Honeywell DH70W Review

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Pros
  • Exceptional performance in our moisture removal tests – removes moisture very quickly
  • Highly energy efficient because of its high moisture removal rate
  • Very accurate built-in hygrometer
  • Excellent brand reputation – Honeywell is known for producing reliable air quality appliances

Cons

  • Below average performance in our noise output tests – not very quiet
  • Problem issues with its durability
  • No continuous or auto mode
  • No defrost mode despite the fact that it has a defrost light that illuminates – you have to manually turn off the dehumidifier when the light illuminates

Included With Your Purchase

  • Dehumidifier
  • Instruction Manual
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Introduction

Honeywell is well known for their heating, cooling, and home air quality products. Their air purifiers are some of the best rated and most popular air purifiers on the market. Honeywell whole house dehumidifiers, while not nearly as popular, have a reputation for being high quality reliable options if you want to integrate a dehumidification system with your central air conditioning system. With the DH70W, DH50W, and DH45W Honeywell has expanded their line of home air quality products to also include stand alone portable dehumidifiers. Not surprisingly, since their release, the DH70W and the less heavy duty DH50W and DH45W have seen outstanding consumer reviews, already building a strong reputation for being just as durable and reliable as their whole house dehumidifier counterparts.

But what do our own observations and performance tests tell us about the DH70W, specifically? Is it as durable and reliable as we might infer from consumer reviews? Is it energy efficient and quiet? Does it remove moisture quickly? How do its features and functionality compare to those of other 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested? Read our full review below to find the answer to these and many more questions we answered as we tried to find out whether the DH70W is as good as its brand reputation would indicate it is and whether it’s even nearly as good as consumers claim it is.

Performance Test Results

Energy Efficiency

The DH70W is rated by Honeywell to draw 820 watts of power which falls in the upper range of power draw for the 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested. For comparison, the previously top rated FAD704DWD and now top rated FFAD7033R1 are both rated by Frigidaire to draw only 745 watts of power, almost 100 watts less than the Honeywell. As is demonstrated in every in house power usage test we’ve conducted thus far, claimed wattage by the manufacturer and actual real world measured wattage can differ quite dramatically depending on a wide variety of factors, the most prominent of which is the initial (or perpetual) relative humidity of the space that is being dehumidified. For our in house testing the relative humidity of the test environment was set to approximately 50% relative humidity for all of the 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested. This relatively low humidity resulted in “actual” power draw that was considerably less than manufacturer specified maximum power draw which is indicative of power draw at 100% RH.

The DH70W was measured to draw 642 watts of power at 50% relative humidity. While 642 watts is considerably less than the manufacturer specified 820 watts it’s also greater than average when compared to the other 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested for power draw under the same conditions. Compare the 642 watts of power draw for the Honeywell to 590 watts of power draw for five other 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested (the Keystone, Danby, Whirlpool, Haier, and Kenmore) and a mere 571 watts of power draw for the RCA RDH705. The Honeywell’s 642 watts of power draw was exactly what was measured for the top rated Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 even though the Honeywell is specified to draw 820 watts of power and the Frigidaire is specified to draw only 745 watts of power.

The takeaway here is that in milder conditions (lower humidity) the Honeywell draws more power than most other 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested but it draws just as much power as the dehumidifier we rated as the #1 buy for 2015 (the Frigidaire). In more severe conditions (higher humidity), however, the Honeywell will draw closer to the manufacturer specified 820 watts of power which is considerably more than the top rated Frigidaire (745 watts) and also considerably more than the average for the 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested (the average advertised wattage for all of the 70 pint dehumidifier’s we’ve tested is 744 watts). Note that the Honeywell’s greater power draw is mitigated by its high moisture removal rate. We discuss the relationship between power draw and moisture removal rate in determining energy efficiency in greater detail in our Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 review.

Noise Output

The Honeywell DH70W’s exhaust fan is behind the control panel exhausting out of the top of the dehumidifier. See our dehumidifier noise output discussion here for more information on how this can negatively affect this unit’s performance in this category.

Regardless, the DH70W was a below average performer in our noise output tests. It placed 11th (high fan speed) and 10th (low fan speed) out of 16 tested units in our closer range noise output tests and 8th (high fan speed and low fan speed) out of 16 in both of our long range noise output tests (noise output measured 10 ft away from the dehumidifier).

Close range tests are heavily skewed by whether the dehumidifier exhausts out of the top of the unit or the side of the unit so let’s take a closer look at how the Honeywell fared in our long range testing, instead, to find out how its noise output compares to other popular 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested.

