Review Parameters Explained

We put each of the dehumidifiers we reviewed through the wringer in trying to establish which unit was the best value, the best buy for you as the consumer. To do so we needed to break down our analysis into several “review parameters”. These parameters allow us to organize our thoughts better and present a more organized discussion of each unit’s strengths and weaknesses. Breaking down each review in this way also makes it possible for our readers to skip those categories they don’t care about and to easily find those categories that really matter to them.

The goal of the rest of this page is to more fully describe our review parameters so that you’re better equipped to read each of our product reviews. For each category below we try to describe what we looked for, how any relevant data was obtained (if applicable), and most importantly, why the particular category should matter to you, and whether or not it should impact your purchase decision.

Performance Tests

Energy Efficiency

To read about how we tested for energy efficiency and which dehumidifiers we found to be the most energy efficient click here.

Noise Output

To read about how we tested for noise output and which dehumidifiers are the quietest click here.

Moisture Removal

For our moisture removal rate testing techniques and a list of top performing units click here.

Hygrometer Accuracy

For our thoughts on hygrometer accuracy and why it should matter to you click here.

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

Durability

Assessing each dehumidifier’s durability was more difficult than we initially anticipated. It was easy for us to differentiate between those units that were clearly made with cheaper parts (more flimsy thinner plastic pieces and cheaper control panels) and those units that were made using thicker plastic pieces, high quality control panels and just generally appeared to be made using more high quality durable parts. It was much more difficult for us to differentiate between one well built unit and another high quality well built unit or between one cheaply made unit and another cheaply made unit. In other words, it was difficult to separate the above average from the best and the below average from the worst.

For this reason (and for another even more important reason that we’ll discuss shortly) we heavily relied on consumer reviews to determine each specific model’s durability, reliability, and longevity. We also note here that we only had each dehumidifier to test and review for 30 days. This isn’t nearly a long enough time over which to operate a unit in order to determine its reliability. Consumers that actually buy these units and operate them continuously over several days, weeks, months, even years are much better equipped to assess any particular unit’s durability and longevity. We’ll discuss how we assessed consumer reviews in more detail in the appropriate section below.

Water Tank Brace

Your average water tank capacity on a 70 pint dehumidifier is somewhere around 15 pints. That’s 15 pints of water that is going to collect in the dehumidifier’s water tank. You’re going to have to remove the water tank and carry it to a nearby sink/bathtub to empty it. 15 pints is equal to about 7 liters. 7 liters of water weighs 7 kg. There are 2.2 lb in a kg which gives a filled 15 pint capacity bucket a total water weight of just over 15 lb.

This may not appear to be very heavy but trust us when we tell you that carrying that much liquid isn’t much fun and can be an adventure if say, you need to carry it up or down stairs or across any reasonably long distance. Furthermore, that much water puts a sizable strain on the water tank’s plastic housing and especially its handle. There’s a distinctly different feeling between carrying a filled water tank made with thick and rigid plastic and a solidly attached and constructed handle and carrying a filled tank made of cheap, thin, bendable plastic with a less solidly and well constructed handle.

This is where the water tank’s brace comes in. It further stabilizes both cheaply made tanks and the more solidly constructed tanks. There’s a reason why many manufacturers have chosen to include a brace across the top of their dehumidifier’s water tank – it really does improve stability and makes for a much more solid and rigid plastic housing for the tank. Take note to look for units that come equipped with braced water tanks. At the very least its addition indicates that durability was a priority for the manufacturer in the design and manufacturing of their particular model dehumidifier.

Weight

We noted that many of the heavier units were generally better built and constructed using better quality parts than similar capacity lighter units. For this reason we at the very least take a quick look at each unit’s weight to see if it’s heavier or lighter weight further substantiates or contradicts our own observations.

Compressor Shake

Some of the units we tested would “jump” or “shake” when their compressor would cycle on. Most units were sturdy enough to not move at all when their compressor would cycle on.

Consumer Feedback

We discuss the merits of assessing consumer reviews in our introduction to dehumidifier durability above. Now let’s discuss what we did to really get to the bottom of what each dehumidifier’s consumer reviews was telling us.

