Moist is Such an Ugly Word

Photo Courtesy of John RH4

Did you know “moist” is one of the most hated words in the English language? Just take a look!  And it’s really no wonder people dislike it so much, the only time we want something to be moist is when that something is cake.  We certainly don’t want moist clothes or linens or…basements!

Photo Courtesy of Thoth

One of the things we’ve talked about before is using a dehumidifier to keep your basement dry.  A dehumidifier can prevent mold and mildew growth while making your basement more comfortable by eliminating that sticky, damp feeling.  As an added bonus in the summer, a dry room is a cooler room, so you’ll use less energy on temperature control.  

Dehumidifiers work to remove moisture by drawing in warm, moist air and cooling it by pushing it over cold coils.  The moisture condenses and then collects in a drip pan.  The now dry air is then pushed over warmer coils to bring it to room temperature before being pushed back out.

Choosing a dehumidifier can be tricky; there are a lot of options and sizes to choose from.  In this post, I’ve gathered some tips and guidelines to help you choose one more easily.

Size Counts

Dehumidifiers are usually rated according to how much water they can take out of the air every 24 hours and how many square feet they can keep dry.  Most people don’t know how much water they need removed from the air, so choose a dehumidifier based on the size of the area it needs to keep dry.  It’s usually a good idea to go a little bigger because the larger the dehumidifier is, the more efficient it is at taking water out of the air.  In addition, it can run at a lower fan speed than a smaller model and that means it will be quieter, too.  Don’t try to save money by buying a smaller unit than recommended; a small unit will need to run constantly and still may not remove enough moisture.


Photo Courtesy of JAGwired

Frost Control

 The coils in a dehumidifier can freeze if it’s in a cool place, so make sure you choose a model with frost control to prevent this.  If the coils freeze, your dehumidifier will run without actually dehumidifying.


Some models have simple controls that let you choose a humidity level (normal, dry, etc.) while digital controls let you choose a more specific humidity level.

Easy to Clean Air Filter

The air filter needs to be cleaned regularly because bacteria can build up in it.  Make sure your model has one that is easy to remove and easy to clean.


A timer is a nice feature allowing you to program when you want the dehumidifier on or off.

Auto Restart

In case of power outages, a model with auto restart will turn back on by itself, an important feature if you spend a lot of time out of the house and might not be there to restart it.

Automatic Shutoff

When the drip pan is full, the unit automatically shuts off.

Energy Star

Dehumidifiers that qualify for Energy Star ratings use 10% to 23% less energy than other comparably sized units.

Hopefully these guidelines will make shopping for a dehumidifier a lot easier.  Do you have  a dehumidifier you’re particularly happy with or maybe you’ve had one you hated?  Let us know in the comments!


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