It is no fun living in an area with high humidity. Here in Kansas City, as I write this article, it’s ninety percent humidity. When you walk outside you almost feel like you’re swimming, the air so thick with humidity. While this is not a pleasurable experience it can be even worse when this extreme humidity is found within your home.
The ideal humidity levels for our homes is between thirty to fifty percent. If you fall below that thirty percent level then you risk developing a rash, having dry/cracking skin, or even be more susceptible to illnesses such as the Flu or common colds. On the other end of the spectrum, if your home is above that fifty percent humidity then your home becomes a prime environment for mildew, dust, fungus, and mold.
If the humidity gets bad enough, you can actually begin to see black mold begin to grow on your floors, walls, curtains, and even on your bedspread or clothes. Having these allergens thrive within your home is not safe or sanitary. If left unchecked you, or someone in your family, could develop allergies. This can get especially bad if they suffer from asthma.
Adding a dehumidifier to your home will allow you to get your humidity levels in check and prevent these allergens from taking root. But, if you’re simply looking to get rid of a damp or mildew like smell from your basement then dehumidifiers can help with that as well.
Whatever your reason for looking at dehumidifiers the next question is what kind should you get? There are dozens of choices out there today and it can be a little confusing. In this article we’re going to take an in-depth look at the Keystone KSTAD50B fifty pint dehumidifier.
Before we get into the Pros and Cons of this dehumidifier I first like to take some time and do a review of the various product features of the appliance. This lets us become familiar with what you will find if you decide to purchase this appliance.
First things first though, before we get into all of the bells and whistles we need to determine if this is the right sized dehumidifier for you. You see, if you purchase a dehumidifier that is too small for the room you are working in then you will never reach your desired setting and your dehumidifier will constantly be running causing you to experience high energy bills.
The good news is that the Keystone KSTAD50B comes in at the fifty pint size. This is one of the larger sized dehumidifiers out on the market today. (There are seventy pint models from some other brand names.) A fifty pint model will work in a room, basement, or home with a size of up to three-thousand square feet. This size should be more then enough to suit your needs. The only case I can make here for NOT buying this unit when it comes to size is if you are only trying to dehumidify a small room in your basement. You may be going a bit overboard here with this model. The larger model though isn’t going to hurt anything though, it’ll just end up costing you more.
Now that we’ve got the sizing requirement out of the way let’s look at the controls. The product comes with an LED display that shows you the humidity level and allows you to set your desired humidity setting. (Remember, just like what we said earlier, between thirty to fifty percent is ideal.) Along with the humidity setting you are also able to set a twenty-four hour timer that allows you to schedule a start or shut-down time for your appliance. The fan comes with two settings: normal and turbo. In case you experience a power loss the Keystone product comes with an auto-restart feature. So, right when the power comes back on so does your dehumidifier. The filter for this product is located at the top of the unit and is easily pulled out and cleaned.
There is one feature on here that you don’t normally find on other dehumidifiers. This is the auto-defrost function. You see, dehumidifiers are actually just very small air conditioners. They have the same components and more or less work the same way as well. They even contain refrigerant just like your air conditioner does. The only difference here is that the dehumidifier has a warming element before the air is pushed back out into your home.
Just like with air conditioners your dehumidifier can accumulate ice around the evaporator. This ice can grow and eventually freeze your entire unit. This is where the auto-defrost feature comes in handy. If ice begins to accumulate then the function will kick in, melt the ice, and then continue on like normal.
Every dehumidifier comes with a water bucket. After all, the water it is removing from the air has to go somewhere, right? This bucket will have to be emptied periodically. The good news here is that there is a visible indicator on the outside of the bucket. You can glance at this to tell right away how much water is in there. (The water bucket is located at the front of the machine in the bottom section.) Emptying the water tank is relatively easy. You just slide out the drawer and grab the handle from the top. Then empty the water and slide it back in. If you forget to empty this water bucket then the machine will sense that it is full and will shut down until the bucket is clear of water.
If you are not a fan of having to constantly empty the water bucket then you can also attach a garden hose to the dehumidifier. If you route this hose to a drain then you can have a constantly running dehumidifier with no need to worry about emptying the water tank. Just remember that this only works with gravity. If you have the dehumidifier on the ground and route a garden hose to a sink above the dehumidifier then the water will not flow.