We considered two factors in assessing consumer reviews. First, we looked at the total number of consumer reviews written for each product. This told us how popular each product was (a higher number of total reviews is in itself a good indication of a quality product) and more importantly, separated those units that received at least 20 or 30 reviews up to several hundred reviews from those units that received only 1 to 2 or less than 5 total reviews.

For those units that received upwards of at least 20 or 30 reviews we felt like the sample size was sufficient for us to draw certain logical conclusions from the collection of those units’ consumer reviews. For those units that only received a few reviews we felt like the sample size was too small for us to draw any logical conclusions from any consumer reviews left for them. Here’s what we mean. Let’s take a very popular unit that has received hundreds of reviews. The sample size is sufficient for it to be meaningful if it has received a high percentage of negative reviews (we’ll define what we mean by “negative review” shortly). Now let’s take a much less popular unit that’s only received, let’s say, 2 reviews, both of them negative. We didn’t feel confident in giving much weight to these types of negative reviews because the sample size just wasn’t sufficient for us to infer that the problems those particular customers were experiencing were indicative of overall product quality. The two reviews that were left may be outliers. There’s no way for us to make a determination as to whether they are or are not.

These second factor we considered in assessing consumer reviews was the negative review rate. We noted after looking through pages and pages of consumer reviews that 1 and 2 star reviews in particular normally indicated a faulty unit or at least a major mechanical problem with the dehumidifier. For this reason we delineated between 1 and 2 star reviews and 3 through 5 star reviews. We consider a 1 or 2 star review to be a negative review and a 3 to 5 star review to be a positive review. Next we looked at the dehumidifier’s negative review rate. In other words, we looked at the percentage of 1 or 2 star reviews the unit had received compared to the percentage of 3 to 5 star reviews it had received.

What we saw was that the best most durable units had a negative review rate of 10% or below and the worst least durable units had a negative review rate as high as 50%. If a particular unit that we observed to be well constructed had a negative review rate of 10% or lower we determined the unit to truly be durable and reliable and gave it an above average durability rating. If a unit was observed to be well built but received greater than a 10% negative review rate we would feel like our own observations weren’t substantiated and commented as such in each individual review in which this was the case. Of course, it’s also true that we would reassess our own observations if we believed a unit to be poorly constructed while it had received a better than 10% negative review rate.

Adjustability

Humidistat

A dehumidifier’s humidistat is comparable to your home’s thermostat. Just like your thermostat allows you to input settings to adjust your home’s temperature, a dehumidifier’s humidistat allows you to input settings to adjust the desired humidity level.

Almost all of the dehumidifiers we tested feature exactly the same humidistat adjustability. You can set the desired humidity level in 5% increments from as low as 30% on some models up to as high as 90%. This means you can set the desired humidity level to 30%, 35%, 40%, and so on up until you get to the particular unit’s upper end of its humidistat range (normally about 80%).

Timer

Most of the dehumidifiers we tested feature both a delayed start and a delayed stop. Maybe you anticipate the humidity in a particular room only becoming a problem later in the day and you want to set the dehumidifier to a delayed start. Maybe you only want your dehumidifier to run until a certain time of the day when you know humidity is going to subside, in which case you would want to set the dehumidifier to a delayed stop. These are only a few reasons why timer functionality might be important to you.

You might be asking how setting a time delay on a dehumidifier works. On most units you activate the delayed start by pressing the timer button. You then use plus/minus (or up/down) buttons to adjust the time before you want the dehumidifier to turn on. You also input your desired settings (including desired humidity level, fan speed, etc.) for when the unit does turn on. For a delayed stop you will already have your desired settings inputted. You only need to set the timer for when you want the unit to turn off.

What differentiated most of the units we tested in this subcategory was precision in timer settings. Some timers could only be set to 2 or 4 hour delays. Some units didn’t feature a delayed start or a delayed stop or both. The vast majority of units fell into two categories. Some would allow you to set the timer in half hour increments up to 10 hours and then 1 hour increments past 10 hours up to 24 hours. Other units would only allow you to set the timer in 1 hour increments up to 24 hours, with no option to set it in half hour increments below 10 hours. Should you require less or more precision in setting a time delay, look for our discussion of timer functionality in each of our reviews.

