Humidifers & Dehumidifiers

What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need

What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need


Living in humid climates can make the lives of people with allergies very miserable. If your living pace has humidity issues, consider getting a household dehumidifier.

This handy appliance helps maintain the ideal humidity level, which in turn, helps contain common allergy triggers including mold, mildew, and dust mites, all of which thrive in humid conditions.

How Are Dehumidifiers Sized?

The size of a dehumidifier is determined by its full moisture-removal capacity from the air. This capacity is represented in the total number of points removed in 24 hours.

For instance, if you encounter a “30-pint dehumidifier”, the model with this rating has been tested for the removal of 30-moisture pints in 1 day.

Note, however, that dehumidifier sizing is done through controlled tests. Often, a dehumidifier’s standard test conditions are 60% humidity and 65 degrees F.

Dehumidifier capacity typically indicates the space of space that the appliance can cover, in square feet. So, if you’re familiar with the total area (in square feet), of the space you desire to dehumidify, then this information may be an indicator of the ideal dehumidifier capacity needed.

Dehumidifier Sizing Chart (New 2019 Standard)

Conditions (Without Dehumidification)

Recommended Capacity Range (Pints Per Day)

Small-Medium Space

(Less than 2,000 sq. ft.)

Large Space

(More than 2000 sq. ft.)

Slightly to Moderately Damp: Space typically feel damp of has a musty odor during humid weather only (50% - 75% relative humidity)

20 - 30 pints

30+ pints

Very Damp: Space smells and feels wet. The floor or wall may also sweat (75% - 90% relative humidity)

24 - 40 pints

40+ pints

Extremely Wet: Wet floor, high load conditions (90% - 100% relative humidity)

30 - 50 pints

50+ pints

How to Choose the Right Size of Dehumidifier

1. Room Size

A good indicator of the dehumidifier size you should get is the room size you will be servicing with the appliance.

Small rooms, such as laundry or bathroom, which have a high dampness affinity, would benefit from a 20-40-pint dehumidifier. This capacity is considered ideal for dehumidifying areas between 400 - 1,000 square feet, with varying levels of dampness.

If you have a mid-sized space such as a bedroom or study room, which exhibit high moisture content, then a 40-59-pint dehumidifier is the most ideal for such spaces. Such spaces tend to have areas of up to 1,000 - 2,000 square feet while feeling constantly damp with the occasional mustiness, especially in humid weather.

Finally, there are large rooms of over 2000 square feet. Such include lounges, open-living spaces, and many similar ones, which are also characterized by elevated wetness. The ideal dehumidifier capacity for such spaces is 50 pints and above.

2. Room Conditions

A room can exhibit varying magnitudes of different conditions such as humidity, dampness, and wetness. You need to constantly assess the dampness of your space.

If your space exhibits mild dampness, the rated capacity (in pints) of the current space (square feet) should be adequate to remove the extra humidity from the air around you. But if your space is extremely wet on most days, consider getting a larger-capacity dehumidifier.

This point is especially important because there is a significant difference between a model removing 50 pints of air from saturated air, and the same model working in a standard room condition. The latter performs better and more efficiently.

Lastly, it's also possible for both cool and hot environments to be humid. In the case of cooler environments, the mode ideal dehumidifiers are desiccant types. Hot and humid temperatures are best served by refrigerant dehumidifiers.

3. Number of People and Pets

People and other animals can also increase the humidity of a room through the period expulsion of water through different crevices on their bodies.

Through seemingly normal actions such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, breathing, and talking, it is possible to increase humidity levels, but by small margins.

However, the intensity of humidity can rise significantly if there are many people in the same room, for instance, during a social or formal gathering, or even in a typical family setting, especially in small spaces.

To determine the best dehumidifier capacity for an occupied space, simply add five pints to your capacity calculations, for every 4 - 5 people.


How to Choose the Right Size of Dehumidifier

Photo: Emerson Silent Kool

1. Do I Need a Dehumidifier for Each Room?

No. The tasks of choosing a dehumidifier based on the number of rooms can prove tricky because you have to account for the size of each room.

The ideal approach is to get the overall area of your house, and then position your dehumidifier optimally so that it covers all the rooms. In the case of a big or multi-level house, it may be necessary to get more than 1 dehumidifier for efficient coverage.

2. Is It Better to Get a Bigger Dehumidifier?

No. bigger is not always better. You should choose a dehumidifier that suits your needs, environment, and space.

For instance, if you have a small space such as a bedroom, running a high-capacity dehumidifier in it could increase power consumption unnecessarily, leading to higher energy costs.

Similarly, using a dehumidifier whose performance and capacity is too small for your current space can degrade the appliance’s performance rapidly.

3. Where Should I Place the Dehumidifier for the Best Results?

The best place to set up your dehumidifier is in the room where it is needed the most. Typically, this is the room that is the dampest at any given time.

Such rooms include bedrooms, basements, laundry rooms, crawlspaces, indoor pools, and areas that generally exhibit moisture problems. For specific positioning, the dehumidifier should be placed on the floor and sections of the room where moisture dominates the air.


A dehumidifier is an essential appliance in homes that experience high moisture content in the air, mostly due to hot and humid weather.

The appliance will regulate humidity to levels that are safe for your health, effectively reducing the chance of developing allergies.

When choosing a dehumidifier, ensure you get the recommended capacity for your living space and levels of moisture or dampness experienced there. 

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