At 10 ft on high fan speed the DH70W was measured at 53.3 dB of noise output. Compare this result to 52.9 dB for the top rated Frigidaire. As was true in our energy efficiency test, the Honeywell garners almost exactly the same test result as the Frigidaire. At the same distance on low fan speed the Honeywell was measured at 50.1 dB. Compare this result to 48.8 dB for the Frigidaire. Here the difference is a little bit more pronounced but still not enough to recommend one dehumidifier over the other solely based on its performance in our noise output tests.

For your reference, at long range, the most quiet 70 pint dehumidifier, the RCA RDH705, was measured at 49.7 dB on high fan speed and 47.8 dB on low fan speed while the noisiest 70 pint dehumidifier on high fan speed (the ADR70A2G) was measured at 60.8 dB and the noisiest 70 pint unit on low fan speed (the HM70EP) was measured at 53.3 dB.

Moisture Removal

The Honeywell was an excellent performer in both of our moisture removal tests. It was the top performer (out of 16 70 pint units we tested) in our 90% to 40% test and placed third in our 80% to 50% test. It took the Honeywell only 9 minutes and 21 seconds to dehumidify our 50 sq ft test environment from 90% relative humidity down to 40% RH. Compare this time with the 9 minutes and 41 seconds it took the top rated Frigidaire (which placed second in this test) and the 13 minutes and 47 seconds it took the Hisense (which placed dead last in this test).

It took the Honeywell a mere 4 minutes and 50 seconds to dehumidify the same test space from 80% RH down to 50% RH. Compare this result to the 4 minutes and 41 seconds it took the Frigidaire (which placed first in this test) and the 7 minutes and 42 seconds it took the Delonghi DD70PE (which placed last in this test).

As far as moisture removal rate is concerned, the results speak for themselves. This dehumidifier removes moisture very quickly, faster than most other 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested in our 80% to 50% test and all other units we tested in our 90% to 40% test. We consider the latter test (the 90% to 40% test) to be more indicative of how well any particular dehumidifier might perform in a real world environment and for this reason we give the nod to the Honeywell as the fastest moisture removing 70 pint dehumidifier we’ve tested thus far.

Hygrometer Accuracy

The Honeywell also has a very accurate internal hygrometer. It was measured to read humidity no worse than within 1% of the actual room humidity, mostly reading the actual room humidity exactly on the dot. This means that if you set this dehumidifier to 40% RH it will cycle off when the actual room humidity is actually 40% RH. Other dehumidifiers in this size class have much more inaccurate hygrometers. The Haier HM70EP, for example, reads humidity only to within 4% to 6% below the actual room humidity. This means that if you set the Haier to 40% RH it will cycle off when the actual room humidity is as high as 44% to 46%.

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

Durability (Build Quality)

Consumer Reviews

As we discussed in the introduction to this review, Honeywell is highly reputable brand when it comes to in home air quality products. Their air purifiers are second to none. It comes as no surprise, then, that Honeywell’s new line of portable dehumidifiers have seen mostly four and five star consumer reviews since their release. As we discuss in every other dehumidifier review, our analysis of consumer reviews is perhaps the most important measuring stick by which we determine the reliability of any particular dehumidifier. Again, the DH70W has no shortage of outstanding consumer reviews thus far. This model in particular has a negative review rate (% of total number of reviews that are 1 or 2 star) of 11%. We do want to note here that while this rate is low compared to the average (19% is the average for the 70 pint size class) it is considerably higher than the negative review rate for the top rated Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 which has a negative review rate of only 5% at the time of this editorial review.

Our Impressions of this Unit’s Build Quality

When we first started testing the DH70W it appeared to be a well built solidly constructed dehumidifier. While the control panel had a much less modern design than many other 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested, it wasn’t of a low quality.

On the negative side of things, the DH70W’s water tank was observed to not have a sturdy braced design which we do count as a negative in overall build quality. A braced water tank also minimizes spilling which improves your experience in emptying and replacing it. Additionally, as we removed and replaced the water tank repeatedly during testing, we noticed that a piece of rubber was coming off of the part of the dehumidifier that drains into the water collection bucket. As you can see in the pictures below, there’s a rubber piece around the drain outlet above the water tank. The edge of the water tank cut up this piece of rubber every time we removed and replaced it. Over time a piece came off which you can also see in the pictures below. While this issue isn’t necessarily much of a concern in terms of it being indicative of a bigger problem with the dehumidifier’s overall durability and reliability, we did want to mention it here as it certainly does count against the unit’s durability if only in a small way.

