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Dehumidifier Reviews

By: Carl Laron on June 26, 2018

Editor's Note:
Reviews again point to Frigidaire as the very best room-sized portable dehumidifiers. Need something for a basement or a whole house? Santa Fe dehumidifiers are a slam dunk. For small spaces -- a closet, safe, or powder room, for example, the Eva-Dry Mini works surprisingly well.

Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity -- 70 pints per day Bucket size -- 13.1 pints Dimensions (h,w,d) -- 24-7/16" x 15" x 11-5/8"

Best dehumidifier

The 70-Pint Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 dehumidifier is a top choice among both experts and users. Its sleek styling and relatively quiet operation are major pluses for those that need a dehumidifier for a living room, bedroom or other living spaces. All experts agree that it's a top performer when it comes to removing moisture from the air. The collection bucket is a little smaller than on some competing dehumidifiers, which means easier but more frequent emptying.  There's a hose connection, as well. See our full review »

Frigidaire FAD704DWD Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Capacity -- 70 pints per day Bucket size -- 16.3 pints Dimensions (h,w,d) -- 24 3/4" x 16 1/8" x 11 5/16

Portable dehumidifier

The 70-pint Frigidaire FAD704DWD also draws kudos as a top portable dehumidifier. It's ideal for use in most basements and, being portable, can be moved to other rooms as needed. The 16.3-pint collection bucket can be a chore to empty, but it's larger than typical size means you'll need to do so less often. There's also a convenient hose connection for those who want to send the collected water directly down a drain. Feedback reveals that it is well built and generally reliable.

Keystone KSTAD50B Review
Also Consider
Specs that Matter Capacity -- 50 pints per day Bucket size -- 10.4 pints Dimensions (h,w,d) -- 23.2" x 15.4" x 10.8"

Budget 50-pint dehumidifier

Keystone KSTAD50B

If your budget is a concern, and a smaller capacity dehumidifier will do for your situation, the Keystone KSTAD50B is a terrific choice. Performance compares well to other 50-pint dehumidifiers, but it can't handle as big a space, or dehumidify as quickly, as the best 70-pint models. Some experts fret a little about build quality, but this Keystone has put together a good track record with users. Other than capacity, minuses are scarce, though continuous draining requires installing a finicky hose adapter.

Eva-Dry Renewable E-333 Wireless Mini Dehumidifier Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity -- 6 ounces over 20-30 days Room size -- Up to 333 cubic feet Dimensions (h,w,d) -- 4.75" x 6.25" x 1.25"

Best mini dehumidifier

For small spaces with poor ventilation, such as bathrooms, closets and cabinets, the Eva-Dry Renewable E-333 Wireless Mini Dehumidifier can't be beat. It absorbs up to six ounces of water using crystallized silicon and requires no batteries or electricity to operate, which also means it's completely silent while in use. The crystals need to be "renewed" periodically by plugging the dehumidifier into an outlet. It's a process that can take some time, but can be repeated as often as necessary. See our full review »

Santa Fe Advance2 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity -- 90 pints per day Bucket size -- N/A (continuous drain) Dimensions (h,w,d) -- 19.4" x 26" x 14.5"

Best basement dehumidifier

With its compact size and robust moisture-removing capacity, the Santa Fe Advance2 is an ideal humidifier for unfinished crawlspaces and basements. With the addition of an optional ducting kit, the Advance2 can also be tied to your existing central air conditioning or forced-air heating system to dehumidify your whole house. There's no bucket to deal with, but you'll need a nearby drain or budget extra for an optional pump to get rid of the condensate. See our full review »

Types of Dehumidifiers

Portable Dehumidifiers

When shopping for a dehumidifier, most homeowners will opt for a portable model. Rated to remove up to 70 pints of moisture per day, these models are perfect for rooms of various sizes and even small basements. Though they can get quite heavy, many feature casters or carry handles to make it easier to move from one room to another. They also feature collection containers to capture the water wrung out of the air so a plumbing hookup isn't a concern -- unless you want it to be (see below).

Whole House Dehumidifiers

Portable dehumidifiers designed to be used in a single room generally have a capacity in the range of 30 to 70 pints per day. Models designed to dehumidify an entire basement or a whole house can remove more moisture -- some can wring out more than 100 pints per day -- and are equipped with more powerful fans so that they are effective over a larger area. While any homeowner can install a portable or basement dehumidifier, a whole-house dehumidifier installation is more complex. Experts say that if you are contemplating a whole house system, installation is best handled by a qualified HVAC contractor.

Dehumidifiers improve air quality

Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air in basements, crawl spaces, storage areas, and from homes without air conditioning. A relative humidity above 50 percent makes a home's environment feel uncomfortable and can promote the growth of allergy-triggering mold and mildew. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that the ideal humidity range is between 30 and 60 percent. While dehumidifiers are often thought of as a summertime appliance, they should be used year-round to keep humidity in check to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Where, oh where does the water go?

A dehumidifier uses a fan to blow humid air over a set of chilled coils. This condenses the moisture in the air into water, with the result being that the air that returns to the room is both drier and warmer.

But what about the water? Portable dehumidifiers have a container to collect the condensed water, which needs to be emptied by hand. When the container is full, the unit will automatically turn off until the container is emptied. Though larger containers are heavier when full, experts generally say that units with large containers are preferable because they don't have to be emptied as often.

Larger basement and whole house dehumidifiers typically lack collection buckets and have to be connected to a drain via a hose. Most rely on gravity to drain, but some have optional pumps that can be purchased as an accessory.

Many portable dehumidifiers also offer a hose hookup that allows you to connect a hose to a floor drain, using gravity to empty the condensed water continuously. Some models are also equipped with a pump to expel the water into to a sink or out a basement window. While most experts suggest that buying a top-rated portable dehumidifier and adding a separate condensate pump is a better, more economical way to go, not all users agree.

Air conditioners also remove humidity from the air, though some are better in that regard than others. Some window air conditioners have a special dehumidifier mode that will reduce humidity without cooling. See our air conditioners report for more information. Central air conditioning systems, with or without dehumidifier modules, are also effective whole-house solutions. See our report on central air conditioner systems for some suggestions.

Finding The Best Dehumidifiers
Our Sources
"Dehumidifiers"
"Best Dehumidifiers for Basements, Crawl Spaces, and Other Damp Areas"
"Top Rated Dehumidifiers"

To identify the best portable dehumidifiers, editors evaluated reviews from experts such as Consumer Reports, Wirecutter, Your Best Digs and Dehumidifier Buyer's Guide. These reviewers -- unlike what we saw elsewhere -- offer quality research, and well-explained and appropriate hands-on testing. Expert reviews for whole-house dehumidifiers are hard to find, but HVAC-For-Beginners.com offers a professional HVAC contractor's take on the top brands -- though not models -- to consider.

To complete the picture, we also looked at thousands of owner-reviews at retail websites -- particularly important in the case of dehumidifiers since reliability had been a sore spot in past years. We considered performance, ease of use, noise and reliability in evaluating models. The end result are our picks for the best portable and whole house dehumidifiers.

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Dehumidifiers buying guide

What every best Dehumidifiers has:

  • Large capacity.
  • Ample collection container.
  • Multiple fan speeds.

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