Many of us don’t give a whole lot of thought to the humidity levels in our homes. However, overly-humid air has the potential to cause health issues and even damage the structure of your home. Here, we’ll go over what dehumidifiers do and why you (probably) need one. And if you’re just beginning your search for the best dehumidifier for 1000 square feet, we’ve included a selection of five quality dehumidifiers for your consideration.
What Are Dehumidifiers? How Do They Work?
The name “dehumidifier” succinctly explains what these machines do. They work to remove excess moisture from the air in your home. Excess moisture may not sound like a major issue, but it can lead to the growth of mold and other allergens, and it can even cause damage to your home in extreme cases (more on that in a moment). A dehumidifier will keep the levels of humidity in your home at an acceptable level, and some more advanced models let you set an exact level of humidity that you want to achieve.
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Unless you are buying a whole-house dehumidifier that connects to your home’s air ducts, chances are good that you’ll be buying a refrigerant dehumidifier. The way these machines work is surprisingly simple. First, a dehumidifier will pull in air from the room it’s in. This air is warm, and it likely contains extra moisture.
That warm, moist air is then pumped over a series of cooled coils within the unit. As the air passes over these coils, moisture condenses onto them. That moisture is collected in a bin or drip pan that can be removed and dumped as it nears fullness. The now-dry air passes over the motor of the dehumidifier, which warms it back up slightly. It’s then pumped back into the room. In most cases, this doesn’t create much noise or a noticeable gust of air. However, some units have turbo speeds that may be slightly louder or expel air more forcefully.
You might worry that a dehumidifier that works this way will pull too much moisture from the air as it continues to run. This is technically possible, but just about every dehumidifier has a gauge that will make it shut off once it reaches the desired humidity level in a given room. This way, if you leave it running while you aren’t home, you won’t return to an overly dry house.
In your search for a dehumidifier, you may come across what are sometimes called “mini dehumidifiers.” These are very small, and they may be good for reducing moisture in certain problem spots. Most of them involve the use of a desiccant material like silica beads. This material attracts moisture from the air, and it becomes trapped in the small dehumidifier. Most of these either have replaceable cartridges or are single-use devices. They can be very useful in very small spaces, but they generally aren’t good solutions for long-term moisture removal.
Why Do You Need One?
Most of us are at least familiar with the concept of a dehumidifier, but not everyone knows all the benefits that come with owning one. Here are some of the benefits that come with owning a dehumidifier:
- They reduce mold growth
Toxic mold thrives in moist environments. And while mold is unsightly, it also can cause severe respiratory issues, especially in people with allergies and asthma. And once mold has taken hold, it tends to spread. If mold grows somewhere hidden, it can spread unchecked, and in some cases, it even affects your home’s structure. This can cause damage, and it’s often a very expensive fix.
In very humid air, it’s even possible for mold to grow on clothing, sheets, and furniture. This is also a health hazard, and it likely will require you to do laundry much more than normal.
- They reduce the risk of rust and corrosion
Especially in humid climates, very moist air can wreak havoc on sensitive electronics and some kinds of metal. This is especially likely on electronics you’ve had for a while. Circuit boards and some other components frequently develop a layer of dust over time. This dust effectively soaks up moisture in the air, and it keeps that moisture close to the electronics. Over time, this can cause damage that may be permanent.
- They make the environment less hospitable for dust mites
Many people don’t realize that dust mites thrive in moist environments. If you’ve already invested in a HEPA filter or another air purifier and still experience respiratory problems, try using a dehumidifier. By taking moisture out of the air, you’re making it more difficult for dust mites to take up residence, and you’re likely to see an increase in your respiratory health.
- They lower energy costs
When you run an air conditioning unit without a dehumidifier, your AC ends up using more energy. This is because it expends energy to both cool the air in your home and remove moisture. If you get an energy-efficient dehumidifier and run it alongside AC, you’re likely to see a dramatic decrease in your energy costs.
- They eliminate some of the inconveniences caused by high-humidity air
Often, if you’ve been living with too-humid air for too long, you won’t notice some of the downsides until you start using a dehumidifier. One of these downsides is that cereals and other dry goods tend to spoil faster in moist air. This is because they absorb moisture readily, which makes them become prematurely soggy.
Another issue is that, in humid air, clothes tend to dry less quickly. By dehumidifying your air, clothes that you hang to dry will dry much faster (and stay dry after that).