Overall Category Score

There’s no denying that Honeywell is a very well known respected brand with an excellent track record of producing high quality in home air quality appliances. The DH70W’s consumer reviews certainly serve to add to this outstanding track record. However, that is not to say that the DH70W doesn’t have any issues with durability and reliability. The lack of a brace over the top of the unit’s water tank makes it much less sturdy than water tanks on other dehumidifiers that do have a brace. We also observed at least one issue (the piece of rubber coming off) that indicates that this unit may not be as durable or reliable as Honeywell’s reputation and this unit’s consumer reviews appear to indicate. We give the DH70W only an average 3.5/5 for durability.
 
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Adjustability

Humidistat

The DH70W’s humidistat can be set in increments of 5%, standard for the 70 pint dehumidifier size class.

Timer

This unit features a standard timer that can be set to turn on or shut off the dehumidifier automatically. It can be set in one hour increments from one hour up to 24 hours. Note that there are 70 pint dehumidifiers on the market that come equipped with timers that can be set in half hour increments up to 10 hours and one hour increments past 10 hours up to 24 hours.

Number of Fan Speeds

The DH70W features only two fan speeds which does limit its flexibility somewhat. Keep in mind, however, most of the 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested also only feature two fan speeds.

Extra Modes

This unit does not feature either a continuous or an auto mode. Being able to set the unit to as low as 30% humidity, however, does essentially equate to a continuous mode as being able to achieve this type of low humidity consistently in most settings in which a dehumidifier is necessary to begin with, will require the unit to be on continuously.

Overall Category Score

The DH70W features standard humidistat and timer adjustability in addition to a fairly standard number of fan speeds. It does not feature an auto mode or a continuous mode which does detract from its score in this category. We give this unit a slightly below average 3/5 for adjustability.

Versatility

Set Humidity Range

One of the DH70W’s more unique features is the fact that it can be set to as low as 30% humidity and as high as 90% humidity. Many of the other 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested (such as the top rated Frigidaire and Keystone units) can only be set to as low as 35% humidity.

Operating Temperature Range

This unit features a standard operating temperature range that starts at 41° F. The upper limit specified by the manufacturer is 89° F.

Drainage

The DH70W can be drained through the back of the unit (most of the 70 units we tested drain through the back while others do drain through the side of the dehumidifier). All that’s required to employ gravity drainage is to remove the drain cap and rubber stopper on the back of the unit (which can easily be done by hand) and attach a standard garden hose.

Built-in Pump

This unit does not feature a built-in pump. Look into getting an external condensate pump should you require this type of functionality.

Overall Category Score

The DH70W has an above average set humidity range and an average operating temperature range. Its drainage capabilities are also average for its size class. We give this unit a slightly above average 4/5 for versatility, mostly due to its above average set humidity range.

Extra Features

Temperature Reading

Another more unique feature of the DH70W is the fact that its control panel shows the ambient air temperature (this temperature reading can be adjusted between showing degrees Celsius and degrees Fahrenheit). As we discuss here, air temperature and relative humidity are very closely related, making a temperature reading display a helpful feature.

Defrost

This unit does not feature a defrost mode. Curiously, however, it does feature a defrost light which turns on when the room temperature is too low for the dehumidifier to operate efficiently. The DH70W’s owner manual advises that you should either increase the room temperature or wait for the room temperature to increase before the defrost light will switch off. Only after it switches off are you advised to turn the dehumidifier back on again.

Check Filter

The DH70W does not feature a check filter light.

Overall Category Score

The fact that the DH70W can display the ambient air temperature is a definite positive, adding to its score in the category. However, despite the fact that it has a defrost light (not very helpful), it does not come equipped with a defrost mode (much more helpful), which is the most heavily weighed subcategory in determining the unit’s score for its extra features. Add on the fact that this unit does not have a check filter light and you have a dehumidifier that scores a below average 3/5 for its extra features.

Ease of Use

LED Display Clarity

The DH70W has a large easy to read LED display.

Setup Difficulty

Setup is fairly easy on the DH70W. There aren’t any extra modes to worry about which simplifies setup. Adjusting the desired humidity level using the arrow buttons and setting fan speed using the fan speed button couldn’t be any more straightforward. A quirk that we do want to note here is the fact that this dehumidifier’s buttons were much harder to press than buttons on all other 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested.

