Frigidaire FFAD3033R1 Review

frigidaire-ffad3033r1-front

Pros
  • Comes with all of the same features and functionality as more expensive 50 pint and 70 pint models
  • Energy efficient for its size class
  • Very quiet compared to other units in its size class and overall
  • Highly portable because of its light weight

Cons

  • Is sometimes slightly more expensive compared to other units of same capacity (30 pint)

Included With Your Purchase

  • Dehumidifier
  • Gravity Drainage Adapter
  • Instruction Manual
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Quick Review Summary

The Frigidaire FFAD3033R1 is the latest 30 pint dehumidifier released by Frigidaire (it was originally released in 2015). It serves as the replacement for the FAD301NWD, which was first released in 2013. Before we start this review we want to note that the FFAD3033R1 really doesn’t have much current competition in the 30 pint size class. It is by far the best 30 pint dehumidifier on the market today. So, instead of focusing on comparing it to other much lesser quality 30 pint dehumidifiers on the market today, we’ll instead try to focus on comparing it to its predecessor, the FAD301NWD, which was the standout dehumidifier in this size class before the FFAD3033R1, and is still readily available for sale today. We’ll also discuss the differences between the FFAD3033R1, the FFAD5033R1 and FFAD7033R1 (Frigidaire’s latest 50 and 70 pint dehumidifiers) if you’re trying to decide between purchasing a small capacity (30 pint), a medium capacity (50 pint) or a large capacity (70 pint) dehumidifier.

Performance Test Results

Note: We did not get a chance to do any hands on testing of the FAD301NWD. For this reason, outside of assessing manufacturer specified energy efficiency differences, we cannot compare FFAD3033R1 and FAD301NWD performance test results. We will be comparing both units extensively when assessing their features and functionality later on in the review.

Energy Efficiency

The FFAD3033R1 is rated to draw only 320 watts of power at maximum humidity. This is 100 watts less than what the FAD301NWD is rated to draw at 420 watts. In terms of percentages, the FFAD3033R1 draws close to 25% less power than its predecessor. Keep in mind that it’s still rated to remove 30 pints of moisture a day, just like the FAD301NWD, making it a much more energy efficient dehumidifier overall.

The FFAD3033R1 was measured to draw 319 watts of power in our hands one energy efficiency test. For this test the room was set to approximately 50% humidity and the dehumidifier was set to high fan speed. Compare the FFAD3033R1′s measured power draw of 319 watts to the measured 352 watts for the Hisense DH-35K1SJE5, 356 watts for the GE ADEL30LR, and 404 watts for the Haier DM32M-L. These results show that the Frigidaire also draws less power (by a considerable margin) than every other 30 pint dehumidifier we’ve tested.

Noise Output

The FFAD3033R1 is the most quiet compressor based dehumidifier we’ve tested thus far. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a quiet 30 pint dehumidifier. Do note, however, that 30 pint dehumidifiers are, in general, not much more quiet than their 50 pint and 70 pint counterparts. For example, at long range (sound meter placed 10 ft from the dehumidifier) on low fan speed the FFAD3033R1 was measured at 46.1 dB. Compare this result to 47.2 dB for the FFAD5033R1 and 48.8 dB for the FFAD7033R1. As you can see the difference in noise output isn’t much. Yes, the 30 pint unit is the most quiet but you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between its noise output and that of its 50 and 70 pint counterparts without a sound meter reading showing you this difference. Note that the difference between different brands is much more pronounced. In the same test in which the Frigidaire was measured at 46.1 dB, the GE 30 pint was measured at 49.7 dB, the Haier at 53.3 dB, and the Hisense at 55.9 dB.

The bottom line is that, like we said, the FFAD3033R1 is a great choice if you’re looking for a quiet 30 pint dehumidifier. It’s certainly much more quiet than the other 30 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested. However, noise output should not be the reason why you choose any smaller capacity dehumidifier over a 70 pint unit. They essentially produce the same amount of noise – the differences are between different brands, not size classes. Frigidaire dehumidifiers are much more quiet than Danby or GE dehumidifiers, for example, but the 30 pint Frigidaire, the 50 pint Frigidaire, and the 70 pint Frigidaire all essentially produce the same amount of noise on all fan speeds.

Moisture Removal

If a high moisture removal rate is important to you then you really shouldn’t be considering a 30 pint dehumidifier to begin with. That being said, while getting a 30 pint dehumidifier with a high moisture removal rate isn’t important, you do want to makes sure that it doesn’t dehumidify much slower than average. In other words, the only thing you want to make sure of when evaluating a 30 pint dehumidifier’s moisture removal rate, is that it doesn’t deviate too far from the mean for its size class.

