Is your home suffering from the signs of condensations and dampness? Are you looking for a small dehumidifier to help you deal with damp and mold problem in your home?
Read on to find out if a dehumidifier can help you solve this problem, how to find the best dehumidifier, how they work, as well as how you can make the most out of your dehumidifier.
What are Dehumidifiers?
Well, they are designed to keep the levels of humidity in a room in check, maintain clean air so that it is more comfortable, by reducing condensation and any form of damp air. We have tested more than 20 dehumidifiers to identify the best and worst models that you can find in the market.
The models we rated highest won’t cost you much to run, are easy to use, and they’ll do an incredible job of pulling water from the air around your home; regardless of whether they work at room temperatures or in cold conditions.
How Does A Dehumidifier Work?
The working principle behind dehumidifiers is drawing excess moisture from the air, which in turn helps to prevent mold growth, reduce condensation (on your windows and walls) and dampness as well.
Dehumidifiers generally come in two forms – compressor, also known as refrigerant, and desiccant. In this case, they work in different ways, and most will claim to be better suited for some environments than others.
Compressor/ Refrigerant Dehumidifiers
These work by drawing air through a special filter, and over cooled coils. Water essentially condenses on these coils and will then drip into the water tank.
With this working principle, they are often said to work better in environments of higher humidity and higher temperatures. They are a good choice for most occupied homes.
These make use of adsorbent materials to extract water from the air, and then the material is heated to let the moisture drip into the water tank. They are designed for low temperatures, and will therefore work more efficiently in cold environments, the kind you would find in a typical conservatory or garage.
However, desiccant dehumidifiers are said to use more energy than the refrigerant dehumidifiers, since they use heat to warm the absorbent material to release the moisture.
When Should a Dehumidifier be used?
You should use a dehumidifier as soon as you notice signs of dampness around your house, such as damp walls and condensation on your windows.
Keep in mind that it should always be the last measure of tackling excess moisture inn homes.
You can use the following simple steps to reduce the reliance on dehumidifiers:
• Wiping down all wet floors and walls such as in the bathroom after use
• Having an open window or an extractor fan when taking a shower or bath
• Sealing any cracks in the walls with sealant or caulk
• Using an extractor fan hood when cooking on a hob
• Placing wet clothes to dry outside, and when necessary to dry them indoors, place them next to an open window
If the above steps just won’t work, the following tips might help you, or else you might need to consult a professional.
• Make sure gutters are working properly, in that they aren’t clogged and the downspouts essentially direct the rain water away from the house
• Check around the house for any leaking pipes, drains, or appliances
• Ensure that your tumble drier is well vented to the outside of the house
• For structural rising damp, a damp-proofing course might be needed
Essential Tips When Using a Dehumidifier
If you want to make the best out of your dehumidifier, you may want to vacuum the house before hand, to make sure you are not spreading dust particles around, which might clog the air filter of the dehumidifier if it has one.
Moreover, be sure to keep the dehumidifier away from the walls, curtains, and furniture, and remember to keep all the windows and doors closed when the dehumidifier is running.
Empty the water tank (of the dehumidifier of course) each time you use it, as well as before you move it into another room. It is a good idea to vacuum the air filter regularly, washing it when it gets very dirty. However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions first.
Most modern dehumidifiers come with an automatic humidistat. This is the sensor that is used to monitor the amount of moisture in the air so that the appliance can set itself on and off to keep a humidity level of your choice around the house.
In this case, you don’t have to keep repeatedly turning the appliance on and off, instead, you can let the dehumidifier to automatically do this to maintain a proper humidity level. Aim to keep your room’s humidity levels at around 50% and 60%.
How To Buy A Small Or Large Dehumidifier
The cost of a small dehumidifier will mostly depend on its capacity and the type of features it comes with. These capacities normally range between 0.5 and 20 liters. Here is what you should look for when choosing a dehumidifier:
The right dehumidifier size will depend on the space you want it to fit in. for this reason, if you want to use it in a small space or room or even a caravan, the small capacity dehumidifier may be a great option.
In the same way, if you want a dehumidifier for use in a large room or for the whole house, then a larger capacity one is ideal.
You might have probably looked at a few models already, and you might have noticed the difference between the dehumidifier’s water tank capacity, and its overall capacity.
The capacity of a dehumidifier is the amount of water moisture it can remove from the air in a span of one day, while the water tank capacity refers to the amount of water it can hold at a given time.
In most cases, the amount of water the dehumidifier can extract from the air is much more than its water tank capacity, meaning that you will need to empty the water tank frequently if you use it a lot.
However, many models allow you to attach a water hose to drain the water being collected continuously.
Here are some of the features you should look for as you select a dehumidifier:
Frost watch: the refrigerant dehumidifiers often have the feature to prevent water moisture from freezing around the cold coils as it is being collected from the air.
However, desiccant dehumidifiers tend to skip this technology from the claims that it’s not needed due to the way they work.
Continuous drain facility: for those who don’t want to empty the water tank frequently, this features lets you attach a hose that can directly flush the water to a low level drain.
However, some manufacturers won’t provide a hose in the box, and you need to buy it separately.
Humidistat: the appliance uses this to monitor the moisture levels in the air to turn itself on and off depending on the conditions and the selected humidity levels.
Timer: this lets you program the dehumidifier to turn off or on after specified periods, which can save you a bit more energy (electricity).
Integrated cord storage: this feature helps you save on space when the appliance is not in use, and removes the risk of tripping over rogue cables.
Castors/Wheels: if you need to move the appliance around the room/house, these allow you to do it more easily and reduce the chance of dropping it. If you have limited strength, go for one with wheels.