Choosing The Best Dehumidifier For Your Application

Last Updated: July 14th 2017

2017-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 upwards of 10 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 not going to talk about them in this guide (for information on these dehumidifiers see our thermo-electric and desiccant dehumidifier guides).

Instead, our focus in 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 a very important concept – dehumidifier capacity.

A clear understanding of this concept will be absolutely critical for you to determine exactly which model dehumidifier you need to buy.

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.

We mentioned earlier that compressor based dehumidifiers are capable of removing upwards of 10 gallons of water from the air per day. But not all of them can remove a whole 10 gallons. Some can only remove about 6 gallons per day, others only 4 gallons per day.

How much water (moisture) a dehumidifier can remove from the air per day is referred to as the dehumidifier’s capacity. So, a dehumidifier that can remove 10 gallons of water from the air per day is said to have a capacity of 10 gallons. Or is it?

Dehumidifier manufacturers 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, the dehumidifiers we talked about having a capacity of up to 10 gallons per day are simply referred to as 70 pint dehumidifiers. 70 pints is actually a little bit less than 10 gallons. It’s equal to 8.75 gallons to be exact.

70 pint dehumidifiers are the most common type of compressor based dehumidifier, followed by 50 pint dehumidifiers (50 pints = 6.25 gallons) and 30 pint dehumidifiers (30 pints = 3.75 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 32, 45, or 65 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 would point you to a size chart to help you determine what capacity dehumidifier you need to buy. The most popular of such sizing charts is the one given by AHAM, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. AHAM tests and verifies the moisture removal rate and energy efficiency of most dehumidifiers sold in the United States (note that they don’t actually review and compare dehumidifiers; they just verify manufacturer claims). Because they conduct this testing and verification they’re viewed as an authority on dehumidifiers. And so, most consumer publications reference their size chart without hesitation. The AHAM chart we’re talking about is reproduced in the table below.

To use this chart follow these steps

  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

 
For example, let’s say you have a very damp 1,000 square foot space – the chart advises that you buy a 17 pint dehumidifier.

Condition
Area (Sq. Feet)
5001,0001,5002,0002,500
Moderately Damp 1014182226
Very Damp 1217222732
Wet1420263238
Extremely Wet 1623303744

Furthermore, the chart makes the following definitions:

  • Moderately Damp: space feels damp and has musty odor only in humid weather
  • Very Damp: space always feels damp and has musty odor. Damp spots show on walls and floor.)
  • Wet: space feels and smells wet. Walls or floor sweat, or seepage is present.)
  • Extremely Wet: laundry drying, wet floor, high load conditions.)

 
Unlike most other consumer publications, we do not recommend that you use the chart above to help you decide what capacity dehumidifier to buy.

Why do we disagree with the use of this chart? See the 8 reasons below.

1. The chart cannot actually be found anywhere on AHAM’s official website or AHAM’s official test specification website. Even though a number of different consumer publications reference the chart above and give the source as AHAM, the fact that AHAM is indeed the source cannot be verified because the chart, as it has been reproduced by those same publications, doesn’t actually exist anywhere on any of AHAM’s websites.

Update: A reader recently informed us that the chart does in fact exist on AHAM’s website. The chart can be found at the bottom of this PDF file. While the existence of this chart on AHAM’s website does eliminate this first reason for our disagreeing with its use, it certainly doesn’t eliminate the 7 other reasons listed below. Read on to find out why we still do not recommend using AHAM’s official sizing chart.

2. Only two of the capacities listed in the chart – 32 in the second and third row and 30 in the bottom row – correspond to actual capacities of dehumidifiers you can buy in stores. Reading the top row of the table, there are no 10, 14, 18, 22, or 26 pint dehumidifiers readily available for purchase anywhere online or in stores.

3. The chart has a limited range. It begins at 500 square feet and ends at 2500 square feet. What if the space you need to dehumidify is smaller than 500 square feet? What if it’s larger than 2500 square feet? The chart fails to make recommendations for spaces that fall outside of the given range.

