Are you trying to keep the humid air to a minimum in your basement and in doing so are thinking about getting a dehumidifier?
So what size is needed, or does it even matter?
Let's look at that. When it comes to dehumidifiers and you are referring to size you are referring to how much moisture it will take out of the air in one day, and not the physical size of the unit itself.
You will no doubt take cost into consideration when getting your dehumidifier, but that should not be the determining factor. You will be far better off to spend the extra $$ to get a unit that will take the most moisture out of your air, for as you know – too much moisture leads to…. Wait for it….. MOLD.
So let’s concentrate on the correct size.
But first you will need to know the area of the room you are looking to place the unit. Figure out the square feet (length x width of room). Now you are good to go.
Generally dehumidifiers come in 30-pint, 40-50 pint, 60-80 pint sizes. (30 pints is a little over 3.5 gallons)
30-pint units are recommended for spaces up to 1500 square feet, pretty much regardless how damp the area is. That makes it the “go to” size unit for basements.
Note – you can squeeze the 30-pint up to 2000 sq. ft. if the area is only moderately damp meaning it doesn’t always smell musty – only when it rains.
40 or 50 pint units work well in areas up to 2000 sq. ft. that are damp all the time.
60 to 80 pint units are for areas over 2000 sq. ft.
I like the 50 pint. (6.25 gallons – I feel it works better during the hottest, most humid days)
Now the important stuff.
Since dehumidifiers will shut off when the collection bucket gets full, the best dehumidifier is the type that you can hook a hose up to so it will just empty by itself, into a floor drain. (The best basement is the one with a floor drain to be emptied into).
If you don’t have a floor drain set up then you have 2 options. 1 requires that you or your spouse or your kids – ha - will need to empty the dehumidifier every evening and every morning and pretty much every time it shuts off.
The other option is to get a dehumidifier that comes with an electric pump, and run the drain hose to the outside.
Just remember, the burden of emptying the bucket far outweighs the damage that moisture will do to your house. The indoor relative humidity number we are shooting for is 50%. You can get there with a combination of your air conditioner and a proper sized dehumidifier.
So smile when while you are bucket dumping!