Money Wise--Dehumidifying Your House

We've had some pretty hot days recently, and the humidity can make it downright unbearable outside and inside.

"People will know they have excess humidity in their homes or apartments if they have peeling wallpaper, warped wood, musty smells or mold or mildew," said Sue Booth, a home care tester for the Good Housekeeping Institute.

To help demystify the quest to dehumidify, Good Housekeeping looked at seven portable models and came up with a top pick. But before we reveal the winner, here's a guide before you buy.

Number one: measure the area. "It is essential to know the room's size that you want to dehumidify because you may waste energy," said Booth.

Number two: bigger is better. "If you oversize the unit, it will work quicker and more efficiently and even though it costs more, you'll save money in energy costs in the long run," said Booth.

Number three: no drain, big pain. "The thing about dehumidifiers is that you have to empty the tank manually," explained Booth. "You have to pull it out and empty it in the sink. If it has a drain hose attachment, you can attach a garden hose to it and empty it into a drain so it drains continually and it's more convenient."

One dehumidifier that gets the job done without a big hassle is the Whirlpool AD-25-BBL, and at $139.99, it's one of the best-priced models. "It was really easy to use because it had two handles on the tank, so it was easy to clean and empty," reported Booth.

Best of all, this model, unlike many others, does not require any filter cleaning; one less chore to worry about.

As far as maintenance goes, it's a good idea to clean a dehumidifier's tank every few weeks. That'll keep it functioning at its best.

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Reported by: Dmitra Denmark,