Frigidaire FFAD5033R1 Review

frigidaire-ffad5033r1-cpanel

Pros
  • The most quiet 50 pint dehumidifier we’ve tested
  • Very well built with high quality materials – highly durable
  • Excellent consumer reviews – proven reliability
  • Comes with all the same features as the higher priced 70 pint model

Cons

  • Can be expensive compared to other 50 pint units
  • Heavy for a 50 pint dehumidifier

Included With Your Purchase

  • Dehumidifier
  • Threaded Gravity Drainage Adapter
  • Instruction Manual
““

Quick Review Summary

The FFAD5033R1 was among three new dehumidifier models Frigidaire released in 2015. These three new models – the FFAD7033R1, the FFAD5033R1, and the FFAD3033R1 – each serve as a replacement for the FAD704DWD, the FAD504DWD, and the FAD301NWD, respectively. Much the same as was true for the FAD504DWD compared to the FAD704DWD, the FFAD5033R1 and the FFAD7033R1 are nearly identical dehumidifiers. Both have almost exactly the same dimensions and weight. They both have the same control panel – you set the desired humidity level, the timer, the fan speed, etc. exactly the same way on both units. Both dehumidifiers even have exactly the same size condensate collection tank with the exact same capacity of 13.1 pints. The one major difference between the FFAD7033R1 and the FFAD5033R1 is of course the fact that the former is rated to remove 70 pints of moisture per day while the latter is rated to remove only 50 pints of moisture per day.

 
50-pint-new-the-same

50-pint-old-the-same

Please note that we compared the newer and older 70 pint Frigidaire dehumidifiers (the FFAD7033R1 to its previous iteration, the FAD704DWD) extensively in our FFAD7033R1 review. In that review you’ll find a comprehensive discussion of how the newer model (FFAD7033R1) compares to the older model (FAD704DWD) and why, after extensive hands on testing, we recommend the newer model. It is for many of the same reasons that we also recommend the FFAD5033R1 (this newer model) over the FAD504DWD (the older model).
 
50-pint-current-vs-old

Performance Test Results

Energy Efficiency

The FFAD5033R1 was measured to draw 493 watts of power at approximately 50% relative humidity. It was measured to draw more power at this lower humidity level than any other 50 pint dehumidifier we tested. The top performing 50 pint units in the category were measured to draw 439 watts of power and the average power draw for this test for all of the 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested was 457 watts. Thus, the Frigidaire’s tested power draw is 36 watts more than the average for its size class.

At higher humidity levels the dehumidifier is going to draw power closer to the manufacturer specified “advertised” wattage. The FFAD5033R1 is rated to draw 530 watts of power at maximum humidity. The average manufacturer specified power draw for the 50 pint size class is 525 watts. Thus the difference between the Frigidaire’s maximum power draw and the average is only 5 watts.

Compared to the 70 pint FFAD7033R1, rated at 745 watts, the 50 pint Frigidaire draws a substantial 215 watts less power at maximum humidity levels – a difference of 40%. Keep in mind, however, that power draw isn’t everything when it comes to energy efficiency. As we discuss in great detail here, moisture removal rate is also an important factor to take into consideration when assessing any particular dehumidifier’s energy efficiency. As you’ll see later on in this review, the 70 pint Frigidaire removes moisture 100% more quickly than its 50 pint counterpart. This more than offsets, the 50 pint’s apparent advantage in energy efficiency – the point being that if you’re looking for an energy efficient dehumidifier you really shouldn’t be looking at a 50 pint dehumidifier to begin with. 70 pint dehumidifiers are much more energy efficient overall due to their much more efficient power draw to moisture removal rate ratio. That being said, compared to other 50 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested, the FFAD5033R1 does draw slightly more power than average at both mild (hands on test results) and maximum (manufacturer specified wattage) humidity levels.

Noise Output

You might be inclined to think that 50 pint dehumidifiers are much quieter than their 70 pint counterparts. This simply isn’t the case. Our hands on testing shows time and time again that 70 pint and 50 pint dehumidifiers of the same brand have nearly identical noise output. The difference in average noise output between all of the 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested and all of the 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested is approximately 2 decibels in each respective noise output test (there are 4 different tests). At long range (measured 10 ft from the dehumidifier) on low fan speed, for example, the average noise output for the 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested was 50.3 dB while the average for the 50 pint units we tested was 48.8 dB. Yes, 50 pint dehumidifiers are ever so slightly more quiet than 70 pint dehumidifiers on average, but this difference is so small that we definitely do not advise you to buy a 50 pint dehumidifier over a 70 pint dehumidifier based on the difference in their noise output alone.

What then of the difference between the FFAD5033R1 and the FFAD7033R1? At close range (sound meter placed right above the dehumidifier’s control panel) on high fan speed the 50 pint unit was measured at 61.9 dB vs 61.2 dB for the 70 pint. At close range on low fan speed the 50 pint was measured at 55.6 dB vs 57.2 dB for the 70 pint. At long range (sound meter placed 10 ft away from the dehumidifier) on high fan speed – 53.6 dB for the 50 pint vs 52.9 dB for the 70 pint. On low fan speed – 47.2 dB for the 50 pint vs 48.8 dB for the 70 pint. You can see the average noise output discrepancy between 50 pint and 70 pint dehumidifiers clearly demonstrated here in comparing the 50 pint and 70 pint Frigidaire units.

