Dehumidifiers: Ratings of Sources
ConsumerReports.org evaluates 29 small-, medium and large-capacity dehumidifiers. Editors rate humidistat accuracy, energy efficiency, noise level and how well the dehumidifier performs in a cool room. Models are ranked against others with similar capacity and Recommended and Best Buy dehumidifiers are named.
The anonymous nature of this site gives us pause, but digging in deeper reveals DehumidifiersBuyersGuide.com to be one of the better dehumidifier review sites on the web. Testing is hands on and the methodology and rationale behind the tests are described in excellent detail. The individual reviews are even more detailed, with performance, usability, portability, durability and more given attention. Dehumidifiers are organized by capacity and top performers -- and in some cases, models to avoid -- are named.
While we can't be sure that TopTenReviews.com performs any hands-on testing, these reviews do a good job assessing the pluses and minuses of several dehumidifiers and putting features and functions (including those that are missing) into context. An overall rating is provided, as are sub ratings for performance, features, energy efficiency and design. Ten dehumidifiers are reviewed; one is named a Gold Award Winner.
AllergyBuyersClub.com offers a wide selection of dehumidifiers for consumers who suffer from allergies. Anonymous expert reviewers rate each dehumidifier on various factors, including moisture removal, noise level, operation in low temperatures, drainage, and energy use. However, it is not clear whether the dehumidifiers have been subjected to any hands-on testing. Reviews from owners are also available on this site; while most dehumidifiers have only a handful of reviews, a few get considerable feedback.
Amazon.com is a good source for reviews on a wide variety of dehumidifier brands. Many models have accumulated at least some feedback, while others have received hundreds or reviews, and in some cases thousands. Among the latter, the Frigidaire FAD704DWD looks like a standout with over 5,500 reviews and good scores overall -- 4.3 stars.
A former HVAC service technician and contractor offers his opinions on the various brands of whole-house dehumidifiers, but specific models are not addressed. Santa Fe dehumidifiers are singled out as the very best, though several other brands rate just as highly.
HomeDepot.com lists nearly 80 models of dehumidifiers. Many get some feedback, others get dozens or even hundreds of reviews, though those also include reviews originally posted at the manufacturer's website. In addition to an overall rating, reviewers leave sub ratings for quality and value, and say whether or not they would recommend their dehumidifier to a friend.
BestBuy.com is another good destination for user reviews of dehumidifiers. We see less feedback here than at some other sites, but feedback and ratings from BestBuy.com users is presented separately from any reviews from manufacturers and are unique to the site. More than 50 models are listed.
AchooAllergy.com, an online retailer of allergy, asthma and sinus-relief products, sells several brands of dehumidifiers. Experts at the site have reviewed some of these models and discuss their pros and cons on the site, but they do not make any specific recommendations. Users can also leave feedback, but most models only draw a few comments, and many have no user reviews at all.
Sylvane.com, an online retailer of air-quality products, sells many brands of dehumidifiers and allows users to leave reviews. Most models don't receive much feedback, but a few get dozens of reviews and some amass well over 100.
A number of dehumidifiers sold at Walmart.com have accumulated a few dozen reviews or more, and some have received feedback from more than 100, or even thousands of users. Several Frigidaire models stand out with high satisfaction and lots of reviews.
Sears.com is another retailer site with lots of dehumidifiers and many user reviews. However, while there are more than 500 models listed, only a little more than a dozen are sold by Sears itself. As is the norm, reviews include those from Sears.com users as well as those posted at manufacturer sites in some cases. One exception is Kenmore dehumidifiers, which is the Sears house brand. If you are considering a Kenmore dehumidifier, that makes Sears.com a must-see stop for user feedback on reliability, usability and other factors.
This online retailer specializes in large-capacity dehumidifiers than can remove moisture from a whole house, large basement or crawl space. The Santa Fe Classic, a basement and whole-house dehumidifier with a capacity of 110 pints per day, receives a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 from more than 145 owners. Other models also earn positive ratings but have accumulated fewer reviews. The site also has a FAQ section discussing the benefits of whole-house dehumidifiers and how they stack up against the less expensive portable models.
Lowes.com has fewer dehumidifiers listed than most other retailers -- just 17 models on our last visit. Some get little or no feedback, others get more than a hundred, and one Frigidaire model draws more than 1,500. However, like many other retailers, feedback is drawn from manufacturer's sites as well as this site's own users.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency measures dehumidifier efficiency in liters of water removed per kilowatt-hour of energy consumed. Dehumidifiers that are Energy Star-qualified must be 15 percent more efficient than models with a comparable capacity. The site provides a searchable list of all humidifiers that meet Energy Star requirements. You can also find helpful buying guidance and some suggestions on other ways to reduce humidity in the home.