- Excellent consumer feedback indicates unit is very reliable
- Very well constructed and of high quality parts
- Most quiet top exhaust 70 pint dehumidifier we tested
- Larger capacity water tank than most other units in its size class
- Top extendable handle and cord storage – superior portability
- Above average value in this size class
- No defrost mode
- Built-in hygrometer only reads in 5% increments
- Instruction Manual
|Ease of Use
Quick Review Summary
The Frigidaire FAD704DWD is the most popular dehumidifier on the market today. This unit has received more positive feedback from consumers than any other dehumidifier you can buy. Reading through consumer reviews you’ll find one glowing review after another describing how this is the absolute best choice in the 70 pint dehumidifier size class. We are happy to report that our own testing and analysis of this unit back up these claims 100%. The FAD704DWD was an excellent performer in our real world simulated performance tests. It’s is a full sized 70 pint dehumidifier so it can handle even the most demanding residential humidity problems. This unit simply does a great job of doing what a dehumidifier needs to do – it removes moisture from the ambient air quickly and efficiently. And you’d be surprised to find that it does so very quietly. This is one of the most quiet dehumidifiers we tested. Because it’s so quiet, this Frigidaire dehumidifier is an excellent choice should you need to dehumidify a living space where you plan on spending a lot of time such as a living room or bedroom. We also note here that it has one of the largest condensate collection buckets of any of the 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested at 16.3 pints. This means that you’ll have to empty this unit’s bucket and replace it less often than you would for similar units.
Not only will you be removing moisture quickly, quietly, and efficiently, but you’ll be doing so reliably. Many of the dehumidifiers we tested have a high percentage of less than stellar consumer reviews with users commenting on their dehumidifier breaking after a few months of use. Not so with this Frigidaire. You’ll find a much, much lower percentage of negative reviews describing faulty units when skimming through this unit’s consumer reviews. Once again, our own testing and analysis back up these claims. We observed the FAD704DWD to be one of the most well built dehumidifiers we tested. This unit is constructed from superior quality parts and it showed as we tested and compared this unit to 9 other 70 pint units we reviewed. The Frigidaire was in the upper echelon of highly durable solidly constructed dehumidifiers we tested for our reviews. We do not for one second doubt the reliability of this unit and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to even the most skeptical buyer.
Finally, we have to talk about this unit’s value. At about $225 the Frigidaire FAD704DWD is surprisingly affordable for a large capacity 70 pint dehumidifier. Most other 70 pint units we tested retail for at least $240-250. The Frigidaire is a great buy at its price point. For (approx.) $225 you’re getting a full size large capacity dehumidifier that’s going to be able to handle even the toughest most humid conditions in any size indoor living space. We give the FAD704DWD our highest recommendation. You simply can’t go wrong with this dehumidifier. Our full review including an extensive discussion of this unit’s performance in each review category follows below.
Note: we can at times be very critical in our reviews. Scoring poorly in a particular category or subcategory does not make any particular dehumidifier a poor choice overall. As we mentioned in our general buyer’s guide, each dehumidifier we tested had its own set of faults. Not one unit was perfect. Keep this in mind as you read our FAD704DWD review below or any other review we have written.
Performance Test Results
We tested all units at approximately 50% relative humidity for energy usage. While the FAD704DWD tested only average in this category, it wasn’t less energy efficient than the most efficient units by a wide margin. The unit is rated at 745 watts by the manufacturer. At 50% humidity the Frigidaire only drew 632 watts of power compared to 590 watts for the most energy efficient units we tested.
Note that the dehumidifier will draw closer to the manufacturer specified 745 watts of power in higher humidity environments (above 80% RH). At lower humidity, power draw will be less, and the unit should draw power closer to what we measured in our real world test (632 watts).
The bottom line here is that the Frigidaire wasn’t the most energy efficient large capacity dehumidifier we tested. However, the difference between this unit’s power draw and that of the best performing units is marginal at best and this Frigidaire is still a very energy efficient dehumidifier.
The Frigidaire performed really well in all four of our noise output tests. Of the ten 70 pint units we tested, the Frigidaire was the quietest top exhaust fan unit. Three of the ten units we tested had a side exhaust fan while the remaining seven had an exhaust fan at the top of the unit. Those units with side exhaust fans all had lower noise output readings, not because they were the quietest but simply because the exhaust vent was pointing away from where the reading was taken. We get into greater detail regarding this issue here.
