CLEVELAND - Soaking, sultry weather has driven dehumidifier sales up at a time when the appliance industry as a whole is down 25 percent.
Shawn Gabor said a new dehumidifier made all the difference in her home.
"We spend a lot of family time down here in the basement. But after we got the dehumidifier, it was much less damp and much more pleasant down here," Gabor said.
And tougher environmental regulations are forcing manufacturers to build greener dehumidifiers.
"Most manufacturers are using a new refrigerant, which is less damaging to the ozone layer. And we found that these new, ozone-friendly dehumidifiers are just as good, if not better, at removing humidity than older models," Dan DiClerico of Consumer Reports said.
Consumer Reports tested 17 dehumidifiers, using a special environmental chamber to measure capacity -- that's how much water they can remove per day.
"We generally recommend large-capacity dehumidifiers, which our tests show work more efficiently and therefore cost less to operate. But it's not about the physical size of the dehumidifier," DiClerico said.
And you can't count on the ENERGY STAR to find an energy-efficient dehumidifier.
Two small units from Frigidaire and Haier carry the ENERGY STAR, but they cost twice as much to operate as some larger units.
More efficient is the Danby Premiere, which is a Consumer Reports best buy at $200. It can remove 60 pints of water per day and received the top score for efficiency.
Read more here:
Consumer Reports: Dehumidifier buying guide
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