Choosing The Best Dehumidifier For Your Application

Last Updated: April 4th 2020

2020-comp-units

There are three major types of dehumidifiers:

  1. Compressor based dehumidifiers
  2. Thermo-electric dehumidifiers
  3. Desiccant dehumidifiers

 
Full-size compressor based dehumidifiers (such as those in the photo above) are capable of removing several gallons of water from the air each day. Most thermo-electric and desiccant units can remove only a few ounces per day at best.

Compressor based units can be used to dehumidify any (reasonably) sized space at any humidity level. Most thermo-electric and desiccant units can only be used to dehumidify small spaces (like a closet, for example) and only if the humidity level in that space isn’t very high.

Because thermo-electric and desiccant units simply will not work for most people in most situations we’re going to leave our discussion of them for later.

Our focus for most of this guide will be on full-size compressor based dehumidifiers – the only type of dehumidifier that will serve the needs of most people in most situations. This is also the type of dehumidifier that most people traditionally think of when they hear the word “dehumidifier”.

A Critical Step Before You Buy

We’ll get to our top dehumidifier picks (our recommendations of the best dehumidifiers) in just a moment, but before we do, it’s necessary that we first go over new government standards for dehumidifiers.

A clear understanding of these new standards will be absolutely critical for you to determine exactly which model dehumidifier you need to buy.

New Dehumidifier Standards

Dehumidifiers sold in the United States are manufactured according to US government standards. More specifically, the US Department of Energy (DOE) gives certain requirements for manufacturers to follow in order to be able to sell their dehumidifiers within the United States.

There are, broadly speaking, two basic requirements:

  1. that the pints/day specification be given according to testing standards outlined by the DOE
  2. that the dehumidifier meets certain energy efficiency requirements

 

A. The Pints/Day Requirement

In the past, dehumidifiers were officially tested at 80°F and 60% RH. Since June 13, 2019 dehumidifiers are required to be tested at a lower temperature – 65°F – but the same humidity level – 60% RH.

This results in a decrease in the manufacturer pints/day specification for any particular model dehumidifier.

A 70 pint dehumidifier before June 13, 2019 is a 50 pint dehumidifier after June 13, 2019.

Why the decrease? Why the lower pints/day specification?

Because colder air contains less moisture than warmer air at the same humidity level. A block of air at 65°F and 60% RH contains less moisture than the same block of air at 80°F and 60% RH.

A 70 pint dehumidifier tested before June 13, 2019 was placed in a room with air at 80°F and 60% RH. That block of air contained enough moisture for the dehumidifier to be able to remove 70 pints of moisture in a day.

The same 70 pint dehumidifier tested after June 13, 2019 is placed in a room with air at 65°F and 60% RH. That block of air contains less moisture and so the same “70 pint dehumidifier” is now only able to remove 50 pints from that air per day.

Since 65°F and 60% RH is the new official testing standard, what used to be called a “70 pint dehumidifier” is now called a 50 pint dehumidifier.

The Frigidaire FFAD5033W1, for example, removes approx. 70 pints of moisture per day at 80°F and 60% RH. This very same model removes 50 pints of moisture per day at 65°F and 60% RH.

In the past, the FFAD5033W1 would have been sold as a 70 pint dehumidifier. Today, according to new testing standards, it is required to be sold as a 50 pint dehumidifier.

Model
At 80°F and 60% RH (pre-2019)
At 65°F and 60% RH (post-2019)
Frigidaire FFAD5033W170 pints/day50 pints/day
hOmeLabs HME020031N70 pints/day50 pints/day
Black+Decker BDT50WTB70 pints/day50 pints/day

B. The Energy Efficiency Requirement

Now that you’re familiar with how pints/day requirements have changed over time, we can take a look at how the DOE’s energy efficiency requirements for dehumidifiers have changed over time.

In the past, the requirements looked like this:

Pints/day (Capacity)
Energy Factor (EF) - L/kWh
≤ 35.001.35
35.01-45.001.50
45.01-54.001.60
54.01-75.001.70
≥ 75.012.5
Source

Beginning June 13, 2019 the requirements are now this:

Pints/day (Capacity)
Integrated Energy Factor (IEF) - L/kWh
≤ 25.001.30
25.01-50.001.60
≥ 50.012.80
Source

Note the differences between these two tables:

  1. the pints/day categories
  2. the use of “energy factor” vs “integrated energy factor” in the right column
  3. the actual energy efficiency requirements – the numbers in the right column

 
The pints/day categories have changed because pints/day testing and specification requirements have changed as we discussed earlier.

The energy efficiency requirements are now outlined in terms of “integrated energy factor” instead of “energy factor”.

Energy factor simply measures the Liters the dehumidifier removes per kWh of energy use while it is actively dehumidifying.

Integrated energy factor involves a complex equation in which the dehumidifier is tested on various settings and during various time intervals, but basically it boils down to this:

IEF = liters of water removed / energy used while the dehumidifier is actively dehumidifying + energy used in standby and other low power modes

IEF is essentially a more nuanced – a more accurate version of EF. IEF is also the less forgiving metric as it accounts for more cases of energy use than EF (such as when the dehumidifier’s compressor is off and only its fan is running).

The end result is that the latest DOE energy efficiency requirements are more stringent than ever as the DOE is pushing manufacturers towards making more energy efficient dehumidifiers.

All dehumidifiers manufactured AFTER June 19, 2019 HAVE TO adhere to these more strict energy efficiency guidelines to be able to be sold in the United States. This means that you absolutely want to buy a dehumidifier manufactured after this date.

Rest assured, all top rated dehumidifiers we recommend fit this requirement.

New Energy Star Requirements

Completely separate from DOE energy efficiency requirements, are Energy Star energy efficiency requirements.

Energy star certification has been available to dehumidifier manufacturers for close to 20 years now (since January, 2001). Over that time period several different versions of energy star requirements have been published.

Version 4.0 was effective as of October 25, 2016. The requirements were as follows:

Pints/day (Capacity)
Energy Factor (EF) - L/kWh
< 75≥ 2.00
75 to ≤ 185≥ 2.80

Note that the pints/day categories in the table above involved testing at 80°F and 60% RH and EF is used instead of IEF.

Version 5.0 is effective as of October 18, 2019. The requirements now are as follows:

Pints/day (Capacity)
Integrated Energy Factor (IEF) - L/kWh
≤ 25.00≥ 1.57
25.01 to 50≥ 1.80
≥ 50≥ 3.30
Source

Note that the pints/day categories in the table above involves testing at 65°F and 60% RH and IEF is used instead of EF.

All dehumidifiers sold as Energy Star compliant after October 18, 2019 have to fit these new more stringent requirements.

Note that there are still models on the market today that have an Energy Star sticker and are sold as being Energy Star compliant that do NOT meet version 5.0 requirements. At the time that they were manufactured (when the Energy Star sticker was applied) and at the time that they were first sold (when Energy Star compliancy was added to their product description) they may very well have been Energy Star compliant according to version 4.0 requirements.

But they are now no longer Energy Star compliant and their product descriptions simply haven’t been updated yet.

Rest assured that all of the models we recommend are fully Energy Star compliant according to version 5.0 requirements.

Dehumidifier Capacity and Area of Coverage

Note: Even if the concept of dehumidifier capacity isn’t completely new to you, we ask that you bear with us through the next section of the guide as we explain how our view on this concept (and how it should be applied in selecting a particular dehumidifier model) is much different than the view held by most other consumer publications and even many manufacturers.

We mentioned at the beginning of this guide that compressor based dehumidifiers are capable of removing several gallons of water from the air per day.

How much water (moisture) a dehumidifier can remove from the air per day is referred to as the dehumidifier’s capacity. A dehumidifier that can remove 6.25 gallons of water from the air per day is said to have a capacity of 6.25 gallons. Or is it?

Dehumidifier manufacturers generally don’t use gallons to specify the capacity of their dehumidifiers. It’s too large of a volume. Instead, they use pints. Of course, a pint is simply an eighth of a gallon.

So, a dehumidifier having a capacity of 6.25 gallons per day is simply referred to as a 50 pint dehumidifier.

50 pint dehumidifiers are the most common type of compressor based dehumidifier, followed by 35 pint dehumidifiers (35 pints = 4.375 gallons) and 22 pint dehumidifiers (22 pints = 2.75 gallons). There are also dehumidifiers on the market that stray somewhat from these general capacity standards. It’s not uncommon to find dehumidifiers rated to remove 45, 30, or 20 pints of moisture per day, for example.

What Capacity Dehumidifier Should You Buy?

At this point in most other dehumidifier buyer’s guides the author of the guide might point you to a size chart (or table) to help you determine what capacity dehumidifier you need to buy.

The chart might require you to

  1. Select the dampness of the space you need to dehumidify
  2. Select the square footage of that space
  3. Match the selected dampness row with the selected square footage column – this gives the capacity of the dehumidifier you’re advised to buy

 
Many manufacturers give a more simplified size chart to help you choose which dehumidifier to buy.

  • Some charts suggest dehumidifier capacity based on dampness alone
  • Other charts only use square footage to suggest which size dehumidifier to buy

 
Unlike most other consumer publications and many manufacturers, we do not recommend that you use a chart or table to help you decide what capacity dehumidifier to buy.

Why do we disagree with the use of such methods? See the 6 reasons below.

1. Charts/tables usually have a limited range. They may begin at 1,500 square feet and end at 4,500 square feet. What if the space you need to dehumidify is smaller than 1,500 square feet? What if it’s larger than 4,500 square feet? These charts fail to make recommendations for spaces that fall outside of the given range.

2. Charts usually fail to take into account the height of the space you need to dehumidify. Rooms with higher ceilings contain more air than rooms with lower ceilings – something that a chart or table doesn’t take into account at all. Much more appropriate would be recommendations based on the volume (measured in cubic feet ), not the area of the space you need to dehumidify.

3. Charts fail to take into account dehumidifier CFM – the CFM of the dehumidifier’s intake fan (the Cubic Feet of air the fan pulls into the dehumidifier every Minute). We rate dehumidifiers with higher CFM fans much higher than those with lower CFM fans. Why? Because only half the battle in dehumidifying a given volume of air involves the process of actually removing moisture from it inside of the dehumidifier. The other half involves pulling that air into the dehumidifier for it to be dehumidified. A higher CFM fan is able to pull more air from greater distances surrounding the dehumidifier. This is especially important if you want to dehumidify a large space. Charts and tables don’t take into account that a smaller capacity dehumidifier with a higher CFM fan may very well outperform a larger capacity dehumidifier with a lower CFM fan under certain circumstances.

4. Charts and manufacturer recommendations are usually based on an extrapolation of test data obtained in a highly controlled environment. They’re not necessarily based on testing performed in a real world environment.

How can a dehumidifier manufacturer make the claim that their 50 pint dehumidifier can actually remove 50 pints of moisture per day? The manufacturer does so by having the unit tested under very specific conditions (65°F and 60% RH) in a highly controlled environment.

They then use this data (a 50 pints/day moisture removal rate under the given conditions) to make a square footage (area of coverage) recommendation.

