How to eliminate window condensation with a dehumidifier: I did it and you can too
Is there anything more annoying than condensation in your home? What starts off as a few drips running down the inside of your windows soon turns to mould, and before you know it, it is driving you crazy. It’s not just windows that are affected either; the corners of the bathroom ceiling, along the bottom of walls and down behind furniture are all common places to find the dreaded mould patches associated with poor ventilation and high air moisture levels.
Regular readers might have read some of the posts I wrote previously about tackling condensation in the home, specifically, how to prevent window condensation, how to prevent mould in the bathroom, the £3.50 hack to tackle window condensation, how to prevent mirror desilvering, how to beat loft condensation with roof tile vents and how to keep warm in the winter without the heating on. If you have read any of those articles, you’ll know that a dehumidifier was the answer in nearly all cases. In fact, through the winter, a dehumidifier is pretty much the answer to everything!
Which dehumidifier for window condensation?
This is a question I get asked a lot (not really surprising, seeing as all I seem to do lately is tell people to buy dehumidifiers!) so I thought I’d show you the model I bought and explain why it’s great in case it’s helpful. I’m obviously not a dehumidifier expert, so can only advise based on my own research and experience, but I’m pretty thorough when I research new purchases, so I’m confident I can help.
To decide which dehumidifier to buy, you need to answer the following questions…
How bad is your condensation?
If you have a very poorly ventilated house or suffer from high air moisture levels and don’t plan to put the heating on as much as you’d like to because of the rising energy costs then I recommend a more powerful model, at least a 12 litre but perhaps a 20 litre if you have the space and budget. This is the 20-litre model I recommend and have purchased myself previously... 20 Litre dehumidifier
How big is the room you want it for?
Calculating the size of the space is important because you need to check the spec of your intended dehumidifier to be sure it is powerful enough. I’ve read a lot of comments on social media from people who bought the cheapest one they could find and were disappointed that they didn’t resolve their condensation issues, but like any gadget, you need to check it’s fit for purpose before purchase. For average-sized rooms a 12 litre model should be sufficient but a 20 litre model will be more powerful if you have an open-plan home or bad condensation.
How portable does the dehumidifier need to be?
If you aren’t fussy about the size of your dehumidifier, you can save a lot of money by buying a large one as they are considerably cheaper. If, like me, you want to be able to move it about easily from room to room and therefore need to be able to carry it upstairs, then you’ll want to buy a smaller, more compact (but equally powerful) model. I was also keen to have a compact model, so it was easier to store through the summer when, in theory, it shouldn’t be needed that much. This 12-litre Keylitos dehumidifier is only 41cm x 24cm x 29cm and only weighs 9.25 kg.
What’s your budget?
I know what you're thinking, as little as possible! I mention it because to get the best results, you need to spend a bit of money. HOWEVER, you really don't need to spend hundreds of pounds as some people would lead you to believe. I paid £209.99 for our dehumidifier a year ago. I was desperate as the loft had TERRIBLE condensation and we had to wait a few weeks before the roofing company could get out to us to put tile vents in (which have completely solved the problem and are amazing, BTW, but I digress!). It was worth the money and I'm happy with the positive impact the dehumidifier had on our home, BUT you don't even need to spend that much as Amazon has only gone and put it in their Black Friday sale, so at the time of writing this it's down to £124.99! (run, don't walk!).
After answering these questions and doing A LOT of research I came to the conclusion that the best dehumidifier for us was the Keylitos 12l. It has so many handy features to help get condensation under control.
How much does a dehumidifier cost to run?
Understandably, this is a key consideration for many people when buying a dehumidifier. After all, it’s the cost-of-living crisis and hugely inflated energy prices that are driving people to ration their central heating, which is a huge contributing factor to the condensation issues. Consequently, if the dehumidifier costs a bundle to run then it’s just not going to be viable for many homes around the country (which frankly is ridiculous and makes me so cross, as there’s no need for the energy prices to be as high as they are especially when the companies are banking record profits, but that’s a rant for another day!!). The good news is that dehumidifiers are very reasonable to run and extremely good value for the impact they make. I calculated the exact cost of mine as I’m a details person (as poor old Mr D will tell you!).
Our electricity costs 27p/kwh
Our dehumidifier uses a maximum of 200 watts or 0.2KW per hour.
Therefore, at max output (it will be less on low power mode) the dehumidifier costs
27 x 0.2= 5.4 pence per hour.
At that price, I’m happy to have it running for around 4 hours a day (22p per day or £1.51 per week).
Do you leave your dehumidifier running all day?
I personally don’t leave the dehumidifier on all day. After experimenting, I found that I can keep on top of the condensation issues in our house with a few lifestyle changes (always using lids on pots and pans on the hob, shutting the bathroom door while the bath is running and after a bath or shower, opening the windows for a brief period each day and only drying washing downstairs & never in the bedrooms to name a few. You can read all my recommendations in the blog post about how to tackle window condensation) and the dehumidifier running for about 3-4 hours per day. It’s a bit of a faff as I have to move it from room to room as was too expensive to have more than one.
Below is the rough dehumidifier schedule that works for us…
After showers in the morning, I open the bathroom window for about half an hour, then close the window and put the dehumidifier in there for about an hour. I do the same thing after the kids’ baths in the evening. I also wipe the windows down in the morning if they have condensation on them from where the heating has been off overnight. This resolves the bathroom issue.
I pop the dehumidifier in our bedroom for an hour in the evening before we go to bed and it works a treat, it takes that cold chill off the air and gets the air moisture levels down before we go to sleep.
If I’m drying washing indoors I’ll bring the dehumidifier down and put it near the washing (on a heated airer or main radiator) and leave it running for an hour or so. This removes the extra moisture from the air.
The exceptions to this are in the middle of winter when it’s very cold on the weekend when everyone is home. I’ll often put the dehumidifier on for a couple of hours in the middle of the day as all the cooking and breathing (!) from a full house adds moisture levels considerably, which if the heating isn’t on quite as much as you’d like it to be can be an issue.
Do you set a desired humidity level or leave the dehumidifier on continuously?
Our dehumidifier has more than one mode. You can either set a target % for the humidity of the room or you can leave it running continuously on low or full power mode. The advantage of setting a target humidity is that when it reaches this value the dehumidifier will automatically shut off until the humidity rises again, saving you energy and hassle. In reality, because I move ours around a fair bit, I tend to just put it on full power in the room it’s in and let it get on with it until I need to move it to the next room. I also always turn it off when I leave the house as I worry about leaving electrical appliances running.
In short, you can select the best method to suit your requirements with the Keylitos model and it works very well whichever strategy you adopt.
Is the Keylitos 12l dehumidifier noisy?
I was pleasantly surprised by the noise levels as was expecting them to be louder for how powerful it is. I often sit in our bedroom in the evening working while the dehumidifier is on and the
What does the '12l' bit mean?
This is the maximum volume of liquid that the dehumidifier can take out of the air over 24 hours. In reality, it’s very unlikely to extract anywhere near this amount unless you put it in a damp cellar or loft. An important point to note is that when the tank fills up, it will cause the dehumidifier to turn off, so you’ll need to regularly empty the tank if you plan to leave it running continuously or add a hose attachment, which can then overflow into a suitable container or sink/bath if in the bathroom. The tank has a capacity of 2.3l, so it will need emptying approximately every 4 hours if you don’t use the continuous drainage hose.
Does the Keylitos dehumidifier have a filter?
Yes, it does and it’s easy to locate when you have removed the tank. You then pull down on the filter and it comes straight out and can be cleaned by washing it under the tap.
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