Dehumidifiers: more than a bit of hot air

February 23rd, 2017

Appliance Talk Dehumidifiers

With humidity an all-year-round issue in Australia, dehumidifiers have always been useful in our climate. But with ever-changing and unpredictable seasons in recent years, their benefit to your health and wellbeing only continues to increase.

Why is a dehumidifier good for your health?

Small, safe, and generally economical with their energy use, a dehumidifier is a great addition to the home and family. And not just for reducing humid stuffiness – they’re great for health, too – especially if you suffer from asthma or sensitivity to dust or other allergens.

An overly humid home can have adverse health effects ranging from discomfort and poor sleep to heat stroke and allergy triggers. It’s also the perfect breeding ground for allergens, bacteria, critters, pests, and other irritants.

By reducing the absolute humidity in your home, a dehumidifier reduces the build-up of mould, mildew, and irritants, helping to create a drier, fresher environment. By making your environment more comfortable, your sleep and general wellbeing are greatly improved.

How does it work?

Moist, humid air is drawn into the machine with fans, passing over cold coils to bring its temperature down and thus extract the moisture, which then drops into a removable reservoir. The air is then reheated and released back into the room.

All dehumidifiers will have the option of manually removing and emptying the collected water (the machine lets you know once it’s full), and some offer continuous drainage if you have a sink or drain nearby. If you’re someone that keeps a non-edible garden, you can then put that water to use, so no wastage.

Where could I use it?

Given their portability, dehumidifiers are especially useful in bathrooms, wardrobes, pantries, kitchens, basements, and laundries, or anywhere with limited natural ventilation. They’re also really handy for those using a vented dryer.

Now, air-conditioners and dehumidifiers operate in similar ways, in that they both draw air in and send drier air out. While an AC is specifically designed to adjust the dry air temperature, a dehumidifier will release warm air back into the designated room, so it may not be the most ideal option if you live in a very hot environment, unless you intend on turning your home into a Brazilian rainforest.


The same goes the other way. Overusing a dehumidifier by leaving it on all night, every night, for example, can dry your home out to unhealthy levels (which contributes to dry coughs and other unsightly health issues). Keeping humidity to between 30-50% is the recommended level. For a more accurate reading, there are devices such as the hygrometer or humidistat that can be purchased, and you can also visit this page for more options.

Many units, such as this Delonghi, feature a humidistat (humidity meter) and can be conveniently adjusted to switch off on a timer basis.

How do I choose the right dehumidifier?

Because they’re not very well documented or widely reviewed, it’s probably a little confusing when it comes down to choice.

There are a few factors you want to consider to make the most educated choice for your home: the dehumidifier’s water storage capacity, the size of your room, and the general temperature of where you live. This ensures you choose the most effective model for your environment.

If you’re not someone that has these details immediately at hand (let’s face it, we all do, but just for the exceptions), here are some resources to assist.

The following is a table that gives approximate readings on the dehumidifier sizing based on the normal state of your home and size of the room/s you wish to treat. To calculate your room size/s more simply, visit Panasonic’s Sizing Guide.

AHAM* Dehumidifier Sizing Guidelines
Normal Room State         50 Sq. 90 Sq. Metre. 160 Sq. Metre. 230 Sq. Metre.
Moderately Damp with Musty Odors in Humid Weather          5L       7L     9L       12L
Very Damp with Odors and Damp Spots on Walls and Floors          6L       9L     11L        16L
Very Wet with Sweating Walls and/or Seepage          7L      10L     13L        18L
Extremely Wet with Wet Floors and High-Load Conditions          8L      14L      16L       21L

*The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, USA
To give you a better idea; if you live in a very wet environment and want to dehumidify a room of about 90 square meters, then you should aim for a unit that removes at least 10L of water a day. If your dehumidifier has a tank capacity of 4L and you left it on all day, then you would have to empty it 3 times. The larger the area, the larger the litrage capacity you would require, basically.

If you have any questions at all or would like some general assistance with dehumidifiers or any other appliances, feel free to Like and Comment/Message our AppliancesOnline Facebook page, message us on Twitter at, or give us a call on 1300 000 500, 24/7.

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