- They reduce odors
Even if your home does not have a serious mold or moisture issue, homes with humid air may develop a distinctive, mildewy odor. This odor is sometimes described as a “rotting” odor, and it’s something you likely want to remedy as soon as possible if it’s starting in your home. A dehumidifier will likely get rid of this issue, as well as stopping any existing mildew or mold from spreading.
How Do You Choose the Right Size?
As you shop for dehumidifiers, you will see that each is rated for a certain number of square feet. It’s unrealistic to expect a dehumidifier to work alone in a large house, so if you have a serious moisture issue, you may need more than one. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to choose one and place it in the area of your home most prone to excess moisture. For many people, this is the basement of their home. Basements are prone to moisture buildup, and because they’re so close to the foundation of a home, a too-damp basement may eventually cause damage to the foundation.
The dehumidifiers on our list below are the best dehumidifiers 1,000 square feet. This is a size larger than many rooms. It’s important to remember that you can always use a dehumidifier rated for a larger room in a smaller room–they won’t over-dry the air thanks to internal gauges that shut off when the air reaches optimal humidity.
However, it isn’t a good idea to use a dehumidifier rated for a smaller room in a larger room. It won’t be able to remove enough moisture, and it’s likely to be constantly running, which also may stress the motor over time. Additionally, dehumidifiers rated for smaller rooms often have smaller collection buckets, so you may end up needing to empty them very frequently.
The Best Dehumidifiers for 1000 Square-Foot Space
In order to help you start your search for a dehumidifier, we’ve put together five quality units that are suitable for rooms of about 1,000 square feet.
This compact, affordable dehumidifier has a sleek, modern appearance, and it’s rated for an impressive 1,500 square feet. It also allows you to custom-adjust your desired humidity level from 35% to 85%.
When it comes to collection of water, this unit can collect an impressive 20 pints. And while you can empty it like any other dehumidifier, you also can set it up to continually drain simply by connecting a hose. This model also has a built-in reusable air filter, making it effectively a 2-in-1 air cleaning machine.
This machine has both an auto-defrost capability and a turbo mode. This means that you can safely use in colder climates. You also can run it in turbo mode if you want to quickly remove most of the humidity from a room.
This is also a dehumidifier that won’t drive up your energy bills–it’s Energy Star certified, and it runs very quietly. At its maximum running speed, it’s only 51 decibels. The manufacturer also stands behind this dehumidifier–it comes with a one-year parts and labor warranty.
If you want a compact dehumidifier that won’t detract from the aesthetic of any room, this one is a great choice. It can remove up to 22 pints (one gallon) of water from the air each day. And like some others on this list, you can manually remove the collected water or attach a 5/8″ hose to automatically drain it. Its efficiency is deceptive–this is a smaller unit, and it looks a lot like a white computer tower. This dehumidifier is also very quiet, and it’s Energy Star certified, so you won’t have to worry about spending too much to keep it running.
If you need to rapidly remove moisture from the air, it has a Turbo Mode that dramatically increases fan speed to quickly cycle through all the moist air in a given room. This feature is very useful, and it’s fairly uncommon–many cheaper models only have a single fan speed.
When it comes to portability, this is one of the most easily movable units out there. It comes with built-in wheels and handles, making it very easy to move as needed. It comes with a generous two-year warranty, and those who register their product can also get an additional six-month warranty.
If you’re looking to remove humidity from a very damp room, this small dehumidifier is an excellent choice. It’s one of the smaller ones on the list, but it has one of the largest collection capacities–it can remove up to 30 pints of water from the air per day.
This machine is highly portable as well–with handles on the top and sides and wheels on the bottom, it’s easy to move it around to different rooms in your home as needed.
Even though it’s a compact unit, you can set this dehumidifier up to continuously drain water through a hose. It also has an automatic shutoff and a full tank alert, saving you from having to deal with spillage.
Though this model has manual controls, you can adjust your desired relative humidity anywhere from 35% to 85%. While it has only one fan speed, this model does have a low-temperature running option, which saves energy. It’s also Energy Star certified.
Honeywell is a well-respected manufacturer of home appliances, and this dehumidifier lives up to the brand’s reputation. Like many of the devices on the list, it’s compact, all white, and easily integrates into almost any type of decor. It also can remove up to 30 pints of water from the air per day. However, it’s important to note that this unit is rated for use in rooms up to 1,000 square feet, while many others on the list are for those up to 1,500 square feet.
This compact unit also has several convenience features. It has a washable air filter to help keep air clean as well as relatively dry. It includes indicator lights for both the air filter and the collection tank, and it also has an energy-saving 24-hour shutoff option. It also has a low-temperature running option, making it safe to run in cooler environments where many standard dehumidifiers would freeze.
