Airborne moisture can damage your home and pose a risk to your health. But manufacturers base their water extraction claims on tests that might as well be conducted in a sauna.
Check our test results to see how they really perform over a Kiwi winter.
Types of dehumidifiers
Desiccant vs compressor (refrigerant)
Most dehumidifiers available here are compressor (refrigerant) models, which use the same tech as heat pumps and fridges. But there are increasing numbers of desiccant dehumidifiers in the market.
Desiccant dehumidifiers suck air through a rotating disk filled with moisture-absorbing material. They typically perform better in lower temperatures (below 12°C) than compressor models. But desiccant dehumidifiers can cost three times as much to run.
Consider these features when buying a dehumidifier.
The energy efficiency scores in our test results indicate how much energy the dehumidifiers use to extract moisture from the air. A higher score means the dehumidifier uses relatively less energy. We also calculate the daily running costs based on eight hours of continuous use. They range from 9¢ to $1.22 per day.
Like a thermostat for relative humidity, humidistats let you set desired humidity levels – the dehumidifier will work until the room reaches that level. Removing too much moisture from the air can result in dry skin, throat and eyes. We recommend 30–50% humidity to keep dust mites to a minimum and reduce the growth of mould and bacteria.
Timers allow you to set the times a dehumidifier will switch on and off. If a dehumidifier doesn’t have this function, you can use an inexpensive wall plug timer.
Noise and fan speeds
Most dehumidifiers make 50 decibels (dBA) or more of noise. That’s enough to be annoying if you’re watching TV. For comparison, a reasonably quiet fridge produces about 40dBA. Check our test results to see which models are quietest. We also note how many fan speeds each dehumidifier has – you can reduce the volume of those with multiple speeds.
A small water collection tank makes a dehumidifier light and compact, so it’ll be easy to move around. Smaller tanks are also easier to lift to a sink to empty than those of larger models. But the smaller the tank, the more often you’ll have to empty it. In our testing, we measure tank capacity to shut-off.
As an alternative to manually emptying your dehumidifier’s tank, you can plumb it with a hose for continuous drainage. This is a good option for larger models.
Wheels and carry handles
Wheels and carry handles make your dehumidifier easier to move around the house. Larger models can weigh over 20kg, so look for wheels when buying a large dehumidifier.
Check our test results to see which dehumidifiers have the features you want and the best moisture extraction rates.
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We've tested 16 dehumidifiers.
Find the right one for you.