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Whether you're looking to reduce mold and mildew or get the musty smell out of your house, these dehumidifiers can help.

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You know that wet, sticky feeling you get when you walk into a locker room? Though it’s more common in basements, closets, laundry rooms, and three-season porches, you might experience this in any part of your home, despite a functioning climate control system. If your house smells musty, feels wet, or is showing signs of excess humidity (stained walls or ceilings, condensation on windows, or rotting wood, for example), you’re probably in dire need of a dehumidifier.

According to customer reviews, these are the best dehumidifiers. The top-rated devices can cater to large or small rooms and hold gallons of water at once. Below, read on to find out why these are the most beloved dehumidifiers of 2020. 

How does a dehumidifier work?

A dehumidifier keeps humidity levels down by drawing in moisture out of the air. Think of it like a vacuum cleaner, but instead of sucking up dust, it sucks up moisture. Those particles are then stored in a tank that has to be emptied out every now and then. The devices help prevent mold and mildew, which are caused by excess moisture, from spreading. 

A dehumidifier does wonders to increase your home’s comfort level, but that’s not all it can do: These devices can keep you healthier, too. Dehumidifiers can reduce certain allergens in the air and make breathing easier, even during allergy season.

What are the benefits of a dehumidifier?

There are many benefits to using a dehumidifier. They can help improve your living conditions and thus, improve your health.  "Dehumidifiers are often helpful when used for the treatment of allergies such as dust mites and mold,” says Amy Shah, MD, a double board-certified allergist and immunologist. "These types of allergens proliferate when the humidity is high in a room. By decreasing the humidity in a room, you can decrease the growth of these allergens." 

They make a big difference in areas with poor ventilation that might experience a lot of humidity, like your bathroom and basement. And during hot summer months, they’re basically a necessity. Instead of expecting that sticky air you’ve grown used to, dehumidifiers can level out the moisture and keep the space more comfortable. Plus, the devices are usually pretty silent. So, depending on where you place it, you’ll hardly be able to notice it’s there, and you may even get some use out of the water collected. Many shoppers water their plants with the liquid that their dehumidifier collects. It’s a good way to save water and get some reuse out of the machines. 

What size dehumidifier do I need? 

When choosing a dehumidifier, it’s important to consider the space in which it’ll be used. Consider the square footage, the moisture levels, and your main concern. Once you determine your needs, you can shop dehumidifiers by the amount of moisture they take out in 24 hours. If a dehumidifier is a 30-pint model, it takes out 30 pints of moisture in 24 hours. 

If you’re worried about the bills going up with this purchase, consider buying a dehumidifier with an Energy Star label. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these models use 30% less energy compared to non certified devices. 

It's a good idea to choose a dehumidifier with clear controls that allow you to see the relative humidity level of your room. Set the humidity level to somewhere between 40–50% humidity, explains Princess Ogbogu, director of allergy and immunology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. But don’t expect your dehumidifier to solve all of your respiratory problems; it won’t do much to help those with pollen and pet allergies, says Dr. Ogbogu. These particles are too small and require air purification systems complete with HEPA filters.

Think you could benefit from a dehumidifier? Here, the best ones on the market.

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