Excessive dampness in a home can cause damage to walls, floors, carpets and even plumbing. It is especially prevalent in basements, basement apartments and storage areas.

A dehumidifier takes excessive moisture out of the air by blowing humid air over cold evaporator coils in a refrigerator system.

Quality is closely related to the amount of moisture a unit extracts during a 24 hour period. A high capacity unit can remove 18-36 pints of moisture during 24 hours-an efficiency rating of 1.85 pints per kilowatt hour-sufficient to dehumidify an area up to 18,000 cu. ft.

A middle-line model can remove 13-22 pints, 1.65 pints per kWh; an economy model can extract about 10-18 pints, an efficiency rating of 1.45 per kWh.

Extracted moisture normally is collected in a pan, and unit shuts off automatically when the pan is full to prevent the danger of overflow.

Emptying of pans in some models is facilitated by an attached garden hose, a bucket or similar receptacle. If used in a basement, the unit may be drained directly into the floor drain. A humidistat for turning the dehumidifier off or on in response to changes in moisture content of the air is a must for efficient energy consumption.

A dehumidifier is no substitute for an air conditioner. Although both dehumidify, a dehumidifier tends to raise the temperature.

For best results, a dehumidifier should be operated with doors and windows closed and should be placed away from walls, furniture and other obstructions to airflow.

Check your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions. Information in this document has been furnished by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information in this document.