Dehumidifer FAQs

Dehumidifier ReviewsDehumidifier Reviews believes that too much information engenders analysis paralysis, and that analysis paralysis, in turn, leads to stasis. When you need to reach a decision, an inertial mind-set is definitely not good. Reaching a decision as regards the purchase of a home dehumidifier is problematic by virtue of the fact that the market is inundated with dehumidifiers and all things related to them. Even if you had the time to become an expert, do you really want to know all there is to know about dehumidifers?  Probably not.  If you’re making your first purchase, you’re no doubt attempting to ferret out some basic information to guide you through a formidable forest of data, products and PR hype.

Best Dehumidifier Reviews ruminated on this, gathered around a table with coffee mugs in hand, and discussed the matter, then asked friends and family members what questions they would want to have answered if they were interested in buying a dehumidifier and knew nothing substantial regarding the subject. We wrote the questions down and we answered them one by one. 

We thank them for their insight and patience. Sometimes when you’ve immersed yourself in a field or topic, it’s quite difficult for you to see things through beginner’s eyes. That’s the position we found ourselves in at Best Dehumidifier Reviews. We knew so much about dehumidifiers that we couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Other people helped us to formulate the right questions so that we could put together a handy Guide to Dehumidifiers that didn’t require a Ph.D in engineering in order to be able to digest the contents.

Dehumidifier Reviews hopes that by the time you finish this page, all your basic questions will be answered.  We’re pretty confident that it will.

Q: Can you explain in plain English how dehumidifiers work?

A: All dehumidifiers employ the same operating principles as air conditions and refrigerators. Air entering the unit and is refrigerated by a cooling system. The air’s moisture condenses on coils that are cold and drips into a holding vessel or tank.  Passing over a warm set of coils, the cold air is then reheated to a little above room temperature.

Q: Can I use the dehumidifier all year round?

A: This depends of the degree of humidity control you want or need. If you have forced air heat and live in a northern climate, you most likely will not need to let the dehumidifier run all year long. People who live in a southern climate and run their air conditions continuously probably won’t find it necessary to use a dehumidifier at all. If you have a damp basement or cellar (or any area in your home where you don’t want any or very little humidity), you might find it necessary to run the dehumidifier all year around.

Q: How expensive is it to run a dehumidifier?

A: Dehumidifiers use quite a bit of electricity – comparable to the amount that a small air conditioner consumes.

Q: Why does the dehumidifier get iced up?

A:  This happens when the room is too cool. By chilling a set of coils and allowing the air’s moisture to condense on them, dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air.  If the room’s temperature is excessively cold, the moisture may freeze. You might need to increase the room’s temperature or raise the dehumidifier to a higher (warmer) location.

Q. How often does the water reservoir need to be emptied?

A: Simply empty when full.  It’s not necessary to empty the dehumidifier’s reservoir  before it’s full if there’s a safety shut-off  for when the device is full.  Typically dehumidifiers have this safety feature.

Q. Can a dehumidifier be drained directly into a floor drain?

A: Most of the time, yes. You can attach a garden hose to a sealed outlet on the dehumidifier’s water container. Sometimes it’s necessary to remove the plastic in the outlet’s center before you connect the hose.  You can buy a threaded hose cap from a hardware store if you later need to stop up the hole.

Q. Which setting on the dehumidifier should I select?

A: To determine the actual moisture content of the air in the room you want to control, you should buy a good-quality hygrometer and then, after experimenting a little, set the humidistat on the humidifier so that when it reaches the humidity level you want to maintain, it cycles off.

Q. Is it normal for the dehumidifier to run continuously?

A:  Not usually. There may be something wrong with your unit if it runs constantly and the water container isn’t filling up at least once daily.  However, it may be that there’s simply a great deal of humidity is in the room and the dehumidifier is actually functioning appropriately.

Q. How to dispose of water the unit collects?

 A:  There are two methods of water removal for the majority of dehumidifiers:

  • Water may be removed manually through the use of a collection bucket
  • Water may be removed via a drain hose, allowing it to be funneled to an external receptacle.

A dehumidifier that collects water through the use of a bucket is a convenient option for smaller jobs.The DeLonghi DD45, for example, features a 5.62-gallon water tank that’s removable and a water level that’s visible, enabling the user to easily monitor the collection tank and ascertain when it needs to be emptied.