But what if the room you need to dehumidify is much different that the test space? What if the room has high ceilings? What if the room has poor vs. good ventilation? What if you’re running an HVAC system in addition to the dehumidifier? What if you place the dehumidifier in your basement vs. a second story?

Charts and tables cannot account for these real world variables.

5. Another issue is that certain manufacturer recommendations contradict each other. Some manufacturers advertise their 50 pint dehumidifier as being able to cover 4,000 sq. ft. Others claim 4,500 sq. ft. of coverage. Which is it if all units are rated for 50 pints/day of moisture removal?

6. Finally, charts and manufacturer recommendations contradict our own research and testing. Take for example, many manufacturers recommending a 22 pint unit for spaces up to 1,500 sq. ft. Our own research and testing has shown that a 22 pint dehumidifier is not at all capable of properly dehumidifying a space as large as 1,500 sq. ft.

Our Recommendation

Clearly, we believe that dehumidifier sizing charts and tables have a lot of flaws. And, because of those flaws, it is our strong recommendation that you do NOT use these charts and tables to determine what size dehumidifier you should buy.

So, what do we recommend? Our recommendation is simply the following:

Buy the highest capacity dehumidifier you can afford.

In other words, we recommend that you buy a 50 pint dehumidifier – the highest capacity consumer-grade dehumidifier you can buy.

If you have a smaller space or a space that’s not very damp – say you live in an approximately 1,000 square foot apartment and/or a space that rarely gets above 60% RH – then you certainly can get away with a medium (35 pint) or low (22 pint) capacity unit. But, you’ll be doing so at a cost. What exactly is that cost? We explain below.

Why You Shouldn’t Take Our Recommendation Lightly

Our recommendation that you buy the highest capacity dehumidifier you can afford (for consumers this means 50 pint) is based on the following very simple fact:

High capacity 50 pint dehumidifiers dehumidify faster than lower capacity 35 and 22 pint units.

It may sound like we’re stating the obvious here but really think about that statement – a high capacity 50 pint dehumidifier dehumidifies faster.

It’s easy to associate a 50 pint dehumidifier’s actual capacity with a certain volume of water – the volume of water that the dehumidifier removes from the air each day. And the truth is that such an association isn’t incorrect. A 50 pint dehumidifier is certainly capable of removing a volume of 50 pints of water from humid air every day.

But, the much more important association to make here is that a dehumidifier’s capacity relates to the rate at which it can remove moisture. A 50 pint dehumidifier removes any given quantity of moisture – not just 50 pints – at a faster rate in any given quantity of time – not just in 24 hours.

If this sounds confusing, think about it this way. A 50 pint dehumidifier is rated to remove 50 pints of moisture per day. This translates to 2.1 pints of moisture removal per hour. A 35 pint dehumidifier can remove 1.5 pints of moisture per hour and a 22 pint dehumidifier can remove 0.9 pints per hour. Let’s say you have a space that holds a block of air containing 100 pints of moisture. Here’s how fast each size/capacity dehumidifier will be able to remove that moisture:

50 pint – 48 hours

35 pint – 66.7 hours

22 pint – 111.1 hours

Clearly, given a set quantity of moisture, a 50 pint dehumidifier can remove that moisture much faster than 35 or 22 pint dehumidifier.

Another way of looking at it is with percentages.

In order to remove any given quantity of moisture from any given space, a 50 pint dehumidifier, compared to a 35 pint dehumidifier, will be able to remove that moisture 40% faster. Compared to a 22 pint dehumidifier? A whopping 133% faster!

Because it dehumidifies faster, a 50 pint dehumidifier needs to run for a much shorter period of time than smaller capacity dehumidifiers to dehumidify any size space under any conditions.

This is extremely important for the following reasons, which also happen to be the primary reasons why we feel so strongly about recommending 50 pint units:

1. It makes 50 pint dehumidifiers more energy efficient compared to smaller capacity units. 50 pint dehumidifiers do draw more power than smaller capacity units per unit time but they draw this power over a much shorter period of time. We’ve done the math and the end result is that, in real-world conditions, 50 pint dehumidifiers are, overall, more energy efficient than smaller capacity dehumidifiers over time. You should be able to more than recoup the initial cost difference between a 50 pint and a 35 or 22 pint dehumidifier in energy cost savings over time.

2. It makes 50 pint dehumidifiers more reliable than smaller capacity units. This is perhaps the biggest reason why we recommend 50 pint units. You see, every minute that your dehumidifier runs puts stress on its internal parts (its compressor, condenser, etc.). Because 50 pint dehumidifiers have to run for a shorter amount of time than smaller capacity units to dehumidify any given quantity of air, the stress on their internal parts occurs over a much shorter amount of time. This allows them to last much longer than smaller capacity units.

Think of it this way: a dehumidifier’s longevity isn’t determined by how long you own it but rather by how many hours you operate it. The math is simple. A smaller capacity unit has to operate for a far greater number of hours than a large capacity unit to dehumidify the same space with the same amount of moisture.

We’ve surveyed countless consumer reviews for hundreds of different dehumidifiers of all different sizes. It’s actually startling to see how big of a discrepancy there is between the number of consumer complaints about the reliability of smaller capacity units (35 and especially 22 pint) compared to the number of those complaints for large capacity (50 pint) units. The percentage of complaints is much much higher for smaller capacity units.

Our Top Picks for 2020

After several hundred hours of research, testing, and in-depth analysis here are our model recommendations for 2020. These are the very best dehumidifiers we’ve tested so far.

#1 – The Best Overall – Frigidaire FFAD5033W1

frigidaire-high-capacity

Simply put, the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 is by far the best dehumidifier we’ve tested as of the writing of this guide in 2020. It is unequivocally the best dehumidifier on the market today. Here’s why.

It removes moisture fast – We conduct two different tests to determine how well and how fast a dehumidifier can remove moisture in a real-world environment. In the first, most grueling test we measure how long it takes for the dehumidifier to lower room humidity from 90% down to 40% relative humidity (RH). In the second test we measure how long it takes for it to lower room humidity from 80% down to 50% RH. The FFAD5033W1 was able to lower room humidity from 90% down to 40% RH faster than any other dehumidifier we tested. It was the second fastest lowering room humidity from 80% down to 50% RH.

It has a large water tank – The FFAD5033W1 has the largest water collection tank of any 50 pint dehumidifier we’ve tested in the last several years. This unit’s tank has a capacity of 16.9 pints. The average tank size for a high capacity dehumidifier is about 14 pints.

It produces a pleasing noise output profile – The FFAD5033W1 has three things going for it when it comes to producing as pleasant of a noise as possible. First, it produces less audible compressor noise than almost every other dehumidifier we’ve tested. Ever hear your fridge’s compressor kicking on? If you get really close to your fridge and/or if you have an older fridge you may very well be able to hear its compressor make a buzzing noise. A dehumidifier also has a compressor and it also can produce the same buzzing noise a refrigerator’s compressor can make. The FFAD5033W1′s compressor produced very little compressor noise during testing. The same cannot be said for most of the other dehumidifiers we’ve tested.

The second thing the FFAD5033W1 has going for it, in terms of noise output, is the fact that it exhausts upwards. The little compressor noise that is produced by this unit is easily “masked” by setting the unit to a high fan speed. The exhaust noise is a much more pleasant sounding “wind” noise and it easily overwhelms the compressor noise when this unit is set to high fan speed. The fact that the unit exhausts upwards allows the exhaust noise to evenly distribute throughout the whole room. This masks compressor noise throughout the whole room very well. Most other units we tested have louder compressors and some exhaust through the side. The compressor noise is much more obvious on such units since the exhaust noise is more directional and therefore doesn’t easily distribute throughout the whole room.

Finally, the FFAD5033W1 has a very high CFM – 229 on high fan speed. Most other high capacity units on the market have a CFM in the upper 100s at best on the same high fan speed setting. The Frigidaire’s high CFM on high fan speed is not only good for moisture removal rate but it also produces more “wind” noise than lower CFM fans. This additional wind noise further contributes to masking compressor noise and making for a more pleasing noise output profile.

It’s exceptionally well-built – We’ve had a lot of hours getting hands-on experience with a lot of different dehumidifiers. In terms of build quality and the quality of the materials used for its construction, the FFAD5033W1 is simply a cut above every other dehumidifier we’ve tested so far. It’s actually remarkable how big of a difference there is, in terms of build quality, when comparing the FFAD5033W1 directly side by side with most other dehumidifiers. Placed directly next to other popular dehumidifiers it would be obvious even to someone with far less experience with dehumidifiers than we have, that the FFAD5033W1 is clearly a much better built higher quality appliance.

Conclusion

The FFAD5033W1 does more things better than any other dehumidifier we’ve tested. It dehumidifies faster, it has a larger water collection bucket, it has a more pleasing noise output profile, and it’s better built than any other dehumidifier we’ve tested so far. It earns our highest recommendation as the best dehumidifier on the market today.

See Price on AmazonRead our Full Review

#2 – The Best Budget Alternative – hOmeLabs HME020031N

homelabs-4500-sq-ft

The Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 is by far the best dehumidifier we’ve tested so far but it’s price and availability is often such that it may be out of reach for some consumers. A more budget-friendly alternative is the hOmeLabs HME020031N. Here are the reasons why the hOmeLabs is a great second option.

It also dehumidifies fast – it doesn’t dehumidify quite as fast as the Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 but it’s still faster than average in its size class (50 pint). As noted above, we measure a dehumidifier’s moisture removal rate in two different tests. The hOmeLabs didn’t perform quite as well in these tests as the Frigidaire, but its performance was still above average.

It’s quiet – this hOmeLabs dehumidifier is one of the most quiet dehumidifiers in its size class. We measure the noise output (in dB using a sound meter) for all of the dehumidifiers we test for review. The HME020031N is one of the most quiet 50 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested so far.

It does have slightly more compressor noise than the FFAD5033W1 and it has a side exit exhaust which doesn’t mask the compressor noise as well as the FFAD5033W1. But, in terms of raw measured dB numbers, the hOmeLabs is technically “quieter” than the FFAD5033W1.

It comes with a great warranty – the hOmeLabs is not nearly as well-built as the Frigidaire but it does come with a longer warranty. The HME020031N comes with a 2 year warranty. The Frigidaire, like most other 50 pint units we tested, only comes with a 1 year warranty.

Conclusion

The hOmeLabs HME020031N removes moisture faster than most other 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested but more importantly, it removes moisture much faster than any 35 pint or 22 pint dehumidifier. This is important because the HME020031N is often priced less than the average 35 pint dehumidifier and only $10 or $20 more than the average 22 pint dehumidifier. If you’re torn between purchasing a 22 or 35 pint unit and this hOmeLabs 50 pint unit, our recommendation, without hesitation, would be the hOmeLabs.

See Price on AmazonRead our Full Review

#3 – Black + Decker BDT50WTB

If neither the Frigidaire nor the hOmeLabs are available the Black + Decker is a solid third option.

It performed above average in our most important tests – this unit had the lowest power draw of any 50 pint dehumidifier we tested (554 watts compared to 570 to 600 watts for most other units). It also performed very well in our moisture removal tests.

