Dehumidifying and Drying Air Information
If you frequently smell musty odors or feel damp spots on the floors or walls of your basement, laundry room, or storage area during warm, humid weather, you need a dehumidifier.
The recommended humidity level inside your home during the summer is around 40 to 50 percent, and very humid conditions over an extended period can leave you uncomfortable and adversely affect your home. Musty smells, peeling wallpaper, warped wood, rusting tools, blistered paint and moisture dripping from pipes are signs of excessive humidity. These conditions are most common during spring and summer.
Dehumidifiers remove excess humidity by drawing moist room air over cold refrigerated coils. The moisture in the air condenses into droplets as it passes over the cold surfaces in the dehumidifier and into a container. "Dried" air then returns to the room at approximately its original temperature. For best results, the unit should be located in an area closed to outdoor air and where air movement in and out of the unit is not restricted.
Here are some features to look for on many of today's models:
- Automatic turn-off switch that shuts unit off when container is full
- Signal light indicating that container is full
- Adjustable "fill" control that stops unit at the desired "fill" level
- Automatic humidistat that maintains the desired humidity level
- Automatic defrost control which shuts compressor off when freeze-up develops and turns it on again when ice is melted. (This occurs when temperature and relative humidity are low.)
- Combination dehumidifier/heater to warm a room that tends to be chilly frequently
- Quiet-running compressors and fans
- Easy-to-reach controls
- Easy-to-clean grille, condenser coil and container
- Rustproof, spill-proof container with built-in handles for portability
- Drain-hose fitting to let water run continuously to a convenient drain
- Wheels or rollers for easy mobility
- Rust-resistant cabinet.
While control or built-in features may increase a model's convenience of operation, they also raise its price. Consider each option carefully before you decide it is worth purchasing. But the most important consideration is "water removal capacity," the number of pints of water removed from the air in 24 hours.