The FFAD3033R1 took 32 minutes, 28 seconds to dehumidify a 50 sq ft space from 90% relative humidity down to 40% RH. The average for the size class was 34 minutes, 3 seconds. It took 15 minutes, 59 seconds to dehumidify the same space from 80% down to 50% RH. The average for the 30 pint size class was 15 minutes, 20 seconds. These results clearly show that FFAD3033R1′s performance in this category checks out fine as its moisture removal rate doesn’t deviate much from the mean. Its performance was slightly above average in the first test and ever so slightly below average in the second test.

Hygrometer Accuracy

Like its 50 and 70 pint counterparts the FFAD3033R1′s hygrometer accuracy is average at best. It reads room humidity no worse than within 3 to 4% less than actual. For example, at an actual room humidity of 50% it would read the room humidity as 46 or 47%. We discuss why hygrometer accuracy is important in greater detail here.

Included Features, Functionality, Build Quality, Warranties, and Value

Before we discuss the FFAD3033R1′s features and functionality we want to make an important distinction between the previous line of Frigidaire dehumidifiers and the current line of Frigidaire dehumidifiers.

1. The following is true for Frigidaire’s previous generation of dehumidifiers: The FAD704DWD and FAD504DWD are nearly identical dehumidifiers. They’re the same size, weight, and share the same control panel. The only notable difference is the fact that the former is rated to remove 70 pints of moisture per day while the latter is rated to remove 50 pints of moisture per day. The 30 pint unit, the FAD301NWD, is much smaller and also much lighter (about 20 pounds lighter). More importantly, it features a manual control knob instead of a digital control panel. It also does not display either the set humidity or the room humidity. There is no digital readout of any settings.

2. In 2015 Frigidaire updated their line of dehumidifiers: Again, the 50 and 70 pint models (the FFAD5033R1 and FFAD7033R1) are almost exactly the same size and weight. Again, they have the exact same control panel, features, and functionality and the only notable difference between them is the fact that the 70 pint unit is rated to remove more pints of moisture per day. This go around, however, the 30 pint model (the FFAD3033R1) also features the exact same control panel, features, and functionality as the 50 and 70 pint models. The only difference between the FFAD3033R1 and the FFAD5033R1 and FFAD7033R1 is the fact that the FFAD3033R1 is smaller, lighter (about 20 pounds or so lighter), and is rated to remove only 30 pints of moisture per day. For this latest generation, the 30 pint unit also features a digital control panel and digital readout of current room humidity and set humidity.
 
ffad3033r1-vs-others

In summary, whereas the previous line of Frigidaire dehumidifiers saw major design differences between 70/50 pint units and the 30 pint unit, the current line of Frigidaire dehumidifiers all share the same design – the 70, 50, and 30 pint units all have the same design with the same functionality. The 30 pint FFAD3033R1 is smaller, lighter, and removes less moisture per 24 hours.

Durability (Build Quality)

In assessing any particular dehumidifier’s durability we combine our own observations concerning its build quality and the quality of the materials used in its manufacturing with the observations made by the average consumer. A high consumer negative review rate (a high percentage of 1 and 2 star reviews) suggests problems with reliability. We discuss the basis for this deduction in greater detail here.

We mentioned earlier that the FFAD3033R1 is essentially a smaller, lighter version of the FFAD5033R1 and the FFAD7033R1, both of which were observed to have superior build quality for their respective size class. The same was observed for the FFAD3033R1. The FFAD3033R1 is quite simply a much better built, much better designed dehumidifier than any other 30 pint dehumidifier we tested. The parts used in its construction (most notably its control panel) were of a noticeably higher quality than the parts used on the other 30 pint dehumidifiers we tested.

Consumer Reviews

30 pint dehumidifiers, in general, are not nearly as well reviewed by consumers as their 50 and 70 pint counterparts. The same holds true for the FFAD3033R1 compared to the FFAD5033R1 and the FFAD7033R1. The 30 pint Frigidaire has a negative review rate of 13% which is much higher than the 5% negative review rate of each larger unit. It’s important to note, however, that at this time there’s much smaller sample of reviews for the 30 pint unit than the 50 and 70 pint units and that this rate has also been moving down over the last several days and weeks. Only a few days ago, it stood at 16%. We expect that as the FFAD3033R1 receives more reviews (as the sample size increases), that this rate will continue to go down to more closely match the low rate of the 50 and 70 pint units.