Monitoring and emptying a water collection tank may be impractical or inconvenient for larger dehumidifying jobs; if this is the case, dehumidifiers that offer continuous drain capability may be a more desirable option. There are models that come with longer drain tubing, which allows users to direct the collected water to a basement drain or funnel it outside of a window. If a nearby drain is not available or collected water needs to be pumped upward to remove it from the area, consider a dehumidifier, like the Hi-E Dry 100, which features a built-in condensate pump. Additionally, many dehumidifiers are  also capable of integrating external condensate pumps.

Q. How noisy is a dehumidifier?

A: Dehumidifiers utilize a fan to draw in, discharge, and circulate the dehumidified air throughout the environment. As with any appliance utilizing a fan, there is a direct correlation between the fan setting selected for use and the noise you can expect. The higher the fan setting, the more noise the unit will produce. Dehumidifiers use a compressor, and a compressor makes slightly more noise than a fan. When the compressor is in use, users can expect an increase in noise levels.

Newer dehumidifiers, fortunately, are significantly quieter than older units. On lower settings, the noise produced is comparable to “white” noise. However, when using high settings, a dehumidifying unit will be significantly louder, perhaps even disturbing sleep or introducing a problematic note for other activities throughout the day. For some users, noise is a crucial factor in the dehumidifier. Dehumidifier Reviews have found recommend a Danby dehumidifier, which are currently some of the quietest units on the market today.

Commercial dehumidifiers will be louder than single-room dehumidifiers. Fortunately, heavy-duty dehumidifiers are customarily used in crawl space, basements or indoor pool areas, and industrial settings where noise isn’t a principal concern.

Q. What features should I look for in a dehumidifier?

A: Dehumidifiers have a variety of features in addition to basic features that address the considerations of coverage area, capacity and type of humidity problem. In addition to capacity, coverage area, and type of humidity problem, dehumidifiers also have a variety of features that consumers should be aware of.

User-friendly design is important for single room dehumidifiers.  When purchasing one of these unit, look for features such as a programmable timer, digital humidistat, an easy-to-adjust control panel, caster wheels for moving the dehumidifier from room to room, continuous drainage options, and full-bucket overflow protection.

For large-capacity models, such as warehouse and industrial dehumidifiers, an option with high utility is automatic dehumidification control enabling users to select a desired humidity level and have that level automatically maintained by the dehumidifier. Look for models that possess “set it and forget it” functionality. Dehumidifiers that fall into the industrial-grade category are frequently used to remove excessive moisture from multiple areas. In these cases, look for dehumidifiers offering ducting options. Internal condensate pumps and continuous drain capability are also popular features for large-capacity dehumidifiers. 

Consumers should consider purchasing energy-efficient models for all dehumidifiers, such as Energy Star-rated dehumidifiers. These dehumidifiers, such as the Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers, remove the same amount of moisture as similarly sized standard dehumidifiers, but utilize 10 to 20 percent less energy. Environmentally conscious consumers will seek out dehumidifiers like the Danby DDR6009REE. Such dehumidifiers use non-ozone depleting refrigerants (e.g., R-410A refrigerant). The popular Santa Fe dehumidifiers, which are larger-capacity dehumidifiers, are Energy Star-rated and feature R-410A refrigerant.

Q: What exactly does a dehumidifier do?

A: A muggy hot environment is the result when there’s excess humidity. Air conditioning systems remove some of the excess moisture from an indoor environment, but sometimes it’s not sufficient.  You may have a humidity problem if you notice wet stains on ceilings and walls, or condensation on windows, musty scents or mold.  Ignore these issues and structural damage to your home and its contents could be the result, respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and other healthy issues.

Dehumidifiers are designed to pull sticky damp air into the unit and rapidly cool and condense the moisture, redistributing the drier dehumidified air back into the environment through the use of a fan.  The water collected will drain into a receptacle in the dehumidifier or drain through a hose into a floor drain or exterior receptacle by force of gravity.