Compared to other 50 pint dehumidifiers, the FFAD5033R1 had mixed results. On high and low fan speed at close range it placed 2nd and 3rd out of the eight 50 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested. At long range on high fan speed it placed dead last (8th) while on low fan speed it placed 1st.

Long range on low fan speed is the test in which we got the lowest noise output results across the board. Obviously, if you want the dehumidifier to operate as quietly as possible you’re going to put it on low fan speed. You’re probably going to also place the dehumidifier as far away as possible from you in order to minimize audible noise as much as you can. Thus, our long range low fan speed test is the test you’re going to want to look most closely at in assessing just how quiet any particular dehumidifier can possibly be.

The really great thing about the FFAD5033R1 (as far as noise output is concerned) is that it performs very very well in this test. It was measured at 47.2 dB at long range on low fan speed, beating out every other 50 pint dehumidifier we tested and even the most quiet 70 pint dehumidifier we tested (measured at 47.8 dB). Only the 30 pint FFAD3033R1, measured at 46.1 dB, performed better in this test. Thus, the FFAD5033R1 is more quiet on its quietest setting than every other dehumidifier we’ve tested outside of the 30 pint FFAD3033R1. BUT, it’s not by much and it’s not substantial enough to warrant purchasing this dehumidifier over the 70 pint version. If noise output is a priority for you, any one of the top performing dehumidifiers in any size class (70, 50, and 30 pint) are a good option. See our noise output test result tables here to find the top performing dehumidifiers in each size class.

Moisture Removal

The FFAD5033R1 did not test very well in our moisture removal tests in comparison to the 50 pint units we tested last year. It placed second to last in our first test, in which we dehumidified a 50 sq ft room from 90% down to 40% relative humidity. And it placed third to last in our second test, in which we dehumidified the same space from 80% down to 50% relative humidity. It took the Frigidaire 19 minutes and 23 seconds in the first test and 9 minutes and 17 seconds in the second test. Compare these results to the top performing Danby (no longer available) which took 15 minutes and 31 seconds in the first test and 7 minutes and 11 seconds in the second test.

What’s important to note here is that while moisture removal rate is important, it’s not nearly as important in comparing 50 pint dehumidifiers as it is in comparing 70 pint dehumidifiers. The truth is that if moisture removal rate is important to you, you really shouldn’t be considering a 50 pint dehumidifier to begin with. Consider the fact that 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested were on average 54% slower than 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested in our 90% to 40% moisture removal test. Yes, the top performing Danby DDR50A2GP was 4 minutes faster in this same test than the FFAD5033R1, but it was also more than 6 minutes slower than the top rated FFAD7033R1 in the same test.

The bottom line is that you do want your 50 pint dehumidifier to remove moisture at an acceptable rate (a rate close to average for its size class which the FFAD5033R1 does have) but you definitely do not want to limit your purchase decision to only those 50 pint dehumidifiers that remove moisture the fastest. The FFAD5033R1′s moisture removal rate is only slightly below average which is more than acceptable for this size class.

Hygrometer Accuracy

The FFAD5033R1 has a more accurate built-in hygrometer than its predecessor (the FAD504DWD) but not the most accurate hygrometer in its size class. It read humidity to within 3 to 5% of the actual room humidity. Compare this result to the FAD504DWD which read the humidity to within 5 to 6% of the actual room humidity and the top performing Keystone KSTAD50B which reads humidity to within 1% of the actual room humidity.

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

As we discussed in the introduction to this review, the FFAD5033R1 has exactly the same features, functionality, and build quality as the FFAD7033R1. Please see our FFAD7033R1 review for our complete thoughts on these topics. We’ll summarize them as we continue with our review below.

Durability

Consumer Reviews

The FFAD5033R1′s predecessor, the FAD504DWD, was one of the most popular (over 2000 reviews) and most highly rated dehumidifiers (regardless of size class) by consumers. So far (as of the time of this editorial review), the FFAD5033R1 has proven to be just as popular and just as highly rated. As we discuss in our FFAD7033R1 review, we consider consumer reviews to be one of the most important factors to take into consideration when purchasing a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are known to have reliability issues and whether a particular consumer review is positive or negative is highly indicative of whether that particular consumer’s dehumidifier has proven to be reliable or not.

That being said, the FFAD5033R1 has thus far received an extremely low number of negative consumer reviews. Of the 170+ reviews it has received, only 5% are negative (1 or 2 star). For comparison, the FAD504DWD has a negative review rate of 8%. The average negative review rate for the 50 pint size class is 12% and the average for the 70 pint size class is 19%.

Build Quality and Summary

We had nothing but praise for the FFAD7033R1′s build quality and the overall quality of its design. The FFAD5033R1 is essentially exactly the same dehumidifier and so, for every good thing we had to say about the FFAD7033R1, the same can be said about the FFAD5033R1. Because of its substantially above average build quality and also because of its extremely low consumer negative review rate, like its 70 pint counterpart, we give the FFAD5033R1 a perfect 5/5 for durability.

