Whole House Dehumidifiers Tips and Tricks
Conduct periodic checks.
It is easy to forget about a properly working portable or whole house dehumidifiers. They are quiet and if they are operating correctly your room or home will be dry and comfortable. Be sure to check that your dehumidifier is functioning properly on a regular basis.
Don’t allow the bucket to attract mold.
Even the best, perfectly sized dehumidifier does not do any good if the bucket fills with water and turns itself off!! Be sure to empty the container and to clean it on a regular basis. Examine the bucket at least once a month (even if you have connected a hose to the dehumidifier) to determine whether it needs cleaning. Use an antibacterial cleanser or a mild bleach solution to clean the bucket to prevent mold, mildew or bacteria from growing inside the dehumidifier.
Keep the filter clean.
Clean the filter and dust the cooling coils at least once a month as well. Properly maintained portable or whole house dehumidifiers will keep your room or home cool and comfortable for many years.
Follow safety practices.
Because portable or whole house dehumidifiers operate on electricity and will likely have water inside them, you must follow proper safety practices. Check with your local code office to determine what the electrical requirements are for a dehumidifier. Most codes require that the outlet used for the dehumidifiers have ground-fault circuit interruptesr to guard against electrical shocks in case the area becomes damp. You should never use an extension cord with a dehumidifier because electrical shocks may occur if water spills from the unit onto the cord.
Get the right size.
Portable and whole house dehumidifiers come in many different sizes so make sure that you buy the correct one. As size determines its ability to remove a set amount of water from an area in a given amount of time, you need to know the size of that area. That will give you an indication of how much water needs to be removed. To help you to do this, please refer to this handy table that was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers:
AHAM Dehumidifier Sizing Guidelines
|Condition without dehumidifier||ACH||500 sq. ft.||1,000 sq. ft.||1,500 sq.ft.||2,000 sq. ft.|
|Moderately damp with musky odors in humid weather||3||10 pints||14 pints||18 pints||22 pints|
|Very damp with odors and damp spots on walls and floors||4||12 pints||17 pints||22 pints||27 pints|
|Very wet with sweating walls and/or seepage||5||14 pints||20 pints||26 pints||32 pints|
|Extremely wet with wet floors||6||16 pints||23 pints||30 pints||37 pints|
Consider your required CFM.
You will also want to consider the amount of air the dehumidifier can move over a set period of time. Portable and whole house dehumidifiers measure this in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. This is an important measure for dehumidifiers because all of the air in your room or home must flow through your dehumidifier in order for the moisture to be removed. The size determines how much air needs to pass through the dehumidifier. The level of moisture in the air tells you how many times the air in your room or home should cycle through the dehumidifier every hour. This is known as Air Changes per Hour, or ACH.
How to calculate the CFM.
To calculate the CFM you need from your dehumidifier, simply multiply the cubic feet of the room or home by the recommended ACH, and then divide that number by 60 minutes. If your room or home requires a higher CFM than you’ve been able to locate on any portable dehumidifier unit, you can use multiple dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture from that space. It is not a problem if you can only find a dehumidifier with a higher CFM than you need. It just means that the dehumidifier will run less frequently.
Go for the model with a automatic defrost feature.
When operating at indoor temperatures below the 60 to 65 degree range, some portable or whole house dehumidifiers may develop frost on their cooling coils that can cause damage. Finding a dehumidifier that can operate at lower temperatures will prevent you from having to replace it due to damaged cooling coils. Look for a model that has an automatic defrost feature that allows it to operate in the 40 to 45 degree range. Homeowners who live in climates that are warm year-round, however, may not find it necessary to purchase a portable or whole house dehumidifiers that operates at these lower temperatures.
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