4. The chart fails 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 the chart above 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.

5. The chart fails 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. The chart above doesn’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.

6. The chart is likely based on an extrapolation of test data obtained in a highly controlled environment. It’s likely not based on actual experiments in environments corresponding to the actual conditions (moderately damp, very damp, wet, extremely wet) it makes recommendations for.

How can a dehumidifier manufacturer make the claim that their 70 pint dehumidifier can actually remove 70 pints of moisture per day? The manufacturer does so by voluntarily sending it to AHAM for testing. AHAM then measures the dehumidifier’s moisture removal rate in a laboratory that is set to exactly 60% relative humidity (RH) and 80º F.

We think it’s safe to assume that AHAM doesn’t actually conduct any testing in the “wet” or “extremely wet” conditions referenced in their sizing chart. It’s highly unlikely, for example, that they conducted testing in a room with wall or floor sweat (a room that would be classified as “wet” in the chart) or in one in which laundry drying occurs (a room that would be classified as “extremely wet” in the chart). The bottom-line here is that the chart is likely based on data obtained in a space much different than the space that you actually need to dehumidify.

7. The chart contradicts manufacturer recommendations. See this Friedrich dehumidifier brochure, for example. It recommends that a 70 pint dehumidifier be used for a 1,000 to 2,000 sq. ft. “wet” or “extremely wet” space which contradicts the 20 pint to 37 pint recommendation of the size chart above for the same size space under exactly the same conditions.

8. The chart contradicts our own research and testing. Take for example, the chart’s recommendation that a 44 pint dehumidifier be used for a 2,500 sq. ft. “extremely wet” space. Our own experiences with all of the dehumidifiers we’ve tested so far lead us to believe that a 44 pint dehumidifier (which doesn’t actually exist, but that’s beside the point here) is not nearly of a large enough capacity to dehumidify such a large space under those conditions.

Our Recommendation

Clearly, we believe that the AHAM dehumidifier sizing chart has a lot of flaws. And, because of them, it is our strong recommendation that you do not use it to determine what size dehumidifier you should buy. So, what do we recommend? Our recommendation is simply the following:

Buy the largest capacity dehumidifier you can afford.

In other words, we recommend that you buy a 70 pint dehumidifier – the largest capacity consumer-grade dehumidifier you can buy – regardless of the size or dampness of the space you need to dehumidify.

If you have a smaller space that’s not very damp – say you live in an approximately 1,000 square foot apartment – then you certainly can get away with a 50 pint or even a 30 pint 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 largest capacity (for consumers this means 70 pint) dehumidifier you can afford is based on the following very simple fact:

70 pint dehumidifiers dehumidify faster than 50 or 30 pint units.

It may sound like we’re stating the obvious here but really think about that statement – a 70 pint dehumidifier dehumidifies faster.

It’s easy to associate a 70 pint dehumidifier’s 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 70 pint dehumidifier is certainly capable of removing a volume of 70 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 70 pint dehumidifier removes any given quantity of moisture – not just 70 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 70 pint dehumidifier is rated to remove 70 pints of moisture per day. This translates to 2.92 pints of moisture removal per hour. A 50 pint dehumidifier can remove 2.08 pints of moisture per hour and a 30 pint dehumidifier can remove exactly 1.25 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.

70 pint – 34.25 hours

50 pint – 48.08 hours

30 pint – 80 hours

Clearly, given a set quantity of moisture, a 70 pint dehumidifier can remove that moisture much faster than smaller capacity dehumidifiers.

Another way of looking at it is with percentages.

In order to remove any given quantity of moisture from any given space, a 70 pint dehumidifier, compared to a 50 pint dehumidifier, will be able to remove that moisture 40% faster. Compared to a 30 pint dehumidifier? A whopping 134% faster!

Because it dehumidifies faster, a 70 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 70 pint units:

1. It makes 70 pint dehumidifiers more energy efficient compared to smaller capacity units. 70 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, 70 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 70 pint and a 50 or 30 pint dehumidifier in energy cost savings over time.