Another strange quirk is the fact that this dehumidifier has two unnecessarily ambiguous warning lights. The first light, labeled with an exclamation point inside a triangle, might be interpreted as a general troubleshooting light indicating a general problem with the dehumidifier. However, it simply means that the water collection bucket is full.

The second light that might cause some confusion is the light labeled with a snowflake. You would be correct in interpreting this light as having something to do with low temperature operation. You might be inclined to think that this light indicates that the unit’s defrost mode is activated, which is what it indicates on every other dehumidifier we’ve tested thus far that also comes equipped with this warning light. However, on the DH70W, this light doesn’t mean that the unit’s defrost mode is activated. What it means is that the temperature in the room is too low for the unit to operate efficiently and that you should manually turn off the dehumidifier until the light goes off.

Filter Removal Difficulty

The DH70W has the most easily accessible air filter of all of the 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested thus far. All you have to do is press down on the air filter and it neatly pops out of the top of the dehumidifier.

Manual Clarity

The DH70W’s owner manual is clear and concise. There are no issues to report.

Water Tank Size

This unit’s water tank has a capacity of 14.4 pints. For comparison, the top rated Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 has a slightly smaller 13.1 pint tank while the previously top rated Frigidaire 70 pint model, the FAD704DWD, has a 16.3 pint tank. Among the 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested thus far, water tank size varies between 10.4 pints and 19.2 pints, making the DH70W’s 14.4 pint tank average size for its size class. We discuss why tank size is important in great detail here.

Overall Category Score

The DH70W is fairly easy to setup due to its limited number of settings and modes. It does have a few warning lights that will absolutely require that you read the manual. We suggest that you always read the manual before using any dehumidifier, however, we don’t like the fact that you absolutely have to read the manual just to understand how this unit’s defrost warning light works. Filter removal difficulty on this unit is above average for the category. That is to say, it’s much easier to remove the air filter on this unit than it is on most other dehumidifiers in the category. It has a clear and concise manual and an average size water tank. All things considered we give the Honeywell an average 3.5/5 for ease of use.

Portability

Weight

The DH70W’s weight is average for the size class. It weighs 43 pounds. To give you a frame of reference to assess this dehumidifier’s weight better, one of the heavier 70 pint dehumidifiers, the FFAD7033R1, weighs 47 pounds while one of the lighter 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve tested, the Keystone KSTAD70B weighs only 40 pounds.

Handles

The DH70W has rubber lined side handles to improve grip when moving the dehumidifier. Note that some of the 70 pint units we tested come equipped with top handles in addition to side handles to improve portability. That being said, this unit’s side pocket handles are very large and have excellent grip.

Cord Storage

This unit does not feature any cord storage functionality. The power cord hangs loose on the back of the unit.

Overall Category Score

Average weight, solidly constructed side pocket handles, and a lack of cord storage earn the DH70W a slightly below average 3/5 for portability.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

The DH70W has a standard Honeywell limited warranty for 24 months from your purchase date that covers “defects in materials and workmanship under normal use and service.”

Value

The Honeywell DH70W is one of the most expensive non built-in pump 70 pint dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed thus far, retailing for around $280. It’s about $30 more expensive than the top rated Frigidaire 70 pint unit (approx. $250) and a whopping $90 (approx.) more expensive than the top rated Keystone KSTAD70B. Only the Kenmore KM70, which retails for about $300, is more expensive non-built-in pump 70 pint dehumidifier than the Honeywell.
 
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Final Thoughts

Strong points for the DH70W are an above average set humidity range, the fact that it has a temperature display, but most importantly, its excellent brand reputation and above average consumer reviews. It has an average sized water collection tank, features standard drainage options, and comes equipped with a standard number of fan speeds. While its lack of extra modes including its lack of a defrost mode are a concern for us, its biggest negatives by far are its high price and nagging issues that make us question its reliability, despite its outstanding consumer reviews.

The bottom line is that the Honeywell DH70W is a great choice if you value brand reputation and really want to buy a Honeywell dehumidifier. It’s also a great choice if you want the a very good 70 pint dehumidifier, notwithstanding price. At the same time the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 is more quiet, more energy efficient in severe humidity, and for all intents and purposes just as fast at removing moisture as the Honeywell. It also comes with additional modes and has a minuscule negative review rate of 5%, compared to the 11% of the Honeywell. Just as important for some, is the fact that it’s less expensive than the DH70W. For now, we recommend the DH70W as a good option but not the best option. The best option is still the FFAD7033R1.

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