In any case, the Frigidaire was generally one of the quietest dehumidifiers we tested. It performed well in both the control panel reading which was taken right next to the unit, and the 10 foot test in which the reading was taken 10 feet from the unit to simulate a real world setting.
Of the ten 70 pint units we tested, the Frigidaire placed 7th in our 90-40% moisture removal test and 5th in our 80-50% moisture removal test. It was about 1 min 30 seconds slower than the best performing units in the first test and about 1 minute slower than the best performing units in the second test. If you require a dehumidifier that removes moisture as quickly as possible we recommend either the Danby or ArcticAire 70 pint units. Note that you may be doing so at the cost of the unit’s longevity and durability as we talk about more below.
Note that the Frigidaire’s average performance in our moisture removal tests does not mean that this unit won’t remove 70 pints of humidity per day or that it won’t perform well in extremely humid conditions. What the tests do show is that it will still remove moisture, just not as quickly as some of the large capacity units we tested. The most likely reason it didn’t perform as well as the Danby and ArcticAire units, specifically, is the fact that the Frigidaire’s fans operate at a lower CFM. The Frigidaire simply pulls air onto its evaporator coils less quickly than the Danby units do. This reduces noise output (and may also increase durability) but also results in less expedient moisture removal.
As we concluded our analysis of each dehumidifier’s performance in this test we noticed a definite relationship between moisture removal rate and durability. Unfortunately, it appears to be an inverse relationship. Those units with the highest moisture removal rates generally have much worse consumer reviews than the Frigidaire. The FAD704DWD (and other units that performed similarly in our moisture removal tests) appears to strike a delicate balance between removing moisture quickly and doing so reliably as is demonstrated by the overwhelmingly positive consumer feedback it has received.
The Frigidaire FAD704DWD was tested to read the ambient air’s humidity level to within 5-6% of the actual room humidity. It is one of only two 70 pint units we tested that read in 5% increments (the other eight 70 pint units read in 1% increments). The Frigidaire’s hygrometer lacks the accuracy of some of the other units we tested but its precision is limited because it can only read in 5% increments.
Included Features, Functionality, Build Quality, Warranties, and Value
The Frigidaire was an average to above average performer in our performance tests. Where it truly shines, however, is in durability, value, features and functionality, all of which we’ll cover in detail below.
Durability (Build Quality)
To assess build quality we look at several factors, the first being whether the unit’s water tank is fitted with a brace. A brace across the top of the water tank makes it much more sturdy when carrying it from the dehumidifier to wherever the bucket is emptied. Most water tanks (also called condensate collection buckets) in the 70 pint size class can hold at least 14 pints of water. This amount of water can be very heavy when being moved from the unit to wherever the condensate is removed. The manufacturer’s decision to include a brace across the top of the tank strongly indicates that build quality was a priority in the design process. This Frigidaire unit does include a brace across the top of the water tank.
Otherwise, we observed this unit to generally be very well constructed. High quality parts were used in the manufacturing of this unit. This was especially true for the unit’s water tank and its control panel. The water tank undergoes the most abuse of any the plastic parts of the dehumidifier. Second to the water tank is the control panel. You’ll constantly be pressing buttons to adjust settings on the unit. Both parts are solidly designed and at least appeared to have above average durability as we tested this unit and compared it to the nine other 70 pint units we tested.
While not necessarily always the case, a more heavy unit can indicate that heavier and more sturdy materials were used in the manufacturing of the dehumidifier. The Frigidaire FAD704DWD was one of the more heavy units we tested. While not definitive in determining whether a dehumidifier is constructed of high quality parts, we generally found those units that were heavier to be better constructed than the lightest units we tested.
Some of the units we tested would move a little on their casters when the compressor on the unit kicked in (what we call “compressor shake”). This Frigidaire unit was one of three 70 pint units we tested that experienced notable compressor shake when the unit’s compressor cycled on.
Perhaps the most important factor when assessing the durability of any dehumidifier is consumer feedback. All of the 19 dehumidifiers we tested worked properly and performed admirably for the 30 days while we were testing them. However, it would be impossible for us to run these units continuously for several months and even several years to test the durability and longevity of the same units over a longer period of time.