Number of Fan Speeds

As a quick review, remember that a dehumidifier works by pulling warm moist air onto its evaporator coils which cool down the air to remove moisture from it. This pulling of air is accomplished by a fan on the front of the dehumidifier. It is this fan’s speed that you can adjust on the dehumidifier’s control panel.

Most dehumidifiers allow you to set this fan to only two different speeds, high and low. High fan speed facilitates quicker moisture removal. Low fan speed results in less rapid moisture removal but the dehumidifier will run much more quietly.

A few of the dehumidifiers we tested come equipped with an additional medium fan speed that serves as an intermediate between high and low fan speed for increased adjustability. Other units feature an auto fan speed mode in which the dehumidifier automatically adjusts the fan speed depending on the difference between the actual room humidity and the desired humidity level. Let’s say a room is at 80% relative humidity and your desired humidity level is at 40%. In this case the unit would automatically set the fan speed to high. In another scenario imagine that the room humidity is at 50% and the desired humidity level is 45%. In this case the unit would set the fan speed much lower as it doesn’t need to work nearly as hard to achieve the desired humidity level.

Extra Modes

The two modes we look for in this category are continuous mode and auto mode.

Continuous Mode

On the continuous setting a dehumidifier will operate continuously despite what it measures as the ambient air’s humidity level. Even at lower humidity levels such as 30% or even 25% RH (relative humidity) the dehumidifier’s fans will continue to operate and most importantly, the dehumidifier’s compressor won’t cycle off.

Normally you would set the dehumidifier’s humidistat to a desired humidity level. Upon reaching that desired humidity level the dehumidifier’s compressor will cycle off and the unit will stop dehumidifying. On the continuous setting you don’t set a desired humidity level. The dehumidifier simply operates continuously for as long as you keep the unit on this setting or until you turn the unit off.

We repeatedly refer to this mode as a very helpful feature in our individual product reviews. Why is it so helpful? For any severe humidity problem you want the dehumidifier to work non-stop. The only way for it to work non-stop is to set it to the continuous setting. Yes, you can set the unit to a low desired humidity level. However, upon reaching this desired humidity level, even momentarily, the dehumidifier’s compressor will cycle off and the unit itself will stop dehumidifying. It will take a few minutes before it recognizes that it’s no longer at the set humidity level and only then will the compressor cycle back on and the unit will dehumidify once more. Compare this process to what happens on the continuous setting – the compressor never cycles off and the dehumidifier operates non-stop. This truly is the best way to deal with any severe humidity problem and/or a situation in which humidity is constantly increasing.

Auto Mode

On many devices an auto mode is actually very helpful. This is especially true for complicated gadgets that feature a myriad of different settings that would take the average consumer hours to get acquainted with. A dehumidifier, on the other hand, is just not a complicated device and therefore an auto mode just isn’t really necessary. In most cases all you have to do is set the desired humidity level and fan speed. That’s it. We predict that even if the dehumidifier you end up buying does include an auto mode you’ll rarely if ever use it. Therefore don’t let whether a particular model does or does not include this feature affect whether you buy it or not.

Note that the functionality of any particular model’s auto mode varies. We discuss what a particular unit’s auto mode actually entails in its corresponding review.

Versatility

Set Humidity Range

A dehumidifier can be set to various humidity levels. For a really dry environment you might want to set the unit to 35% RH (relative humidity). If you’re dehumidifying a room that’s not a living space you might want to set the humidity to a less comfortable but still acceptable humidity level of 60% RH.

Note that whether any particular unit actually achieves the set humidity level will depend on how accurate its hygrometer is. Let’s say you set the desired humidity level to 40%. The unit reads 40% RH when the actual room humidity is 45%. Despite the fact that the actual room humidity is 5% more than the desired humidity level, the dehumidifier will still cycle off because its reading is 40%. Thus, pay close attention to a unit’s hygrometer accuracy when evaluating the breadth of its set humidity range.

