Excess moisture in the air can cause substantial damage to items in your home and your health. A good dehumidifier removes excess humidity from the air, which can help prevent mold and mildew buildup and eliminate allergens. Dehumidifiers are often placed in basements, but there are other use cases for them, such as in closets where you store damp clothes or other smaller areas where too much moisture can cause a problem such as bathrooms, RVs, boats, and more.
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.
How to choose a dehumidifier
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 filter indicator setting alerts you when the air filter needs to be cleaned.
The auto-humidistat senses the moisture level in the area around the unit and automatically shuts the unit off to save energy once the desired humidity level is reached.
A low-temperature setting allows the unit to operate in temperatures as low as 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
Auto-defrost keeps units from freezing in colder environments (usually below 65 degrees Fahrenheit).
Auto reset restarts the unit to its previous setting after a power loss.
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.
Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from your home to prevent mold buildup and remove allergens from the air. The top-rated Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 dehumidifier is the best one because it removes moisture from the air leaving you with a comfortable and healthy living environment.