It has a pleasant noise output profile – like the top rated Frigidaire, this unit exhausts out of the top which covers up compressor noise much better than a side exhaust. The unit’s compressor noise is also not as pronounced as it is on many other high capacity units we tested.

It comes with a gravity drain hose – all 50 pint units have a gravity drain outlet but the BDT50WTB is one of only a handful of such units to come with a gravity drain hose. Normally, you would have to supply your own garden hose to employ gravity drainage. With this unit a hose is included.

Conclusion

The BDT50WTB was an above average performer in our moisture removal tests but it didn’t perform nearly as well as the Frigidaire in our 90% to 40% RH test. It has a pleasant noise output profile but it’s not as pleasant as that of the Frigidaire. It’s also not as well-built as the Frigidaire.

Compared to the hOmeLabs it would be the better option if it weren’t for its shorter warranty. The Black + Decker (like the Frigidaire) only comes with a 1 year warranty while the hOmeLabs can offer up to a two and a half year warranty. The Frigidaire performed well enough in our tests and is sufficiently well-built that we can confidently recommend it over the hOmeLabs despite its shorter warranty. We don’t feel the same about the Black + Decker.

It may sound like we’re being a bit harsh on this unit and we are – we’re comparing it to what we believe are the two best dehumidifiers on the market. All of that being said, this is still a very good dehumidifier and a great third option if both of our two top picks are not available.

See Price on AmazonRead our Full Review

Why You Can Trust Our Recommendations

So far we’ve personally tested over 50 different dehumidifiers. Many other reviewers base their recommendations on manufacturer specifications. These specifications list performance data (namely moisture removal rate and noise output) that is based on testing conducted in a highly controlled environment which maximizes the performance of the dehumidifier and allows it to get ideal results. Our tests simulate real world environments and conditions that aren’t always ideal to determine how each dehumidifier we test actually performs in real-world environments. We rigorously test each unit to determine how quickly it removes moisture, how much noise it produces, how much energy it uses, and just how accurate its built in hygrometer (used to read humidity levels) really is in a typical home environment. This means that our test data is often quite different than what manufacturer specifications indicate.

In addition to the tests described above we also take time to assess each unit’s build quality, its features, portability, adjustability, versatility, and how easy it is to use. Finally, we examine its warranty, price, and consumer feedback and compare it to the other dehumidifiers we’ve tested. This is how we determine the best dehumidifier in each category.

Additional Picks for 2020

Earlier we gave general recommendations for the best dehumidifiers in 2020 – the best unit overall (FFAD5033W1), the best budget alternative ( HME020031N), and the third best option if neither of those units are available ( BDT50WTB). Below we make more specific recommendations.

The Best Small Dehumidifier

Can you get away with buying a smaller cheap dehumidifier for less than $30?

Dehumidifiers in this price range are usually small desiccant units. Desiccant dehumidifiers use a desiccant – a chemical – to remove moisture from the air. This chemical saturates with liquid moisture over time.

The cheapest desiccant “dehumidifiers” are usually just called “moisture absorbers”. DampRid products are of this variety. Moisture absorbers are very cheap (usually only around $10), disposable (you throw them away after the desiccant saturates with moisture), and “wireless” (you can put them anywhere since they don’t need to be plugged in). On the negative side of things, moisture absorbers remove moisture very slowly (they remove only a few ounces every few weeks) and it doesn’t take much moisture for them to become completely saturated (once they do, they’re thrown out). As such, they should only be used in extremely small spaces (closets, safes, cars, etc.) and only in very mildly humid conditions.

More expensive desiccant “dehumidifiers” are rechargeable. A small indicator window shows you when the desiccant is saturated (it’s usually a strip that turns from one color to another0. When this happens, you plug in the dehumidifier to recharge the desiccant. Recharging involves heating up the desiccant so that it releases moisture back into the air. For this reason, you never want to recharge this type of dehumidifier in a space where you wouldn’t mind it releasing moisture back into the air.

Rechargeable units are slightly more expensive than disposable moisture absorbers. They usually cost around $20 to $30 (the Eva-Dry E-333 and E-500 are two examples). The increase in cost is mostly due to the fact that they can be recharged. These units still remove very little moisture very slowly. Most remove somewhere between 4 to 8 ounces of moisture every 2 to 8 weeks (depending on the exact model and environment). Like disposable moisture absorbers, rechargeable desiccant units should only be used in very small spaces (cars, closets, etc.) and only if the space is very mildly humid.

So, can you get away with purchasing either one of these two types of “dehumidifiers”? Yes, but only if the space you need to dehumidify is very small and not very humid. The best disposable option is the DampRid FG50T. The best rechargeable option is the Eva-Dry E-333.

If the space is any larger than even 20 or 30 sq. ft. and if the space is fairly humid, at least a 22 pint compressor based unit like the Frigidaire FFAD2233W1 (the 22 pint version of the FFAD5033W1) is recommended instead.

See Price on Amazon
 
Can you get away with buying a dehumidifier for less than $100?

Dehumidifiers in this price range are either small disposable or rechargeable desiccant units or thermo-electric units. We discussed desiccant options at length above. Now we’ll address thermo-electric options.

In a compressor based dehumidifier, warm air condenses on ice cold evaporator coils. Condensation drips down into the dehumidifier’s collection bucket at a rate of 50, 35, or 22 pints per day (for most models).

In a thermo-electric dehumidifier, warm air condenses on a cooled down heat sink (the dehumidifier uses the thermoelectric effect to use electricity to cool down the heat sink). The condensation drips down into the thermo-electric dehumidifier’s collection bucket. The issue here is that it drips down – that is to say, the dehumidifier removes moisture – at a rate of only about 0.5 to 1.25 pints per day for most models.

This rate of moisture removal is slightly faster than it is for disposable and rechargeable desiccant units, but it’s still much slower than it is for full size compressor based units. An approx. $50 thermo-electric dehumidifier like the Ivation IVAGDM20 removes only 0.5 pints of moisture per day. That’s 60 times slower than even a relatively small 30 pint compressor based dehumidifier. Larger thermo-electric units like the Ivation IVADM35 (approx. $80) can remove as much as 1.25 pints of moisture per day but this is still well below the moisture removal rate of even the smallest compressor based dehumidifier.

So, can you get away with buying a dehumidifier for less than $100? Yes, but only if the space you need to dehumidify is both very small and only mildly humid. A larger thermo-electric unit like the IVADM35 (it would be the top rated option in this price range) could service a small bathroom, but don’t expect it to quickly lower humidity after a warm shower. It would take days to properly lower humidity under such conditions in stagnant air.

For any room larger than about 50 sq. ft. and any space that’s more than mildly humid, we would recommend at least a 22 pint compressor based dehumidifier like the Frigidaire FFAD2233W1.

See Price on Amazon
 

The Quietest Dehumidifier

The perceived loudness of a dehumidifier depends on many different factors including:

1. the fan speed and corresponding CFM – higher fan speeds produce more fan noise than lower fan speeds. Higher CFM fans produce more fan noise than lower CFM fans.
2. whether the dehumidifier exhausts air upwards or to the side – if upwards, fan noise distributes evenly throughout the room which increases perceived loudness overall but better masks compressor noise; if to the side, the fan noise can be directed away from you but compressor noise isn’t masked nearly as well
3. whether the dehumidifier produces an audible “compressor buzz” or not and to what extent that buzzing sound is audible – some units have internal compressors that make a louder “buzzing” sound when the dehumidifier is actively dehumidifying than others

At a distance of about 10 ft. (away from the dehumidifier) on high fan speed, expect the typical dehumidifier to produce about 50 to 55 dB of noise. This is about the same level of noise your fridge or AC system produces.

The quietest dehumidifiers exhausts air out of the side and produces little to no compressor noise. The 50 to 55 dB of noise is mostly wind noise produced by dried air exhausting out of the dehumidifier.

Our recommendation

Any dehumidifier that exhausts air out of the side and produces little to no compressor noise is a great option if you’re looking for a quiet dehumidifier. This exactly describes the 22 pint version of the FFAD5033W1 – the Frigidaire FFAD2233W1. Because it’s a smaller dehumidifier it has a smaller compressor and this compressor makes less noise than the average compressor on a larger unit. Unlike the FFAD5033W1, it also exhausts out of the side.

The FFAD2233W1 also does well in other areas like energy efficiency and moisture removal rate. Thus, it gets our recommendation as the best quiet option on the market.

A great second option is the FFAD5033W1. It’s technically “louder” than many other options but because of its high CFM fan and upward exhaust it masks compressor noise better than any other large capacity unit on the market.

A third option is the hOmeLabs HME020031N. It produces more compressor noise than the FFAD5033W1 and doesn’t mask it as well due to its side exhaust but in terms of overall perceived loudness (irrespective of whether the noise is pleasing or not) it is technically a quieter dehumidifier than the high capacity Frigidaire.

The Most Energy Efficient Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers draw a lot of power in order to facilitate removing as much moisture as they do. A 22 pint dehumidifier draws about 300 watts of power. 35 pint units draw about 500 watts and 50 pint units draw about 700 watts of power*.

The most energy efficient dehumidifier takes all of that power and uses it as efficiently as possible to remove moisture. Our testing has shown that larger capacity dehumidifiers are more energy efficient than smaller capacity units in real world scenarios.

Thus, we would strongly recommend a 50 pint dehumidifier if energy efficiency is a priority for you. Among the 50 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested, the top rated Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 is again our recommendation if you’re looking for the most energy efficient option available.

*For comparison, your TV likely draws about 100 watts of power. A fridge usually draws between 200 and 400 watts of power. Your home AC system likely draws between 1000 and 4000 watts of power.

The Most Portable Dehumidifier

Three factors determine a dehumidifier’s portability:

1. size
2. weight
3. the quality and design of its handles

50 pint and 35 pint dehumidifiers are usually exactly the same size. The only difference between them is their internals – 50 pint units have beefier internals to facilitate their higher moisture removal rate. These units are usually right around 2 ft. tall, slightly more than a foot wide, and about one foot deep.*

22 pint units are slightly smaller. They’re usually about 4 to 5 inches shorter, and ever so slightly less wide and less deep (a few inches at most).

50 pint units weigh upwards of 50 lb. 35 pint units weigh a little less – usually close to 40 lb. 22 pint units weigh the least – usually around 30 to 35 lb.

Two types of handles dominate the market:

1. Side pocket handles
2. A top extendable handle

During testing, we found units with top extendable handles to be much easier to pick up than units with side pocket handles.

Thus, the most portable dehumidifier would be a 22 pint unit (smallest and weighs the least) with a top extendable handle (easiest to pick up). Unfortunately, we have yet to test a unit that meets these requirements and is also a very good dehumidifier in other areas like moisture removal rate and energy efficiency.

Thus, our recommendation here is a 22 pint unit but one that comes with side pocket handles – the Frigidaire FFAD2233W1 as it does well in other areas (other than portability) as well. It’s also energy efficient, quiet, and removes moisture quickly for its size class.

* For comparison, a standard dishwasher is about 10 inches taller and 10 inches wider than a 70 or 50 pint dehumidifier.

