Does your home often feel damp, stuffy, or just plain humid? Excess moisture in the air can make your living space uncomfortable while also causing issues like mold, mildew and condensation. The solution is controlling humidity levels with an effective dehumidifier like those made by Aprilaire.
Aprilaire dehumidifiers are specially designed to remove excess moisture from the air and regulate indoor humidity. Using one can help eliminate that persistently musty smell in basements or bathrooms. It provides healthier air by reducing allergens like mold spores and dust mites that thrive in humid environments. And it prevents damage from condensation like water stains or warped wooden fixtures.
But to reap the full benefits, it’s crucial to choose the right Aprilaire dehumidifier model for your space. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over the key factors to evaluate including capacity, drainage, filtration, special features and more. Let’s dive in!
Matching the Capacity to Your Room Size
One of the first things to consider is choosing an Aprilaire dehumidifier with the proper moisture removal capacity for the space you need to dehumidify.
Larger models like the Aprilaire 185 pint dehumidifier can handle very damp areas up to 2500 sq ft like a basement. The Aprilaire 85 pint would be suitable for spaces around 1000 sq ft such as a main floor or several bedrooms. For smaller rooms under 500 sq ft, a compact 30 or 50 pint unit works great.
In general, here are the capacities recommended for various room sizes:
- Small room or nursery (~200 sq ft) – 30 pint
- Medium to large bedroom (500 sq ft) – 50 pint
- Open floor plan or level (~1000 sq ft) – 70 pint
- Whole basement (1500+ sq ft) – 85+ pint
Keep in mind factors like your local climate (humidity level), home construction, and number of occupants can all impact dehumidification needs. It’s best to oversize your unit slightly for adequate moisture removal.
Continuous Operation with External Drainage
Aprilaire dehumidifiers offer internal collection buckets or permanent drainage via an external gravity drain line.
The internal bucket works well for intermittent use but needs regular emptying. For continuous, hands-off operation, connecting an external drain line allows non-stop dehumidification without maintenance.
Draining via gravity to a floor drain or condensate pump is recommended for most installations. This allows the Aprilaire unit to run unattended even when humidity levels spike.
Filtration Options for Allergies and Odors
Standard Aprilaire dehumidifiers utilize a basic mesh air filter to trap larger particles and debris as air cycles through the unit.
Some models allow upgrading to a HEPA filter for higher filtration of dust, pollen and other allergens. This helps clean the air for allergy sufferers.
For removing odors from chemicals, smoke or pets, an added activated carbon filter captures those smells for fresher air.
Look for a unit with filtration upgrade options if you need HELPA or carbon capability. Aprilaire’s whole-home dehumidifier for example uses a MERV-11 pleated fabric filter to remove airborne particles down to 1 micron for cleaner air flow.
Handy Features for Custom Control
Higher-end Aprilaire dehumidifiers offer useful features for custom control:
- Built-in Pumps – Allow distant drainage by pumping condensed water to a sink or distant location. No gravity needed.
- Humidistats – Allow setting a precise % humidity level to maintain. Automatically cycles on/off to hold that ideal level.
- Timers – Schedule when the unit runs for convenience and energy savings.
- Defrost Sensors – Detect frozen coils and put unit into defrost mode to restore operation in cool temps.
Look for models with a humidistat or drain pump if you need precise moisture control. Timers and defrost features add automation convenience during cold weather operation.
Comparing Noise Levels
Dehumidifiers inherently make some operating noise due to the internal fan and compressor. Noise levels range from quiet at ~40 dB to noticeable but not intrusive around 50-55 dB.
For main living areas and bedrooms, look for units advertised as “whisper quiet” or with large, slow fans that operate at lower RPMs with less noise. The Aprilaire 185 for example was designed for quiet operation.
If it will run unattended in a laundry room, furnace room or garage, a slightly louder but more powerful unit may suffice. Just check user reviews for real-world feedback on noise.
Energy Efficient Operation
While dehumidifiers do consume energy during operation, Energy Star certified models like many Aprilaire units are optimized for efficiency.
Features like auto shut-off when the tank is full, timers, humidity controls, and large but slower fans all conserve energy. This keeps electricity costs reasonable for the convenience and health benefits.
In general, look for Energy Star certification and larger units that can run at lower fan speeds for the most efficient operation.
Warranty Coverage for Peace of Mind
Aprilaire dehumidifiers come with limited warranties ranging from 1 year up to 5 years.
The higher-capacity and more expensive the unit, generally the longer the warranty coverage to protect your investment. Many include in-home service for defective parts and repairs.
Be sure to register your warranty and review what is covered. Look for at least a 1 year warranty on full parts and labor to ensure you’re covered for any manufacturing issues.
Our Top Aprilaire Dehumidifier Picks
Here are our top picks across budget and performance needs:
- Budget – Aprilaire 18 Pint Dehumidifier (~$200) – Small but energy efficient, great for single room use
- Moderate – Aprilaire 50 Pint Dehumidifier (~$250) – Robust midsize model still quiet enough for bedrooms
- Large Capacity – Aprilaire 85 Pint Dehumidifier (~$320) – Commercial unit tackles whole basements easily
While the 18 pint works well for isolated dampness issues in one room, the 50 and 85 pint models give you the power to take on larger spaces. All provide humidity monitoring and auto shutoff when the collection tank is full for convenience.
Frequently Asked Dehumidifier Questions
How do I size a dehumidifier for my basement?
Measure total basement square footage and look for a pint per hour capacity of at least 5-8x that space. So 1000 sq ft would need 50-85 pint/hour capacity.
What humidity level should I aim to maintain?
Between 30-50% relative humidity is optimal. Below 30% is too dry and over 50% allows mold/mildew growth.
What maintenance do dehumidifiers require?
Clean air filters every 1-2 months, empty collection tank when full, and periodically wipe down exterior and coils.
How can I reduce noise from my dehumidifier?
Look for units advertised as quiet operation (<50 dB), place in a closet or side room, close the door, and make sure it’s level with proper clearances.
Choosing the right capacity Aprilaire dehumidifier and installing it properly will allow you to take control over humidity issues. This prevents moisture damage in your home while creating a more comfortable, allergen-free living space.
Consider factors like room size, drainage, air filtration, and noise when picking the perfect dehumidifier. Maintain the 30-50% sweet spot for indoor humidity and you’ll be breathing healthy air and enjoying a mold-free home.