To truly assess the durability of these units we look to consumer reviews. Specifically, we look for 1 and 2 star (out of 5) reviews as these normally indicate a defective or broken unit.
The Frigidaire FAD704DWD has the greatest number of total consumer reviews (positive and negative) of any of the units we tested. Of the 968 reviews (at the time of this writing), 108 are 1 or 2 star ratings. While this indicates an approximately 90% success rate, the 10%+ of consumers leaving 1 or 2 star ratings does at first appear to be a high number.
Let’s take a closer look at these numbers. First of all, this unit has reviews from as far back as February, 2013. Many of the dehumidifiers we tested have reviews starting in the summer and fall of 2013, not so long ago. Because the reviews for the FAD704DWD start longer ago there has been more time for things to go wrong with these units. Secondly, the 10% “failure” rate is really not very high compared to most of the dehumidifiers we tested. In fact, most of the 70 pint units we tested (6 of 10) have at least 10% 1 and 2 star ratings. In fact, only the Keystone and the Delonghi have a better ratio of positive to negative reviews than the Frigidaire. Other units either have a higher negative review rate (higher than 10%) or the sample size of reviews for the particular unit is too small for us to compare it to the Frigidaire.
Finally, this unit is the most popular seller and therefore there has been many more of these units shipped out than some of the other dehumidifiers we tested. It is generally true for online reviews that a customer is much more likely to leave a negative review than a positive one as most consumers with a positive experience aren’t nearly as motivated to leave a positive review as those consumers with a negative experience are motivated to leave a negative review. This fact is much more pronounced for more popular items.
Our own observations indicate that the Frigidaire should be a very durable dehumidifier. Unfortunately, we were only able to test this unit for a few weeks and we cannot really rely on our own observations in determining just how durable this unit really is.
Fortunately, we have an abundance of consumer reviews for this unit to draw more reliable conclusions from (no pun intended). As we noted above, only the Keystone and Delonghi units have received a higher percentage of positive reviews than the Frigidaire. The Keystone is the most inexpensive 70 pint dehumidifier we tested and because of its lower price lacks certain features that are present on the Frigidaire. The Delonghi, on the other hand, is the most expensive 70 pint unit we tested, and you probably won’t consider it as a buying option unless you need a unit with a built-in pump.
The bottom line here is that the Frigidaire is the best reviewed all around best performing 70 pint dehumidifier we tested. For this reason we give this unit a perfect 5/5 for durability.
Like eight other (of ten total) 70 pint units we tested, the Frigidaire only allows you to adjust the desired humidity level in 5% increments.
Like half of the 70 pint units we tested, the FAD704DWD allows you to set both a delayed start and a delayed stop in half hour increments up to 10 hours and then in 1 hour increments from 11 hours up to 24 hours. We found it interesting that so many of the 70 pint units we tested had this same limitation on the timer – half hour increments only up to 10 hours then 1 hour increments up to 24 hours – until we realized that these same units can only show 2 digits on their LED displays. Of course, half hour increments can be displayed in 2 digits up to 9.5 hours (e.g. 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 … 8.5, 9.0, 9.5). After 10 hours, however, displaying the time in half hour increments would require three digits (e.g. 10.5, 11.5, etc.). Thus, the fact that you can only set the timer in 1 hour increments after 10 hours isn’t an arbitrary decision by the manufacturer, but rather a result of the manufacturer’s decision to use only a 2 digit LED display for the dehumidifier.
We should note here that the other half of the 70 pint units we tested only allow you to set the timer in 1 hour increments up to 24 hours (they also had 2 digit LED displays so here the lack of half hour increments was in fact arbitrary), so if setting a more exact time delay under 10 hours is important to you, then the Frigidaire (and the other five units with timers that can be set in half hour increments up to 10 hours) should rate above average for you in this particular category.
Number of Fan Speeds
Like eight other 70 pint units we tested, the Frigidaire offers only two fan speeds, high and low. Only the GE ADEL70LR offers more than two fan speeds in the 70 pint category (it offers high, low and medium fan speed settings).
