How Do We Test & Rate Dehumidifiers?

Dehumidifiers are quite different from humidifiers and air purifiers. They tend to be noisier, consume more energy, and have a higher likelihood of breaking down. That’s why we’ve developed a unique rating system specifically for them.

We pick out key rating factors based on what we’ve learned through experience and constantly fine-tune them to ensure they accurately reflect our real opinions.

Our Overall Ratings

Our ratings come from a blend of six key factors, each with its own weight based on our direct experience and heaps of chats with real customers. Take, for instance, we assign 60% of the score to how well it dehumidifies and 10% to energy efficiency.

Plus, we include handy details like the tank size, type, and cost. These parts don’t change our scores, but we get that they’re super important for you when making a purchase.

dehumidifier rating system

The weight of each factor:

Dehumidification Performance: 60%

Noise Level:  10%

Build Quality: 5%

Energy Efficiency: 10%

Usability: 10%

Warranty: 5%

Understand our overall ratings

To make our rating system on Air Smartly more consistent, we employ a 10-point scale where a higher score indicates a better dehumidifier.

We also display scores for each key factor, and we really recommend checking them out. This way, you can spot any minor issues that might be important to you, helping you make a more informed decision

10 – the dehumidifier is flawless in every aspect. A purchase that won’t disappoint anyone.

9.5-9.9 – the dehumidifier is excellent and most people will find it impressive.

9.0-9.4 – A great dehumidifier, but there’s still a bit of room for improvement.

8.5-8.9 – Good overall, but has one or two minor issues that some customers may not like.

8.0-8.4 – the humidifier is OK but it might have certain drawbacks you’d want to consider.

7.5-7.9 – Not the best choice, with several significant drawbacks.

<7.5 – A dehumidifier that’s best avoided due to its shortcomings.

Dehumidification Performance 60% – Objective Test

When evaluating a dehumidifier, the most crucial factor is its ability to effectively lower the room’s humidity level. After all, no matter how aesthetically pleasing a dehumidifier might be, it’s essentially useless if it can’t perform its primary function of reducing humidity.

To ensure more accurate results, most of our tests are carried out in a 10″ x 16″ room, with careful monitoring to keep the ambient humidity levels between 50% and 60% and the room temperature between 60°F to 80°F. We also conduct tests in a bathroom setting, approximately 5″ x 7″, to gauge performance in a different environment.

Understanding that temperature and indoor humidity can vary greatly, we use the dehumidification rate as the benchmark for evaluating dehumidification performance. To obtain precise results, we measure the weight of the dehumidifier both before and after a 1-hour operation using a scale. This allows us to calculate the quantity of water it has extracted from the air, providing a clear indicator of its effectiveness.

dehumidifier dehumidification test

Since most dehumidifiers come with various settings, our assessments concentrate on the continuous mode. This mode is particularly significant because it allows the dehumidifier to run uninterrupted, without stopping once a specific humidity level is reached.

However, it’s important to note that we don’t conduct our tests in a lab environment. We believe that testing in more realistic, everyday conditions offers a better reflection of actual performance. That said, the results might still vary in your home, as individual conditions and usage can differ from our test environment.

Here’s the scale we use to determine dehumidification performance scores:

10 – dehumidification rate ≥ 650 ml/h

9.5 – 550 ml/h < dehumidification rate≤ 650 ml/h

9.0 – 450 ml/h < dehumidification rate ≤ 550 ml/h

8.5 – 300 ml/h < dehumidification rate ≤ 450 ml/h

8.0 – 150 ml/h < dehumidification rate ≤ 300 ml/h

7.5 – 50 ml/h < dehumidification rate ≤ 150 ml/h

7.0 – dehumidification rate ≤ 50 ml/h

We employ a Govee hygrometer, positioned 2 meters away from the dehumidifier, to track the change in humidity levels over an hour. This approach allows us to create diagrams that visually represent each dehumidifier’s performance, making it easier for our audience to understand and compare.

dehumidification performance test

However, it’s important to note that we don’t use the data from the Govee hygrometer for scoring purposes; it’s primarily for illustrative and comparative insights.

Energy Efficiency 10% – Objective Assessment

dehumidifier energy efficiency test

Dehumidifiers consume a lot of electricity. In our evaluation of dehumidifiers, which includes mini portable dehumidifiers, 50-pint dehumidifiers, 30-pint dehumidifiers, among others, we assess energy efficiency through two main approaches.

Firstly, we check for an Energy Star certification, a reliable indicator of energy-efficient appliances. Secondly, we calculate liters of water removed per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy consumed. This measure is typically known as the Energy Factor (EF).

This calculation gives us a precise figure for how effectively each dehumidifier uses energy in relation to its moisture removal capacity, allowing for a thorough and fair comparison across different types and sizes of dehumidifiers.