Scoring Our Dehumidifier Reviews

Each of our dehumidifier reviews is broken down into 13 different categories including

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Noise Output
  • Moisture Removal Rate
  • Hygrometer Accuracy
  • Durability
  • Adjustability
  • Versatility
  • Extra Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Portability
  • Warranty
  • Value

 
We use the rating rubric below to give each dehumidifier we test a score out of 5 in each category.

Score
General Rating
Description
2.0Below AverageOur worst rating indicating poor and unacceptable performance
3.0Below AverageBelow average but acceptable performance
3.5AverageThe unit's performance was up to par compared to the industry standard
4.0Above AverageOnly slightly above average performance
4.5Above AverageMore than slightly above average but also not perfect
5.0Above AveragePerfect. Nothing could have been done better

These 13 scores are then added up to give the dehumidifier a cumulative score. It is largely this cumulative score that we use to determine the best dehumidifier in each size category.

Complete Dehumidifier Rankings

all-units
All the dehumidifiers we’ve tested so far, ranked according to their cumulative score (in the right-most column), are listed in the tables below. Note that you can read our full review for each unit by clicking on its model name.

Current Models

High Capacity
1Frigidaire FFAD5033W155.0
The best rated dehumidifier overall. Provides terrific all-around performance.
2hOmeLabs HME020031N52.0
A great option for the more budget minded consumer. A solid performer at a great value.
3Black+Decker BDT50WTB49.5
Really strong performer in all real world tests except hygrometer accuracy. Also a very affordable option.
4Vremi VRM010184*47.5
An average performer in our hands-on performance tests. A good value option if top units are out of stock.
5Honeywell TP70WKN*47.0
Good energy efficiency and hygrometer accuracy. Its included gravity drain hose is also a strong positive. Negatives are noise output, ease of use, and durability.
6Danby DDR050BJPWDB*45.0
Average to below average performance in most tests. Comes with a 2 year "carry in" warranty.
7Keystone KSTAD504D*43.0
Noisy with an inaccurate hygrometer. Also has poor durability.
8Hisense DH7019K1G43.0
Another poor performer in our performance testing. Does have a large 16.3 pint water collection bucket.
9GE ADEL45LY (ADEW45LY)42.5
The only 45 pint high capacity unit we've tested. High noise output and poor hygrometer accuracy on top of a plastic chemical smell keeps this unit from being recommended.
10Toshiba TDDP5012ES2*42.5
Below average performance in all of our tests. Average durability.
11LG UD501KOG5*42.0
Finished last in our moisture removal tests even with a higher than average power draw. The one strong positive for this unit is that it does offer above average build quality and durability.
Low Capacity
1Frigidaire FFAD2233W1*55.0
The best low capacity option on the market - like its big brother (the FFAD5033W1) - performed very well in our testing.

*Written review in progress

Discontinued Models

50 Pint (70 Pint 2012 DOE)
1Frigidaire FFAD7033R150.0
2Danby DDR70A2GP47.5
3Keystone KSTAD70B45.5
4Honeywell DH70W44.5
5RCA RDH70544.5
6GE ADEL70LR43.5
7Haier DE65EM40.5
8Kenmore KM7039.0
9Whirlpool AD70GUSB38.5
50 Pint Built-in Pump (70 Pint 2012 DOE)
1Hisense DH-70KP1SLE44.5
2Friedrich D70BP44.5
3SPT SD-72PE43.5
4Haier HM70EP40.5
5Delonghi DD70PE40.0
35 Pint (50 Pint 2012 DOE)
1Frigidaire FFAD5033R150.0
2Friedrich D50BP47.0
3Keystone KSTAD50B46.0
4Delonghi DD50PE43.0
5SPT SD-52PE40.0
22 Pint (30 Pint 2012 DOE)
1Frigidaire FFAD3033R150.0
2Hisense DH-35K1SJE547.0
3GE ADEL30LR45.0
4Haier DM32M-L34.5

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the optimal place to put a dehumidifier?

Any location that leaves at least 6 inches of space between the dehumidifier’s intake* and any obstructions (like a wall) will work.

Other strategies you can use for optimal dry air distribution include:

1. Put the dehumidifier close to a return air vent while running your home’s AC system (or at least just the system’s fan). This will allow dry air to better distribute throughout the whole home.

2. In larger spaces place the dehumidifier in a more central location.

3. Use fans to better move air between rooms if necessary.

*The dehumidifier’s intake is where it intakes humid air – usually this is either on the front or back of the dehumidifier.

Will the dehumidifier’s fan continue to run after the desired humidity level is reached?

Yes. On most models it continues to run for about 3 minutes and then stops. Power draw drops from several hundred watts (while the compressor is running) down to 70 or 80 watts when only the fan is running on high fan speed. When the fan shuts off, standby power draw is about 1 watt for most models.

What about the filter? Does it need to be replaced?

Most dehumidifiers come equipped with an air filter. The filter’s job is to filter out large particles (from the air) to keep them from getting inside of the dehumidifier where they could potentially do damage to internal parts like the unit’s compressor, evaporator, etc.

The filter does not need to be replaced. It can be rinsed and/or vacuumed to clean it. This should be done regularly (every 2 weeks or so) if you run the dehumidifier 24/7. If you run it less often the filter doesn’t need to be cleaned as often.

Can I use an extension cord?

Most dehumidifiers have about a 6 ft. long power cord. What do you do if you want to put the dehumidifier further than 6 ft. away from a wall outlet? Can you use an extension cord?

According to the manufacturer, absolutely not. We don’t recommend it either.

Hypothetically, if you absolutely had to use an extension cord, you would need to use no longer than a 3 or 6 ft. 12 or 14 AWG extension cord.

Will the dehumidifier restart automatically after a power outage?

Yes, most dehumidifiers will restart automatically after a power outage with previous settings saved.

Do I need to buy a separate hygrometer (device to measure humidity) along with my dehumidifier?

Almost all dehumidifiers come equipped with a built-in hygrometer. The dehumidifier will tell you the room’s ambient humidity right on its control panel. Some built-in hygrometers are more accurate than others but most will give you a good enough reading for most applications.

The only time you really should consider buying a separate hygrometer is if you’re planning to dehumidify a very large space. You can then use the hygrometer to determine humidity levels at different locations away from the dehumidifier to determine

a. if the dehumidifier has sufficient capacity or if one dehumidifier is enough to properly dehumidify the furthest corners of the space

b. if you need to try putting the dehumidifier in different locations to dehumidify the whole space (eg. does it work better when you put the dehumidifier in this room or that room or does it work better when you add a fan to circulate air, etc.)

What is the lowest humidity a dehumidifier is able to achieve?

Most dehumidifiers can be set to dehumidify room air down to about 35% RH (relative humidity). In most cases you press up or down arrows on the dehumidifier’s control panel to set the desired humidity level. The lowest you can set it to is usually 35% RH. Most of the dehumidifiers we tested were able to achieve this level of humidity without issue.

What is the minimum and maximum operating temperature for dehumidifiers?

Almost all dehumidifiers on the market have roughly the same operating temperature range of approx. 41° F up to approx. 95° F.

In older units frost (ice) can start building up on the dehumidifier’s evaporator coils even at temperatures as high as 65° F. A unit equipped with an automatic defrost mode will automatically cycle off its compressor and only run its fan to melt away the frost. Once defrosted, it will automatically cycle its compressor back on to continue dehumidifying.

More modern units are better optimized for low temperature operation and will prevent frost from building up without employing a separate defrost mode.

If I drain the dehumidifier with a hose, does the size/capacity dehumidifier I buy make a difference?

Yes, it does make a big difference. A dehumidifier’s capacity is the amount of moisture (water) it can remove from the air every 24 hours. It is not the capacity of its water collection bucket.

A 50 pint unit is able to remove up to 50 pints of moisture from the air every 24 hours. It doesn’t matter if it’s draining into its water collection bucket or into a drain.

All dehumidifiers have a water collection bucket capacity that’s much less than their overall capacity. For example, 50 pint units usually have a bucket that’s in the 12 to 18 pint range.

What’s in the box of the typical dehumidifier?

Most units ship with just the dehumidifier and a manual. Some units come with an adapter that connects to the drain outlet. Built-in pump dehumidifiers usually ship with special tubing that connects to a separate outlet for the sole purpose of draining the dehumidifier via the built-in pump.

Comments

  1. ANONYMOUS says

    I noticed your top overall pick, Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 doesn’t have auto-defrost. Would you still consider it a good choice for a cool damp basement?

    Thank you

    • Admin says

      The FFAD5033W1 doesn’t feature a separate dedicated defrost mode but it still passively defrosts its evaporator coils.

      We’ve updated our guide on basement dehumidifiers to better explain the differences between active and passive defrosting. In the same guide we also explain why the FFAD5033W1 is our pick as the best basement dehumidifier option on the market today.

  2. JIm says

    Model Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 is no longer available and I was wondering if the similar version with the built in pump would be as good, or do you recommend something else. Thanks.

  3. Steve says

    first time living in an area where I need a dehumidifier. Apartment is only 1000 sf. Will a 70 pint dehumidifier take care of all the rooms in the apartment or just the room that it is located in?
    Thanks.

    • Admin says

      The dehumidifier will be able to lower humidity in the whole apartment provided there’s adequate airflow between rooms (i.e. doors aren’t closed, etc.).

  4. Ben says

    I have a small room I want to get a dehumidifier for, and I know you say it’s better to get the 70 Pint regardless, but I cannot afford the newest 70 Pint model for the “R1″, but I can afford the 70 Pint for the previous model the “WD”. Would it be better to just get a 30 Pint model of the Newer R1, or should I just get the 70 Pint of the older WD model?

  5. Mitch says

    Hi. There’s an aspect of dehumidifiers that seems rarely discussed in general: Mold growth INSIDE the machine. I recently purchased the Keystone 50-Pint model you recommend, only to find mold and moisture already inside of it. (Clearly it had been used.) And while obviously cleaning the collection bucket would prevent growth in that particular area, do the coils and other inner workings of these dehumidifiers not pose a potential problem, given that all they do is collect moisture from the air in humid places?

    Now I’ve been looking at the Pure & Dry HEPA50 by Aerus, because it has a HEPA filter built in, presumably at the intake.The filter in most other models seems superficial at best, but I’m wondering if a HEPA placed before the coils, as in this Pure & Dry model, would reduce the potential for spores to enter the machine in the first place.

    BOTTOM LINE AND QUESTION: The last thing I want is to have a dehumidifier blowing moldy air into the place where I’m trying to prevent mold. Is this a valid concern, or am I missing something? Would love your expert opinion.

    P.S. Thank you for all of your thorough and thoughtful reviews. I have found your site very helpful thus far.

    • Admin says

      Full size compressor based dehumidifiers move a lot of air (they have big fans that run at a high speed). This makes for a poor environment for mold growth. Additionally, the dehumidifier is actively working to reduce humidity in the room where it is operating – the drier environment is also not a good environment for mold growth.

      Most units also come with an air filter. It’s nowhere close to a HEPA filter but mold spores are large enough (in terms of overall diameter) that there’s a good chance the regular built-in filter will filter them out well enough.