Most of the dehumidifiers we tested can be set to as low as 30-35% and as high as 80-90%. While the lower end of this range is quite important, the upper end really doesn’t matter. We can’t imagine what circumstance would require you to set the desired humidity level to as high as 90% or even 80%.

The lower end of this range, on the other hand, does make a difference. Let’s go back to the scenario we outlined above. You set the unit to a desired humidity level of 40% and it reads 45% when the actual room humidity is 40%. If the dehumidifier can only be set to as low 40% you won’t ever be able to achieve an actual room humidity of 40%. If, however, the unit can be set to as low as 35% you can achieve actual room humidity of 40% in this same scenario.

Special circumstances might call for a desired humidity level of as low as 30%. If this is the case you would want a unit that can be set to this low of a humidity. In any situation where the room’s humidity level is constantly increasing and the dehumidifier lacks a continuous mode, being able to set the desired humidity level lower can also be very helpful. Being able to set the desired humidity level lower will keep the dehumidifier running continuously and keep it from cycling off momentarily should it achieve the desired humidity level even for a few seconds. If you only require what we consider to be a comfortable level of humidity for an everyday living space, a unit that can be set to as low as 35% should be more than sufficient.

Operating Temperature Range

Each dehumidifier we tested comes with a manual that states the manufacturer recommended operating temperature range. This is the temperature range in which the dehumidifier should operate safely and efficiently. We do not recommend that you operate your dehumidifier in temperatures outside of this recommended range. None of the dehumidifiers we reviewed were subjected to extreme temperatures during testing. Thus, we cannot say for sure what will happen if you do operate your dehumidifier outside the specified range of temperatures.

What we can tell you is that a dehumidifier operates on many of the same principles as an air conditioner. At temperatures close to freezing the process by which a dehumidifier removes moisture from the air simply does not work. Additionally, moisture in the form of water vapor and/or liquid water freezes at lower temperatures and when it does it’s certain to damage internal parts of the dehumidifier. Note that frost can start accumulating on the dehumidifier’s evaporator coils at temperatures as high as 55° F. At this point the unit’s defrost mode will be activated, which will cycle off the compressor and leave on the fans to melt the frost. Operating any dehumidifier below the standard manufacturer recommended 41° F is just not something you want to do if you want your dehumidifier to last for a long time.

At temperatures exceeding the manufacturer specified operating temperature range (normally about 95° F) you may not do any lasting damage to the dehumidifier or its internals but at these temperatures the process by which it removes moisture from the air is again not nearly as efficient.

All of the dehumidifiers we tested had roughly the same recommended operating temperature range which starts at about 41° F and goes up to approximately 95° F. Those units that featured a greater range scored higher, those units at this standard range scored average, and those units that had less of a range scored below average.

Gravity Drainage

See our article on the same topic to find out why gravity drainage should matter to you.

To determine each dehumidifier’s score for this category we evaluated several features. First we looked at the ease with which you can connect a drain hose for gravity drainage. Some of the units we tested require you to install and connect a separate adapter. Most units feature an easy to access drain port on the back of the unit. All you have to do is remove the cap and connect a hose. It’s really that simple.

Secondly, we looked at whether a separate gravity drain hose was included with the purchase of the dehumidifier and if it was, we measured the length of the included drain hose to determine its usefulness. Some included drain hoses were really short and therefore weren’t nearly as useful. An included drain hose is essentially worthless if you need to drain the dehumidifier a further distance from the dehumidifier than the length of the included drain hose.

Built-in Pump

Those units that included a built-in pump scored better in this category. See the final section of our general buyer’s guide to find out why you might want this functionality. As we note repeatedly throughout our reviews and in our general buyer’s guide, you can purchase a separate condensate removal pump and connect it to units that don’t include a built-in pump to achieve the same functionality.

Extra Features

Temperature Reading

All but one of the dehumidifiers we tested feature either an LED or LCD display. This display shows the ambient air’s relative humidity. It also shows the time when setting the timer, set humidity level when adjusting the desired humidity, etc.

