How To Choose The Right Size Dehumidifier For Winter?

Are you ready to tackle the winter humidity? The right size dehumidifier can make all the difference in creating a comfortable indoor environment during these cold months. But how do you choose the perfect fit for your space? In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting the right size dehumidifier for winter, ensuring that you maintain optimal humidity levels without any hassle. So, let’s dive in and discover the key factors you need to consider when finding the perfect dehumidifier for your winter needs.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the right size dehumidifier for your winter needs, there are several factors to consider. These factors will help you determine the capacity and type of dehumidifier that is best suited for your specific situation. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that you select a dehumidifier that effectively and efficiently removes excess moisture from your indoor spaces.

Size of the Area

The size of the area where you intend to use the dehumidifier is an important consideration. Larger rooms or spaces will require a dehumidifier with a higher capacity to effectively remove moisture. On the other hand, smaller rooms may not require as much capacity. It is essential to measure the area accurately to determine the square footage or cubic footage, as this information will be necessary when calculating the required capacity of the dehumidifier.

Humidity Levels

Another crucial factor to consider is the humidity levels in your indoor spaces. High humidity levels can lead to discomfort, mold growth, and damage to your belongings. By understanding the humidity levels in your home during winter, you can select a dehumidifier that can effectively bring those levels down to a comfortable and safe range. A hygrometer can be used to measure the humidity in different areas of your home and determine the appropriate dehumidifier capacity.


The temperature in your home also plays a role in selecting the right size dehumidifier for winter. Different dehumidifiers are designed to operate optimally at different temperatures. In colder climates, it is crucial to choose a dehumidifier that can function efficiently in low temperatures. Some dehumidifiers are specifically designed for colder environments, while others may struggle to perform effectively in winter conditions. Be sure to check the temperature range specified by the manufacturer before making your selection.

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Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is an essential aspect of a healthy and comfortable living environment. When selecting a dehumidifier, you should consider its impact on indoor air quality. Some dehumidifiers come with additional features, such as air filters, that can help improve the air quality by removing dust, allergens, and other pollutants. These features can be especially beneficial for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues. Considering the impact on indoor air quality can help you choose a dehumidifier that not only removes excess moisture but also contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment.

Calculating the Required Capacity

To calculate the required capacity for your dehumidifier, several factors need to be considered. By following these steps, you can determine the appropriate capacity that can effectively remove excess moisture from your indoor spaces.

Identify the Cubic Footage

Start by measuring the cubic footage of the area or room where you plan to use the dehumidifier. To calculate this, multiply the length, width, and height of the room. For example, a room that is 10 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 8 feet high would have a cubic footage of 960 (10 x 12 x 8).

Determine Desired Humidity Level

Next, determine the desired humidity level for the room. The recommended humidity level for most homes is between 40% to 50%. However, if you live in a particularly humid climate, you may want to aim for a lower humidity level to prevent mold growth and discomfort. Once you have identified the desired humidity level, you can use this information to calculate the required capacity of the dehumidifier.

Consider Heat Sources

Take into account any heat sources present in the area where the dehumidifier will be used. Heat sources such as stoves, ovens, or heaters can increase the moisture content in the air. If your room has significant heat sources, you may need a dehumidifier with a higher capacity to effectively remove the excess moisture generated by these sources.

Account for Water Damage

If you have experienced water damage or have a particularly damp area in your home, you may need to account for additional moisture when calculating the required capacity. Water damage can significantly impact the humidity levels in a room, making it essential to choose a dehumidifier that can handle the excess moisture effectively.

Types of Dehumidifiers

There are several types of dehumidifiers available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Understanding the different types can help you make an informed decision and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Refrigerative or Compressor Dehumidifiers

Refrigerative or compressor dehumidifiers are the most common type of dehumidifiers. They work by pulling in air through a refrigerated coil, which causes the moisture in the air to condense and collect in a water tank. These dehumidifiers are effective at removing moisture from the air and are suitable for most residential applications.

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Desiccant Dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers use a desiccant material, such as silica gel or activated alumina, to absorb moisture from the air. These dehumidifiers are often used in colder climates where traditional refrigerative dehumidifiers may struggle to operate efficiently. Desiccant dehumidifiers are also useful in areas with extremely high humidity levels.

Whole-House Dehumidifiers

As the name suggests, whole-house dehumidifiers are designed to remove moisture from the entire home. These dehumidifiers are typically integrated with the home’s HVAC system and can effectively control humidity levels throughout the house. Whole-house dehumidifiers are suitable for larger homes or areas where multiple rooms require dehumidification.

