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Dehumidifier Reviews

By: Carl Laron on July 20, 2017

Editor's Note:
Experts say that you should buy the largest portable dehumidifier you can, and among 70-pint models, the Frigidaire brand rates best. For a closet or a gun safe, the Eva-Dry Mini works surprisingly well. Need something bigger still for a whole basement or a whole house? The Santa Fe Advance 2 is a slam dunk.

Frigidaire FAD704DWD Review
Best Reviewed
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

Best dehumidifier

The 70-Pint Frigidaire FAD704DWD dehumidifier is a top choice among both experts and users. It's got a large capacity container, which means it has to be emptied less often than some competing models, as well as a convenient hose connection for those who want to send the collected water directly down a drain. Reviewers agree that it is well built and generally reliable. It's also a quiet worker, though some models are a touch quieter still. See our full review »

Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 Review
Runners Up
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"

Portable dehumidifier

The Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 is an excellent alternative to the Frigidaire FAD704DWD, and might be an even better choice in some settings. That's because it's a tad quieter than our Best Reviewed pick, yet every bit as effective in removing moisture from the air. However, its 20 percent smaller collection bucket means more frequent emptying. It's a newer model than the FAD704DWD, but it's been around long enough now to have amassed a great track record of its own.

Buy for $236.49
Keystone KSTAD50B Review
Runners Up
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

If your budget is a concern, and a smaller capacity dehumidifier will do for your situation, the Keystone KSTAD50B is a terrific alternative. 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.

Buy for $169.00
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 Eva-Dry can be recharged as often as necessary, but allow some time for the recharging process. See our full review »

Buy for $14.97
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 an optional pump to get rid of the condensate. See our full review »

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 50 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.

A dehumidifier uses a fan to blow humid air over a set of chilled coils. This condenses the moisture in the air into water, which is then drained into a collecting basin or hose. The air that returns to the room is both drier and warmer.

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.

Where, oh where does the water go?

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, but reviews for current pump-equipped portable dehumidifiers are lackluster. Instead, most suggest buying a top-rated portable dehumidifier and adding a separate condensate pump.

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.

Has your dehumidifier been recalled?

It's not much of a secret that the vast majority of portable dehumidifiers are made by a single manufacturer, Midea. There's some good in that. For one, testing reveals that most Midea-made dehumidifiers do a pretty good job of wringing moisture out of the air. To be sure, there are some notable differences in the supporting electronics, overall build quality, venting scheme and other factors that could make one a better choice over another, but at the end of the day, most are good to great performers when it comes to getting a room dry.

Another plus is that, overall, the reliability of dehumidifiers in recent years is much improved over earlier models, when our research found that dehumidifiers were among the least-liked home appliances among consumers. Among other things, reports of units that quit working prematurely -- often just after the maker's warranty had expired -- were quite commonplace. While reliability complaints are certainly not unheard of today, the norm has become units that hold up well over time.

But there's some bad, too. Most notably, when something goes wrong, it goes really wrong for a lot of dehumidifier owners. In November, 2016, Midea recalled around 3.4 million dehumidifiers sold in the U.S. between 2003 and 2013. The recall covers a number of brands, big and small, including Frigidaire, GE, Danby, Honeywell, Kenmore, SPT, etc., etc, etc. No one has been injured, but the company had received reports of nearly 40 incidents of Midea-made dehumidifiers overheating and catching fire, causing nearly $5 million in property damage. The company is offering affected consumers either a replacement unit or a partial refund. More information can be found at this web site.

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 ConsumerReports.org, TheSweehome.com and DehumidifiersBuyersGuide.com. These three 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, as noted above, reliability has 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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