Dehumidifiers come in various sizes, but some are better suited for use in a basement or typical living area than others due to noise and other factors. The highly rated Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier FAD704DUD (*Est. $250) is super-quiet, according to owners, and performs well in temperatures as low as 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It can remove up to 8.75 gallons of excess moisture from the air daily in spaces up to 1,400 square feet. The humidistat can be set between 35 and 80 percent relative humidity, although some owners complain that it's not very accurate because the sensor is located within the unit and seems to be affected by the wet coils inside the housing.
If you're looking for a smaller-capacity dehumidifier, the Frigidaire 50-Pint Dehumidifier FAD504DUD (Est. $200) also earns positive feedback from both professional reviewers and owners. This model, the sibling to the larger Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier FAD704DUD, can remove up to 50 pints of excess water per day, or about 6.25 gallons.
Like the larger model, the Frigidaire 50-Pint FAD504DUD shuts off automatically when the water container is full; it also has a full-container indicator and an auto-restart feature that will turn the unit back on after a power interruption. If you intend to use a dehumidifier in a smaller or less humid space, this 50-pint model performs equally as well as its larger counterpart and both are Energy Star-rated appliances.
The Santa Fe Advance2 (Est. $1,350) is a versatile dehumidifier that can be used in crawl spaces or as a stand-alone unit in a basement or other room with high humidity. Because the unit has a low profile, it fits in spaces where standard dehumidifiers won't. The moisture can be drained in a few different ways, and an optional duct kit makes it possible to access tight spaces where the unit itself may not fit.
The Santa Fe Advance2 is an updated version of the well-reviewed Santa Fe Advance (Est. $1,350) , with a powder-coated steel housing, quieter operation, and improved airflow and efficiency thanks to dual exhaust vents. Otherwise, the two models are similar, sharing the same energy factor of 2.88, which is higher than most other indoor dehumidifiers. Another advantage: The Santa Fe Advance2 is 6 inches narrower than the Santa Fe Advance, measuring just 26 inches wide.
The Advance2 will work in areas with temperatures as low as 49 degrees Fahrenheit and in spaces up to 2,200 square feet, maintaining relative humidity levels of about 50 percent and removing up to 90 pints of water in a 24-hour period. If you'll be using this model in a crawl space and want to configure it via ductwork, it may require the help of a professional HVAC installer. It is expensive, but both professional review sources and owners say it's worth the cost.
Another Santa Fe model, the Santa Fe Classic (*Est. $1,600) , can also be used for crawl spaces with its optional ductwork attachment. However, the Classic doesn't have a low profile like the Advance, so it won't fit in as many small areas. The Santa Fe Classic can be used to remove excess moisture from areas up to 3,000 square feet, so it might be a better buy if you have a large, open basement. The Santa Fe Classic can remove up to 110 pints of excess moisture from the air.
Both the Santa Fe Classic and Santa Fe Advance are heavy, weighing 110 pounds and 67 pounds, respectively, so these units aren't ideal if you'll need to move them around frequently. Rolling casters help, owners say, although it's not practical for moving from room to room each day. For permanent or semi-permanent use in large areas, however, the Santa Fe models will serve you well.
A large dehumidifier isn't practical for a small, enclosed space, such as a bathroom. The Eva-Dry Renewable E-333 Wireless Mini Dehumidifier (Est. $25) solves that problem – it's a lightweight unit that can be hung in a closet or placed in a corner. It requires no batteries or electricity to operate; however, it must be plugged in to recharge, which typically takes between eight and 12 hours.
The Eva-Dry Mini Dehumidifier doesn't use fans or blowers for operation. Instead, it relies on specially designed silica crystals – they're blue when dry and turn pink when they've absorbed as much moisture as they can hold. Plugging in the unit releases moisture from the crystals, allowing the unit to be used again with no filters or crystals to replace.
The Eva-Dry E-333 will remove about 6 ounces of excess moisture before it needs recharging. The amount of time it takes to reach capacity depends on the size and humidity levels in your space, although reviews generally indicate that it takes between 20 and 30 days to reach capacity. Professional reviews praise this mini dehumidifier for its effectiveness at reducing mold and mildew growth on towels, clothing and other items exposed to moisture in poorly ventilated bathrooms and closets.