Many of the units we tested featured two separate LED displays. One shows the ambient air’s relative humidity and the other shows the ambient air temperature. Some models don’t feature a separate LED display but still can show the ambient air temperature upon the user pressing a “show temperature” button on the unit’s control panel. Note that most of the units we tested do not show the ambient air temperature but only come equipped with one LED display that shows settings and the ambient air’s relative humidity.

Why should this matter to you? Click here for our discussion of temperature and humidity.

After reading our article on temperature and humidity it should be clear to you why understanding the relationship between temperature and relative humidity and therefore being aware of the ambient air’s temperature in addition to the ambient air’s relative humidity is key in tackling any humidity problem.

Defrost Mode

We discuss defrost mode and its benefits at length at the end of our general buyer’s guide under the section titled “do you require low temperature operation”.

Check Filter Light

All dehumidifiers come equipped with a an air filter that’s positioned behind the unit’s intake fan and in front of its evaporator. The task of the air filter is to remove dust, dirt, and any other airborne particles so that only clean air actually enters the dehumidifier and moves through its internal parts. Most manufacturers suggest that you use either water or a vacuum to clean the unit’s air filter. Note that nearly all dehumidifiers come equipped with a washable air filter (the only exception being the SPT desiccant dehumidifier). You won’t need to replace it like you may have to do for your home’s air conditioning unit.

Most dehumidifiers feature a check filter light that automatically turns on after a certain number of hours of operation (generally about 250 hours). Note that this indicator light doesn’t turn on because a sensor senses that the filter is dirty and needs to be cleaned. It is strictly tied to an internal timer that keeps track of the number of hours that the dehumidifier is actually on and operating. Once the 250 hour or so limit is reached the check filter light turns on. You then clean the filter, replace it, and then you can press the unit’s check filter reset button to reset the timer on the check filter light and also turn off the light itself.

The primary benefit of a check filter indicator light is that you don’t need to keep track of the number of hours your dehumidifier has been operating. The dehumidifier does this work for you. When it determines that a sufficient time period has passed for to warrant the filter’s cleaning the check filter light will automatically turn on. This is definitely a helpful feature but we don’t consider it to be an essential feature. If the dehumidifier you end up buying doesn’t come equipped with a check filter indicator light you will simply have to keep track of how long the dehumidifier has been operating without a filter cleaning. Of course, should you forget or lose track you can always remove the filter and check whether it needs cleaning. The air filter isn’t difficult to remove and replace on most units so checking it is really not a big deal.

Ease of Use

LED Display Clarity

Dehumidifiers come equipped with two different types of control panel displays – LED displays and LCD displays. The vast majority of dehumidifiers feature one or two different 2 digit LED displays. Only the Delonghi units feature a more aesthetically pleasing LCD display. Some of the less expensive 30 pint units feature no display but instead feature mechanical knobs and switches.

We noticed that several units we tested featured less than average quality LED displays. These cheap displays detracted from the dehumidifier’s overall appearance and conveyed the feeling that other parts on the unit may also have been of cheaper lower quality. Keep this in mind as you read our comments on each unit’s LED display clarity.

Setup Difficulty

On some units we felt like it was easier to input settings and have the dehumidifier do what we wanted it to do. On other units we felt like the design and complexity of the user interface made it more difficult to input settings and have the dehumidifier do what we wanted it to do. We comment on any difficulties in setup difficulty in each product review.

Filter Removal Difficulty

As we mentioned above in the extra features section, all dehumidifiers come equipped with an air filter. The filter is removed by sliding it out of the top of the unit, the side of the unit, or the “bottom” of the unit. We found it much easier to remove the air filter on those units that featured top or side slide-out filters. The so called bottom slide-out filters require you to remove the unit’s condensate collection bucket before gaining access to the air filter which does require a little bit more effort.

This really isn’t a very important category for two reasons. One, you won’t have to remove and replace the air filter very frequently. Two, the extra effort in removing a bottom slide-out filter vs a top or side slide-out filter really isn’t that much extra effort to begin with.

Manual Clarity

We read through each dehumidifier’s user manual to determine whether it was clear, cogent, well organized, and easy to follow. Those units with better manuals scored better in this category than those units that had disorganized and/or hard to follow manuals.

Water Tank Size

For our thoughts and considerations on water tank size please see this informational article we wrote on the same topic.

