Dehumidifer FAQs

Choosing the best dehumidifier for your home can be overwhelming due to the many types, options, and features, but we have the information you need to help you make the right purchase. Below we answer some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to dehumidifiers.

  1. What size dehumidifier do I need?
  2. What does a dehumidifier’s capacity mean?
  3. Which model would minimize operating costs?
  4. Would a dehumidifier add some heat into the area in which it is located?
  5. For larger spaces would I be better off with a “whole house” unit or a couple of smaller models?
  6. Are dehumidifiers noisy?
  7. What is the difference between a dehumidifier with a pump vs without?
  8. What is a drain hose?
  9. What is the lowest temperature dehumidifiers can operate in?

If you have a question about dehumidifiers that you don’t see listed here, please leave us a comment below or give us a call at 1.800.297.6076.

What size dehumidifier do I need?

The capacity that you need depends on several factors, the most important of which are the area that needs to be dehumidified and the humidity level in that area. Please view the following chart to approximate the capacity of the dehumidifier that you need:

Which Dehumidifier is Right  for You?

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What does a dehumidifier’s capacity mean?

Dehumidifiers are rated by the maximum amount of humidity that they will remove from the air in a 24 hour period. For example, a 40 pint dehumidifier is rated to remove 40 pints of moisture from the air in a 24 hour period. Keep in mind that even though the dehumidifier may be removing 40 pints of moisture a day the unit may only have a 25 pint storage tank so you will need to manually empty the reservoir bucket in order to achieve the unit’s maximum capacity. To avoid this issue you would need to purchase a unit that offers a direct drain option so the unit may continuously expel the moisture into a nearby drain in your area negating the need to manually empty the holding tank.

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Which model would minimize operating costs?

Energy Star

Start by selecting a unit that is “Energy Star” rated. The Energy Star rating is an international designation indicating that an appliance has been deemed energy efficient. The dehumidifiers that offer this designation are clearly marked on our website. You will also need to make certain that you do not select a dehumidifier that is too small for the area you wish to cover and the humidity level that you wish to maintain. An undersized dehumidifier will run more often which will in turn use more energy than a properly sized unit.

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Would a dehumidifier add some heat into the area in which it is located?

Yes, a dehumidifier will add some heat into its immediate environment. The amount of heat will vary greatly depending on the size of the unit and the area it is operating within. The warmer the temperature the unit is operating within the more efficiently the unit will be able to remove moisture from the air. It is conceivable in smaller areas that a dehumidifier may raise the ambient temperature 5 to 8 degrees. Conversely, a dehumidifier will cease to operate if the environment becomes too cold. This is an important factor to consider if you are attempting to dehumidify a basement area that is not heated. Check the specifications of the unit you are considering for more information on the units operating parameters.

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For larger spaces would I be better off with a “whole house” unit or a couple of smaller models?

While there are many models that claim to dehumidify large areas their true effectiveness is dictated by the airflow within the operating environment. If air is unable to easily flow from one room to another it will greatly reduce the effectiveness of a whole house unit. In these situations you may need to employ a ceiling fan or smaller portable fans to increase the airflow between the rooms and to the dehumidifier. Another option would be to purchase two smaller units and place them at opposite ends of the home.

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Are dehumidifiers noisy?

Although noise is a very subjective topic, the average dehumidifier is typically not as loud as a window or portable air conditioning unit. However, a dehumidifier will make some noise during operation so you may want to plan on locating the unit in a part of your home other than the bedroom or any room where you require low levels of sound. As a frame of reference, the average home dehumidifier is rated around 55-60 dB, or about the same as human speech.

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What are the differences between a dehumidifier with a pump vs without?

Having a dehumidifier with a pump is a great added convenience, it automatically pumps the moisture out through a tube connected to a sink, outside of a window or anywhere else. Since they are automatic, the water can be pumped out vertically. When a dehumidifier does not have a pump, a reservoir will fill with water that is being removed from the air and it has to manually be emptied out. A dehumidifier with an internal condensate pump can be more expensive, but comes in handy when no one is around to empty the dehumidifier, the water bucket is too heavy to lift, or the dehumidifier is in hard to reach place like an attic or crawl space.

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What is a drain hose?

For dehumidifiers that don’t have a pump, they sometimes come with a drain hose that uses gravity to help drain the water. By placing the dehumidifier higher up, the drain hose can be connected to allow water to flow down and out into a sink, tub, or outside. It’s important to note that because the water removal relies on gravity it can only flow downwards, not vertically, like a dehumidifier with a built in pump.

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What is the lowest temperature dehumidifiers can operate in?

Most residential dehumidifiers can operate in temperatures between 41-44 degrees. Industrial desiccant dehumidifiers operate in subzero temperatures. Since each unit differs be sure to check the specifications to look for the specific operating temperature.

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Kara Zorn

About Author

Kara Zorn is a wife and working mom who loves life hacks that help her schedule allow for as much quality family time as possible. She enjoys cooking with locally sourced food and produce and recently took up brewing Kombucha.


  1. David says

    We have a 2400 Sq. ft. ranch house in Arizona. I’m interested in purchasing a dehumidifier to be used during the summer months ( which is our monsoon season) so I don’t have to run the air conditioning. I would centrally locate it to cool the main part of the house ( not the bedrooms) which is approximately 1500 sq. ft.. How much would it cost approximately to run a month 24/7?

  2. Lowell says

    I am looking for a dehumidifier to put in a small travel trailer to keep the humidity down to stop or slow mildew and mold growth. We are talking about a very small floor space, but with the A/C not running the temp can get high inside it. I have been running the ac to keep the humidity down, but i think a dehumidifier would do the same thing while it is unoccupied.

  3. Lynette says

    I’m looking for a dehumidifier for a basement that is approximately 1,250 square feet. The family room is a large room that is 15 x 25 with a large utility room across from it and a bath and two bedrooms down the hall. Which unit would be best for this type of setup?

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