Why Use a Dehumidifier?
The top performers in our review are Keystone KSTAD70B, the Gold Award winner; Comfort-Aire BHD-701-H, the Silver Award winner; and the Friedrich D70BP, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a dehumidifier to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of these 10 products.
Whether you live in a sticky humid climate or simply own a basement that becomes uncomfortably moist, a dehumidifier can help. Excessive humidity can produce mold, fungus and mildew, which can have detrimental effects on furniture, clothing and even the walls of your home. In addition, abnormally high amounts of moisture in the air at home can create breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria that can adversely affect your health.
Experts recommend that homes maintain a humidity level between 30 and 50 percent because anything above this level can damage your home, possessions and physical well-being.
Dehumidifiers come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you need to remove moisture from a bathroom or an entire basement, there is a unit to match the capacity and function you need. To learn more, take a look at our articles on dehumidifiers.
Dehumidifiers: What We Evaluated, What We Found
While the main function of all dehumidifiers is to remove moisture from the air, several characteristics differentiate them from one another. Check our ranking for performance, conveniences, warranty and the design of various home dehumidifiers to find the best one for your situation.
The size of the room and amount of moisture you want to remove will greatly determine the type of dehumidifier you need. If you are looking to dehumidify an entire floor of your home, for example, you will need a high-capacity dehumidifier that can remove at least 70 pints of water a day. Anything smaller and you will need to run your dehumidifier constantly and check on it often.
When looking at dehumidifiers, pay attention to the minimum or maximum square footage the manufacturer lists to get an idea of the area each model can manage, especially if you need to dehumidify large areas.
The collection reservoir plays a significant role. If you want a low-maintenance dehumidifier that you do not have to check often, then you need a large collection reservoir. Otherwise, you will be emptying the bucket multiple times a day, unless you have opted to attach a hose to your dehumidifier for continuous drainage. The continuous drainage capability can make things easy since you can simply set it and forget it.
You will also want to look for quiet dehumidifiers. You undoubtedly want a unit that is quiet enough not to interrupt your everyday life since a dehumidifier can cycle on and off during the day and night. The dehumidifiers in our product lineup are relatively quiet and exhibit noise levels ranging from 50 to 60 decibels, which extends in everyday sounds from the approximate level of a refrigerator in operation on up to higher levels like those an air conditioner would produce.
One of the most important performance characteristics for a really well-functioning dehumidifier is a humidistat. With this tool, you can monitor the humidity in the room and set a level for the machine so moisture levels are maintained at a particular level.
Most models offer a self-draining feature so you can opt not to empty a collection bucket. This is helpful for anyone with a busy schedule or if you go on vacation and want to let your humidifier run without fear of it overflowing. The features of each dehumidifier are what set it apart from other models. For easy usage, consumers generally want features that make the machine self-maintaining, like a timer, an auto restart, an auto shut-off and an auto defrost.
Some dehumidifiers also include a drain pump to facilitate continuous draining. At the very least, you want a dehumidifier that alerts you when the water levels are reaching capacity.
What Else to Look for in a Dehumidifier?
While a dehumidifier can save you hundreds by removing moisture before it becomes a problem, it does affect your energy bills. The dehumidifiers that use less wattage cost less to run. However, if you are pulling moisture out of an extremely large space, the machine you need will have to be powerful and it, not surprisingly, might need additional energy to power its operations.
All dehumidifiers in our product lineup have an Energy Star rating that indicates they are energy efficient and will cost less to run than non-rated models.
Most dehumidifiers come in a standard size. They are large, bulky and hard to move. Every dehumidifier in our product lineup has wheels that let you move the unit from one area to another without much effort.
Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. The companies had no input or influence over our test methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to the manufacturers in advance of publication.
Our number one choice for dehumidifiers, the Keystone KSTADE70B, can extract 70 pints of excess moisture from the air in your home during a 24-hour period, works quietly and can handle the moisture in a 3,800-square-foot space, which is larger than any other dehumidifier in our product lineup. Your home will be more comfortable and healthier with this dehumidifier working away.
The Comfort-Aire BHD-701-H, our second-place dehumidifier, also can remove 70 pints of airborne moisture in a 24-hour period and can attend to a 2,500-square-foot area. In addition, it can clear away dust and bacteria, which means a healthful and better home environment.
Our third-ranked product, the Friedrich D70BP, is another model that can pull 17 pints of unwanted moisture out of the air in your home every 24 hours. It gives you a large water collection reservoir that can hold 16.2 pints, and it runs quietly.
Another dehumidifier that can keep your home much safer from mold and airborne bacteria is the Frigidaire FAD704DWD, which also boasts the ability to pull 70 pints of unwanted moisture from the air every 24 hours and offers the option for continuous drainage so you do not have to concern yourself with emptying the water collection bucket.
Controlling the humidity levels of your home affects more than just your comfort: Dehumidifiers protect your home and assets from the damaging effects of excess moisture. You can improve your own health and the health of anyone else in your household by keeping the humidity in your home at optimal levels, not to mention protecting your furniture, curtains, carpeting, books and much more. The right dehumidifier keeps the moisture levels in your home well under control with you, your family and your possessions all in good shape.