Jeff Flowers on December 19, 2013 0 Comments A dehumidifier is a sophisticated piece of machinery that may sometimes come with a substantial price tag. A 50-pint unit can run in the range of $300 to $600, while larger capacity units can cost well into the thousands. On the flip side, it costs only 40 to 50 dollars a day to rent a large dehumidifier. Many of your local Home Improvement stores, as well as some water damage specialists, give you the opportunity to rent commercial-grade dehumidifying equipment on a daily basis or as part of a restoration contract. Before your rush out and spend a bunch of money, there are several factors you need to consider to determine the best option for your situation. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of whether you should rent or buy a dehumidifier. Experience & Understanding Before you decide whether you should rent or buy, you need to ask evaluate your full understanding of the functions and mechanics of dehumidifiers. Start by learning the benefits and limitations of the different types of units. Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air with desiccant material or a refrigerant condenser. Both types are capable of doing the job, but desiccant models are more expensive to operate but work quickly. Refrigerant models have buckets that you must empty regularly. Though less expensive to purchase, these require more user effort during times of high demand. When your situation requires the services of a dehumidifier, you must weigh the options. Desiccant dehumidifiers are less expensive to purchase initially, but running these raises your electric bill considerably. Desiccant material must be replaced when it becomes saturated. If you opt for a refrigerant model, prepare for a larger initial price tag. Depending upon the power and features, refrigerant models are up to four times as expensive as comparable desiccant models. The compressors also place demands on your electrical system and raise your bill. Improperly maintained compressor coils cause your unit to malfunction or work inefficiently. Frequency of Use Frequency is another consideration when determining whether to buy or rent. Flooded homes, leaky pipes and damp basements benefit from the services of a dehumidifier. Determine the demand you plan to place on your dehumidifier. If you are cleaning up after a flood or leak, you require the services of large capacity dehumidifiers for industrial uses. These units are much more expensive than smaller units. Unless you suffer from frequent flooding or water infiltration, owning large dehumidifiers is not cost effective. It is best to rent a unit for flood water, and then concentrate your efforts on future prevention. If you deal with leaks and water infiltration on a regular basis, owning a basic dehumidifier helps you stay on top of your water problem before mold and structural damage occur. Humid geographical areas and high water tables often prompt home owners to investigate the dehumidifier market. Invest in a unit that runs efficiently, such as a medium capacity refrigerant model, to keep your electric bills manageable. Maintenance Cost & Efforts As you make your decision, realize that all types of dehumidifiers require regular maintenance. If you choose to purchase a unit, read the care manual, and inspect the parts regularly. You must be willing to keep the coils of refrigerant models free of frost buildup, or you risk breaking your unit. If you opt for the low initial cost of a desiccant model, you must take the time to replace the desiccant material and keep spare material on hand. Improperly maintained dehumidifiers cause water woes. Frozen coils and saturated desiccant leak into and around the unit, which defeats the purpose of owning a dehumidifier. Commercial-grade and sophisticated high-end dehumidifiers are more reliable and often require less maintenance. However, the electronics and blowers of large units require the hands of skilled technicians. The replacement parts and filters are more expensive on these units and are better suited as rental units. Large units that move a lot of water out of an area also have the potential to dump large amounts of water in the area in the event of malfunctioning. Dehumidifiers: Rent or Buy? The function and maintenance needs of dehumidifiers differ depending on the type of water removal method. Take power costs into consideration when owning or renting a dehumidifier, and look at the whole picture of demand, frequency and function to make the best decision for your home. When you consider owning a dehumidifier, you must calculate the initial costs, maintenance and power consumption to determine the final cost. Consult with a rental agency, and inspect the units before you bring these into your home. Compare the units to the options that fit into your budget, and adequately attack your problem. When you understand how dehumidifiers work and know what to expect during use, you can make your decision with ease.