Features to consider while choosing a small dehumidifier
If you need the best dehumidifier for a small apartment or a particularly damp room in your home, there are a few features to look for. This will help you decide which model is right for any specific area.
Dimensions and weight
If you have a large basement or attic that can hold any size of dehumidifier, the dimensions likely won’t be that big of a deal. Smaller areas, like a bathroom, kitchen, or even in an RV, don’t have the same amount of bare space.
For these areas, you’ll want to find a compact model that can fit easily in an empty corner or on a counter without getting in the way of your regular daily activities. Thankfully, all the models we’ve reviewed here are small in size. Some of them are even less than a foot high and only about six or seven inches in width and height, like the Pro Breeze Electric Mini Dehumidifier.
Smaller dehumidifiers are also meant to be more portable than the larger models, which is why they are also usually much lighter. This makes it easier for you to move them, even if they have already collected some water.
The coverage area of a dehumidifier tells you the maximum size a room can be for the machine to perform at optimal levels. For instance, the InvisiPure Hydrowave Dehumidifier has a coverage area of about 300 square feet. This means it can easily circulate the air and remove the moisture in it in a room this size or smaller. The smaller units work wonders in bathrooms, cubicles, closets, and can even be used as dehumidifiers for a grow tent.
In a larger room, they won’t be able to circulate the air as quickly, so won’t keep up with the moisture removal. This means it will take much longer to lower the humidity levels. So, be sure to check out the size of the room you plan to use a dehumidifier in so you can choose one with the right coverage area.
When you stick a dehumidifier in a basement or a laundry room, you likely won’t notice it running when you’re in another room. The noise levels won’t matter so much in this type of situation. If you need one in a bedroom or kitchen, the noise level will be a much more noticeable feature, especially if you’re having dinner or trying to sleep. For this reason, the best rated small dehumidifier models on the market are made specifically to run much quieter, so they don’t disturb you while you entertain, watch television, or try to get some shut-eye.
Water tank capacity
Small dehumidifiers can have different tank sizes, so some water tanks can hold more than others. Smaller tanks are easier to carry when they need to be emptied, but since they hold less water, you need to do this more often. Larger tanks can hold more water, and sometimes only need to be emptied every few days, depending on the humidity levels in your home. Of course, the more water they hold, the heavier they will be to carry when they do reach their maximum capacity. If you prefer to empty them less often, a larger tank is better, but if you have trouble lifting the extra weight, stick with a smaller tank and empty it more frequently. Some models, like the InvisiPure Hydrowave Dehumidifier even offer the continuous drain option so that you don’t deal with the tank emptying whatsoever. Simply attach a drain hose to the unit and direct it into a sink, for instance.
A dehumidifier’s performance refers to how much moisture it can remove from the air each day. Most models have a specified amount, such as the Afloia Electric Home Dehumidifier, which claims it can remove up to 11 ounces of moisture in a 24-hour period. Of course, the temperature of the room and the relative humidity can also affect this. For the Afloia model, the optimal conditions are 86°F and 80% RH. If these numbers are higher, the amount of water removed may increase, while lower levels will cause a decrease in moisture removal. Different models have varying performance levels, so it is best to check the humidity level in your house and try to keep the temperature at the level recommended by that particular machine.
Some of the larger dehumidifiers available for purchase come with a variety of controls for specific functions. The fan speed is one, running the dehumidifier faster or slower, depending on the humidity level in the room. The desired humidity level is another possible option, which allows you to set it to the percentage you want. The machine will then shut down when that level is reached.
Though these are handy functions, most of the best small room dehumidifier models don’t have all these extra features.
All of the products we’ve reviewed have extremely simple controls, with only an on/off switch and nothing more. This makes them much easier to use, especially for those who don’t want to fuss with numerous buttons and dials.
A product’s warranty is one of the most important features to look at. Sometimes there is a defect that isn’t caused by something you’ve done. In this case, you don’t want to pay for repairs you aren’t responsible for. A decent warranty will cover these issues, repairing or replacing the product at no extra cost.
The length of the warranty is also something to look at. The longer the duration, the more time you have to try out your product to ensure it is working properly. Some products have warranties that cover you for two years, like the hysure Portable Dehumidifier. Others protect you for much longer, like the Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier, which has a five-year limited warranty. Make sure you’re clear on the coverage so you know exactly what you’re getting before you buy your next small dehumidifier.
Though the main function of a dehumidifier is to remove moisture from the air, there are a few features that can make these small models much more functional. One is an auto shut-off, which turns the machine off when the tank is full. LED or LCD indicators are also handy, to let you know the dehumidifier is running or that the tank needs to be emptied.
A drain hose, like the one on the InvisiPure Hydrowave Dehumidifier, allows you to put the dehumidifier near a sink or drain, so you don’t have to empty the tank manually. Removable filters make it much easier to clean the unit, keeping it running much more smoothly. The design is also essential, especially if you have it in your common areas where it could be seen by guests. Built-in handles allow you to move the dehumidifier easily from room to room if needed.
Tips to prolong your dehumidifier’s life
When you buy any product, you want it to last as long as possible, and a dehumidifier is no exception. To keep it running well and prolong its lifespan, there are a few things you can do:
- Use the dehumidifier in rooms at around 65 degrees °F to keep from freezing or burning up the motor.
- The humidity levels should be at about 40-50 or higher to ensure the dehumidifier performs efficiently.
- The filter should be checked often and replaced or cleaned when needed, to remove dust and other particles from collecting and clogging the intake.
- Check the coils for dust or frost and clean them regularly.
- Clean the water tank regularly to keep bacteria and mold from growing.
- Give it time to cool down when you empty the tank instead of turning it off and on too quickly.
- Position your dehumidifier at least six inches away from walls or other solid surfaces for proper airflow.
- Read your manual to ensure you are following the proper method of use.