The Frigidaire offers a continuous mode, which can be a very helpful and is a fairly common feature in larger size dehumidifiers. Normally, you would set a desired humidity level and fan speed and then the unit’s compressor will shut off when it reaches this desired level. In this mode the unit will operate continuously, regardless of the ambient air’s humidity level and you do not set a desired humidity level.
The Frigidaire does not include an auto mode (what we consider to be a much less useful mode as we explain further here).
Overall Category Score
The FAD704DWD offers standard humidistat settings and an above average timer. It also features a continuous mode, which can be very helpful in certain situations. We give the Frigidaire a 4/5 for adjustability.
Set Humidity Range
The FAD704DWD can be set to a desired humidity level as low as 35% and as high as 85%. While there are many units in this size class that offer a slightly less limited set humidity range (the Danby Premiere Pro can be set to from 30% to 90%, for example), 35% to 85% is really all that you’re going to need for most humidity problems for several reasons.
First of all, we recommend a humidity level between 40% and 60% for a healthy living environment. 35% is already below this healthy range. The only reason why you would set the unit to 35% is to achieve 40% relative humidity comfortably and consistently (we discuss this nuance in greater detail here). Additionally, setting the desired humidity level above 85% is just not something you’re likely to do. Only in the most extreme and unique cases might you want to set the desired humidity level to 90% instead of 85%. Thus, while we can only give this unit an average rating for this particular feature, the vast majority of consumers will find the Frigidaire’s set humidity range more than adequate for any particular application.
Operating Temperature Range
Frigidaire recommends that the unit only be used in temperatures ranging from 41° F to 96° F. Again, only in extreme cases will you require a unit that can work outside of these restrictions. Additionally, this temperature range is pretty much standard for all the dehumidifiers we tested. Many, in fact, have a somewhat more limited range (42.8 to 95 is another common range).
Dehumidifiers normally collect water in a condensate collection bucket that fits into the actual dehumidifier. When the bucket fills up the unit automatically shuts off until you remove the bucket, empty it by removing the collected condensate (water), and place the bucket back into the dehumidifier. To avoid having to constantly empty and replace a condensate collection bucket, all dehumidifiers include an external drainage option which involves attaching a hose to the back or side of the unit. The condensate is then drained through the hose instead of accumulating in the condensate collection bucket. This type of drainage is called gravity drainage, since the hose must be placed below where it exits from the dehumidifier so that gravity can do the work of draining the water from the dehumidifier into an external drain.
You will not find a gravity drain hose included with your purchase of the Frigidaire FAD704DWD. You will need to supply your own standard garden hose to attach to the gravity drain port on the back of this unit. Doing so has its benefits as you can decide how long you want the hose to be and what quality you want the hose to be (most of the drain hoses included with other units are made of cheap thin corrugated plastic).
We note here that a few of the 70 pint dehumidifiers we tested included a gravity drain hose with the unit. While this is a nice addition, it also comes with a few negatives. First of all, the included hose has a set length and if you need the unit to drain further than the hose length you’ll need to buy a separate hose anyway. Secondly, most units that offer an included gravity hose are also more expensive than those that do not include a hose (such as this Frigidaire unit).
Three of the ten 70 pint units we tested also include a built-in pump which allows you drain the unit to a location that is at a higher elevation than the dehumidifier’s location. This functionality does come with a price, however, as you will need to spend at least $250 for a dehumidifier with a built-in pump.
This Frigidaire unit does not include a built-in pump. You will need to purchase a condensate pump separately should you require this functionality. Read more about our thoughts about this type of set-up in our discussion of pump drainage in our general buyer’s guide.
Overall Category Score
While the Frigidaire offers only an average set humidity range, it should prove to be more than adequate for the majority of residential applications. The Frigidaire does offer a slightly above average operating temperature range. A gravity drainage hose is not included and the unit also does not offer a built-in pump. Because the unit’s average set humidity range and lack of an included gravity drain hose are really not negatives as we have explained above, we give this unit a perfect 5/5 for versatility (we do not deduct points for a lack of a built-in pump, either, as this is a special type of functionality not found on most 70 pint dehumidifiers).
Many of the 70 and 50 pint units we tested displayed room temperature in addition to ambient air humidity either on a separate LED display or on the same display which showed the humidity by pressing a “show temperature” button. The Frigidaire does not have a separate display or a button that you can press to show temperature readings.
