Compiled below is a list of some things to look for when shopping for a dehumidifier. Many of these features come standard with pretty much all dehumidifier models, however some are designed for special applications and are only applicable for certain models.
Pint capacity is the amount of moisture in pints that a dehumidifier model can remove from the surrounding area in 24 hours. Pint capacity is affected by the size of the area and the initial moisture within that area. Generally speaking, models with a pint capacity less than 70 pints are suitable for home or residential use as opposed to models with capacities greater than 70 pints which would be suitable for commercial applications.
Most residential home dehumidifier models are rated a pint capacity based on maximum relative humidity versus commercial models which are rated at typically 60% relative humidity.
Collection Tank or Collection Bucket:
Most home or residential dehumidifier models have an internal collection tank or bucket that can be removed when needed. Once a dehumidifier model extracts enough moisture to fill the collection tank, the tank most be emptied. Most models have an auto-shut off feature that turns the dehumidifier off once the tank is full.
Commercial or industrial dehumidifier models remove so much moisture from the air that a collection tank would be impractical. Thus, these models usually drain or pump the collected water as opposed to storing it in a tank.
Humidistat or Hydrostat:
A humidistat is an instrument that measures relative humidity within the environment and then relays that information back to the dehumidifier for any needed adjustments. Humidistats are built into dehumidifiers or can be bought separately.
Low Temperature Operation:
This is a feature found on dehumidifier models suited for use in low temperature environments such as basements or crawl spaces. Most models have an operating temperature range that should be more than suitable for most basements or crawl spaces, but there are some models that can operate in an environment as cold as 30°F.
Electronic or Manual Controls:
Most models on the market today feature electronic controls. The difference between the two is that electronic controls usually consist of settings controlled through a “button” type interface where as manual controls consist of settings controlled through a “dial.” One thing to note is that if power is interrupted, an electronic controlled model will turn off and will need to be manually turned back on.
Auto-restart is a function that can be very useful during power failures or power interruptions. If a dehumidifier model loses power, auto-restart functionality automatically turns the model back on at its previous settings once power is restored.
Found on almost all dehumidifier models, caster wheels allow for easy transport and portability. Residential and commercial models alike can be found with caster wheels.
Air filters are an optional accessory that function to help clean air being drawn into the dehumidifier. The basic process is that air is passed through the dehumidifier and through the filter, moisture is drawn from the air and collected in the collection tank and clean air is exhausted back out through the unit.
While not necessarily a feature, a quiet dehumidifier is definitely better than a noisy one. Dehumidifiers are generally noisier than other appliances, and while many would not consider a decibel rating of 50 decibels to be quiet, it would be considered quiet for a dehumidifier.