      All in all, you don’t need to worry about mold growth in a dehumidifier that is actively being used. It only becomes a problem when the unit is not properly stored – e.g. what happened in your case in which some standing water was likely left inside the unit’s water collection bucket over a long period of time.

  6. David says

    I am looking for a dehumidifer for my bedroom. (~100sqf)
    In my country (Hungary) none of your recommended products are available, but I found a similar product to the Frigidaire one(s):
    Electrolux EXD20DN4W

    I found out that Frigidaire’s parent company is Electrolux.
    Is it possible that the Electrolux product is similar good as the Frigidaire one(s)?

    Thank you in advance for your answer.

    Best Regards,
    David

    • Admin says

      Unfortunately, the EXD20DN4W is not equivalent or even sufficiently similar to any unit we’ve tested (including the FFAD7033R1) for us to make a proper recommendation.

  7. Niagara Falls guy says

    I am unsure if I need a Frigidaire Dehumidifier 70 pint or 50 pint model. I will be using a drain hose and not the bucket. It will only be used in the basement of a ranch bungalow home in the Niagara Falls Canada region.
    Q1. Do both models have the same motor etc – the only difference being the unit size?
    Q2. If I buy the 50 instead of the 70 model, does it ONLY mean that the unit will run longer to reach the desired humidity … or … are there other factors that are involved?
    Thanks.

    • Admin says

      The 70 pint model can remove 70 pints of moisture from the air per day. The 50 pint model can remove only 50 pints.

      To facilitate its higher moisture removal rate, the 70 pint model has more robust internal components – a “beefier” compressor, evaporator, etc.

      The 50 pint model will take longer to lower room humidity but this is not the only negative should you opt for a 50 pint model. The guide above goes into detail outlining all the other negatives.

  8. Brent Stark says

    Hate to comment on such an old article but I have a cedar closet in my garage in Texas. It’s about 10′L X 3′D X 7′H *est*. It has just a bunch of off season clothes. It has a light in it so I can get power to something but being in TX I’m concerned about heat output in the summertime. Would a thermoelectric be better since this space stays closed up most all the time?

  9. Don Smith says

    Good morning. I have a tiny crawlspace 117 sq ft x 4 ft high, temp 48/ humidity 60% to temp 85/ humidity 90%. Seems a 70 pint would be overkill, would 50 pint be better? How about a 50 pint compressor for summer and a ?? pint desiccant for winter? THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP

    • Admin says

      Special considerations are required when buying a dehumidifier for a crawlspace. See this guide for more information.

      Regarding sizing – yes, for an extremely small space you can certainly get away with a lower capacity unit.

  10. David Chesler says

    I have solved a humid basement (which lead to mold) with a dehumidifier as expected. That’s good.
    The basement has a front “garage” and a back where the boiler lives, connected by an open door, and I have a small fan in the doorway. It’s a little warmer in the back, so it feels drier. Is it more efficient to run the dehumidifier where it is cooler or where it is warmer?

  11. Kelly says

    I am moving into an older house that currently has no AC except window units. There is a large central hallway and four rooms off of that. The back of the house is an add on, again with no AC, that is the kitchen and bath. Can I put the humidifyer in the hallway since it’s centrally located and it draw humidity out of the whole house? Or would I need two, one for the front half and one for the back half of the house?

    Thanks :)

    • Admin says

      Depending on the exact square footage of all rooms involved, it may very well be able to dehumidify the whole house if you put it an a central position like your hallway. Just remember to keep all doors to all rooms you want to dehumidify fully open.

      We recommend you purchase one 70 pint unit and put it in your hallway as you plan on doing to start. Only buy a second unit and put each unit in the front/back of the house if the single unit proves insufficient after running it for a few days.

  12. Linda Shultz says

    Looking to replace what I believe is a Kenmore we have used for the last 20 years (don’t make ‘me like that anymore!!). I like the Frigidaire 70 pint but We need a hose drainage on the back NOT the side as that one has. Can you recommend any good rear drainage ones? Don’t need the pump. Thanks!

  13. Rob says

    Two questions: is there a maximum length of hose for gravity drainage; what about a 10gauge or 16gauge extension cord? Thank you. Keep up the good work!

    • Admin says

      You will have to determine the maximum length of the hose by trial and error using the particular model you choose in the particular environment you choose to run it in. Note that you can raise the height of the dehumidifier (by placing it securely on a chair or table) to increase the maximum length you can run the hose.

      A 10 AWG extension cord would work but we would not recommend a 16 AWG cord.

  14. LisaC says

    I’m looking for a summer dehumidifier for the basement. The entire basement is ~500sqft. The visible problem area is the small bathroom. The floor within 1ft from the north exterior wall is wet. This is a summer only problem, as furnace heating in winter dries everything out.

    Q1. There are no windows in the basement, but the door to 1st floor is always open. The windows on the 1st floor are always open to the outside in the summer. Is a dehumidifier in the basement a waste? Is it pointless to have a dehumidifier if the 1st floor windows are open?

    Q2. I’m debating between a smaller sized desiccant model (Ivation IVADDH06) to put on top of the toilet tank, or a larger compressor model to put on the floor in a room adjacent to the bathroom. Basically, a smaller one in the problem area, vs a larger one in another room. What is more effective?

    Thank you.

    • Admin says

      Regarding your first question – unless the area is sealed from outside air (windows closed), any type or size dehumidifier will be ineffective.

      Regarding your second question – the Ivation unit you mentioned is likely to large to put on top of the toilet tank. A smaller unit will remove moisture even more slowly. We recommend a larger compressor model on the floor directly adjacent to the bathroom. The larger compressor based unit should be on casters so you can easily move it in and out of the bathroom as well as needed.

  15. Sharleen Allen says

    Our house has cathedral ceilings and a full height 2nd floor open loft. We have several options for placing the unit centrally in the overall space, however, at what height would you recommend putting it? 1st floor, second floor, or above the second floor within the open ceiling space?
    FYI we do not have air conditioning and so only have ceiling fans to help with circulation of air.
    Thank you very much for all the great information you provide.

  16. Scott T. says

    Lowe’s has a Keystone KSTAD70C, not the KSTAD70B. Are they the same? If not, I will go with the Frigidaire.

    • Admin says

      Yes, they are essentially exactly the same dehumidifier, just with a slightly different model name.

  17. Keturah says

    I am looking to buy a 70 pint dehumidifier for our basement. I want to be able to set a humidity level and have the unit shut off when it reaches that level. However, I will be utilizing the gravity drainage feature exclusively, never the collection bucket. It seems, whether on your site, other sites that offer reviews, or even the manufacturers’ websites, gravity drainage is always mentioned in conjunction with use of continuous mode.

    I have not been able to find anything about using a dehumidifier set to shut off when the set humidity level is reached while also using gravity drainage. The 70 pint Danby that you review has the gravity drainage feature bu does not have a continuous mode. So I assume that means it will shut off when the reaching the set humidity level regardless of whether the collection bucket or gravity drainage is being used – but I cannot find anything that spells that out.

    The frigidaire and keystone models you recommend do have continuous mode but anything and everything I can find on the matter, even the owners manual, all state that if you want to use continuous mode you need to hook up a hose and use gravity drainage.

    That is perfectly logical of course, but what about looking at the matter from the other side of the coin? If a person wants to use gravity drainage, does the unit have to be in continuous mode in order to do so? If you are able to provide some clarity on this point it would be very helpful. Everything else on your site has been extremely informative and will greatly aid in making a wise purchase.

    • Admin says

      The dehumidifier does not have to be set to continuous mode to drain it using gravity. You can set it to any mode, any fan speed, etc. completely independent of which drainage option you choose – whether you drain it using gravity or leave it to drain into its water collection bucket.

  18. michael says

    thanks so much for your advice – detailed yet written so that even i, a layman with absolutely no experience with dehumidifiers, or even house construction, can easily understand.

    i feel like i am able to shop the market now.

    thank you

  19. Maureen Dwyer says

    my home is five years old and dense packed insulation. when the winter is cold we get a lot of condensation on our windows and that leads to mold on the wood. What would be a good dehumidifer for this problem. thanks, david

  20. Maryam says

    Hi, are all dehumidifiers filter based? I mean where we have to change it’s filter every few weeks or is there and option with no filter? And if yes, then what’s better?

    • Admin says

      All compressor based dehumidifiers have filters.

      Compressor based units process a lot of air and air usually contains a certain concentration of particles. The filter removes these particles to keep internal components clean (and therefore increase the longevity of the dehumidifier).

      The only dehumidifiers that do not have filters are smaller units – usually desiccant or thermo-electric instead of compressor based units – that process very little air (and therefore don’t dehumidify air nearly as much).

  21. Filippo Scagni says

    I have a 200 ft2 room with moderate Damp. We store green coffee. What device do you suggest ?
    These devices maintain a minimum of humidity or work as a sauna, that is, they completely dry the environment

  22. RMB says

    Hey team-

    Appreciate all of your great work.

    Any plans to review the Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier.

    It’s price is about on par with the EcoSeb DD122EA-CLASSIC.

    Thank you in advance!

  23. Tim says

    Thank you for this guide. My question: The basement was just finished and the HVAC system and sump pump area (where I would drain the dehumidifier) are located behind a double doored wall. There are two vents on the wall. Is this enough ventilation to dehumidify the rest of the basement (behind the walls with the two doors)? The living area of the basement is around 1,000 sq ft. Thank you!

    • Admin says

      It depends on the size and structure of the vents. You could place a hygrometer (a cheap $10 unit will work just fine) on the far side of the basement to monitor humidity levels there and thereby determine if it is in fact enough ventilation. If it’s not, you could make the vents larger, add more vents, and/or add a fan to improve air flow in the room.

  24. Sue Brown says

    I recently purchased the Frigidaire 30 pt model and live in an 850 sq ft house. Will it be most energy efficient to run it continuously for a set number of hours per day (e.g. 8-12 hours) or to set the humidity level and let it cycle on/off 24/7? I ran it continuously for the first 48 hours then set the humidity level at 45% and it has been kicking on/off several times per hour for over a week now. It remains off for only 2-3 minutes before kicking back on. I live in a cool humid northwest location where even summer temps are rarely above 65 and rainy days are more common than sunny days.
    Thank you for all the great information and any additional thoughts you can offer on my particular situation.

    • Admin says

      Power costs will be lower if you set it to run automatically vs setting it to run continuously. Power costs will also be lower if you only run it part of the day; however, room humidity will obviously increase for the part of the day that you’re not running the dehumidifier.

      If power costs are a big concern for you set the dehumidifier to a desired humidity level and then let it run automatically (cycling on/off) only during hours that you actually require low humidity in the home.

  25. Sharon says

    I have a 1200 sq ft 2 bed 2 bath Condo. The master bath as no ventilation. The second bedroom closet houses the HVAC and a stack washer dryer. I hang 2 damp rid in each of those 2 rooms which fill up in 1-2 months. I am away from the condo for several months at a time so I cannot empty a
    Reservoir regularly. What do you recommend?

  26. michael says

    I enjoyed reading your article. Thanks for your research. I have a simple question. I want a dehumidifier which vents out the back of the machine. Do you have such a list and recommendation? Thanks in advance.

