Useful and Less Useful Dehumidifier Options

If you’ve had a good look through my website, the chances are you now have an idea of how dehumidifiers work. The next thing to think about is what sort of features you need (and those you don’t), which is why I’ve added this page for you too. Some are essential whereas others are more cosmetic in nature. As usual, I’ll let you decide which ones are most important.

The Water Reservoir

Newair Water TankOften referred to as a water tank, reservoir, bucket, or tray the water container on most dehumidifiers is used to collect excess moisture that’s picked up by the coils in the unit. I say most because there are dehumidifiers which use silica gel to absorb the moisture, so there’s no need for a tank.

What you should know is a refrigerant dehumidifier generally has a bucket, so bear in mind you will have to empty it. Most models also have a convenient auto-shutoff feature which turns the dehumidifier off until you empty the tank. Some of the more expensive units come with an indicator light which lets you know when the reservoir is full.

But, this isn’t the only way to get rid of water collected by a dehumidifier.

Continuous Drainage

Dehumidifier drainIf you don’t want to bother with emptying a water tray, you may want to look for a dehumidifier that has a continuous drainage option, or even a condensate pump which will pump the water up to a sink or drain.

You can let gravity do its thing, but it does mean you have to place the appliance at a greater height than the drain which can be limiting. Regardless of this, both options are better than having to empty a tank (in my opinion).

Automatic Defrost

If you plan on placing the dehumidifier in your basement, it is a good idea to find one which can operate in temperatures as low as 41F or lower. If you can afford it, get a unit with an auto-defrost feature which prevents frost from building up inside the device.


I’ve already explained how a humidistat works, so I won’t go into much detail here. Getting the right level of humidity is very difficult with a dehumidifier that doesn’t have a built-in humidistat, so it’s wise to think about this feature.

Caster Wheels

Since it’s likely you’ll be moving the dehumidifier around your house or to the basement, caster wheels are a welcome feature. Most units have them, and nearly all of them have a built-in carry handle too which makes them easier to transport.

Auto-Restart Feature

An auto-restart feature comes in handy if you have a power outage. Once the power comes back on the dehumidifier will start back up along with the previously programmed settings, saving you the trouble of having to tinker with it all over again.

Air Filter

air filterSome of the better models you can buy have a washable air filter which is similar to the ones that can be found on air purifiers.

Air filters on dehumidifiers are able to capture airborne contaminants such as dust mites, mold spores, allergens and dust.


A dehumidifier with a built-in timer allows to you to control when the unit will turn itself on or off which helps to conserve some energy. These timers usually allow you to set the unit to operate automatically within a period of 24 hours.

Fan Speed

There are humidifiers out there which allow you to select two or more fan speeds in case you want the air inside a room to dry faster (especially useful if there has been a spillage of some sort).

In Summary

A good dehumidifier (aside from being efficient) needs to have some of the bells and whistles I’ve outlined here so the unit is easier to operate. The more you pay for it, the more features it will have. Although I did find some pleasant surprises among the cheaper models, so be sure to check out my reviews.

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