For those of us living in humid or rainy areas, that extra moisture can spell trouble. From sweat and ruined food to asthma, dehumidifiers help solve your problems by drawing water out of the air. They’re primarily used for three things — comfort, health and safety, and specific work projects.
Comfort is, of course, subjective. If you don’t like much humidity, you may want a dehumidifier on all the time, or at least every night. When it comes to health, humidity levels above 50 percent tend to create problems with mildew, mold, and dust mites, so keeping humidity below those levels is very important. Work projects typically use dehumidifiers to dry out areas or products for construction and installation, with codified requirements for commercial humidifiers. For most people, however, a consumer model will work just fine.
When looking at dehumidifiers, there’s two important specifications to consider — pints and cubic feet. A quick rundown on these measurements is helpful when shopping:
- Pints: You’ll usually notice a product marketed as a “70-pint” or “50-pint” dehumidifier. That does not refer to how much the reservoir can hold, or how large the product is. Instead, this pint measurements refer to how much water a dehumidifier can move, on average, during a full day of work. While this is partially related to size, it’s also a measure of efficiency.
- Cubic Feet: The cubic feet measurement refers to the space that the dehumidifier was designed for. Some units may only be suited for small spaces or single rooms. Others may be designed for warehouses or entire homes. The other specs — like pints — rely on proper placement.
We’ve picked out the top models for a variety of purposes below, so let’s take a look!
Frigidaire FFAD5033R1 ($199+)
Frigidaire has a lot of dehumidifiers on the market, but this particular model hits all the sweet spots with very few downsides. It’s Energy Star rated to help you save money, and can remove up to 50 pints of water from your home each day to cut down on moisture. The tank itself can hold around 13 pints, and has pullout and splashguard features to make getting rid of the water much easier. There are also connections so that you can hook the model up to a drain for continuous operation – more suitable for workplaces or trailers. The electronic controls include a digital humidity reading, a timer for setting schedules, and other basic modes. We aren’t overlooking the design, either: This dehumidifier skips the common radiator-like design for a smoother, friendlier appearance that we appreciate.
With this Frigidaire, you can do a little of everything, residential or commercial. It also comes in a more powerful 70-pint size if you are willing to pay more for more results.
Comfort Aire BHD701 ($218)
The secret to this Comfort Aire model’s success is in all the automation. If you want a dehumidifier that you can set up and then forget while it does everything on its own, this is an excellent choice. First, the hefty 70-pint dehumidifier comes with automatic defrost, which shuts the unit off if it senses that the coil is starting to freeze up. A frozen coil makes it very difficult for a dehumidifier to do its job, drastically lowering efficiency, so giving the unit time to warm up if necessary is a very important feature. But other auto-functions also help out: There’s a shut off if the unit detects a full container as well as an auto restart after a power outage, which is designed for cabins or motor homes with less certain sources of power.
Are you looking for a dehumidifier that fits in a small room, or maybe a clothes closet? This Ivation model is designed just for these situations, with a 16-ounce water tank and an included, washable air filter. It comes with an auto-shutdown feature when the water reservoir is full, and is ideal for placing on a nearby shelf.
A quick word about that thermo-electric feature, also known as the Peltier Effect: Instead of using coils, these dehumidifiers use a more basic conductor panel. It takes up less room and energy, but it lacks the efficiency of other methods. For serious dehumidifying, you probably want a larger model. For more casual use and comfort, this small, portable model can be a great fit.
Friedrich D70BP ($389)
Are you looking for a more professional, semi-permanent dehumidifier for a project or particular location? This Energy Star rated 70-ounce unit may be just what you are looking for. It includes a drain pump that can pump away the gathered moisture either vertically or horizontally up to 15 feet away, as well as an option for continuous drainage out the back. The readout includes both room temperature and humidity levels, as well as a 24-hour timer. This model can easily slide between consumer use and professional projects if necessary and works well for storerooms, warehouses, basements, and similar locations.
Eva-Dry EDV500 ($25+)
The smallest and cheapest unit on our list, this Eva-Dry unit is also our only desiccant pick – one that uses a special material to absorb water rather than secrete it into a container. Of course, that means that this unit only works for very small spaces, but that may be exactly what you need. The unit is ideal for closets, pantries, and other tiny areas you want to keep as dry as possible. Note that you do have to plug the model in occasionally to help dry out the absorbing crystals.
Keystone KSTAD50B ($173)
Our Keystone pick is a health-conscious 50-pint model with an affordable $170 price tag and a no-nonsense approach. We appreciate the three primary settings, which provide Normal, Turbo and Auto-Defrost options, with no confusing or unnecessary customization options. We also really like the dust filter (which includes an alert for cleaning the filter), which is a useful addition for those suffering from allergy or asthma problems. There’s both a container complete with water-level readout and an option for continuous draining if you’re got a hose. A collection of automatic functions like shut offs and restarts also help protect the unit. If you like humidifiers with filtering capabilities, think about this one!
LG PuriCare 70-Pint Dehumidifier ($261)
Got a large space in which you need to use a dehumidifer to protect from mold, mildew, and other harmful effects of excess moisture? You’ll need a powerful model that can take care of a large room. This 70-pint dehumidifier by LG can service an area up to 2000 square feet, meaning it can be perfect for a moderate- to large-sized home or even an office space. The dehumidifier will work to remove bacteria from the air, helping everyone breathe a little easier and making the space more hygienic overall. Need to rotate the device around to different rooms? The dehumidifier was designed to be portable, so you can move it around without worry. Concerned about safety? This LG model automatically shuts off every 23 hours to help prevent overheating, and the metal design prevents fires. The unit uses any standard 115V electrical outlet.
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