Dehumidifiers improve air quality by reducing extra moisture in the air. High Humidity levels (above 50% humidity) in your basement creates unhealthy air quality leading to mold, mildew and other allergens that are detrimental to your family’s health. The key to creating a healthy and comfortable basement environment is to maintain a low relative humidity level (below 50%) with a dehumidifier that is appropriately sized to your basement and your surrounding environmental conditions. An appropriately-sized dehumidifier will create better air quality, prevent the spread of mold colonies and eliminate odors associated with damp basements. A dry basement prevents the infestation of dust mites as well as structural damage due to termites. We provide a room size capacity for each dehumidifier that we offer. Other considerations, such as environmental conditions surrounding your home, including lakes, hills and wetlands, or some combination of these will also have an additional impact as to which dehumidifier you will want to consider. We carry dehumidifiers that are appropriate for finished and unfinished basements, crawlspaces, slab foundation homes and commercial applications.
Top Dehumidifier Brand Reviews
How to Choose a Home Dehumidifier?
We test our dehumidifiers in real world conditions and the specs and design are the basis for our dehumidifier ratings and reviews. If you have a larger dehumidification problem using commercial or industrial dehumidifiers, additional and different criteria will apply. You might consider these Commercial Dehumidifiers for your home if you have a very large basement and it is unusually moist.
The Four Main Dehumidifier Factors
An improperly sized dehumidifier can be helpless in preventing mold unless the humidity in the room is brought below the proper level. Many dealers only know it can remove moisture from the air, but have no idea how to recommend a proper size. If you buy too much capacity, you will be paying for more than you need; but if you buy too little, the dehumidifier will probably run all the time and possibly not reach a desired humidity level.
We carry a wide variety of sizes ranging from mid-sized dehumidifiers like the Danby 50 pint low temp dehumidifier to whole basement dehumidifiers that can remove hundreds of pints like the Fral FDK54. Some units are for single rooms, others for a whole house like the WhiteWing Defender can be installed to dehumidify multiple rooms.
The magic humidity level to achieve is 50% or less because mold cannot grow at humidity levels below 50%. Since going down to 40% can be a waste of electricity and electricity can be expensive, try for a humidity range of 45% to 50%.
30-pint, 40-pint, 50-pint dehumidifier designations refer to the number of pints of water it can remove in a 24 hour period under set conditions; not to the size of the water bucket, which typically usually only 16 or so pints. However, since set conditions are at 80 degrees and 60% relative humidity and very few homes will have those conditions, please note as this is important, because will actually do less than those numbers at your location.
Additionally, when manufacturers state that a certain size of their dehumidifier can cover 1000 square feet, they are usually assuming ideal conditions and are not taking into account that there are tremendous differences in humidity between areas such as southern Florida and a mountaintop in Colorado. Your outside humidity has a tremendous effect on your inside humidity.
It is better safe than sorry, buy a dehumidifier that is larger than what you think you need.
Some dehumidifiers will only operate at temperatures about 65 degrees or above or they will form ice on the coils (ice up) and shut off the machine. Only those designed to operate below 65 degrees, called “low-temperature” dehumidifiers, are recommended for most basements since the temperature is often below 65 degrees. Our Pure & Dry, Friedrich and Frigidaire dehumidifiers offer low-temperature solutions. These models have built in “frost guards” or “auto defrost” designed to turn off the compressor as soon as freezing is detected and leave the fan running to blow warm air over the coils. Some of the industrial models use a process called “hot gas defrost” to actually heat the coils and allow them to operate down to 33 degrees. The Ebac line is ideal for moisture control in cold areas with space constraints.
Even if you have a low-temperature dehumidifier, while it may not ice up, it may not be able to bring the humidity to the level you want because of the strong correlation between temperature and the dehumidifier"s ability to remove water. The lower the room temperature, the harder it is to remove the water. At 80 degrees it is possible to reduce the humidity to about 40%, but at 70 degrees the humidity can only be reduced to about 45%, and at 60 degrees or lower the humidity can often only reduce to about 60% unless you have properly sized it.
