During the winter months, homes can get damp and damp, but a dehumidifier can do wonders to help keep your home warm and dry.
This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but this does not affect our editorial judgement.
It’s easy to spot a damp house: there may be damp spots on the wall, frequent condensation on the windows or mold on the surfaces. Excess humidity is a common problem in households – it can be caused by poor home insulation/construction, cooking, showering, or even just breathing.
Condensation, dampness, mold, fungus and bacteria all thrive in humid weather, exacerbating allergies or leaving you vulnerable to respiratory infections.
Fortunately, there is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to reduce humidity and humidity: a dehumidifier.
What is a dehumidifier? Are they energy efficient?
A dehumidifier removes excess water from the room, preventing mold and other problems that can harm your health and your home. Dehumidifiers are easy to use, they’re not too expensive to run, and they’re usually relatively quiet.
When it comes to energy efficiency, a dehumidifier will help keep your home warmer in the winter and provide a more economical way to dry your laundry in the winter. They pull moisture and allergens away from wet clothes, speeding up drying time, but they’re much more cost effective than a tumble dryer – the average dehumidifier runs at around 40p per hour, while a tumble dryer positively chews energy, running at an average cost of £1.55 an hour.
How do dehumidifiers work?
It depends if you have a ‘desiccant’ or ‘compressor’ model.
Desiccant dehumidifiers take in the air and pass it over a rotating flywheel to absorb the moisture – the wheel is then heated to ensure it doesn’t end up saturated.
Compressor dehumidifiers operate in the same way as refrigerators. They use a fan to pull air in and pass it through extremely cold coils. The water then condenses and drips into a water tank. Finally, the air is reheated and blown back into the room as warmer, drier air.
Compressors are better at regulating ambient temperature, but less adept at handling winter cold – that is, if the temperature drops to zero or below. Desiccants can continue to operate regardless of temperature, but are more expensive to operate.
That said, both types will work to remove moisture from your home – making it cleaner, healthier and warmer.
The best dehumidifiers at a glance:
How can a dehumidifier help me take care of my home?
A dehumidifier can help you and your home in different ways throughout the seasons. In winter, it can help you dry your laundry as it will remove all the water from the air when you need to dry your clothes at home. In the summer, it can make your home less humid as it will reduce humidity.
Dehumidifiers also have an added health benefit; they can help allergy sufferers manage their symptoms because allergens, bacteria, dust mites, molds and the like thrive in humid conditions.
Key signs it’s time to consider a dehumidifier
- Mold on the walls, especially on the ceiling or in the corners. Mold can spread and become toxic. This is especially dangerous if you have breathing problems
- Musty smells, especially in closets
- Condensation on your windows
- Signs of water damage
- Rotten wood.
If not, how can I keep my environment warm, comfortable and healthy?
There are other ways to keep your home warm and looking clear and healthy this winter.
Meaco makes the gold standard of home dehumidifiers, and this particular model – while expensive – is a great investment for your household.
Why? Because it’s highly efficient – its lower energy consumption levels mean it will cost less to run than other models in the long run. It is also very fast and able to reduce humidity and condensation over a large area, which means it can dehumidify your entire home.
It takes 219 watts of electricity per hour (at an estimated cost of 11p per hour, based on the current average rate of 52p per kWh) to operate – the lowest energy consumption of any dehumidifier of its size.
It tackles moisture and mold exceptionally well.
If you’ve heard of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, you’ll know that they’re the most efficient way to clean the air. The Meaco has a built-in HEPA filter, which basically serves two purposes: HEPA filters remove 99% of dust mites, pollen or other airborne allergens, so your home will be dry and healthy.
It is rather large, but its capacity is enough to eliminate humidity in an entire house, which means that you will not need to buy several devices in the house. The digital display also shows room humidity reading, features a timer, child lock and a carry handle for added convenience.
You can choose the target humidity or use the Laundry setting to dry clothes.
If you have a gem kitchen or bathroom that needs to be dehumidified, this tiny but mighty unit will do the trick. Measuring just 22 cm and just over a kilo, you can easily transport it from room to room.
It uses Peltier technology – to cool the water vapor in the water, making it an exceptionally quiet option, if you’re easily put off by white noise. At about a penny an hour to run, it will hardly set you back.
That said, it only removes 250ml of water at a time (hence: small gaps) and does not perform well in cold weather. But for a small, warm environment like a bathroom, that might be all you need.
Dehumidifiers are usually functional rather than stylish appliances, but the sleek and dark De’Longhi DEX216F dehumidifier is a look – if aesthetics are important, this is your best bet for a dehumidifier that will be sympathetic to your environment. .
A medium-sized model, it’s ideal for living rooms or large bedrooms – De’Longhi claims it can handle rooms up to 75m².
Capable of extracting 16 liters of water per day, the 2.1 liter water tank won’t require constant attention. We also liked the air conditioning effect – by attracting moisture and allergens, it left the room smelling fresh and dry.
The anti-freeze feature makes it a winner for the winter – we found it to run smoothly in our outdoor shed and is able to keep blowing in extreme weather conditions. It’s a quiet, sleek model that’s a snap to use, and comes with a dual filtration system and dust filter, should you have allergy sufferers in the house.
A great option overall – our favorite.
The Honeywell 24L portable dehumidifier is an impressive proposition, especially if you have a medium to large sized home with multiple rooms that you want to dry out. Its omni-directional casters make it easy to move, and its only 14.8 kg – about half a meter high, so you can move it from room to room.
With a “smart digital humidistat”, Honeywell automatically senses the humidity levels in your room and then operates to achieve a pre-programmed humidity level.
A great all-rounder, the Honeywell dehumidifier will pull a whopping 24L of humidity out of the air in 24 hours. A study shows it cuts laundry drying time by 25%, but costs a fraction of the cost of a clothes dryer, making it an energy-efficient choice for winter.
Small house or space you want to target? The reasonably priced Black+Decker BXEH60002GB is all you need, presenting itself as the best for the best for rooms up to 15 m².
Although it has a modest 2 liter capacity, it will work perfectly in a bedroom, storage room or normal sized home office. Its running costs are very low and it has an automatic switching function, so you can leave it unattended without fear of racking up bills or overflowing.
Lightweight, easy to move around and with a built-in UV air purification feature, you get reasonable value for your modest money. A word of warning, though – it’s not that quiet, so not one to have in your room while you sleep.