Many of the units we tested also featured a defrost mode. At lower temperatures frost can accumulate on the unit’s evaporator coils. When this happens, defrost mode is activated on units with this added functionality. In this mode the unit’s fans continue to run to melt the frost and the compressor is shut off. Once the frost is melted the unit resumes normal operation.
This Frigidaire unit does not offer a defrost mode.
The check filter light will turn on when the dehumidifier’s filter needs to be cleaned. Some units do not include this light – you will need to keep track of how long the unit has been operating. This is definitely a helpful feature and it is included with the Frigidaire FAD704DWD.
Overall Category Score
The Frigidaire loses points for not having a defrost mode or a separate temperature display. It does include a check filter light. The FAD704DWD scores slightly below average in this category at 3/5.
Ease of Use
To determine the ease of using any particular dehumidifier we take several factors into consideration namely, LED display clarity, setup difficulty, filter removal difficulty, manual clarity, and most importantly tank size.
LED Display Clarity
This unit’s LED display was what can best be described as dull and fuzzy. Take a look at our video review for a better idea of why we describe the display this way. We have to rate the LED display clarity below average for this unit.
Due to the simplicity of the display, it was very easy to set the desired humidity level and timer. This unit scores above average in this subcategory.
Filter Removal Difficulty
Bottom Slide-Out – the water tank needs to be removed to access the filter for removal. Some of the units we tested allow you to remove the filter through the top or side of the unit which reduces filter removal difficulty. Filter removal isn’t something that needs to be done often, however, so we don’t weigh this subcategory in the overall category score.
This model’s manual was very clear and well organized – above average.
Water Tank Size
This is easily the most important “ease of use” attribute. At 16.3 pints, the Frigidaire has one of the larger condensate collection buckets of the 70 pint units we tested. Bucket size ranges from about 14-17 pints in the 70 pint size class. The Frigidaire’s 16.3 pint water tank is an above average tank size.
Overall Category Score
Although the Frigidaire’s LED display isn’t one of the better displays we saw in the 70 pint class, it is still acceptable and gets the job done. The unit’s filter removal difficulty is average, it’s manual clarity is above average, and the water tank size is well above average. The Frigidaire scores a 4.5/5 in this category. It loses half a point for the LED display.
Definitely our most subjective category – our score for aesthetics does not affect the overall score for the dehumidifier. With that in mind what we can tell you is that this unit features a more rounded design than most of the other 70 pint units on the market (other units have a more square design). The front grille has holes to let in air instead of ventilation slits (“louvres”) like most other large capacity units we tested.
The FAD704DWD has a matte white finish. We definitely prefer units with matte finishes over those with glossy finishes as the former is much less likely to attract dust and dirt particles. Finally, the Frigidaire logo on the handle, the unit’s control panel, really the entire overall design of the unit is very professional. We give this unit a 4.5/5 for aesthetics which is well above average.
The FAD704DWD weighs in at 46 lb. It is the 8th heaviest 70 pint dehumidifier of the ten 70 pint units we tested. Compare the Frigidaire at 46 lb to the lightest units in the 70 pint category which weigh 40 lb and the heaviest 70 pint unit we tested, the Friedrich D70BP, which weighs only 1 lb more at 47 lb.
We note here that we felt compelled to knock half a point off of the Frigidaire’s portability score due to the fact that it is one of the heavier 70 pint units we tested. The extra 5 pounds (compared to the lightest 70 pint units) to carry or push (should you need to move the unit from one location to another) doesn’t sound like much but it really does make a difference if you will need to do so frequently (as we had to while testing this unit’s performance).
We also find it appropriate to note here that the Frigidaire’s shipping weight of 47.8 lb isn’t much more than its actual weight of 47 lb. This isn’t true for all units we tested. Many had a shipping weight much greater than the actual unit’s weight which increases shipping costs should you buy the dehumidifier online. This won’t be the case for the Frigidaire.
This is where the Frigidaire truly shines as far as portability is concerned. This dehumidifier has both a top extendable handle and side pocket handles which make it much easier to carry and move around than most other large capacity units that do not offer this extra functionality (making up for its extra weight). All other 70 pint units we tested had a top handle or side handles, not both. In fact, of the 19 dehumidifiers we tested, only the Frigidaire 70 and 50 pint units had both a top extendable handle and side pocket handles.