How data was obtained: We obtained all water tank size data from manufacturer specifications and/or applicable online retailers. We did not measure the capacity of each water tank ourselves. This was actually quite unfortunate as many manufacturers do not list water tank capacity with the rest of the applicable unit’s specifications (we only realized this was true after the 30 day test period in which we actually had the units in our possession to measure water tank capacity ourselves).

Aesthetics

You may not care much about what a dehumidifier looks like but we took the time, nonetheless, to give our opinion of each unit’s appearance both from a purely aesthetic standpoint and also from a practical standpoint. We delineate between those units that come with a matte finish and those units that come with a glossy finish. We further discuss each unit’s color, whether it’s a boxed or rounded design, the design of its louvres, and when applicable how each of these features might affect the dehumidifier’s performance from a practical standpoint.

Portability

Weight

A dehumidifier is essentially a modified air conditioner. As such it is composed of many of the same parts as an air conditioner and these parts are heavy. The evaporator is heavy. The compressor is heavy, and so on, making dehumidifiers mobile but heavy appliances.

Should your particular humidity problem require you to move the dehumidifier from one location to another you’ll have two methods to move it by – you can either pick it up by its handles or push it on its casters. Should you need to move the dehumidifier up or down stairs (down into a basement, for instance) or across a surface across which it can’t be pushed on its casters you’ll be limited to the first option – picking it up – and this is where weight really matters.

For a 70 pint unit you’re looking at about 40-47 lb that you’ll need to pick up and move. 50 pint units weigh a little bit less at around 37-40 lb and 30 pint units weigh the least at about 28-34 lb. As you can see there’s quite a bit of variance between the lightest and heaviest units in each size class. If you’re going to be moving your dehumidifier from one location to another frequently look for a unit that is on the lower end of the range for its size class. As we made clear above, dehumidifiers are heavy and the extra 2,3 up to 7 lb of difference in weight really does make a difference. We felt a distinct difference between lifting 40 lb 70 pint units and the heaviest 46 and 47 lb units, for example. Note that lighter units scored better in this category than heavier units.

We also not here that we determined product weight and shipping weight from manufacturer specifications and/or applicable online retailers. We did not weigh the dehumidifiers ourselves.

Handles

All dehumidifiers come equipped with either side pocket handles that are molded into the plastic housing of the dehumidifier and/or a top extendable handle that slides into the top of the housing and can be pulled out when the dehumidifier needs to be picked up and moved.

Nearly all units we tested featured side pocket handles. Only a few units featured a top extendable handle. Even fewer units (only the Frigidaire units) came equipped with both types of handles.

During our testing we were constantly moving dehumidifiers from one location to another. We found that being able to pick up a dehumidifier using a top extendable handle was much, much easier than picking up a unit that had to be picked up using only the side pocket handles. Picking up a dehumidifier by its side handles requires you to bend down and almost hug the dehumidifier to pick it up. Picking it up by a top handle allows you to keep you back straight and use your arms as leverage to pick the dehumidifier up. We strongly advise anyone that will need to move their dehumidifier around frequently to choose a unit equipped with a top extendable handle over a similar unit that does not include this functionality.

Cord Storage

Think about your vacuum cleaner. When you need to use your vacuum you take it out of storage and first unwrap the power cord. When you’re done using the vacuum you wrap the same cord around plastic hooks or any other type of cord storage attachment that the vacuum’s equipped with to allow for organized, compact storage.

You probably won’t be taking your dehumidifier in and out of storage nearly as much as your vacuum. The power cord also isn’t nearly as long on a dehumidifier. For these reasons you may think that you don’t need cord storage and, not surprisingly, you’ll soon see that most manufacturers would agree with you. As you’ll see when you read our reviews the vast majority of dehumidifiers we tested did not feature any type of cord storage. The unit’s power cord would simply be attached to the back of the unit with no place to keep or store it.

