As a consumer, it’s important to find the best suitable product for your distinct needs. You don’t want too much product at a higher cost than you need, but you do want what is necessary. When it comes to purchasing a dehumidifier, the distinctions between commercial and consumer-grade units are not all that clear. I will review a few of the key features that are different between the two classes of machines.1. Capacity. Commercial-grade dehumidifiers are built to suck in more moist air than their residential-grade counterparts. This is misleading, however. Their capacity for moving air is entirely dependent on what the room temperature and humidity when they are being used. Essentially, the higher the humidity and temperature in a room, the more air it will process. The converse is also true: the lower the humidity and room temperature, the less air the machine will process.2. Water storage. This is perhaps the biggest differentiator between the two classes. Most residential machines have a storage container that can be emptied when they get full. Commercial models come with hoses to pump the water through the machine to an outside source such as a drain or just to the outside. Commercial dehumidifiers are designed to run continuously without having to empty a reservoir every few hours. It is possible to purchase your own hoses to hook up to most residential machines, which essentially converts it into a lower capacity commercial unit, but why would you? A little planning ahead of time could save you time and money.3. Usage. Manufacturers “target” restoration contractors when they sell commercial dehumidifiers because contractors tend to use them daily and in a variety of restoration scenarios. While home owners could and do purchase these machines, their size and cost make it a poor choice for the average residential customer. However, that cost could be justified if the home is located in an area prone to flooding, heavy rains, and high moisture content.4. Cost. As with many commercial vs residential products, high-end residential machines run into the low-end commercial machine price points. But don’t purchase a dehumidifier based on cost alone, which is what many consumers do. Of course if you just want the best of the best and cost is not a factor, then by all means go with a higher end commercial dehumidifier. It’s not a bad investment if you want to save a lot of time extracting all that moisture from your flooded basement.5. Stackability. If space is a premium and you have a lot of water to move, then by all means purchasing a commercial unit is the best choice. As noted above, these machines were built for contractors who have to move water quickly. Often their space is limited so they’re built to be stacked.6. Durability. Heavy duty means heavy duty in the dehumidifier world. The internal parts are durable, and they are just built to last. There are rarely any plastic parts in these units. Plastic in this world equates to flimsy and delicate. Contractors would not put up with cheap parts when their money and reputation is on the line.I hope I’ve given you a few things to consider if you’re ever in the market for a dehumidifier.