These 10 DIY projects for breathing new life into old furniture are easy and inexpensive.
Energy Star Dehumidifiers, Noise, and Durability
Energy Efficiency, Noise, and Durability
Energy Efficiency.A dehumidifier can eat up as much energy as a refrigerator, so look for an Energy Star dehumidifier that has met Environmental Protection Agency standards for performance and energy use. The Frigidaire FAD504DUD, Soleus Air DP1-70-03, and Danby DDR30E are Energy Star dehumidifiers.
It's important to make sure the model you buy is sufficient for the size of the room.
While room dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity, they can help lower your electric bills in the summer, according to Sylvane. Sticky humidity makes the air feel hotter, and running a dehumidifier can make a room more comfortable without the air conditioning on full blast. A couple of consumers posting reviews of the Soleus Air DP1-70-03 on Sylvane's website note that a budget dehumidifier can also have the effect of heating up the space around it. Likewise, a purchaser who posted a review of the Frigidaire FAD504DUD on Amazon observes that the air coming out of the dehumidifier is dry but also warm enough to kick-start the air conditioning.
Quiet Dehumidifiers.Consumers posting reviews online give high ratings to quiet dehumidifiers, especially if they use the unit in a room where they spend a lot of time, as opposed to in an unfinished basement or crawlspace. Noise is not an issue for the Eva-Dry 2200, which has no compressor. One consumer who posted a review of this dehumidifier on Amazon refers to the sound as a low-level hum. The NewAir AD-400 also stands out as a quiet dehumidifier, based on reviews on the website of retailer Air & Water. Customers don't find it bothersome even in a bedroom or music room.
Noise is the one downfall of the Soleus Air DP1-70-03. It's large, at 70 pints, with a big fan and compressor. From a meter away, according to the manual, the unit registers 59 decibels on high, 56 on medium, and 54 on low. A purchaser who posted a comment on a consumer product review site complains that it's difficult to hear the TV over the dehumidifier. As one consumer suggests in a review at Walmart, between the size and the noise, the Soleus Air DP1-70-03 is well-suited to a basement. It can be turned to a lower setting when people are downstairs.
The Frigidaire FAD504DUD seems to strike a happy medium between size and noise level. In a review at Best Buy, a consumer writes that this dehumidifier is no louder than a fan and you can use it near a TV set without turning up the volume. A customer Q&A on the Walmart site suggests that the Frigidaire is a quieter dehumidifier than most people expected.
Durability.One big negative that repeatedly pops up in reviews of budget dehumidifiers, including those on our list, is that they don't seem to last longer than a year or two. Warranties are rarely longer than one year, which gives some idea of how well the units are made. Often it seems to be the compressor that goes first. A few reviews on Amazon, though, mention that the Soleus Air DP1-70-03 continued to run after the one-year limited warranty ran out, despite getting quite a bit of use. Another consumer commends the manufacturer for replacing a unit that stopped working after just three months.
Consumers posting on Amazon note the warranty on the Frigidaire FAD504DUD: a full one-year warranty and five years on the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and tubing. One user reports that registering the purchase online with the manufacturer made it easier to get a replacement when a 2009 model died after two years.
Even satisfied customers posting reviews at Amazon warn that the power supply on the Eva-Dry 2200 runs extremely hot. One user says she had to have it replaced twice -- once after about a year and again six months later.Back to top »
Organize your home with things you probably have on hand.
Some purchases pay for themselves over time, making them a worthwhile investment.