Understanding Dehumidifier Ratings
What Exactly Does A Dehumidifier Do?
The single purpose of a dehumidifier is to help control the humidity levels in your home. Their purpose is to keep these levels low and that in turn controls what are known as dust mites. Moisture can build up in any home that does not have proper ventilation and that can be a room, a roof space and even a basement or garage. It can happen in any room in the home, however it is more likely to happen in rooms that are poorly ventilated. Areas such as basements and crawl spaces are very prone to having poor air flows.
When air is kept free from high levels of moisture, the air feels fresh and healthy. When there is not enough moisture the air will feel very dry, and can cause you to cough. With too much moisture, then the air is ideal for bad things to start happening like mould, increases in insects and vermin, and also the arrival of mites. As we all know the importance of clean air in the home is important for our health.
A good quality dehumidifier should ensure that the air in your home does not become too dry. If your dehumidifier is working properly and to its full capability, then you should notice with just a few days, that condensation should have reduced and simple things like your windows have stopped steaming up. Understanding the above information is important especially when we come to look at the actual dehumidifier ratings.
A good dehumidifier, if functioning properly, will also reduce and eventually remove either damp or musty smells. The first sign of these types of smells is usually associated with something known as mildew. Mildew is a form of mould growth and is part of the fungus family.
It usually appears on everyday things such as paper, clothing and on walls, floors and ceilings in the home. It is especially at home in basements that are not properly aired and is typically black in colour with a rather pungent smell.
Dehumidifier Ratings – How Does A Dehumidifier Work
Before we examine any dehumidifier ratings it is a good idea to understand how a dehumidifier works. The purpose of any dehumidifier is to draw moisture from the air in a room and passes it through a filter inside the machine.
This filtered air is then passed over a set of cold coils which makes the moisture condense quickly and this water then drips down into a bucket inside the dehumidifier. It is a fairly simple process but once you understand this it makes looking at dehumidifiers a lot easier to understand as you know what features to consider to meet the specific needs of the problem you may have in your house.
Here is a list of the features that you will need to take into account when you are purchasing a dehumidifier:
- Size of the area where the problem actually is
- Dehumidification Extraction Capacity
- Filter Type
- Tank Capacity
- Noise Level
- Automatic Shut Off
- Minimum Working Temperature
- Automatic Defrost
When you see all of the above it may seem at first a little off putting and highly technical. I can assure you it isn’t and I will take you through each of these and then you will understand that it is important to know these as it means you can buy with confidence knowing that it will do your job. The dehumidifier ratings will then inform you which dehumidifier will do which job.
To make things a little easier we have done a lot of research into dehumidifier ratings and we have added a number of articles of dehumidifiers that we would recommend. You can read these and see which ones are what we believe to be the best on the market based on extensive research and actual user reviews. For those of you who like the technical jargon then please read on
Dehumidifier Ratings – Understanding Dehimidifier Features
Size of the area where the problem actually is
You need to roughly work out the size of the area that is impacted. Is it the entire house, a basement, a bedroom, a garage etc? When you know this you will be able to pick a dehumidifier that is capable of achieving the task in hand. It is always best to measure this in cubic feet. To work this out measure the length, by the breadth and then the height of the room.
Then multiply these three figures together and you will have your cubic feet measurement.
This is simply the amount of moisture or water in the air that dehumidifier can actually extract. You will be amazed at the amount of water that can be removed from a moist room. The higher the extraction capacity the quicker it will get the job done.
Check out the weight of your machine especially if you plan on moving it around. The weight shown on the dehumidifier is of course the weight without the water tank being filled up. People may want to move these around the home depending on what problem areas they have.
It is advisable to make sure they have wheels on the bottom that allow easy movement.
Many of the dehumifiers that we reviewed and rated had what is known as a basic filter. We would recommend one that has an allergy filter fitted as that also deals with dust and bacteria.
This is simply the amount of water that can be held in the tank inside the dehumidifier. There is an option to have a dehumidifier permanently attached to some form of drainage system. However if that is not possible then you will need to empty the tank on a regular basis.
This can truly be a pain to continually do, so the larger the tank the better. You do however need to balance this with the actual weight of the tank when full and how easy that is to empty. This is worth considerable thought and is one of the true dehumidifier ratings to consider.
This should be fairly self-explanatory as with a timer you can set the times when you would like your dehumidifier to be switched on and off. This is really useful for those who are at work all day and just can not be on hand to deal with the appliance.
Some of the better dehumidifiers also have a heating function. This allows them to keep the air dry and prevent the chance for damp conditions to begin. Please note though that these will be more expensive to buy, and also much more expensive to run.
This particular feature allows for efficiency when getting the right humidity level in your affected area or room. It allows you to tweak the humidity rating until you get it just right. If you or any member of your family has any type of allergy problem, or suffers from asthma, then we would urge you to consider buying one with this great feature.
We found during testing that some dehumidifiers can be really noisy and you should really consider this. If it is going to be in a room that is used frequently then you should aim for one that has a low noise output, otherwise it could drive you insane.
Automatic Shut Off
This for me is an essential feature to have. If for some reason you forget to empty the tank then the machine will automatically shut down and prevent possible flooding.
Minimum Working Temperature
Dehumidifiers usually work ok in all moderate temperatures. If however you live in an area that gets really low temperatures you will need to check if the dehumidifier you are going to purchase will work at low temperatures. Otherwise the coils can get covered in frost and the dehumidifier will simply stop working.
Similar to the feature above some of the top quality dehumidifiers have this feature. If the machine coils do start to freeze due to low temperatures then this feature will kick in a small heater which will defrost the coils and keep your machine working.
A bit obvious this one but clearly it is important to know the size of your dehumidifier and if it will fit into the space you have planned for it.
I mentioned this earlier and all you need to do is check if the dehumidifier you are going to purchase has the capability of being attached directly to a drainage system.
So you can now see there are quite a few things to remember when you are checking out which is the right dehumidifier for your purpose. It is also important to know and understand the dehumidifier ratings.