfect balance of optimal energy consumption and performance.
4. Friedrich D70BP 70-Pint Dehumidifier
This model has an efficient built-in pump, which is suitable for continuous drainage as well as a fully accurate humidistat. The unit features a digital display and easy-to-use controls for settings to fit your home’s needs. The built-in humidistat allows you to control the levels between 30% – 90% 5% increments. With this model, you can choose 3 different options of draining, which includes the drain bucket that holds up to 16.2 pints of water, a continuous drain, and the built-in pump. This also features an air filter that is washable and removable as it will also help stop airborne contaminants like allergens, dust, mildew, and mold spores.
5. Whitewing Defender Dehumidifier
This dehumidifier is ideal for larger basements and has extremely low energy consumptions levels when compared to other models. It is energy certified and has a digital control with quiet operations. The WhiteWing Defender can cover up to 2500 square feet of space as it removes about 110 pints of water vapor a day. This device is Energy star certified, meaning it is both energy and cost friendly for users. The standard device has a MERV-11 air filter that removes particles down to 2 microns. Users have also commended the quietness of the model and extremely easy-to-use digital control.
Why Use a Dehumidifier?
Whether you own a simple basement or live in a humid climate, dehumidifier will help keep excessive humidity in check. When a home has excessive humidity, it is prone to produce fungus, mold, and mildew. This can cause harmful effects on the walls, furniture, and even clothing. Extreme amounts of humidity can also create a home for viruses and harmful bacteria that may ultimately affect your health. It is recommended to maintain a low humidity level of 30% and nothing higher than 50% as anything above can affect your physical well-being as well as your home.
Dehumidifiers are available in all sizes that make it convenient for you to choose the right one for your home. As the sizes and shapes vary, you can choose where to remove moisture, whether it is from a closet, bathroom, or the entire basement.
Types of Dehumidifier
There are two main categories of a dehumidifier, such as desiccant and refrigerant.
The Structure of this type includes:
- Process fan
- Reactivation fan
- Honeycomb matrix
How does it work?
The process begins with damp air being lead to the machine by a process fan. It is then lead straight to a honeycomb matrix. There, the moisture will get absorbed by the rotors as the dry air will release. The rotor contains desiccant materials which is silica gel. The porous form has a network of microscopic intertwined pores with sucks the moisture when damp air passes through.
The reactivation stage makes the absorption force weaker so the moisture is able to escape from the desiccant materials.
The structure of this type includes:
- Water collecting tray or pipe
- Cold evaporator coils
- Warm condensing coils
How does it work?
The kind of technology works by condensing the humidity to help get rid of all the moisture in the space. Damp air will be sucked by the fan and lead the air towards the cold evaporator coil to cool the air, which makes the moisture turn into liquid water that is collecting and removed either manually or through a drain. The air will then proceed to the warm condensing coils to heat up before being released.
Desiccant vs Refrigerant
The refrigerant coil weighs more as it includes heavier parts of the same features. Due to the heavy weight, manufactures usually include wheels for easy mobility for refrigerant.
Due to the smaller size, many would assume that the desiccant dehumidifier is rather cheaper to run in comparison to the refrigerant coil. But it is actually the refrigerant that runs on less energy.
Since loud noises can be a nuisance for homes, the desiccant is fairly quieter as the refrigerant coil uses the compressors to get rid of moisture from the air.
The refrigerant coil is able to remove a large amount of water vapor a day, with makes this more suitable for areas with high amounts of moistures. Though it is important to check the extraction rate as elements such as the size and model really depend. Make sure to consult the manufactures before choosing.
The refrigerant coil dehumidifier uses cold air to evaporate moisture as the desiccant uses the porous form of granular silica to get rid of humidity without using unwanted heat.
How much does a dehumidifier cost to use?
Typically, the usual power consumption is about 150 to 800 watts. Dry air is cheaper to heat which means this tool is considerably energy saving. Dehumidifiers don’t just warm the hair but also capture the moisture and remove the dampness from cold air. You can also save some money by purchasing dehumidifiers with a built-in laundry function mode. It will produce warm dry air when positioned properly.
What is a Pint?
A dehumidifier uses pint for size. Pint is a volume unit that is used in both UK and US measurement systems. It was 1/8 of a gallon though the US pink is 20% smaller than a pint in the UK. IN the UK, a pint is equivalent to 568 ml while in the US, the liquid pint is 473 ml or 551 ml for a dry pint.
What size do you need for your home?
Both weight and height is important to consider as well as the amount of water removal needed per day. It is said that they more water needed to remove, the bigger the model will be. Depending on your home and moisture, you must choose a suitable size and consider the area if there is enough room. Also, you must consider the room conditions. If the space is not always damp, choose a smaller capacity dehumidifier.
Where to put the dehumidifier?
Choose the area with the most humid and dampness occurs. This can be the kitchen, bathroom, basement, or in a hallway. Make sure not to run the dehumidifier in the room you are in, or sleeping in.
Can I leave the dehumidifier on all day?
Many manufacturers say yes and although they are perfectly safe, they should still be treated as an electrical appliance. As always, there are possible risks that may office. However, a commercial grade dehumidifier is an exception as it is built to run 24/7.
Factors to Consider
Add 10 pints if you live in a high humid climate. If there are many people living in your home or your house contains many windows and doors, add another 5 pints. If the area has a wash and dryer, add 5 pints. Refer to the Appliance Manufacturers guideline to determine the size that is appropriate for your home.
Here is a useful way to determine how many pints your space needs, depending on size.
Under 30 Pint: This is acceptable for rooms of up to 1500 square feet. This is suitable for smaller basements or 1000 square feet spaces with high humidity.
40-50 Pint: This is used for areas up to 2000 square feet as well as spaces that becomes damp all the time.
60-70 Pint: This is advised for spaces later than 2000 square feet as it is suitable for the home, basement as well as crawl spaces in between, regardless of humidity levels.
Regardless of how many people live in your home or the fan speeds, you this feature is very important is you must measure the space where the device will be used and the required capacity. Be sure to acknowledge the damage that your home already has. These simple, important steps will help you choose with machine is right for your home.
When it comes to humidity, feeling overly sweaty and uncomfortable will be the least of your worries. The pungy, moldy stench, crooked floors and peeling wall paint are all signs that you should definitely buy a dehumidifier immediately. These may cost money, but it is better to prevent the damage than to spend a whole lot more and treat it.