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Dehumidifier features explained

Lynn Wright / 19 May 2016

Banish condensation and damp from your home with a dehumidifier. We help you choose the perfect dehumidifier with our guide to the essential features to look out for.

Close up of the top of a dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are rated from A to G according to their energy efficiency with an A-rating being the most efficient

The best dehumidifiers not only reduce moisture in the air quickly and efficiently, they have a host of features that make them easy to use in every room in the house.

For more on choosing the best dehumidifier, see How to buy the best dehumidifier.

Best dehumidifier features to look for

Here are some of the most important features to consider when choosing the best dehumidifier for your home.

Noise Some refrigerant units can be noisy in use. If you plan on using your dehumidifier in a bedroom while you sleep, consider a desiccant dehumidifier that offers quiet operation.

Water tank capacity Most dehumidifiers have a storage tank for the collected water that you’ll have to empty periodically. Dehumidifiers with larger tanks need to be emptied less often, but you’ll typically pay more for this feature.

Continuous drain facility Some humidifiers allow you to attach a hose to a drainage port. This eliminates the hassle of emptying the water tank, as collected water will continuously flow out through the hose into a sink or a drain. Not all dehumidifiers with this option come with a hose in the box, so factor in the cost of buying one separately.

Automatic shut-off This important feature sees the dehumidifier automatically shut down when the water tank is danger of overfilling. Some models have indicator lights to show when the tank is full.

Auto defrost Refrigerant dehumidifiers use various ways to prevent water from freezing on the cold coils when pulled from the air. Most have a sensor that automatically turns off the dehumidifier if frost forms, minimizing energy wastage and saving running costs. As desiccant dehumidifiers work differently, they don’t suffer from frost.

Automatic humidistat This monitors the moisture in the air, then automatically turns on and off the dehumidifier to maintain your chosen humidity level.

Timer A handy feature that lets you set the dehumidifier to turn on and/or off after a selected period of time to save on running costs.

Washable filter Some models have removable dust filters, which can be washed with soap and water for easy maintenance.

Wheels/carry handle If you plan to use your dehumidifier in different rooms, look for a compact, lightweight model with a carrying handle for easy portability. With larger, heavier units, look for wheels or rolling casters so you can avoid lifting.

Clothes drying Some dehumidifier units have a laundry setting that can quickly dry clothes. This can work out cheaper than using a tumble dryer as it uses less electricity.

Energy rating Dehumidifiers are rated from A to G according to their energy efficiency with an A-rating being the most efficient. Choosing an A-rated model will help to keep running costs down.

Ready to buy a dehumidifier? Read our guide to the Five best dehumidifiers.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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