The last feature I want to make before moving on is the overall portability. This product comes with four casters or rollers that allows you to easily push or pull the appliance to the desired area. If you do need to pick up the product it only weighs thirty-six pounds and won’t be too bad to move around. (Just be sure to empty the water tray if you attempt to pick it up!)
As I usually do when I write reviews I covered a lot of the Pros already in the Product Features section. These are your digital read outs, your drainage hose compatibility, ease of portability, and other features. That being said, there are still two Pros that I want to bring up to you now.
The first is that these dehumidifiers come with a one year warranty from Keystone. You are protected here if your appliance breaks down. So, if you are one of the unlucky ones to experience a product failure you will be covered to get a new product. The price point on this unit is quite lower then the other products that I have reviewed. This could be that it comes from the Keystone manufacturing company and the others I have looked at were from more ‘famous’ companies such as Frigidaire and hOme Labs. Either way you look at it though, this is a aggressively priced system.
The next Pro worth mentioning is that all three products are Energy Star certified with the Environmental Protection Agency. The Energy Star program is designed to evaluate various appliances and determine if they meet the EPA’s efficiency standards. An Energy Star appliances is on average about fifteen percent more efficient then a competing machine. Along with the Energy Star rating you also get a one year full warranty from the Keystone manufacturer.
Every product, no matter who makes it, will have drawbacks. That’s just how it is. That being said, it was difficult to find specific cons on these products. Instead, nearly all of the complaints that I read through were towards the delivery of the product. Remember before how we stated that dehumidifiers are very similar to air conditioners and refrigerators? Well, just like with refrigerators you cannot turn or ship a dehumidifier upside down.
Just yesterday I was helping my father move a refrigerator and we were very careful not to tilt it too far. The reason for this is if the refrigerator or dehumidifier is upside down or tilted too far then the oil can drain out of the compressor. Without proper lubrication your compressor will fail and the compressor is by far one of the most important components of your air conditioner, refrigerator, or dehumidifier. Many folks have reported premature failures of their dehumidifiers… but this is most likely due to them turning on the product right away after it being upside down. If the product did arrive upside down then turn it right side up and then wait for quite a while, maybe even a day. Then, start your dehumidifier up and you shouldn’t have any issues.
It also may be best practice to wait a day or two before turning on your new dehumidifier. The product may come to your home right side up, but who is to know if it was like that earlier that day. Always better to be safe then sorry. The good news here though is that if your dehumidifier does end up not working after a few weeks or months Keystone offers a one year warranty. It’s good to know you’ll be protected here.
Another point worth mentioning is the cleanliness of the inside of your dehumidifier. I touched on this briefly but I’d like to bring it up again as this was another common complaint. A few consumers stated that they had mold growing on the inside components of their dehumidifier. Mold grows due to stagnant water. Normally this will not happen if the appliance is taken care of. That means having the filter cleaned regularly, have the water tank emptied in a timely manner, and a just overall cleaning. If you do start to notice a mildew smell or see signs of mold then you can do one of two things. You can take apart the dehumidifier and do your best to clean the unit. In most cases this works fine and you are up and running again. If the mold is extreme then you may need to scrap the appliance and purchase a new one.
This leads me to my next point. These dehumidifier models won’t last forever, nothing does. From what I have read these models tend to last anywhere from two to four years. After that the quality or the amount of humidity removed begins to go down. In some cases the machine no longer operates at all. Most consumers just opt for buying another model after theirs fails. This is up to you, just be aware that if you purchase you may end up doing again in another three or four years.
Well, that may have seemed like a whole lot of information at once, but I wanted to give you a complete picture of what this dehumidifier can do and what you can expect before you purchase. If you are interested in purchasing this unit then please click here to be taken to our Amazon.com partner where you can have the product shipped right to your door. Speaking of Amazon, this product has nearly two-thousand reviews on their website with an average rating of four out of five stars.
Lastly, if you find that you have more questions or think you may need a different dehumidifier please visit our dehumidifiers buyer’s guide by clicking here.
Thanks for reading,