    • Admin says

      The top rated FFAD7033R1 exhausts out of the side. You could rotate the unit to exhaust dried air any direction you would like. Another option that exhausts out of the side is this hOmeLabs unit.

  27. Anonymous says

    We bought a noma deshumidifier 043-5230-0 60 pint back in November 2016.We used it only a few months in the fall.It no longer takes water.We got in touch with the company ,and,because the warranty is over,they cannot do anyhthing about it.No replacement.

  28. Bob says

    I live in Florida and would like to raise the thermostat and lower the energy bill. In the summer the humidity is more a concern for me than the heat.
    Would I be able to accomplish my goals by using a thermoelectric portable dehumidifier such as the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1?

    • Admin says

      Yes, you will be able to do so with the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1. However, keep in mind that it is not a thermo-electric but rather a compressor based dehumidifier.

  29. Peter says

    Hi, I just discovered your website, and it is a very impressive treasure trove of information. I have a question regarding a specific application. I have a finished basement, approx 1000 sq ft, and I run a SantaFe Classic dehumidifier, with 110pint/day capacity. It’s been working great for the past 6 years. I also have another 300sq ft of unfinished basement space. Although the SantaFe has enough capacity to condition the whole basement, I want to keep the zones separate. So I am looking into a small portable dehumidifier for the unfinished area.
    I tend to agree with your website, that one should buy the biggest dehu you can afford. So I am looking at the 70pint units. However, since a dehu is similar to an AC, I am wondering if I would be better served with a smaller unit. I realize that the 70pint will remove moisture *faster* Between cycles, the humidity will return at a given rate, regardless of which machine is installed. So wouldn’t that mean that the larger dehu would run more frequently for more cycles, thereby putting more stress on the components? Faster dehumidifying is a key factor for the initial installation or after a power outage. But for maintenance, wouldn’t a smaller unit with a longer runtime be more efficient? Thank you for clarifying.

    • Admin says

      You raise a valid theoretical concern – regarding the more frequent on/off cycling of the larger unit. However, our real world testing and analysis has shown that the larger unit is still the better more reliable option even under conditions where it tends to cycle on/off more frequently.

  30. Eric says

    Have you had a chance to review the Frigidaire Frigidaire Gallery Comfort Connect 70 pint Dehumidifier Model# FGAC7044U1?
    It looks to be a newer model and has received as good or better reviews on the Frigidaire Website than the Top Pick Model # FFAD7033R1.

    • Admin says

      We have yet to buy and test the FGAC7044U1. Looking at its specifications and price we would still recommend the FFAD7033R1 at this time.

  31. Carlo Desiderio says

    Great reviews! I wish I had read this before I purchased mine online.

    Any chance anyone has any info about
    ecohouzng 50 Pints Dehumidifier ECH1050?

    If it’s not good, I can return it.

    Thanks!

  32. Dave DiMauro says

    I just moved into a new house, bringing along my Frigidaire FFAD5033R1 which worked very well in the basement of my old house. The new house has a much larger basement (1500 square feet with an 8 foot ceiling), and higher natural humidity (65% with no dehumidifier at 53 degrees). The FFAD5033R1 has been running for a week now, set on 45% (not CO) with high fan speed and has not been able to get the humidity below 48% while running constantly. Will the FFAD7033R1 get the job done?

    • Admin says

      Yes, it should. You can also try buying an additional 50 pint unit and run both of them at the same time in the basement.

  33. Carly says

    Your page is a lifesaver! Thankyou! Question is that I have a townhouse- if I keep all the doors open between the levels and rooms will the dehumidifier take moisture out of air on the other floor to where it is placed? All up we have approx 1300 sq ft to cover. We get a lot of condensation in the winter . Thanks!!!

    • Admin says

      We would recommend some additional ventilation – eg. some fans. However, if you place the unit in an area close to a large intake fan for your HVAC system that will also help with the distribution of drier air throughout your home.

  34. Peg Hope says

    Help! I’ve read through quite a lot of your site, and am still stymied about what to buy for what we need (and it would be nice to know today, it being Cyber Monday..). We have a small (approx 400 sq ft total between main room and small bedroom), “open” basement area (back half is set into ground, front half opens to outside) that gets slightly damp and musty smelling. I’m hoping to find a dehumidifier that will work for us, for under $100. Simply cannot afford the $150-$200 options. Can you help with suggestions? Thanks much!

  35. Harry says

    First… THANKS for All your Research and Reviews of Dehumidifiers… VERY HELPFUL.
    Question – I have NOT seen any Review for, or Information about a Dehumidifier I’m interested in purchasing. It’s a SOLEUS-AIR Model #HMT-D70E-A. It comes with a 3 Year Warranty on ALL Components, and 5 Year on the Compressor. It’s a 70 Pint and comes with ALL the desirable Features – Low Temp Operation (41*), Auto Defrost, 3-Speed Fan, Auto Restart, 24-Hour Timer, Digital Display, Ultra Quiet, Continuous Drain connection, etc.
    WHAT do you Know about This Brand? Have you Reviewed This Brand?
    Thanks for your assistance. HB

    • Admin says

      Unfortunately, we haven’t had a chance to review that model or any other Soleus branded model yet. Look for more reviews later this year.

    • Adam says

      I don’t know if you bought this yet, but I bought one at Menards. It runs 24/7 and does a terrible job. It takes 4-5 days to fill the bucket even though it runs nonstop.

  36. Laura says

    I bought a Frigidaire FAD704DWD 70 pint dehumidifier in 7/15. It has already stopped working. The motor runs but it doesn’t collect water any more. Is this the expected life of a dehumidifier? It doesn’t seem to be something anyone will repair either.

  37. Sagar says

    Hi I am an orthopaedic surgeon having an OR of around 3500 cu ft plz suggest me which dehumidifier will.be best for my OT as many of my machines and instruments are getting affected due to the high moisture in the OT

  38. Buddha yonghang says

    Hello I used puricare dehumidifier in kitchen but I heard it’s effect for people that correct I wanna know that plz

  39. Khurram Hasan says

    Do you have reviews for dehumidifers that contain a pump? For example, Frigidaire FFAP7033T1 Dehumidifier with Built-in Pump. Is that comparable machine to the non-pump dehumidifier Frigidaire FFAD7033R1? Thanks in advance for your insights. I think I should get one with a pump because the drain is a few feet away and want to ensure there are no issues iwht continuous drainage.

  40. Niki says

    Hi, great comparisons! I live in south Florida on the beach in a highrise. I have central air, but it never feels cold enough for me. I like it pretty chilly inside. I set my ac on 70, and it runs a lot! Do you think that a dehumidifier would help my ac run less or cool more?
    Thanks!!!

  41. Fazal says

    So I have a small sunroom that gets very humid. I want a quiet and effective dehumidifier for this small space (~160 sq ft). Would the 70 pint Frigidaire be overkill even if it is the fastest? Would the 50 pint Frigidaire be a better choice that the 70 pint Keystone? How about a smaller Keystone?

    • Admin says

      For such a small space the 50 pint Frigidaire will definitely work but we do recommend the 70 pint unit for almost all applications, including yours.

  42. Jo Abalos says

    Hello
    I live in the 1st floor of a low rise condominium
    In the Phil. My upstairs neighbor uses his aircon 24/7 and my room gets molds and in worst cases drops like perspiration. I do not often use my aircon but the room feels cool. To get rid of the mold i need a dehumidifier? Do i need it to run 24/7 too?
    Pls help?

    • Admin says

      Yes, a dehumidifier will help with your mold and general humidity issues. After you set a desired humidity level on the unit it will automatically turn on and off to maintain that level.

  43. ljstephanos says

    When considering any electrical appliance with more electrical energy draw than a light bulb, I will always covert watts to amps. Electrical panels provide max load per fuse/circuit in amperage. A Wonderful piece of information thoughtfully provided by hOmeLabs.

    • Admin says

      Thank you for the comment. We are definitely considering doing the same (using amps instead of watts) in future reviews and guides.

  44. Ricardo says

    Hello,
    Firstly, I would like to thank and recognise you for such a great article. Very informative and well written.
    I would also like to request some input on how efficient a portable A/C unit can be on the Dehumidifier mode? Same question but considering a split A/C unit wall mounted? Both of these devices have a compressor and have a dehumidifier option on them. Regardless of the model/brand, can such a device be equivalent efficient as a 100% Dehumidifier unit?
    Thanks a lot!

      • Sergiu Teslev says

        Hello! Do you mind telling me what is the power consumption of 45 pints dehumidifier in watts/hour? Thanks!

      • Anonymous says

        Hi. Could you post the dimensions and approx weight of the top recommended models, please. I might ask family in the US to bring one when they visit, if at all possible.

        • Admin says

          We discuss each unit’s exact weight in its individual review under the section titled “Portability”. Generally, units of the same capacity have a similar weight and size. 70 pint units weigh about 40 to 50 lb, are about 2 ft. tall, 1 ft. deep, and a little over 1 ft. wide. 50 pint units weigh about 40 lb. and are normally very close in size to their 70 pint counterparts. Finally, 30 pint units weigh closer to 30 lb, are normally just under or around 20 in. tall, a little under 1 ft. deep and a little over 1 ft. wide.

  45. jay s. gertz says

    Sorry. I re-checked and you did have the correct model numbers listed…my aged mind is playing tricks on me. My bad. jay

  46. jay s. gertz says

    Hi guys! Loved your review…been looking for a good large capacity dehumidifier. Have an old Whirlpool that has worked great for years, but want to add a new one. One minor issue…I think you have the model numbers mixed up on your list, if ‘m not mistaken. The FAD704DWD is the 70 pint and the FFAD5033R1 is the 50 pint. Right? Thanks! jay

  47. Andrey Goluboi says

    The thing that set the Frigidaire apart was its interface, which was the easiest to understand and use among all the dehumidifiers we tried. It was the quietest machine we tested, too, with the most manageable reservoir, and it was easy to move around with its handle and wheels—welcome graces no other model in the test group offered. It’s also easier to find in stock, with more reliable customer support, than models from some of the lesser-known brands.

  48. Vickie Hajduk says

    We bought a year round cottage in NW Pennsylvania with no air conditioning. Lots of ceiling fans. Square footage is about 900 Sq ft. Three bedrooms. Someone suggested a dehumidifyer which would make the house feel not so hot. Trying to avoid having an air condition unit installed.
    Would dehumidifyer help us?
    Do they require drainage outlet of some sort?

    • Admin says

      Yes, a dehumidifier will reduce humidity in the space which will make it feel cooler. Most units drain into a built-in bucket that is removed and emptied manually every few hours. Most of these same units can also be drained externally by connecting a garden hose to them.

  49. bob deep says

    I live in apt with an air conditioning unit that is too powerful for the small bedroom (12×15)…It gets cold fast so there is no time for the compressors to remove the humidity. So with the AC on the room is freezing cold and like 90% humidity. I have heard that air conditioners are not that good at removing humidity anyway. Is there a small sized humidifier that I can use in conjunction with the air conditioner to keep the room comfortable. Obviously it would be better to have an air conditioning unit that is the right size…but this is the only size they have? What unit would you recommend? I have heard of using a dehumidifier with ac…obviously I will need a very power efficient dehumidifier that I won’t use every night..only when its humid. Quite often.

