How to Choose a Dehumidifier
Follow these tips to prevent rust, mildew, mold and odors caused by high humidity levels in the home.
High humidity levels in the home encourage rust, mildew, mold and odors; and the moisture can damage cameras, computers and furniture. The problem is easy to solve with a dehumidifier, which is rated by how many pints of water it can take out of the air every 24 hours. A 25-pint unit will serve bedrooms and living areas, but for basements and areas with a laundry room or bathroom, consider a 35-, 40- or even 50-pint unit. These devices cost $175 to $250. Keep the following operation and maintenance tips in mind:
Be sure the dehumidifier outlet is protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Avoid using extension cords; spilled water presents a shock hazard.
Place the unit at least 6 in. from any wall so air flows freely; shut all nearby windows and doors.
For the first few days of use, turn the humidi-stat to the extra-dry setting, which will remove moisture from room furnishings.
Run the unit only when the room temperature is above 70 ½F. Frost can form on the coils when it's below 65 ½F.
Look for a unit with an indicator light that signals when the water pan or bucket is full.
To reduce the chance of shock, unplug the device before emptying the water bucket.
Each month, dust or vacuum off the grilles or louvers, and scrub the bucket with a mild bleach solution to discourage mold, mildew and bacteria.
Once every three months remove dust from the coils with a soft brush.