What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need for Basements, Whole House or Bathrooms

Have you ever tried staying in to avoid allergies, only to realize that the inside of your house may contain as much allergens as there is outside? Have you ever feel damp and smell that musty odor caused by mold & mildew growth in your house?

Don’t worry though, there is a way to combat allergens and mold growth within your space: add portable refrigerant dehumidifiers to your HVAC system.

How big of a dehumidifier do I need, you ask? Read on and let’s find out how to choose the perfect size for your dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers are sized by the amount of moisture they can absorb within 24 hours, meaning the larger the space you want to humidify, the bigger dehumidifier you’ll want.

For instance, a thirty pint dehumidifier will absorb up to thirty pints of water in a day. A thirty pint dehumidifier can absorb less than thirty pints of moisture in the air per day, but not more than thirty pints.

It’s important to know how to size a dehumidifier as you can’t just pick out any dehumidifier like you’d do with other products. If you choose a dehumidifier smaller than what you need, your space will remain humid and damp while purchasing a dehumidifier bigger than what you need will cost more power and might leave the room too dry or arid.

How big of a humidifier do I need

Here are three main factors you’ll want to consider when choosing the perfect size of your dehumidifier.

  • Room or space size (square footage (sq. ft.) will be used in further examples)
  • Current humidity levels or condition of room or space
  • Temperature in room or space

1. Room or space size

The first and biggest thing to consider when buying a dehumidifier is the size of the room or space you want to dehumidify. Generally, the bigger the room you wish to dehumidify, the bigger and more capable dehumidifier you’ll need.

2. Current moisture level or condition of room or space

The moisture level of the space you’ll want to dehumidify is as important as the room’s size. This will indicate how big the dehumidifier will be as it’ll measure how much it has to dehumidify.

For instance, a big room that isn’t that heavily humid, only slightly damp, will not necessarily need a big dehumidifier. However, a small room that is heavily humid and damp will need a bigger and more capable dehumidifier.

3. Temperature

While not as important as room size and moisture level, the room’s temperature should be taken note of as well. This is because some dehumidifiers work better in a certain temperature range (normally above 68 degrees Fahrenheit)

When taking note of these factors, make sure that there are no external factors that can modify your findings. For example, make sure that you measure the room or space wholly despite the furniture, close doors and windows (if any) unless you wish to use the dehumidifier with doors and windows open, and make sure that the temperature is in your normal setting.

Now that you know what factors to consider, let’s go back to the main question: how big of a dehumidifier do I need? Here is a dehumidifier sizing chart for you (based on room size and moisture levels from moderately damp to extremely wet):

Once you know your room or space’s size and moisture level, you can refer to the chart above to look at what size your dehumidifier should ideally be.

For example, what should be the size of a dehumidifier for a basement? Let’s assume the size of the basement is 980 square feet and is considered to be wet, but not extremely wet.

The chart recommends a dehumidifier with a capacity somewhere between 41 pints to 59 pints. This is because the room is of average size while having noticeable humidity and dampness, thus the need for a 41-59 pint dehumidifier.

While room or space size, moisture level or condition, and temperature are the three main factors to consider when getting a dehumidifier, you should also consider these factors if they affect you:

  • Humidity of country or location
  • Presence of large aquariums, indoor ponds, or large water ornaments (fountains, etc.)
  • Number of people regularly occupying the space

If you are living in a high humidity area, 70-pint dehumidifiers are always recommended and they would be the best dehumidifiers for basements.

1. Humidity of country or location

If your house, room, or space is open or has lots of openings such as windows and doors, you’ll want to consider the natural humidity of your surroundings as it can affect the space itself. Consider getting a bigger dehumidifier if your area is in a humid region, more so if there are bodies of water nearby.

2. Presence of large aquariums, indoor ponds, or large water ornaments (fountains, etc.)

Furniture or any fixtures with water must be taken into consideration as they contribute to the humidity of the space or room, especially for larger objects such as water fountains and aquariums. Likewise, consider getting a bigger dehumidifier to combat the humidity these furniture or fixtures produce.

3. Number of people regularly occupying the space

Only consider this if there are multiple people regularly occupying the room you wish to put the dehumidifier in. It is natural for crowded areas and spaces to be more humid so consider getting a dehumidifier with a few more pints than the one recommended to you if you followed the chart.

Knowing how to size a dehumidifier isn’t easy as many factors are needed before settling with one, but this can save you from buying an underpowered or overpowered dehumidifier. Not only will knowing how to size a dehumidifier make your job on choosing easier, it’ll also save you time and a few bucks on trial and error.

Remember that there are many factors to be taken into consideration when buying a dehumidifier, including water tank capacity, energy efficiency (Energy Star rated) and warranty policy. Make sure that you’ve jotted down all the right things to consider before settling down with one.

Now you’re ready to find the perfect sized dehumidifier for you! Let the allergen-free and perfectly humid days come!

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My name is Justin Williams. I am the founder and blogger at TheDehumidifierExperts.com (read more about us). I was an allergy sufferer and that is also the reason why I began my trek to finding the best dehumidifier for my own personal health issues. All of the dehumidifier top picks on the site were put through their paces by Lance Perez - our dehumidifier researcher. He put each one through a series of tests to see how well they performed. Then, our editorial team compiled the insights into articles and published them.

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