  50. Mr Lynn says

    I’m thinking of a new model Ivation dessicating dehumidifier for my small (17′) Casita travel trailer. It’s only 13 pints, but for a small space. It can get quite cold here in New England, so I’m thinking of a dessicating unit because it won’t freeze up. Can you evaluate for me (and others)?

    Never heard of Ivation. No reviews yet. The model no. is: IVADDH06

    Thanks.

  51. Jake says

    How do you get the units for review? Do brands contact you and ask them to review your product? Do you purchase every unit then write a review?

    • Admin says

      We recommend you contact your local department of public works to ask about disposal options for old appliances.

  52. Richard says

    Can you recommend 50 and 70 pint units that have a pump to remove the water (to pump up about 4 feet) and do not rely on gravity to drain? I am looking at the Danby and Frigidaire models.

    • Admin says

      Our top pick is not discontinued. The runner up has been replaced by the almost identical Keystone KSTAD70C.

  53. Dan says

    I need it to have an automatic pump that can pump the water thru a hose to a drain 10-20′ away. When I go on vacation, the tank will fill up in a couple days and then just stop. Do you have a recommend model/solution?

  54. Nelson says

    I have a basement with a cold room. The cold room gets really cold and drips water when the temperature starts to rise. Its like having cold water in a cup and the outside of the cup sweating. The exact same thing happens in my cold room Will a dehumidifier work in this situation. cold room size is about 5×10.

    Thanks

  55. richard says

    Industrial space in South Texas: 125′x25′x30′(ceiling),
    two openings to this space open and close all day,
    utility operating costs (kWh’s monthly),
    there is no air conditioning to this space (except when the freezer doors open and close during the day,
    how many hours of use before needing replacement

    what unit(s) would fit the bill? More interested in efficiency than initial cost.

    Thank you

  56. Sheldon says

    I was wondering how well these dehumidifiers work in cooler temperatures, say around 40 F to 50 F? Does the evaporator get cool enough to pull moisture out of the air at the temperatures previously mentioned?

  57. Elaine says

    We live in a small,old house (800 sf plus a basement) with no fans. When showering or cooking pasta the windows drip with condensation. Is a dehumidifier the best way to go (other than renovating)?

  58. Delaney says

    I need a built in pump dehumidifier. Would the Frigidaire FFAP7033T1 be your choice then? I would assume it works and has functions similar to your top choice Frigidaire here.

    • Admin says

      We strongly recommend buying and installing a condensate pump separately. We’ve yet to test the FFAP7033T1 but yes, it’s very likely it works and functions similarly to the FFAD7033R1.

    • Admin says

      Currently, we are focusing our testing and research on units commonly found in the United States. Meaco units are, unfortunately, not readily available in the US.

  59. NIDHI ZAVERI says

    hi,

    a very useful guide. great job!

    I want to buy one of these 2 models…i’m using it mainly to dry clothes and secondly to remove humidity from rooms.

    which is a better dehumidifer? the origin o20 or the novita nd320…please can you help me out. thank you.

  60. overmedium says

    I just wanted to thank you for a very thorough buyer’s guide. Your guide helped me quickly make an informed decision about my purchase. For my small space I went with the FFAD3033R1, and just ordered one on-line. I looking forward to some quiet de-humidifying! Thanks again.

  61. Pete says

    Am looking at the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 and wondering what sort of exhaust it has, besides heat. Any idea what sort of chemicals, if any, are present after being run through the dehumidifying process?

    Thanks.

  62. Nick says

    My basement is a bit on the large side, with multiple finished spaces (bedrooms, storage, bathroom, etc.) It is approximately 2,300 square feet, with 9′ ceilings. Will the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 be sufficient for this space or do I need to look for something larger? I’ve had a hygrometer set out for the last couple months and the humidity level stays right around 60% (+/-2%).

  63. Dave says

    I have a Kenmore dehumidifier that is 6-7 years old and it has a defrost feature in the event the coils ice up, which it seems to do frequently. Is this a common feature on all dehumidifiers? Does your top pick have such a feature? Does my icing problem indicate that a replacement is needed?

    Thanks

    • Admin says

      Yes, our top pick does have a defrost feature. If your dehumidifier isn’t being used in a cold environment and its coils are icing up frequently then yes, it either needs repair or replacement.

  64. Steve says

    Question – Some 70 pint units advertise 1400 sq. ft. (Frigidaire FFAD7033R1) while others advertise 4500 sq. ft. (Keystone KSTAD70B) and I’m confused about the huge difference. I have a 1700 sq. ft. basement and need a unit that will continuously hold the moisture level low enough to prevent mold growth. Will any 70 pint unit do the job regardless of sq. footage advertised? Will the Frigidaire perform as well as the Keystone?

    • Admin says

      In a real world setting the Frigidaire will outperform the Keystone despite the fact that they’re both 70 pint units. See here for our test results.

      That being said, either unit should work just fine for a 1700 sq. ft. basement.

  65. ANDRE V KAZANJIAN says

    Your article rates the FFAD7033R1 as the overall best 70 pint dehumifier. I checked and found from your article that this Fridaire model dehumifier does not come with a water drainage pump and so an extra pump is recommended if the user does not wish to have to empty the drainage bucket manually but wishes for the water collected from the dehumifier to be pumped into a larger contain, drain, or outside of the home. I see that there is a a model with a built-in pump. This model is the Frigidaire FFAP7033T1 Frigidaire 70 Pint Dehumidifier w/ Pump. Do you think this model is as good as the FFAD7033R1 but simply has a pump added along with handles ? Please let me know what you think of this model. Thanks.

  66. alt says

    trying to keep my basement under 50%, need a new unit
    idealy like to maintain 45%or less,
    90pt soleus air unit couldnt hack it
    (had lots of manufacturer issues but they werent covered by warranty)

    the real important area for me to keep dry is my room
    its only 12×12′but theres gaps tween the walls and cieling
    i got the gaps stuffed, and a missing section of wall tarped off (*building code)
    it holds heat nicely in winter (cyclonic heater)
    but im not sure if the air flow conciderations for heat vs humidity are the same

    my question is, can i expect to dry my room seperate from the entire basement?
    and if so, what kind of unit should i run? can i get away with a thermo?

    relevant temp ~60-73f (winter low – year round average)
    humidity ~60% (summer high index days)
    in winter the heater takes care of it (as low as 20%! feels great)

    • Admin says

      A thermo-electric unit definitely won’t work for your application. It’s really a question of what size compressor based unit you can get away with. A 12 x 12 ft. space is fairly small, but we would still recommend as large a capacity dehumidifier as you can afford (see our reasoning in the guide above), especially considering the fact that the room isn’t very well insulated.

      • alt says

        was hoping id have a more silent option available
        if i tried just my room

        im fairly intolerant of noise pollution

        just got a 70pt LG puricare
        by far the quietest unit iv ever had
        but there’s no way id want to place it in my room
        (even my stand fan is too loud imo)

        i hope the LG can handle the basement since it only needs to remove 5%

  67. Martin M says

    Hi, I live in a 1500 sqft ranch house in NC. The floor plan is essentially a large U. I’m interested in lowering the RH in my home around 10%. (55-60% down to 45-50%)

    Would it be unreasonable to think that the Frigidaire could be turned on by the return vent for my hvac system to get even dehumidification?

    • Martin M says

      Sorry, I posted my question before finishing my post.

      Would it be better to run a portable unit in each individual room until the desired RH is reached or run it described in my previous question?

  68. Bernard Spunberg says

    I understand how capacity relates to speed relates to efficiency, but don’t the size of the space, the degree of humidity — both the excess and the target as well as the speed and degree of natural changes — play roles in determining the smallest (and least expensive) dehumidifier I can buy and get the desired result? My room is 12x16x8: 1,536 cubic feet. Untreated, the summer humidity in my room can range from 60-75% within a 24-hour period. I need the humidity to range from 30-50%. Among the sizes readily available to consumers, 70 pints would be best for me. But would a 30-pint humidifier also put me in my desired range? I could not figure this out if my life depended on it. I greatly appreciate your work and any guidance you can give.

    • Admin says

      Yes, a 30 pint unit will put you in the desired range for the size space you specified. It will just take longer to do so and will need to run more often.

  69. To Hoang says

    I find this webpage extremely informative about dehumidifiers. I wonder if you can rate the following brands:

    1) LG (PuriCare 33.1 L)
    2) Artic King

  70. Kim says

    We have a 1250SF unit in a 4 plex in the mountains Of North Carolina. It’s an open floor plan with 2 bedrooms and 9 foot ceilings. We do not have air conditioning and we don’t think we need it. We do have 4 ceiling fans. Sometimes in the summer, we feel we could use a dehumidifier to control the humidity. Is this a practical idea? Most of my research suggests one room (basement, garage, etc) use.

    • Admin says

      Yes, a dehumidifier will actually work quite well for you as long as you don’t keep your windows open.

    • Madelyn Karpowicz says

      I live in a 550 to 600 sqf. apt in S.Fla. would love to keep my windows open up to almost 90° due to severe arthritis, heat helps so much, just can’t tolerate high humidity. Could or should I do that with highest capacity?

      • Admin says

        You could certainly try to do so although the unit will almost certainly run non-stop which would reduce its lifespan. Whether it would actually be effective in reducing humidity levels will depend on how many windows you have open, how large they are, the extent of airflow in the room, and exactly how hot and humid it is outside.

  71. Dana says

    Did you test the Soleus 70 pint dehumidifier? I have read good reviews for it, but didn’t see it on your list.

  72. Patti says

    I need a dehumidifier with a large bucket. I am not available to empty it several times a day and cannot hook up the hose due to location. Can you recommend any with a good size bucket?

  73. Lisa says

    Is there much of a difference between the fridgidare FFAD7033R1 70-Pint Dehumidifier and the fridgidare FAD704DWD Energy Star 70-pint Dehumidifier?

    • Anonymous says

      Perhaps an odd question but is there a reason why you might nt want to dehumidify fast? I have an ornate plaster wall and I am a bit afraid to dehumidify it quickly in case it shrinks and cracks.

      • Admin says

        There are many reasons why you would want to dehumidify fast. For one, the less time the dehumidifier is running, the less energy is used (more money in your pocket when it’s time to pay the power bill). Second, the more quickly the space is dehumidified, the more quickly all the negative effects of high humidity are rectified.

        Note that the increased rate at which high capacity dehumidifiers dehumidify compared to low capacity units is not enough of a difference to affect shrinking or cracking of your plaster wall one way or the other.

  74. Steve Low says

    I want to dehumidify my basement this year. Aside from durability, two factors that concern me are (1) noise and (2 ) the amount of heat the dehumidifier throws off.

    Neither you nor Consumer Reports appear to address the heat question.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Thanks.

