Need a dehumidifier? Here's how to know the size you need
Right-size the pint-size for your humid dwelling
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Whether it's to combat high humidity during the dog days of summer or to keep damp basement air cool and crisp, you need a dehumidifier to get the job done.
Dehumidifiers come in a variety of sizes meant for different areas in your home, like basements, bathrooms, and garages, leaving you wondering, "What size dehumidifier do I need?"
Buying the correct size for your intended usage is key to keeping the musty, wet air in your living quarters fresh and dry. Here are tips to follow when it comes to what size dehumidifier is best for your home or apartment.
There are two different styles of dehumidifiers—know which one you need
The two main types of dehumidifiers—desiccant and refrigeration—have different strengths and understanding how they work can help you buy the right one for your situation.
In short, desiccant dehumidifiers are best for smaller areas that need fairly consistent dehumidification, like basements or laundry rooms. They don’t use that much energy, so you can leave them running all the time.
Refrigeration dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are better for larger rooms that need occasional dehumidifying on very humid days, but they can use a lot of energy.
Choosing the right dehumidifier size for your space is key—here's what to look for
Dehumidifiers are usually rated by a single number: the amount of water, in pints, that they can extract from the air. A small dehumidifier might be able to manage five to 10 pints at a time, while a larger model could manage 60 to 70 pints. Industrial models designed to clear out flooded properties can accumulate hundreds of pints at a time.
These numbers are only an estimate, though—how much the dehumidifier will extract for you will depend on the level of humidity, the temperature and other factors.
Make sure to measure each room accurately to ensure proper coverage
The first step is to figure out how much space you want the dehumidifier to cover. To this end, you'll want to measure the room in your house where you're going to put the device and calculate the square footage.
If you plan to use it in a space where two rooms connect—such as a living room and dining room with an open arch—treat the two rooms as one, as the air will flow from one to the other.
Take current humidity levels into account—the more humid a room is, the bigger size dehumidifier you may need
The right dehumidifier size for your home depends on both the size of the room and the humidity level, which can range from a mildly clammy feel to water dripping down the walls (rarely a good sign).
For rooms that just feel a little humid, you can get away with about one pint per 10 square feet of floor space. For rooms that are damp, such as after a flood, you're going to need something that can suck more moisture out of the air—at least three pints per 10 square feet.
You've got options when it comes to emptying the water tank
The amount of water that a dehumidifier can extract from the air isn’t the end of the story, though. That water has to go somewhere.
Most dehumidifiers include a removable basin for collecting water that needs to be emptied periodically. If you're in a very damp area and the dehumidifier has a small tray, you may have to empty it several times a day. For this reason, many dehumidifiers include a pipe and a pump that can be used to dump the water out into a sink or a drain. You may want to set up this type of drain if you're dealing with high humidity.
With the right size dehumidifier, you'll be able to enjoy all summer has to offer—without overbearing humidity in your home.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.