Adjustability and Versatility

While we cover these topics more extensively in our FFAD7033R1 review, we’ll quickly mention here that the FFAD5033R1 features three fan speeds while the previous model, the FAD504DWD, and most other 50 and 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested only feature two fan speeds. Also important, is the fact that the FFAD5033R1 drains out of its side while most other 50 pint dehumidifiers including the FAD504DWD drain out of the back. This is only important if you plan on employing gravity drainage to drain the dehumidifier. It should have no effect on your purchase decision if you (like most consumers) will be using the unit’s water collection bucket instead.

Extra Features and Ease of Use

The FFAD5033R1 does feature a defrost mode that automatically kicks in at lower temperatures. We discuss why defrost mode is important here.

Perhaps the largest negative for the FFAD5033R1 in these categories is the fact that it has a smaller water collection bucket than its predecessor. The FAD504DWD features a 16.3 pint tank while the FFAD5033R1 features a smaller 13.1 pint tank. This means that you’ll be emptying and replacing the FFAD5033R1′s water tank more frequently. Additionally, you’ll be facing more down time in which the dehumidifier isn’t dehumidifying. The dehumidifier automatically shuts off when its tank is full and unless you’re at home, close enough to the unit to hear the beeping noise it makes when its tank is full, and ready to empty and replace the water tank, the dehumidifier could be standing idle for minutes or even hours without dehumidifying. This will happen more frequently on a dehumidifier with a smaller water tank.

That being said, as much as we dislike the fact that the FFAD5033R1 has a smaller water collection tank, it’s mitigated by the fact that this isn’t a heavy duty dehumidifier. It’s only rated to remove 50 pints of moisture per day. For a 70 pint unit a smaller tank is much more of a problem because of the greater quantity of moisture it removes every day – which requires you to empty and replace its tank more often. But, for a medium capacity dehumidifier such as the FFAD5033R1, we really don’t think that its smaller tank size should have too much of an impact on whether you buy it or not.

The truth is that if you’re looking at medium capacity 50 pint dehumidifiers your humidity problem shouldn’t be very serious to begin with. So, replacing the tank more frequently and/or having down time in which the dehumidifier isn’t dehumidifying shouldn’t be much of an issue for you. Yes, it does make things less efficient. But, much more importantly, you’re already removing humidity less efficiently by removing 50 pints of moisture per day vs removing 70 pints of moisture per day by using a 50 pint dehumidifier vs a 70 pint dehumidifier.

Value

The FFAD5033R1 currently has its street price hovering around $215. Its 70 pint counterpart (the FFAD7033R1) retails for around $250. If price is of utmost concern to you, you may want to look at the Keystone KSTAD50B or even the KSTAD70B which are both less expensive than the FFAD5033R1. The 50 pint Keystone KSTAD50B retails for around $170 while the 70 pint KSTAD70B is priced around $190.

 
““

Final Thoughts

The FFAD5033R1 wasn’t a stellar performer in any one of our hands on performance tests. It draws more power than all other 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested, it removes moisture less quickly than most other 50 pint units we tested, and its hygrometer is not as accurate as some of the top performing 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested. It did perform well in our noise output tests making it one of the more quiet 50 pint dehumidifiers we tested.

With below average results in all but one of our performance tests, why then does this dehumidifier get our recommendation as being the best option in its size class? The answer is rather simple – it really doesn’t have a lot of good competition. Both 50 pint dehumidifiers which performed best in our moisture removal tests are no longer available – the Danby and the ArcticAire. The Delonghi, SPT, and Friedrich all have lower power draw and a slightly faster moisture removal rate, but all three units have other major issues that prevent us from recommending them over the Frigidaire. That leaves us with the FAD504DWD and the Keystone KSTAD50B.

The FFAD5033R1 is the replacement for the FAD504DWD and over the course of the next few years we’ll see the availability of the FAD504DWD drop dramatically. It’s also not nearly as well built as the FFAD5033R1. The KSTAD50B is really the only viable alternative to the FFAD5033R1. It’s not as well built and therefore not as durable and reliable as the FFAD5033R1 but it can be purchased at a lower price. Still, the cost difference between these two dehumidifiers is not enough for us to recommend the KSTAD50B solely based on its lower price.

The bottom line is that, all things considered, the FFAD5033R1 is really the best option out there, as far as the 50 pint size class is concerned. On the negative side it didn’t perform very well in most of our performance tests but, on the positive side, it has the best consumer reviews of all of the 50 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested, the best build quality, the best overall design, and most of the features and functionality you’re going to need in a dehumidifier in this size class. Our general recommendation is still that you don’t buy a 50 pint dehumidifier at all. We recommend that you buy a 70 pint dehumidifier instead (you can see a list of the top rated 70 pint dehumidifiers here). But, if you’re set on buying a lower capacity less expensive 50 pint dehumidifier, the FFAD5033R1 is definitely the best current option in 2017.

Have a question or comment? Let us know below.

Your email address will not be published.