Many people tell us that noise is a factor when choosing a dehumidifier. Low-temperature dehumidifiers tend to be noisier than regular temperature units. All dehumidifiers make some noise, but the newest models have the noise recede into the background with a low hum noise level. Our quietest low-temperature dehumidifiers are the Pure & Dry Whisper dehumidifiers.
How consistently any appliance works is very important, and more so with dehumidifiers, since high humidity can damage your home. We have found that many tend to break down after about 18 months or even sooner. Long gone are the days when dehumidifiers could be expected to last 10–20 years without a problem. Our experience tells us which dehumidifiers have the lowest return rates and highest reliability rates.
Dehumidifier Features to Look For in a Home Dehumidifier
Digital Humidistat that allow you to set a desired humidity level have an advantage over dehumidifiers with just an adjustable dial, since you have no idea what humidity you will achieve at a position on the dial. This is important if you wish to maintain a level of humidity sufficiently low to avoid dust mites or molds that thrive in higher-level humidity environments.
Built in hygrometers to measure the actual humidity in the room will save you from having to buy a separate hygrometer to be certain that you are maintaining a humidity level of 50% or slightly lower.
An automatic shut-off when the bucket completely fills is a must so that the water will not overflow.
A bucket to which you can attach a hose for continuous gravity drainage makes the job so much easier for managing the usage of your dehumidifier. Since most buckets hold between 16 to 20 pints, one of the major inconveniences is emptying the bucket, especially in a very humid environment where this could be a task that needs to be done every few hours. A bucket that is both sturdy and has a built in handle will prevent the irritation caused by a flimsy plastic one without a handle that inevitably causes spilling water on the way to dumping it.
Dehumidifiers with built in pumps are not common, so we sell a convenient condensate pump that is capable of pumping the water 15 feet vertically and over 100 feet horizontally. This way you can have the water pumped to a drain, sink, washing machine out-flow pipe, out a window, through a wall, or even to a different floor. You can actually tie it into your plumbing if you wish. Best of all, it works easily with most of the dehumidifiers we carry.
Automatic defrost with an anti-frost sensor shuts off the dehumidifier when frost begins to build up and avoids possible damage to the dehumidifier.
Automatic restart after a power failure is a plus, especially in a 2nd home where you are not always present, but is not as important in your primary residence where you will notice power outages.
Casters are a plus so that the dehumidifier can be easily moved from one location to another.
Energy Star rated dehumidifiers are efficiently designed to keep your utility bills down. Many dehumidifiers can draw a lot of juice and cost more than your average refrigerator to run if they need to operate for a long time. As you might suspect, the more expensive dehumidifiers like the WhiteWing Defender will save you money in the long run because they are far more miserly in their energy consumption.
Dehumidifier Usage Tips
Properly sizing a dehumidifier for your specific needs, conditions, and location before you buy can be a big help. If possible don’t buy just based on a seemingly low price because in the long run it will very likely cost you more to run and will not last very long.
Position your dehumidifier so that it can get maximum airflow both into and out of it. If you need to place it close to a wall, consider turning it sideways to improve the airflow.
Clean the Filter Remove and clean the air filter frequently. Most dehumidifier filters do little for the air that you breathe, but will stop dirt particles and dust from forming on the condenser coils and reducing the efficiency. If the filter becomes clogged, it will stop the airflow to the dehumidifier and cause the motor to fail prematurely. This is most often the cause of the short life span of many dehumidifiers.
Warranty Be sure to buy a dehumidifier with a good warranty for repairs and a company that will stand behind the warranty. We have found that manufacturers actually differ enormously when it comes to standing behind their product. While 1-year warranty on most parts and 5 years on the sealed system is standard, who in their right mind wants to heave a heavy dehumidifier into their car and take it to the local repair center if it breaks down after a short time or requires frequent repairs?