When it comes to quality control, this dehumidifier also stands out. All Honeywell products are independently tested by third-party companies for quality and efficacy. This dehumidifier also comes with a five-year warranty, which is more extensive than almost any dehumidifier on the market.
This dehumidifier is another compact unit that is designed to efficiently remove a large amount of water from the air. It has a black-and-white look that’s a lot like many on this list, but it does have something that makes it stand out–it’s rated for rooms up to 2,000 square feet, making it a great choice for use in a large room (or even an entire floor of some houses).
This unit is also very easy to set up–it has a bright LED display that lets you adjust fan speed, humidistat settings, and timers. It also includes filter indicators. When it comes to checking on how full the tank it, this unit also has a unique feature–it’s transparent over the tank, so you can look for yourself and see how close it is to being full. And if you do forget to change it in time, it also has an auto-shutoff feature to prevent spilling. And if you want to continuously drain the tank, you have the option of attaching a hose.
Like many newer dehumidifiers, this one also includes a reusable air filter, so it will help keep your air free of dust as well as moisture. It also has automatic defrosting capabilities, so you can safely use it even in cooler temperatures.
What Features Should You Look for When Buying a Dehumidifier?
By now, we know the basic features of dehumidifiers, but each model has its own set of features. The following are some of the extra features you may see on modern dehumidifiers. Each is something to consider when shopping for your own dehumidifier.
- Built-in humidistats
Some dehumidifiers have a built-in humidistat. This feature gauges the humidity in the surrounding air and adjusts the dehumidifier settings accordingly. With most of these dehumidifiers, you can set your preferred relative humidity, just as you would set your preferred temperature with a window AC unit. Many humidistat-equipped dehumidifiers have a fairly wide range of humidity settings to choose from.
- Defrosting capabilities
Dehumidifiers use a cooled coil, and in very cold environments (even those that are still above freezing), these coils can freeze over. If you want to run a dehumidifier in a cooler environment, it’s a good idea to get one that will work in colder environments. These dehumidifiers have built-in defrosters that prevent coils from freezing. If the coils in a dehumidifier freeze, they don’t only stop the unit from working–they also can cause permanent damage. Thus, even if you don’t choose a unit with defrosting capabilities, it’s important to choose one that will work in your home’s temperature range.
- Collection capacity
Home dehumidifiers vary somewhat widely when it comes to how much water they can collect. If you want to be able to go for longer periods of time without emptying the collection bucket, you may want a unit with a larger collection capacity. Be sure to compare collection capacities of different units before committing to one.
- Automatic shut-off
This is a related feature to collection capacity–if your collection bucket or tray overflows, it can cause problems within the dehumidifier and in your home. Some units have a feature where they automatically shut off if the collection compartment overflows. If you’re someone who is forgetful, this is a great feature to have.
Along with (and sometimes in lieu of) automatic shutoff, some units give you the option of connecting a hose to the drainage tank. This allows you to let the unit continually drain via gravity. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you have a place to let the water safely drain.
- Electronic or manual controls
Most basic models of dehumidifier have a manual, dial-style control. Some newer models have electronic controls–these are usually more advanced controls that let you choose your ideal humidity. In some cases, you can even control your dehumidifier from an app, which adds an element of convenience.
- Mobility features
While this isn’t always the case, many dehumidifiers are large in size. If you want to be able to move the unit easily, look for handles or even caster wheels. Most people don’t need to move dehumidifiers often, but these features are very useful to have when you do need to move it. Most dehumidifiers are fairly lightweight (especially the ones rated for rooms up to 1,000 square feet), but wheels and handles nonetheless make it significantly easier to move them.
- Included air filters
While this is not a feature on every dehumidifier, it’s a useful addition that will allow you to essentially use your dehumidifier as an air filter as well. Most of these included filters are washable, which means you don’t need to spend money buying replacements–you simply need to clean them with soap and water. While these filters are great for removing most larger dust particles, it’s important to note that they aren’t usually HEPA filters. If you have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues, it may be a good idea to also invest in a HEPA filter, as they remove smaller particles that many air filters miss.
Whether you’re looking to buy a state-of-the-art unit with plenty of extra features or just a very straightforward dehumidifier, purchasing one of these machines has the potential to greatly improve your quality of life. And whether you buy one from our list or end up selecting something different, be sure to carefully evaluate each selection in order to choose the best one for your home. You’ll be well on your way to clearer, healthier air.