Dehumidifiers are available in a variety of sizes and moisture removal capacities, and many models have upgraded features that make setup and use easy.
In the simplest terms, dehumidifiers are used to lower the humidity level in a space. Sometimes lowering the humidity in your space is necessary in order to create a more comfortable indoors that’s free of clammy-feeling air, muggy conditions, and unhealthy mold growth. Typically, an indoor humidity level of 60% or higher is considered high. So, to create the healthiest and most comfortable indoor environment, we recommend maintaining a humidity level of between 30 and 50%.
Commercial Dehumidifiers are larger and heavier-duty units that are built for more unforgiving dehumidifying jobs. These models typically have moisture removal capacities that are much larger than residential dehumidifiers and housing that is constructed with rugged, all-weather materials to withstand extreme conditions. Other common features of these models include low-temperature operation, internal condensate pumps, loss of power protection, and simplified controls. You might use an industrial dehumidifier to help remove moisture in a flood-damaged space or to control humidity in an indoor pool area, for example. Some light industrial models are also more efficient choices for residential basements and crawl spaces.
Capacity at AHAM vs. Capacity at Saturation
Dehumidifier manufacturers may rate the moisture removal capacities of their dehumidifiers in different testing conditions. One manufacturer may assign a daily moisture removal capacity to a unit after testing it in AHAM conditions or in saturation conditions.
- AHAM conditions are average humidity conditions of 60% humidity, 80 degrees F. These testing conditions are recommended by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) in order to ensure a more accurate expectation for how a unit will perform in the vast majority of spaces, which tend to have average humidity levels most of the time.
- Saturation conditions are more extreme humidity conditions of 100% humidity, regardless of the temperature. Manufacturers use these testing conditions to measure the maximum amount of moisture a dehumidifier can remove per day.
As you're scanning the capacities of various dehumidifiers, it's important to think about the testing conditions each model might have been rated in. If you're looking at 2 models and one model was rated at saturation while the other at AHAM, for example, you won't be making a sound comparison. A dehumidifier that's able to remove 70 pints of water in saturation conditions (100% humidity) is going to remove less moisture in AHAM conditions (60% humidity); it would remove roughly half that amount. This is because a dehumidifier removes less water in drier air than in more humid conditions. Be sure to keep testing conditions in mind when you're evaluating models. If your space has very damp conditions, look for a dehumidifier that's tested at AHAM. It will be more robust than a model rated at saturation.