Dehumidifiers fan-force air over coolant-filled coils to remove moisture. The remaining condensed moisture then drips from the coils into a bucket or basin, or it may be pumped out of the unit depending on the model. As a result, drier air is expelled back into the room.
A dehumidifier helps maintain an ideal relative humidity level (RH level) in your home. Relative humidity refers to the ratio of the current absolute humidity to the highest possible absolute humidity. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, it's recommended you keep relative humidity between 30% to 50% in the summer and 30% to 40% in the winter.
When selecting a dehumidifier, it's important to consider the size of the area you wish to dehumidify, along with the condensation moisture removal method, and the amount of power you expect the machine to consume.
At their most basic level, dehumidifiers vary according to pint removal capacity every 24 hours. Moderately damp areas will require between 25 and 40-pint capacity, while extremely moist areas will need between 40 and 70-pint capacity, all dependent upon the size of the area you wish to dry.
Unless you plan on removing and clearing the water basin constantly, you'll want to go with a direct drain feature, which allows for continuous operation without emptying the unit's bucket. Direct drains are convenient but typically require a floor-level water drain. If that's not an option based on your layout, opt for a unit with a pump, which can push water into a specific space, such as a basement sink.
Dehumidifier energy performance is rated by the amount of water extracted every hour versus the amount of energy consumed to do so. Low-level units usually consume less power, but they may not be effective enough for your humidity needs. To get maximum efficiency out of any unit, look for those that are ENERGY STAR certified. Also consider the following:
The following picks are based on online research, ratings from review and dehumidifier-specific sites, Amazon ratings, and customer reviews. They're intended for commercial use and we've included picks for different sized areas ranging from spaces as small as a gym bag to an entire apartment. Beyond square unit cooling capabilities, we also took into consideration moisture removal options, energy requirements, specialized features, such as high tech control panels, and of course, price.
The highly-rated Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 dehumidifier protects your home from the mold and mildew caused by excess moisture, and it helps to eliminate bacteria in the air.
The dehumidifier is capable of continuous operation when the unit is located near a suitable drain and has Ready-Select electronic controls, including a digital humidity readout, a 24-hour on/off timer, and a control lock.
It can capture up to 70 pints of moisture every 24 hours and allows you to control the exact percentage of humidity in any room. It has a portable design that includes a top handle, integrated side handles, and caster wheels, all which make it easy to move from room to room. The Energy Star Certified product has a low-temperature operation that helps you save both energy and money.
The Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 has rave reviews across the web and is considered the best on top review sites including The Sweethome (now Wirecutter), Consumer Search, and Dehumidifier Web. It's a top-ranked Amazon product with a 4.3 out of 5-star average rating based on more than 4,700 customer reviews.
Most Amazon reviewers highly recommend the product, many stating that it's the perfect size for apartments and that it's an excellent option for the price.
Pros: Electronic control panel, portable design, Energy Star Certified, various digital controls, very precise humidity control
Humidity is everywhere, which is why this Eva-Dry E-333 Portable Dehumidifier is a must have for smaller areas. The handheld 5-by-5-inch device can be placed anywhere extra humidity clogs up the air such as in closets, under your kitchen sink, in safes, boats, RVs, or bathrooms, and more.
Each Eva-Dry E-333 Portable Dehumidifier helps to eliminate excessive humidity for up to ten years using renewable silica gel technology that works without batteries or external power. Without the need for a power source, the portable dehumidifier is completely silent, but it's powerful enough to provide a humidity-solution in any area up to 333 cubic feet.
The dehumidifier is renewable, meaning it will not require any expensive refills, and comes backed by a 5-year warranty. The product works on a cycling system in which you place it in a damp area to soak up moisture and then remove it to charge.
As the unit absorbs the humidity, there is an indicator window containing crystals that will change from orange to green over the course of two to four weeks or as the device collects between 8 and 10 ounces of moisture. When the crystals have changed to green, this indicates the dehumidifier is ready to be renewed or plugged in for 8 to 10 hours in a well-ventilated area, and then placed back in the area you wish to remove humidity from. The product is designed to be used in this way for up to 10 years as it captures moisture in the air without any leaks or spills.
Consumer Search and Faveable both rate it highly. On Amazon, the product holds a 4.2 out of 5-star average based on more than 2,000 reviewers.
Many Amazon reviewers are pleasantly surprised to learn the product exists, while others are more than satisfied with the low price or that the tiny device works so well. Critical reviews tend to center around the fact that you have to check it from time to time, or that it's really best for small spaces such as safes, rather than medium-sized spaces such as cars.
Suck humidity out from large rooms with an Ivation 70 Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier. The dehumidifier keeps spaces up to 4,500 square feet cool and comfortable by removing 70 pints of moisture a day. It uses an advanced filtration and evaporation system that helps to prevent mold, mildew, and structural cracking. The dehumidifier also safeguards those in your home against allergens, mites, and other asthma triggers.
It has an easy to use LCD interface that lets you check the humidistat, set your ideal levels, adjust fan speed, program the 24-hour timer, and receive important filter and reservoir alerts. It also uniquely has multiple green features, including energy-saving auto-shutoff mode, a timer and a cleanable and thus reusable filter.
Other perks include an extra long 6-foot, three-prong power cord that eliminates the need for extension cords, two fan speeds of regular and turbo, an optional hose connection to make draining easy, and an auto-defrost sensor that prevents wasted energy and protects evaporator coils all within a relatively small, compact 40-pound design.
The Ivation 70 Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier is featured on Best Reviews, Good Air Geeks, and Faveable. On Amazon, it has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating based on nearly 250 reviews.
Reviewers generally state the dehumidifier works well and was a great buy with many buyers stating it's effective in removing moisture from basements and like that it's easy to move around from place to place. Critical reviews tend to center around the fact that it's louder than expected (although many positive reviews refute that claim) or that setup was difficult or confusing.
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Pros: Easy to use LCD screen, eco-friendly features, two fan speeds, optional hose connection, auto-defrost sensor
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