So why do you need cord storage? The short answer is, you really don’t need it. However, we found it much, much easier to move around units that did feature this functionality. Think about moving your dehumidifier up or down stairs. First of all, the unit is heavy. Now you have to probably pick it up by its side pocket handles and move it. Only, you can’t just focus on picking up the dehumidifier itself. You have to worry about the power cord dragging behind or you need to make sure that you hold the unit in such a way that you’re holding the power cord also. Trust us. We needed to move around 19 dehumidifiers during our testing and we had to move them around constantly. Those units that had plastic hooks and recessed molding to wrap the power cord around were much, much easier to pick up and move around. All we had to do was wrap the power cord and then we were able to easily move the dehumidifier to the next location as one compact appliance. We didn’t need to worry about the power cord dragging behind and catching onto other objects or having to hold what is a very heavy appliance while holding the power cord at the same time.

If portability is at all a concern for you our recommendation is that you strongly consider a dehumidifier equipped with this functionality. It may seem like a small addition that you won’t really even need to take advantage of, but cord storage really did make a difference in improving portability during our testing.

Quality of Casters

You may be surprised that we included this subcategory in each review. The truth is, we weren’t anticipating including it in our assessment either when we started this project. However, as we unboxed and tested each dehumidifier it became clear that some units were simply easier to move around on their casters than others. Most units were easy to move around – these units have what we call average caster quality. On other units we encountered resistance when pushing them around on their casters on certain surfaces. We note if this is the case in each of our reviews.

Warranty (Manufacturer’s)

You definitely want to make sure that your dehumidifier purchase includes a warranty. Thankfully, almost all of the units we tested do come with a manufacturer’s warranty. A full 1 year warranty on the dehumidifier itself and an extended 2-5 year warranty on the unit’s sealed system is the industry standard. This warranty will cover anything that may go wrong with the dehumidifier within the first year of its life. If you receive a defective unit, you’re covered. If it stops working after a few months, you’re covered, etc. You’re also covered for an additional 4 years if anything should go wrong with the unit’s compressor, condenser, evaporator, tubing, etc. (called the unit’s “sealed system” because none of these parts are exposed to the outside environment). As we mentioned above, this warranty is the industry standard, meaning that most manufacturers include exactly this warranty with these terms and timeframes with their product.

The only other type of warranty that’s available is a full 2 year warranty on ALL parts and an additional 2 and a half year warranty on all plastic parts. This is the warranty that comes with all Danby and ArcticAire units. Even though you lose an additional 3 years of coverage on the unit’s sealed system, you gain a crucial extra year of coverage on the dehumidifier itself. This means that if anything goes wrong with it (ANY part breaks) within the first TWO years, you’re fully covered. Dehumidifiers have a reputation of not being the most reliable appliances. We definitely recommend that you take a good long hard look at the Danby and ArcticAire units if only because they come with this vastly superior warranty. The full extra year of coverage on the entire dehumidifier is really invaluable.

We should mention here that some manufacturers are more lenient than others in actually honoring their warranties. Friedrich, for example, has a reputation for great customer service and we actually read several reports of their honoring their warranties outside of the specified 1 year window. This type of information should also be taken into account as you assess each dehumidifier’s manufacturer’s warranty.

Value

To assess each unit’s value we looked at several factors. First, we looked at its price outright. How expensive was the unit we were evaluating compared to other units in its size class? Next, we compared its price to its features. If it was a more expensive unit, did its additional features justify its price? If it was a less expensive unit, were any features missing because of its lower price? Finally, we tried to compare each unit to similarly priced and similarly rated units. How does this unit compare to another unit that’s only priced $10 more? How does it compare to this unit that also received our recommendation? These are the types of questions we tried to answer as we tried to assess each dehumidifier’s value relative to what the market has to offer at this time.

Comments

  1. Elwood Leach says

    An earlier dehumidifier (2009 vintage)we used had an auto feature which shut down both the compressor and the fans saving power consumption. It would then turn on every 15 or 20 minutes and get an RH reading and shutdown if below the set point. I was not able to find a unit with this feature a few years later. While this function may not suit more severe humidity situations, I found it good for the average use and helpful for spring and fall when humidity was less of a problem. It eliminated the noise nuisance when not required. What are the Pros and Cons for this function and why is it not more available?

Have a question or comment? Let us know below.

Your email address will not be published.