Adjustability

The FFAD3033R1 is much more adjustable than the FAD301NWD if only because it features a digital control panel with an LED display. The FAD301NWD, on the other hand, has to be set manually with a manual control knob. There is also no digital readout of the current humidity or the set humidity.
 
ffad3033r1-control-panel

Additionally, fan speed cannot be set on the FAD301NWD. The FFAD3033R1 features three fan speeds (high, medium, and low). You can set the fan speed to any one of these settings depending on whether your humidity problem is severe (high fan speed) and/or whether you need the unit to operate more quietly (low fan speed).

We note here that both dehumidifiers feature a continuous mode but no auto mode.

Versatility

Another major difference between the FFAD3033R1 and the FAD301NWD is the fact that the former drains out of the side of the dehumidifier while the latter drains out of the back of the dehumidifier. If you plan on implementing gravity drainage, definitely take this difference into consideration. Unlike Danby and ArcticAire dehumidifiers, a drain hose is not included when you purchase a Frigidaire dehumidifier. Granted, you can use a standard garden hose to connect to the drain outlet. We also note here that neither unit features a built-in pump.

Extra Features

The FAD301NWD doesn’t feature a temperature readout or defrost mode. The FFAD3033R1 doesn’t feature a temperature readout either but it does feature an automatic defrost mode and check filter light.

Ease of Use

The major point of concern for us in this category is water tank size. The FAD301NWD ha a 10 pint water tank while the FFAD3033R1 only has a 7.1 pint water tank. This is a definite negative for the FFAD3033R1 as water tank size is very important. We discuss why here. Note that the FFAD3033R1′s water tank is also smaller than both the FFAD7033R1′s and FFAD5033R1′s water tank.

ffad3033r1-small-tank

Portability

The FFAD3033R1 is close to 20 pounds lighter than both the 50 and 70 pint Frigidaire dehumidifiers. It’s also substantially smaller. In general, if portability is important to you, we definitely recommend a 30 pint dehumidifier. The FFAD3033R1 is the clear choice if you’re going to be moving the dehumidifier around a lot and your humidity problem isn’t too severe.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

The FFAD3033R1 comes with a standard Frigidaire dehumidifier warranty – a 1 year full warranty and 2 to 5 years on the sealed system.

Value

The FFAD3033R1 currently retails for about $180. Compare this price to about $215 for the 50 pint model and about $250 for the 70 pint FFAD7033R1. The FAD301NWD is a bit less expensive as it can be had for a street price of around $165.

 
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Final Thoughts

At this point in the review you might be asking yourself one of two questions. We’ll take one question at a time to try to make our recommendations more clear.

1. Should I buy the FFAD3033R1 or the FAD301NWD?

As we mentioned in the introduction to this review, the FFAD3033R1 really has no current competition in the marketplace in this size class. Its only real competition is its predecessor, the FAD301NWD. So, which of these two dehumidifiers should you buy? The FAD301NWD has two distinct advantages over the FFAD3033R1:

  1. It has a larger water collection tank – 10 pints vs only 7.1 pints for the FFAD3033R1
  2. It’s slightly less expensive – approx. $165 vs approx. $180 for the FFAD3033R1

Unfortunately for the FAD301NWD, it has one major inexcusable disadvantage compared to the FFAD3033R1: It features a manual control knob and no LED display to show the current humidity or set humidity. In our opinion, this is a deal breaker, and immediately disqualifies it from contention with the FFAD3033R1. If you’re looking to buy a 30 pint Frigidaire dehumidifier the FFAD3033R1 is the clear choice.

2. Should I buy the FFAD3033R1 or spend a bit more to get either the FFAD5033R1 or the FFAD7033R1?

This question in itself is dependent on another general question you need to ask yourself: “How severe is my humidity problem?” We encourage you to read the “First Time Buyer’s Guide” on our homepage to determine what size dehumidifier you really need. In summary, we’ll say here that our general recommendation is that you go with the largest capacity dehumidifier you can afford. Only if your humidity problem is very mild or if the space you’re dehumidifying is very small do we recommend that you go with a 30 pint dehumidifier. If you do choose to go the 30 pint route, our top recommendation in the 30 pint size class is the FFAD3033R1.

Comments

  1. Isis Martinez says

    What is a good %to put it on so it doesn’t feel up as fast…..I bought mine used so I don’t know much about it do things need to be replaced…..

    • Admin says

      If your unit is filling up fast it means it’s working properly. To reduce the rate at which the water collection bucket fills up you can set the desired humidity level to a higher percentage. You should still be fairly comfortable at a relative humidity as high as 60%.

  2. john beck says

    how long should a on /off /on cycle take.45% humidity setting,room @ 45% ,65 degrees,1200 sq. ft basement

  3. Jerry says

    Hi, I’m wondering, does the fan run constantly or does cut off when the compressor does? Thanks

    • Admin says

      It doesn’t run constantly – it should stop when or shortly after the unit’s compressor shuts off.

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