Again, the Frigidaire outperforms the competition. Not only does it include cord storage but we’ve rated it as having above average cord storage capabilities for several reasons. First of all, only four of the ten 70 pint units we tested actually come equipped with cord storage. Secondly, only the Frigidaire and the Whirlpool units are rated above average in this category because they offer built in plastic hooks to wrap the power cord around. The two other 70 pint units that offer cord storage only include a plastic strap to loosely hold the power cord.
Note that the majority of the 19 units we tested (13 of the 19) do not offer cord storage.
Why do we care so much about cord storage?
In preparation for our reviews, 19 dehumidifiers were constantly being moved around for different performance tests. Moving around units that had cord storage was much easier than moving around units that had the cord dragging behind with nowhere to keep it in or on the unit. If your humidity problem is such that it requires that the unit be moved around a lot, not being able to wrap the power cord up neatly on the unit can become a headache much quicker than you might think. We highly recommend a unit that offers cord storage such as this Frigidaire if you are going to be moving around your dehumidifier and not just keeping it one place.
Of course, being able to neatly store the power cord is also a plus if you’re going to be storing the unit for long periods of time (if you’re only using the dehumidifier seasonally, for example). A dehumidifier equipped with cord storage functionality such as this Frigidaire can be neatly stored with its power cord stored in the unit, instead of laying it next to it or on it, where it can get caught up by other objects you may be storing – a small detail we know, but this may be a factor that distinguishes this unit from another should you be comparing it to a similar 70 pint unit.
Quality of Casters
During our testing we noted that some of the dehumidifiers were easier to move around on their casters than others. Some would exhibit some drag when being moved around. Unfortunately, the Frigidaire was one of only two units (the other being the Friedrich) that exhibited this “caster drag” when being moved around. When moving the dehumidifier around on a flat surface we expect it to easily roll around on its casters. Most units had no problem doing so. However, this Frigidaire dragged its casters around in some movements. While this issue wasn’t really of too much of a concern for us (we were still able to move the unit on its casters) we felt it necessary to at least mention it here.
Overall Category Score
The Frigidaire FAD704DWD earns an above average 4/5 in the portability category. We have to dock half a point for the caster issue and another half point because this unit is heavier than the majority of dehumidifiers in the 70 pint category. However, don’t let these negatives mislead you into thinking that this unit isn’t portable. The fact that the Frigidaire has both a top extendable handle and side handles in addition to excellent cord storage, makes it one of the most portable units on the market in the 70 pint category.
Nine of the ten 70 pint units we tested come with a manufacturer’s warranty. The standard industry warranty is one year on the entire unit and two to five years on the sealed system (the compressor, condenser, evaporator and tubing). The Frigidaire comes with this standard industry warranty and therefore receives an average rating for this category.
The only units we tested that included better warranties in the 70 pint category were the Danby and ArcticAire units. Both come with a 2 year warranty on all parts (vs 1 year for the Frigidaire) and 2.5 years on plastic parts.
The FAD704DWD has a street price of about $225. It is the third most inexpensive 70 pint unit we tested. Only the Keystone (approx. $190) and Haier (approx. $200) units are less expensive. All things considered, this model is an above average value, although we believe it has just the right price for what it offers.
The Frigidaire comes highly recommended as a great buy if you’re looking to purchase a 70 pint dehumidifier and do not require pump drainage. If you require this functionality we still recommend the Frigidaire but you will need to purchase a condensate pump and applicable hosing and adapters separately to install on the unit.
The FAD704DWD is most often compared to the Keystone KSTAD70B as consumers look to find an affordably priced reliable large capacity dehumidifier to take care of their humidity problems. For a complete write-up comparing these two units click here. If you’re looking to purchase a 70 pint dehumidifier under (approx.) $230 you really can’t go wrong with either one of these units. We also recommend the Danby and ArcticAire 70 pint units as possible options, should you require particular features or functionality not found on the Frigidaire or Keystone and you’re able to spend a little bit more on your purchase. For a much more complete comparison of the Frigidaire to other 70 pint dehumidifiers on the market, see our 70 pint dehumidifier buyer’s guide.