Portable or Room Dehumidifiers

Portable or room dehumidifiers are standalone units that can be moved around to different rooms as needed. These dehumidifiers are often smaller in size and capacity compared to whole-house dehumidifiers but are suitable for single rooms or smaller living spaces. Portable dehumidifiers are convenient and flexible, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.

Choosing the Right Size

Choosing the right size dehumidifier is crucial to ensure its effectiveness and energy efficiency. Consider the following factors when determining the appropriate size for your needs.

Pint Capacity

Dehumidifier capacity is typically measured in pints per day, indicating the amount of moisture it can remove within a 24-hour period. The higher the pint capacity, the more moisture the dehumidifier can remove. When selecting the appropriate pint capacity, consider the size of the room, humidity levels, and any additional factors discussed earlier.

Small-Sized Rooms

For small-sized rooms, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms, a dehumidifier with a capacity of up to 30 pints per day should suffice. These smaller rooms typically have lower moisture levels and require a compact dehumidifier to effectively remove excess humidity.

Medium-Sized Rooms

Medium-sized rooms, such as bedrooms or living rooms, may benefit from a dehumidifier with a capacity of 30 to 50 pints per day. These rooms often have higher moisture levels due to activities like cooking or showering, requiring a slightly larger dehumidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels.

Large-Sized Rooms

For larger rooms or open spaces, such as basements or family rooms, a dehumidifier with a capacity of 50 to 70 pints per day or more may be necessary. These areas typically have higher moisture levels and may require a more powerful dehumidifier to effectively remove excess humidity.

Additional Considerations

While the factors mentioned above are essential in choosing the right size dehumidifier, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is an important factor to consider, especially if you plan to use the dehumidifier for extended periods or throughout the winter. Look for dehumidifiers that are ENERGY STAR certified, as they meet specific energy efficiency guidelines and can help reduce your energy consumption and utility bills.

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Noise Level

Consider the noise level of the dehumidifier, particularly if you plan to use it in areas where noise can be disruptive, such as bedrooms or living rooms. Look for dehumidifiers with noise reduction features or lower decibel ratings to ensure a quieter operation.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning are essential to keep your dehumidifier functioning effectively. Consider the ease of cleaning and care when choosing a dehumidifier. Look for models with easy-to-access filters and removable water tanks for convenient maintenance.

Additional Features

Lastly, consider any additional features that may be beneficial for your specific needs. Some dehumidifiers offer features like digital controls, automatic shut-off, programmable timers, or built-in air purifiers. These features can enhance the convenience and functionality of the dehumidifier.

Common Questions

Can a dehumidifier be too big?

While it is important to choose a dehumidifier with sufficient capacity, selecting a dehumidifier that is too big for your needs may result in energy waste and unnecessary expenses. An oversized dehumidifier may not operate efficiently, leading to increased energy consumption without effectively removing excess moisture. It is crucial to consider the factors discussed earlier and select a dehumidifier with an appropriate capacity for your specific situation.

Can a dehumidifier be too small?

Similarly, choosing a dehumidifier with insufficient capacity can render it ineffective in removing excess moisture from the air. An undersized dehumidifier may struggle to maintain optimal humidity levels, especially in larger rooms or areas with high humidity. It is recommended to accurately calculate the required capacity and choose a dehumidifier that meets or exceeds that capacity to ensure its effectiveness.

Can I use the same dehumidifier for different rooms?

In some cases, a single dehumidifier may be sufficient to dehumidify multiple rooms, especially if they are adjacent or connected. However, if the rooms have significantly different sizes or humidity levels, it may be more effective to use multiple dehumidifiers or consider a whole-house dehumidifier. Assess the specific requirements of each room and determine if a single dehumidifier can effectively and efficiently control the humidity levels throughout your home.


Choosing the right size dehumidifier for winter is crucial for maintaining comfortable and healthy indoor spaces. By considering factors such as the size of the area, humidity levels, temperature, and indoor air quality, you can determine the required capacity and type of dehumidifier that best suits your needs. Remember to calculate the cubic footage, consider heat sources and any water damage, and choose the appropriate pint capacity for small, medium, or large-sized rooms. Additionally, take into account energy efficiency, noise level, maintenance requirements, and any additional features that may enhance the functionality of the dehumidifier. By carefully considering these factors, you can confidently select the right size dehumidifier and ensure a moisture-free winter.

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