If your house, or a room, has moist or wet stains on a wall or ceiling, musty odours, windows or pipes that are covered with condensation, and/or feels stuffy, you may need a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers regulate the humidity in a room by removing excess moisture from the air, thereby creating a living condition that is inhospitable to dust mites, mould and other allergenic organisms. They run quietly and efficiently in the background without most people even noticing.
There are two types of dehumidifiers available, portable and whole-house. For significant, year-round issues of high humidity, get a whole-house dehumidifier that uses your home’s heating-and-cooling system to reduce the humidity throughout your entire house. If the humidity is periodic or confined to one room, a portable unit is sufficient.
What to Look For
- An ENERGY STAR® certified high-efficiency dehumidifier which uses nearly 30% less energy, on average, than a standard model.
- Models with the highest energy factor (EF) for best efficiency, which is measured in litres of water removed per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy consumed or L/kWh
- Some models offer Wi-Fi enabled smart functionality, which allows you to control your unit from a connected device such as a mobile phone or tablet.
Things to Consider
- Close doors and windows, while operating your unit, as outdoor air can reduce your unit’s efficiency.
- Choose units that have filters that can be easily removed and washed. Washing filters twice a month will make your unit run more efficiently and you’ll have to replace the filters less often.
- Consider the City of Toronto’s Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) as a way to finance your whole-house dehumidifier unit and other energy-efficient upgrades.
Whole-house units $1,000 – $2,000+; portable units $150 – $300.
Source: Natural Resources Canada