2. It makes 70 pint dehumidifiers more reliable than smaller capacity units. This is perhaps the biggest reason why we recommend 70 pint units. You see, every minute that your dehumidifier runs puts stress on its internal parts (its compressor, condenser, etc.). Because 70 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 (50 and especially 30 pint) compared to the number of those complaints for large capacity (70 pint) units. The percentage of complaints is much much higher for smaller capacity units.

Our Top Picks for 2017

After several hundred hours of research, testing, and in-depth analysis here are our model recommendations for 2017. These are the very best dehumidifiers we’ve tested so far.

Best Rated Overall – Frigidaire FFAD7033R1

ffad7033r1-no-shadow

Simply put, the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 is by far the best dehumidifier we’ve tested as of the writing of this guide in mid-2017. 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 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 FFAD7033R1 was able to lower room humidity from 80% down to 50% RH faster than any other dehumidifier we tested. It was the second fastest lowering room humidity from 90% down to 40% RH.

It’s quiet – The FFAD7033R1 has two things going for it when it comes to producing as little noise as possible. First, it doesn’t produce any audible compressor noise. 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 FFAD7033R1′s compressor didn’t produce any audible noise during testing. The same cannot be said for many of the other dehumidifiers we tested.

The second thing the FFAD7033R1 has going for it, in terms of noise output, is the fact that it exhausts out of its side. On a dehumidifier such as this one with very little to no compressor noise, exhaust fan noise makes up all the noise you’ll hear when you turn it on. The FFAD7033R1 exhausts out of its side allowing you to direct this noise wherever you want by simply rotating the dehumidifier on its casters. Most other dehumidifiers on the market exhaust upward in which case fan noise is always directed upward as well. This type of noise distribution is much more difficult to manage.

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 FFAD7033R1 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 FFAD7033R1 directly side by side with 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 FFAD7033R1 is clearly a much better built higher quality appliance.

Conclusion

The FFAD7033R1 does more things better than any other dehumidifier we tested. It earns our highest recommendation as the best dehumidifier on the market today.

See Price on AmazonRead our Full Review

Note that 50 and 30 pint versions of this particular model are also available for purchase. Both units are identical to the 70 pint version except for capacity and size. They have exactly the same control panel, the same exhaust location, the same build quality, etc. Of course, we do not recommend those versions over the 70 pint unit, but should you be set on purchasing a smaller capacity unit you can be confident that they provide similar noise output, exactly the same build quality, and most other benefits just the same as the 70 pint unit but at a smaller capacity.

Best Budget Alternative – Keystone KSTAD70B

keystone-kstad70b-no-shadow
The Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 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 Keystone KSTAD70B. Here are the reasons why the KSTAD70B is a great second option.

It’s highly energy efficient – the KSTAD70B one of the most energy efficient 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested with a measured power draw of only 590 watts.

It’s quiet – this Keystone 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 KSTAD70B is one of the most quiet 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested so far.

It dehumidifies fast – it doesn’t dehumidify quite as fast as the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 but it’s still faster than average in its size class (70 pint). As noted above, we measure a dehumidifier’s moisture removal rate in two different tests. The KSTAD70B didn’t perform quite as well in these tests as the FFAD7033R1, but its performance was still above average.

Conclusion

The Keystone KSTAD70B removes moisture faster than most other 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested but more importantly, it removes moisture much faster than any 50 pint or 30 pint dehumidifier. This is important because the KSTAD70B is often priced much less than the average 50 pint dehumidifier and only $10 or $20 more than the average 30 pint dehumidifier. If you’re torn between purchasing a 30 or 50 pint unit and this Keystone 70 pint unit, our recommendation, without hesitation, would be the Keystone.

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.

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.

Dehumidifier Rankings

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.

70 Pint Dehumidifiers

50 Pint Dehumidifiers

30 Pint Dehumidifiers

1Frigidaire FFAD3033R150.0
2Hisense DH-35K1SJE547.0
3GE ADEL30LR45.0
4Haier DM32M-L34.5

Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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%).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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%

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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