Here’s the scale we use to determine energy efficiency scores:

10 – EF ≥ 1.5L/kWh

9.5 – 1.35L/kWh < EF≤ 1.5L/kWh

9.0 – 1.0L/kWh < EF ≤ 1.35L/kWh

8.5 – 0.8L/kWh < EF ≤ 1.0L/kWh

8.0 – 0.6L/kWh < EF ≤ 0.8L/kWh

7.5 – 0.4L/kWh < EF ≤ 0.6L/kWh

7.0 – EF ≤ 0.4L/kWh

Noise Level 10% – Objective Test

dehumidifier noise level test

Compared to air purifiers and humidifiers, dehumidifiers generally produce more noise. This might not be a significant issue if you’re planning to use it in a basement or crawlspace where noise isn’t a major concern. However, noise becomes a crucial factor to consider if you intend to use the dehumidifier in areas where you study or sleep.

We utilize a sound meter positioned just 0.5 meters away from the machine for our tests.

The noise rating for each dehumidifier is specifically measured while it’s operating in continuous mode. To give a fuller understanding, we also record noise levels in various other settings. This detailed noise information is included in our product reviews.

Following the guidelines from the National Council on Aging, any machines producing sounds surpassing 70 decibels (dB) are considered unsafe. Consequently, we’ll assign a rating of 7.0 to all devices exceeding this noise threshold.

Here’s the scale we use to determine the rating of the noise level:

10 – noise level ≤ 50db

9.5 – 50db < noise level ≤ 55db

9.0 – 55db < noise level ≤ 60db

8.5 – 60db < noise level ≤ 63db

8.0 – 63db < noise level ≤ 67db

7.5 – 67db < noise level ≤ 70db

7.0 – noise level ≥ 70db

Usability 10% – Subjective Assessment

Similar to our humidifier rating system, our usability rating for dehumidifiers is based on setup, accounting for 30% of the score, and ease of use, which contributes 70%. These factors are subjectively evaluated to assess overall user-friendliness.

Here’s the scale we use to determine ease of setup scores:

10 – You can set it up within one or two steps.

9.5 – Very easy to set up.

9.0 – Easy to set up.

8.5 – It is generally easy to set up.

8.0 – It takes more than 10 minutes to set up.

7.5 – Difficult to set up.

7.0 – Very difficult to set up.

Here’s the scale we use to determine ease of use scores:

10 – Extremely easy to control and move, and the display is easy to recognize.

9.5 – Very easy to control and move.

9.0 – Easy to control and move.

8.5 – It is generally easy to use.

8.0 – Some functionalities are difficult to control.

7.5 – Difficult to use.

7.0 – Very difficult to control, or the display is hard to recognize.

Build Quality 5% – Subjective Assessment 

Dehumidifiers can be a significant investment, so it’s important to choose a durable one. Our assessment of build quality is subjective, drawn from our daily experiences with these devices. We consider various factors, such as the sturdiness of the materials used and the clarity of the display, to ensure you get a product that’s well-built and reliable.

Here’s the scale we use to determine the rating of the build quality:

10 – Exceptional build quality.

9.5 – Great build quality.

9.0 – Very good build quality.

8.5 – Good build quality.

8.0 – The build quality is generally OK.

7.5 – Flimsy build quality.

7.0 – Very poor build quality.

Warranty 5% – Objective Assessment 

A warranty is vital for electrical appliances, especially for dehumidifiers, given their higher susceptibility to failure. If you intend to buy a one with built-in pump, this is a factor you should pay more attention to.

10 – 5+ years.

9.5 – 2 years.

9.0 – 1 year.

8.5 – 0.5 year.

7.0 – No warranty information provided.

Price 0% – Objective Assessment

Price doesn’t factor into our scoring system for dehumidifiers. A higher price doesn’t automatically mean a lower score in our evaluations.

However, we understand the importance of price information for our audience. To communicate the cost of each dehumidifier, we use the $ symbol in our reviews, providing a clear and simple indication of the product’s price range.

$$$$$ – Expensive 

$$$$ – Above the average

$$$ – On average

$$ – Cheap

$ – Extremely cheap

Water Tank Capacity 0% – Objective Assessment

dehumidifier tank size

When it comes to draining the collected water in dehumidifiers, one common method is using the water tank. If you opt for this approach, a larger tank size can be more convenient. It reduces the frequency of emptying the tank, saving you time and effort in maintenance.

We will provide this information for you in our review.

Size 0% – Objective Assessment

Preferences for the size of a dehumidifier can vary. Some people may favor a larger unit, while others might prefer something more compact.

To help you make an informed decision, we provide the dimensions of each dehumidifier. This allows you to understand exactly how much space you’ll need to accommodate it in your home or office.

About Our dehumidifier Rating System

At Air Smartly, we are committed to constantly improving our rating system. We take great care in conducting our tests and assessments, but it’s important to acknowledge that our system isn’t flawless, and there’s a possibility of errors in test results.

Additionally, factors like varying temperature and humidity levels can affect performance. Furthermore, the precision of the equipment we use for testing, though expected to be high, may not always be as accurate as anticipated.

This openness to the possibility of imperfections is part of our dedication to providing the most reliable and transparent information to our customers.

If you have better solutions or find any errors, please let us know [email protected]