A dehumidifier is a useful appliance when it comes to eliminating excess level of humidity at home. Excessive humidity helps harmful bacteria, virus and other microbes grow, causes filthy odour, damages walls and other valuable assets in your home. Dehumidifiers have now become a necessity in Indian households due to presence of excessive humidity in the air during the long Indian summer. Dehumidifiers absorb the excess moisture from air so that you stay dry and feel comfortable despite the scorching heat outside.

Even though dehumidifiers are quite useful for the Indian summer, the appliance is not as familiar as an air conditioner or a refrigerator in the Indian household. A lot of confusion prevails over the appliance. The various brands and types available in the market are also quite overwhelming for a new buyer. Let’s dig deeper and learn how to choose and buy the best dehumidifier in India and what features to look for in it.

When you first start researching dehumidifiers, you come across two main types:

1. Refrigerant (Compressor) Dehumidifier
2. Dessicant Dehumidifiers.

Refrigerant Dehumidifiers:

Refrigerant dehumidifiers draw in humid air through a filter and pass it over cold coils. The excess humidity condenses when it comes in contact with the cold coil and turns into droplets of water which get collected in a water tank. The dry air is then thrown back into the room. This type of dehumidifiers works most efficiently in high level of temperature and humidity, which is typical of Indian climate.

Desiccant Dehumidifier:

In desiccant dehumidifiers a humidity-absorbing material known as desiccant is used to pull excess moisture from the humid air. The desiccant is then heated to release the moisture which gets collected in the form of water droplets. This type of dehumidifiers generally works best where the level of humidity is high but the temperature is low. Desiccant dehumidifiers usually consume more energy than their refrigerant counterparts as they heat the desiccant to free up the absorbed moisture.

Dehumidifiers come in various capacity often denoted with the unit Liter (L). Two types of capacity are generally referred to here:

1. Moisture removal capacity
2. Water tank capacity.

The moisture removal capacity is key to measuring the efficiency of a dehumidifier as it denotes the amount of moisture the appliance can remove from air in a single day. It should be noted that this capacity largely depends on various external climatic conditions like temperature and relative humidity [for instance, 24.5 L/Day  at 26.7°C & 60%RH / 37 L /Day at 30°C & 80%RH]. When you decide to choose a dehumidifier based on its moisture removal capacity, you should check the other climatic conditions under which it was tested and make sure they align with the condition you typically experience in your room or locality.

The water tank capacity on the other hand refers to the amount of water that gets collected in the tank inside the dehumidifier. Typically, the moisture removal capacity is higher than the water tank capacity. For instance, if a dehumidifier has a moisture removal capacity of 25L/Day and the water tank capacity is 8 Liter, you need to empty the tank regularly to use the dehumidifier on a continuous basis.

Features to look for:

1. Continuous Drainage: 
In order to avoid the hassle of emptying water tank regularly, some dehumidifiers allow the option of continuous drainage wherein you can attach a hose to drain out the water automatically. This saves you time and the headache to check the water tank on a continuous basis.
2. Humidistat: 
Dehumidifiers with humidistat are capable of identifying the level of moisture present in the air so that it can turn itself on or off automatically to maintain the desired humidity level. It saves you the labour of manually turning the dehumidifier on or off.
3. Auto-Defrost: 
Refrigerant dehumidifiers make use of condensing coils to separate moisture from the air. Auto-defrost technology prevents formation of ice on the cold coils for smooth functioning of the dehumidifier.
4. Air-Purifying Filter:
Dehumidifiers keep your home dry and fresh by eliminating excess moisture from air. Latest dehumidifiers often come with air-purifying filter to purge the air of disease causing virus, bacteria and other microbes. With so much of pollution all around us, a dehumidifier-cum-air purifier is definitely a good value for money.
5. Easy Wheels:
Easy movability of dehumidifiers is surely an advantage. There will be occasions when you might have to move the appliance from one room to another and easy wheels save you the heavy work of lifting the appliance.

When you buy a dehumidifier for the first time, it’s important to assess your requirement first, like whether you need the dehumidifier for a single room or multiple rooms, the dimension of the room, whether you should go for a desiccant or a refrigerant type and so on. You should also check out the special features like the ones discussed above for added efficiency and convenience.