Humidity is one of those things that few of us think about, yet play a vital role in our everyday lives. Humidity can affect health, comfort, allergies, and even physical structures.
When humidity levels get too high, they can lead to a sticky feeling, trigger allergy attacks, and have a detrimental effect on your house and furniture. This is particularly concerning during the warmer months, when humidity levels tend to be high.
A dehumidifier can help regulate indoor humidity levels and bring it back to a safe level.
The Effects of Excessive Humidity
During the summer, the ideal relative humidity (RH) level indoors is 50%. RH levels that that go beyond can have a detrimental effect, such as:
- Heavy breathing
- Wet, sticky feeling on skin
- Curling frizzy hair
- Higher risk of asthma and allergy attacks
- Possible heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Peeling paint or wallpaper
- Wall and ceiling stains
- Bad odors
- Support beam warping
- Wood floor warping
- Doors and windows may get harder to open or close
- Wood expansion resulting in damage
- Misaligned joints
- Expanding seams
- Possible splits or cracks
A dehumidifier can prevent these effects by maintaining the right RH levels.
What is a Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is a device that is designed to remove excess moisture from the air. It does this by using a fan to force air through coils filled with coolant, thereby sucking moisture from the surrounding air and turning it into water that can be collected and disposed of. The resulting dry air is then circulated around the room or house.
There are two methods of dehumidification:
Condensate dehumidifiers – these use a miniaturized refrigerator to collect the condensate. These are typically found in larger dehumidifiers.
Desiccant / absorption dehumidifiers – these use hydrophilic materials like silica gel contained in a cartridge to suck the moisture from the air.
What are the Different Types of Dehumidifiers?
- Dehumidifying Ventilator
As its name suggests, this humidifier uses an exhaust fan to expel air outside. A sensor detects the humidity levels and regulates the moisture by forcing air out. They are often used in basements, attics, and crawl spaces.
- Chemical Absorbent Dehumidifier
Also known as desiccant dehumidifiers, they use hydrophilic materials to bond with the moisture in the air. The hydrophilic material is often contained in a cartridge that can be refreshed and disposed of as necessary.
- Heat Pump Dehumidifier
Commonly found, these use a fan and heat pump to remove the moisture. The fan forces air through heat exchanger coils to suck out the moisture and turn it into condensate, which is then collected into a drip compartment or pumped away. Because of their larger size and complexity, they are more expensive than absorbent dehumidifiers, but do not require cartridges.
- Homemade Dehumidifier
Unlike most home appliances, a dehumidifier’s function is simple enough that it can be copied via DIY. These can range from simple absorbers like rock salts and silica gel placed in the room to more elaborate devices that use fans combined with damp meters or hygrometers to measure the humidity level in the room.
|Dehumidifying Ventilator||Medium (requires installation)||Basements, attics, crawlspaces|
|Chemical Absorbent Dehumidifier||Low||Single rooms|
|Heat Pump Dehumidifier||Medium (may be high for units that require installation)||Single rooms, Basements, Whole house or larger spaces|
|DIY Dehumidifier||Low (depending on design and complexity)||Smaller spaces or barely used rooms|
The Best Dehumidifiers for 2022
Danby DDR022BJWDB 22 Pint Portable Dehumidifier with Direct Drain Option – Energy Star
This portable dehumidifier can remove up to 22 pints (10.4 liters) of moisture per 24 hours, up to about 1,500 sq. ft. of space. Features include a “bucket full” light; an auto-de-icer that prevents ice build-up on coils; and a Smart Dehumidify Function, where it automatically regulates the room humidity by factoring in the ambient temperature.
The unit is Energy Star compliant and has an LED display with electronic controls for easy operation.
The Danby DDR020BJWDB portable dehumidifier removes up to 22 pints (10.4 liters) of moisture per 24 hours, protecting your home form unwanted humidity, mold and...
The Danby DDR020BJWDB portable dehumidifier removes up to 22 pints (10.4 liters) of moisture per 24 hours, protecting your home form unwanted humidity, mold and...View Product
Friedrich D50B1A 50 Pint Portable Dehumidifier – Energy Star
This unit is perfect for large wet to very wet spaces ranging from 1000 – 2000 sq. ft., such as areas with standing water or always wet floors. It can remove up to 50 pints of moisture from the air in a 24-hour period.
Features include a 2-speed fan, auto defrost that works as low as 41°F, and a digital touch panel. It includes a slide-out washable filter and roll casters for convenient movement.
The D50B1A provides three drainage options: a removable 16 pint collection bucket with handle for manual emptying, a continuous drainage setup, or the included drain pump that can be positioned vertically or horizontally up to 15 ft. from the unit.
Seaira WatchDog NXT60 Crawl Space Dehumidifier
One of our most compact standalone units, the Seaira WatchDog NXT60 is a small dehumidifier that fits smaller budgets. But don’t let its small size and price tag fool you: this little unit is capable of servicing up to 11,000 cubic feet of space and produces 155 CFM airflow, making it perfect for crawlspaces.
The NXT60 can operate in a wide range of temperatures from 33°F – 105°F, and Operating Relative Humidity Levels from 36% – 90%. It has a rated Condensate Capacity of 60 pints per day (at 80°F and 60% RH). It is designs to be installed in a crawl space, near your sump pump or other drainage area for the gravity drain system to function properly. As such, a 12″ drain line comes standard. The unit must be elevated to some degree to allow for water to flow through the gravity drain and requires a 115V, 3 prong GFI outlet with a 15 amp time delay fuse.
Small enough to fit in almost any crawl space, the WatchDog NXT60 is one of the most compact dehumidifiers you can find. But don't let its size fool you. The Wa...
Small enough to fit in almost any crawl space, the WatchDog NXT60 is one of the most compact dehumidifiers you can find. But don't let its size fool you. The Wa...View Product
Whole House Dehumidifier:
Aprilaire E130 130 Pint E-Series Professional Grade-Whole House Dehumidifier
Aprilaire’s E-Series delivers professional grade dehumidification for your entire home. The E130 is an Energy Star Rated dehumidifier that is perfect for use in basements, crawl spaces or as a whole house dehumidifier. It can remove up to 130 pints of moisture per day, in up to 7,200 sq. ft. of space, making it perfect for larger homes and basements.
A blower inside the dehumidifier draws air in, filters the air and removes the moisture, then discharges the clean, dry air through your HVAC system or into a dedicated area of your home (such as the basement or crawl space). The condensed moisture is directed into the drain pan and then to a tube or hose that is routed to the floor drain or condensate pump (not included).
This premium unit was recognized as the Energy Star’s Most Efficient for 2021, and boasts corrosion-resistant aluminum coils that are made in the USA.
Good air is essential to a clean, comfortable, and healthy living environment. Aprilaire's E-Series delivers professional grade dehumidification for your entire...
Good air is essential to a clean, comfortable, and healthy living environment. Aprilaire's E-Series delivers professional grade dehumidification for your entire...View Product