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Best Inexpensive Home Dehumidifiers

Humidity, or the lack thereof, is a popular topic this time of year. Where I live in northern Colorado, it’s dry and humidity is non-existent. Well, not exactly, but it averages 15% to 20% during the summer and fall months. We have a humidifier in our home, and it runs continuously for health and comfort.

 

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Recently, I’ve been bombarded with pleas for help dealing with the opposite—high humidity—which can get pretty miserable. A dehumidifier can be a godsend for those who live in high humidity areas to remove excess moisture from indoor air.

What is a dehumidifier?

Think of a dehumidifier as a vacuum that sucks the air from a room, removes the moisture and then blows dry air back into the room again. The condensation drips into a collection tank inside the machine that must be emptied routinely.

Many people find that a dehumidifier works with the air conditioning system to keep the rooms in a home comfortable even on the hottest days with super high humidity. Others rely on a dehumidifier in place of an air conditioner.

Dehumidifiers come in a variety of sizes, typically rated according to how many square feet they can dehumidify and how many pints of water they can produce in a day. Most home dehumidifiers are controlled by thermostats and humidity sensors so you can make the room as hot and dry as you wish.

Signs You Need a Dehumidifier

Discomfort

High humidity is just plain uncomfortable. It’s that hot, sticky feeling you just can’t shake. When it gets hot, it’s normal for your body to sweat as its a way of cooling you down. But when it’s also super humid, your perspiration never dries completely, making you feel terminally damp, sticky, and just plain uncomfortable!

Wet windows

If your windows on wet on the outside, chances are pretty good it’s raining. But when they’re drippy wet on the inside? That’s humidity, baby! An accumulation of condensation on the inside of windows is a clear sign of unreasonably high humidity. This is another sign that you could certainly benefit from a dehumidifier.

Mysterious water stains

You’ve checked the roof and all the pipes and can find no sign of leaks. Still, you have what look like ugly water stains on the ceiling and or walls. Those may be another symptom of excessive humidity inside the house. Water that condenses in these areas can eventually lead to peeling paint and even damaged drywall. Both of which are not cheap to repair.

You’ve got mold

Discovering mold and mildew climbing the walls in your home… and driving you up the wall, is another sign that it’s just too humid in there. That condition is inviting airborne mold spores to take up residence where they are free to multiply.

According to the Mayo Clinic, breathing air laden with mold spores can lead to more serious health problems. Symptoms include a chronic stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

A scientific review of the health effects of humidity published in 1986 by Arundel et al, reports that high indoor humidity levels can encourage bacteria, viruses, mites and fungi, and more respiratory infections and sicknesses. “Most adverse health effects caused by relative humidity would be minimized by maintaining indoor levels between 40 and 60%.”

High humidity

It’s one thing to feel hot and sweaty, it’s another to see exactly the relative humidity level. In the same way that a thermometer checks the temperature of a room, a humidity gauge—also known as a hygrometer—shows the current humidity expressed as a percentage. In general, when the outdoor temperature is over 50F, indoor humidity levels should not exceed 50%.

 

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Equipped with professional-grade sensors, the ThermoPro TP55 thermometer for home use provides highly accurate measurements, be it for indoor humidity or temperature, informing you if adjustments are necessary for your household. This indoor thermometer and humidity gauge is not just highly accurate, but also extremely user-friendly with a backlight that allows you to make night time checks right before bed.

 

How to Choose?

Space size

Dehumidifiers come in a variety of sizes and capacities—from whole-house units that tie into the HVAC system and dump water right into a sump pump, to portable units that are self-contained and can be moved from room to toom.

Whether you’ve got a humid office, garage, closet, or bedroom, there’s a dehumidifier that can handle it. The smallest size of dehumidifier I recommend removes up to 30-pints of moisture from the air per day with its 3-liter water tank capacity. It’s recommended for small, indoor spaces like closets or offices up to 1,000 square feet.

A  50-pint capacity dehumidifier is built to handle a 1,000 to 2,500 square foot area and works well for bedrooms or common areas. A 70-pint capacity dehumidifier is intended for rooms between 2,500 to 4,000 square feet, such as basements, cellars, or large spaces.

Typically, dehumidifiers are cheaper to operate than air conditioning.

Get smart

Getting phone alerts from a smart dehumidifier is more appealing than you might think. The problem arises however, that there are not many portable dehumidifiers that interact with your smart phone to give you remote updates and alerts for what’s going on—when the tank is full, if it’s operating as it should be, and so forth.

Or go manual

I’ll stop short of calling these the dumb version of dehumidifiers, opting to call them manual. With this type of dehumidifier, you the operator need to check periodically and make visual assessments.

Must be drained

All portable dehumidifiers must have a way to get rid of water, which is, in fact, the moisture it is collecting from the room’s air. You may opt to position the machine near an existing floor drain and hook up a hose to allow the water to constantly make its way out of the machine. Or you may prefer to catch the water in a reservoir that you will empty as it becomes full. Refer to the owner’s manual.

How to clean

Every dehumidifier comes with a manual that will lead you through the simple steps to clean it. This process should take no longer than 10 minutes and involves replacing the filter as required.

 

Best Inexpensive Dehumidifiers

 

The hOmeLabs family of dehumidifiers deserves your full attention for several reasons. First, these machines are not ugly—who wants some big monster of a machine taking up space?

Next, these units are workhorses that come in a variety of sizes. Remember to select the machine that most closely matches the square footage of the space you need to dehumidify. And, they are super easy to use. hOmeLabs dehumidifiers are quiet, efficient, attractive, Energy-Star certified and priced right with a 2-year warranty.

For these reasons, the line of hOmeLabs dehumidifiers is my pick for Best Inexpensive, listed here according to room or space size and with or without a pump to aid in the emptying process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published 5-22-22; Updated and Republished 8-17-23


 

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  1. Angie says:

    Will a dehumidifier work if windows are open? We live in the Blue Ridge mountains so rarely need the AC but do have a lot of humidity in the house. But wondering if open windows makes a dehumidifier useless?! Thx!

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