Some dehumidifiers are equipped with internal condensate pumps for jobs requiring that water be pumped upward or further distances. Many are also designed to support external condensate pumps. Such pumps are useful when dehumidifying remote spaces, automating the water removal to a extent. Also, condensate tubing and pumps lengthen the reach of drain hoses, enabling the user to remove excess water and drain it across further distances (i.e., when there ‘s no floor drain nearby).

Dehumidifiers are frequently used in places where excess moisture is prevalent:

Basements

Crawl Spaces

Basements

Crawl Spaces

Bedrooms

Bathrooms

Kitchens

Spas or Indoor Pool Areas

Workshops

Warehouses

You will achieve the best balance of dry and cool air when you supplement your air conditioner with a dehumidifier,  which will help your indoors remain cool and healthy.

Q: What manufacturing flaws should I look for when purchasing a dehumidifier?

No one wants to get stuck with a defective product. Unfortunately, manufacturing defects are a fact of life.  Here are some you should be aware of:

  Water not evacuating properly

Most dehumidifier models have a hose for evacuating the water resulted from the condensation process and a collecting container for the water. In some cases, the water may not be evacuated properly and collected into the bucket or eliminated via the hose. That’s clearly a manufacturing flaw. And unfortunately, you won’t be able to notice that until you install your dehumidifier and have it running. However, if the warranty is still valid, you can always send it back. Also if your unit uses a hose for evacuating the water, that hose must be periodically cleaned up just as the coils, as it may clog.

  Flawed fan

The fan of a dehumidifier, or in general, the fan of any device or home appliance should be properly centered. If it’s not, not only will it result in louder noise, it will most definitely break much sooner. If you’re going to purchase your dehumidifier online, as soon as you install it, this is an aspect to have a look at and if the fan is not centered, send your dehumidifier back. If you purchase it directly from a store, you can verify the functionality of the fan there, if they agree to run the dehumidifier for you.

  Excessive noise

The noise emitted by a dehumidifier is usually related to the movement of the fan. But the fan may not always be defective. If some other parts of the dehumidifier aren’t properly attached in place, it may result in a buzzing, rattling, annoying sound. Now, a defect like this may be easily fixable, simply by properly attaching the part that’s the cause of the noise. However, if the cause of the noise isn’t visible, you may as well ask for a different dehumidifier.

  Electronic control flaws

Some dehumidifiers may have a digital control panel. But even if they don’t, and the control panel features your average buttons, it’s important to check if they’re operational. Sometimes the ON / OFF switch may be defective, for example, and you won’t be able to turn your dehumidifier on. Now, this problem is an easy fix for an electrician, or someone that has experience with circuits, however, if you fix it yourself, you’ll probably void the warranty. So, if it doesn’t turn on, get another one.

 Q: Please sum it up — how do I end up with a good dehumidifier?

  Water container

Most air conditioners or refrigerative dehumidifiers evacuate the water resulted from the condensation process outside the household. However, if they don’t come with a water container, the evacuated water may drip on your walls, leaving ugly traces, or infiltrate within the walls or the structure of the house. That’s not exactly a good thing. So, it’s best that the dehumidifier comes with a container for the resulted water, or at least with the possibility or improvising one.

  Control panel

Any dehumidifier should be relatively easy to use. Air conditioners or any other type of dehumidifiers fulfill a simple task. Evidently, it shouldn’t be rocket science to use one. So, before purchasing one, evaluate the control panels, whether it has multiple speed options etc.

  Maintenance

If you want your dehumidifier to last longer, maintenance is obviously required. But no one wants to engage in elaborate or time-consuming maintenance initiatives for a dehumidifier, look for a model that’s easy to maintain. For example, most dehumidifiers require cleaning for their coils, which is not exactly a very pleasant and simple task. However, if your dehumidifier comes with a washable filter that protects the coils from accumulating dirt, the job becomes rather simple.

  It bears repeating: noise

There are all sorts of dehumidifiers nowadays, many models from many manufacturers. In fact, if you’re looking for one, you can find here a few dehumidifier reviews. You’ll have to know one thing though: most models with a fan emit more or less noise. I’m pretty sure you would like to keep the noise to minimum levels because after a while it might get very annoying. And especially if your dehumidifier must run for longer periods, its noise may become unbearable. So, look for one less noisy, but keep in mind that for some models, less noise means also means less performance.

Click here for more useful information on dehumidifiers.

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