People often contact us to ask what size dehumidifier they should buy when they want to purchase a room dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in a room or a basement in order to prevent the growth of toxic mold and reduce the risk of mold-related health problems. Using a dehumidifier is an easy way to prevent mold, because mold requires moisture in order to grow and spread. Room dehumidifiers are small appliances that are reasonably priced and easy to use, so it’s a great solution for damp, musty basements or other rooms.
When we talk about the size of a dehumidifier, we don’t mean how tall it is or how much it weighs. What we mean, instead, is how many pints of water it can pull from the air in one day. Dehumidifiers that can remove more moisture from the air in one day tend to be larger, meaning they take up more space, than those that remove less moisture, but when talking about the size of a dehumidifier, think about how much work you need it to do.
Start by measuring the area in which you want to place a dehumidifier. To determinate how many square feet you’re dealing with, use a tape measure and measure the length and the width of the room and multiply them. For instance, a room that is 20 feet long and 15 feet wide is a total of 300 square feet (20 x 15 = 300).
Then refer to the guidelines established by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to help homeowners determine what size dehumidifier they should purchase:
30-Pint Dehumidifier – This is the size recommended for areas up to 1500 square feet, regardless of how damp the area is. That means it will be appropriate for most residential basements. It’s also the size recommended for areas up to 2000 square feet, providing the area is not more than moderately damp; for instance, if the area feels damp and smells slightly musty when it’s very humid out but not all the time.
40 or 50-Pint Dehumidifier – This is the size recommended for areas up to 2000 square feet that feel damp and smell musty all the time, or in which moisture can be seen on the walls, or in which you’ve dealt with mold growth in the past.
60 or 70-Pint Dehumidifier – This is the size recommended for areas larger than 2000 square feet.
Most dehumidifiers have a bucket that collects water and must be emptied periodically. However, some models can be set up to drain automatically as long as you set them up near a suitable drain. These models work well in basements, where floor drains are often already installed. All that water that is removed from the air needs to go somewhere, though.
No matter what size dehumidifier you need, our preferred room dehumidifier brand is Frigidaire. Frigidaire offers dehumidifiers in a variety of sizes, including 30-pint, 50-pint, and 70-pint dehumidifiers. They can be set up to drain continuously if located near a drain, so you don’t have to worry about emptying a bucket of water regularly. If you don’t set them up to drain continuously, all Frigidaire models have an automatic shut off so the bucket will not overflow if you forget to empty it one day. Most also come with a washable filter that helps remove bacteria and other debris from the air. The Energy Star models work efficiently to save energy and to save you money. To learn more about our preferred room dehumidifiers, just follow this link to Amazon.com. We also found the consumer reviews on Amazon very helpful.