    • Admin says

      All dehumidifiers produce a small amount of heat during the dehumidification process. We did not measure the exact amount of heat produced for any of the dehumidifiers we tested. We did however, test for noise output. For a complete breakdown of each unit’s performance in our noise output tests please see here.

  75. JACK HARRIS says

    I appreciate your extensive reviews. However, I need a 70 pt unit that has a pump built in that will actively move the water to a drain. My Friedrich D70BP does this but its too noisy. Can you provide a list of your top choices that have the pump feature? many thanks

    • Admin says

      We recommend that you don’t buy a built-in pump unit. Instead, we recommend that you purchase a top rated unit without a built-in pump and purchase a condensate pump separately.

  76. Jerry McMunn says

    How is your work underwritten? Do you receive money from the manufacturers of the units you review? Thanks!

    • Admin says

      We have never and will never accept any compensation from manufacturers. All dehumidifiers we test and review are bought either online or in-store just the same as the average consumer would buy them.

      • John Bishop says

        WDH70EAPW by whirlpool. no way to get information regarding instruction booklet confusion. After over an hour on the phone, I finally gave up.

  77. Ron says

    This site appears to be quite objective and scientific in its methodology. And your conclusion confirms my use of 70-pint units over the past 6-7 years in my full basement which has a little over 1000 sq ft.
    But with all the news of recalls with many units and the overwhelming reports of poor longevity by consumers, I am surprised with your years of testing that you have not said much about either of these points. A third point raised on some consumer reviews is the humidity sensor placement is poor for sampling the ambient air in some (maybe all?) units.
    What seems to be the universal weak point in practically all compressor based units is that they seem to last 2-3 years (maybe) before they begin to exhibit signs of failure. In my own case, my first Fridgidaire worked well enough for maybe 3 years, now its barely working. I bought a Keystone 2 years ago to supplement the Frigidaire — it worked fine for 2 full years, but this year I plugged it in for the season and am getting an “EC” error code. I would pay a higher price for a new unit if I could be assured of a solid 5 years of service (no warranty service needed!), but I have come to the conclusion that practically all are now made in 1 or 2 factories in China and so I just bought a Soleus Air unit because it was the cheapest. It has 3-speed fan, about the same noise as the others.
    How would you comment on the recall issue? … the longevity issue?… the sensor positioning issue?
    and
    Will you be testing the Soleus Air HMT-D70E-A? (It’s pulling plenty of moisture out of my basement as I write this)

    And thanks otherwise for such a well thought out discussion of dehumidifier capacities. We need more of this to cut through the misinformation surrounding this product category.

    Ron

    • Admin says

      Hi Ron,

      Thank you for your questions and your kind comments about our research. Below is a response to all four of your questions.

      1. We address the recall issue here. In short, none of the top units we recommend were involved in the recall.

      2. We address the longevity issue in the durability section of most of our reviews, such as this one.

      3. Although we don’t address the sensor positioning issue directly, we did test all units for hygrometer accuracy. You can read more about this testing here.

      4. We will definitely consider testing the Soleus Air HMT-D70E-A in our next round-up.

      • Greg says

        Great questions and great reply. As a .com this would seem to be a for profit company. How are you funded and by whom? How can I be assured of an objective review?

        • Admin says

          We are self-funded. All units are purchased at regular retail outlets just like the average consumer might purchase them.

  78. O.J. KAUFMAN says

    Have you reviewed the new Danby DDRO70BDWDB?you reviewed the older DDR70A2GP. Is the newer Danby as good as the Frigidaire FFAD7033RI? My basement gets damp . One room is 20×30 the other is 20×20,with a wall and a door. I don`t have to move the dehumidifier around please respond,you didn’t earlier this week. Thank you.

    • Admin says

      We have yet to test the new Danby units. For now we recommend the FFAD7033R1 if you’re looking to purchase a 70 pint unit. It should be able to handle the space you described without issue and without having to move it around.

  79. Duke says

    Dehumidifiers I’ve owned that displayed the current humidity level tended to indicate the humidity had dropped by several percentage points soon after the fan and compressor came on. This caused the compressor to run for shorter periods and cycle on and off more frequently than if the units were accurately measuring the space humidity. Do the latest dehumidifiers you’ve tested exhibit this same compressor-life-shortening behavior?

  80. phillip hebenstreit says

    Hello,

    Costco currently has the Whirlpool WDH70EAPW 70 pint dehumidifier on sale. I don’t see that model on your chart, is it a model you are planning on reviewing ?
    ( it’s not listed on their website otherwise I would include a link )

    thank you

    phill

    • S Morris says

      I purchased the Whirlpool unit from Costco and I’m returning it after less than 24 hours of use. It sounds like an old refrigerator that needs a tuneup.

      This afternoon, I picked up the FFAD7033R1. I’m loving it. I didn’t know a dehumidifier could be this quiet.

    • Ruth says

      I purchased the WDH70EAPW from Costco, and I will probably return it. It dehumidifies just fine. However, it kicks off twice as much heat as any other dehumidifier that I’ve ever used, which is awful in the summer–the only time I ue it. I need this dehumidifier in my basement in the summer. With it blasting heat down there, it ruins the temperature in the basement–so I’m faced with the choice of turning it on, and getting the humidity down, but raising the temperature by 10 degrees, or turning it off and letting the basement cool down, but dealing with the humidity. I previous used a Haier dehumidifier from Costco for 10 years, and it didn’t kick off nearly the amount of heat that this one does. I’m going to return the WDH70EAPW, and try another model by a different brand.

  81. Duke says

    You say 70-pint dehumidifiers are more energy efficient than smaller capacity units, but energystar.gov and AHAM’s “October 2016 Directory of Verified Dehumidifiers” indicate the 30, 50, and 70-pint Frigidaire units all have the same energy factor (2.0 L/kWh). Are you implying the published energy factors aren’t accurate?

    • Admin says

      In a laboratory the published energy factors are accurate. Under the conditions present in real-world applications our own testing and experience indicate that 70 pint units are more energy efficient than their smaller capacity counterparts.

    • Admin says

      Thank you for the link. The chart does in fact appear at the very bottom of the PDF file you linked to. We checked the second link and couldn’t find the chart. Can you expand upon what you mean by “tooling around at http://www.ahamverifide.org“? We checked the site and still couldn’t find any reference or link to the chart or even the PDF file that you linked to directly here.

      We do want to make it clear that before we wrote the section of the guide you’re referring to we spent quite a bit of time on AHAM’s website and didn’t find the chart referenced anywhere. We certainly couldn’t find the PDF you linked to. In other words, we didn’t make the original claim without having done our homework. That being said, we’ll update the guide to correct that claim nonetheless.

      Finally, the fact that the chart exists on AHAM’s website only eliminates one of the reasons why we do not recommend that consumers use the chart as a guide for choosing which size dehumidifier to buy. We feel that the seven other reasons listed are still more than sufficient reason for us to keep our recommendations exactly the same as they were before this information came to light.

  82. Douglas Cook says

    I have a need to dehumidify a small space to at least 30% RH at room temperature (e.g., 21C).

    Within the space to be dehumidified are plant seed, with already low moisture content. So there is not a large amount of moisture to remove. Rather I want to maintain the chamber at a reliable humidity set point for a sustained interval.

    I have looked at museum show case dehumidifiers, for example from Keepsafe (e.g., their MiniOne and PMCG series).

    I am curious to know if off the solutions, such as the Ivation ERSDM18 Mini Dehumidifier might also have the capacity to drop humidity to my target range — e.g., maximum of 30% at room temp?

    Thanks.

    • Admin says

      We didn’t test the thermo-electric units we purchased for review under the conditions you specified – at low humidity space and dehumidifying down to 30% RH – so it’s difficult to give a definitive answer to your question. What we can tell you is that most of the thermo-electric units we tested performed quite poorly dehumidifying at high humidity.

      What we can also tell you is that in most instances in which extremely low humidity levels are desired, most businesses rely on desiccant, not thermo-electric units for dehumidification. The process by which desiccant dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air allow them to be uniquely equipped to process air especially low in moisture content. We’ve written an in-depth guide for desiccant dehumidifiers which you can find here.

  83. Matt says

    I live in a ranch style house in the north east and recently added an addition. In the new room (most rooms actually) roughly 14x16x9 the humidity stays between 48 and 52% even when it’s below freezing outside, which is causing condensation on windows. I run a compressor dehumidifier in the basement, but I don’t want to run a noisy compressor based dehumidifier in our upstairs living space. Would a desiccant or thermo work in a room that size? I prob have to move the needle 5% down to clear up the condensation. Any other ideas? we have exhaust fans, etc. but the house is sealed up pretty tight and hold moisture even in cold dry temps.

    • Admin says

      Something like the EcoSeb DD122EA-Classic might be a great option for you, especially considering you only need about 5% of dehumidification and the humidity in the room isn’t that high to begin with. The DD122EA-Classic is a full-size desiccant dehumidifier. It’s got a ton of great features but it is quite expensive. Our review for it can be found here:

      http://www.dehumidifierbuyersguide.com/ecoseb-dd122ea-classic-review/

      The DD122EA-Simple lacks many of the features of the Classic but is quite a bit less expensive. Our review:

      http://www.dehumidifierbuyersguide.com/ecoseb-dd122ea-simple-review/

      Either one of these units will give you the benefit of being quieter than most compressor based units and can still remove a reasonable amount of moisture every day (about 15 pints). They’ll definitely be able to get the job done in the approx. 2,000 cubic ft. space you need to dehumidify.

      Since you only have to lower the humidity in the space about 5% and the humidity level in the space isn’t that high to begin with (only about 50% RH) you might be tempted into thinking that a less expensive desiccant or thermo-electric unit would be able to get the job done. And you’d be right if the space you needed to dehumidify was much smaller. The problem is that it’s about 2,000 cubic ft. Even the “beefiest” thermo-electric unit (the Ivation IVADM45, for example) isn’t going to be able to accommodate such a large space. $10 to $30 rechargeable desiccant units aren’t going to work either. You’re going to need a full-size compressor based unit or a full-size desiccant unit (such as those we recommended above) for the 14x16x9 space you need to dehumidify.

  84. Velimir says

    Hi
    I found it very hard to find Dehumidifier in stores near me at all. So I would really appreciate if you could help me out choose between these 4 (since these are only 4 available):
    1. DE LONGHI DDS 30 COMBI
    2. DE LONGHI DES 16 EW
    3. AEG-Haustechnik LE 16
    4. Gorenje D20M

    Thank you :)

    • Admin says

      Of the three brands you mentioned, we’ve only had hands-on experience with Delonghi dehumidifiers – specifically the Delonghi DD50PE and DD70PE. Both are normally very expensive which is in large part why we don’t recommend them over more affordable options. But, they are both very well-built, high quality appliances. Of the four models you mentioned we’d recommend the larger capacity of the two Delonghi units in the list.

      It looks like the DES 16EW removes up to 16 liters (=34 pints) of moisture per day while the DDS 30COMBI removes up to 25 liters (=53 pints) per day. The DES 16EW is light weight and can be wall-mounted. If portability is a priority for you we would recommend this unit. Under any other circumstances we would recommend the more powerful DDS 30COMBI.

Leave a Reply to Jo Abalos Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.