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Home > Learn More About Dehumidifiers

Learn More About Dehumidifiers

Learn More About Dehumidifiers

Why is maintaining proper humidity level important?

A common summer complaint is: It's not the heat, it's the humidity. Too much moisture in the hot summer air can literally turn your home into a steam bath. Respiratory problems, insomnia, and fungal skin infections are just a few of the health problems that can be caused by excess humidity.

Another problem associated with high humidity is mold. Not just unpleasant to look at, mold patches can also pose a serious threat to your health, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Mold spores become dormant or die when the relative humidity is low. Dust mites (another common cause for allergies and asthma) also die when the humidity stays below 50%.

How can I control the humidity?

While you cannot affect the humidity outdoors, you can control it within your home. Here's how:
  • Proper ventilation is very important when dealing with high humidity. Air your home frequently, especially the rooms you spend most of your time in (like bedrooms). Using a portable air conditioner, you can direct a flow of fresh air right where you need it. Make sure that places like bathrooms and basements, which tend to have high humidity levels, also receive a constant influx of fresh air.
  • While air conditioners can remove moisture from the air to a certain degree (and some have built-in dehumidification capacities), dehumidifiers are designed specifically for this task. You can use them to quickly reduce the moisture level in a given area. Powered models work best in larger areas like living rooms and basements. Non-electric dehumidifiers can be used in smaller enclosed spaces like closets and bathrooms.
  • If you use a humidity gauge (also known as a hygrometer), you can constantly monitor the humidity within your home, allowing you to see if it is too high or too low and then take appropriate actions.

How does a dehumidifier work?

A dehumidifier extracts moisture from the air using a refrigeration system. The water that is removed from the air is collected in a tank. In some models the water can then be removed through a hose connected to the water drain in the kitchen or bathroom. Usually the water is drained downwards under its own weight (meaning that the dehumidifier must be located higher than where the water is drained to), but some models (like the DeLongi DE500P) include a pump system so that the water can be drained upwards.

Most dehumidifiers work approximately within 64° - 90° F temperature limit and 40% - 95% relative humidity limit. Some function under temperatures as low as 44° F, which makes them perfect for basement use. Some of the DeLonghi models that we have in stock (ex. DeLonghi DE400) include this feature.

What does the capacity of a dehumidifier stand for?

Dehumidifiers are rated by the maximum amount of humidity that they will remove from the air in a 24 hour period. For example, a 40 pint dehumidifier is rated to remove 40 pints of moisture from the air in a 24 hour period.

How to choose a dehumidifier?

There are two general rules for this:
  • Know your area - Larger spaces need dehumidifiers with a larger capacity.
  • Know your humidity level - The more humid is your air, the more powerful dehumidifier you need.
You can use the chart below as a quick reference. First, find the area you need to dehumidify in the top row. Next, find the relative humidity of the area in the leftmost column. The approximate dehumidifier capacity that you need would be in the cell on the intersection of the row and the column where your data is in.

(up to 8' x 10')
(up to 15' x 15')
(up to 20' x 20')
Extra Large
(up to 20' x 30')
(40% to 55%)
30 pint*40 pint50 pint 65 pint
(55% to 65%)
30 pint40 pint50 pint65 pint
(65% to 80%)
40 pint50 pint65 pint65 pint
Very High
(80% to 95%)
50 pint65 pint65 pint65 pint
*A non-electric dehumidifiers can be used if the room size is especially small.

Also, if you are planning to use your dehumidifier in a basement, consider a pump model over a non-pump one. While a pump model may be more expensive, it is capable of emptying its tank by itself, saving you the trouble of running up and down the stairs carrying heavy tanks full of water and assures you the piece of mind while you're away from home.

Please note that the above table does not take into account many other factors, like room temperature or desired humidity level. Therefore, it is only a rough estimate and should not be used as a sole guide to selecting your dehumidifier. If you would like to find out which dehumidifier best suits your needs, call us toll-free at 1-877-335-6644 and our trained humidity experts will gladly help you figure it out.

If you have a question about dehumidifiers that is not covered here, please e-mail us at and we will do our best to answer it.

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