Best dehumidifiers for basements, crawl spaces and other wet areas

The best performing dehumidifiers according to Consumer Reports tests

By Tobie Stanger

A dehumidifier can help protect against mold and mildew – two types of fungi that can pose health risks to susceptible people – especially useful in a damp basement, damp laundry room, or any rather humid area of ​​your home . He can also elevate the space he is in.

A basement dehumidifier, for example, can also help transform that area from dreary to cozy. But even the best dehumidifier won’t solve all your problems. First, address the source of the dampness in your home.

“A dehumidifier will remove water from the air, but if your problem is due to a continuous water source, a dehumidifier will not suffice,” says Misha Kollontai, the Consumer Reports engineer who oversees our dehumidifier testing. Fix any underlying issues (like finding leaks and cleaning your dryer duct and gutters), then use a good dehumidifier to help keep the humidity level between 30-50% ideal, and the mold and dust mites begin to thrive.

You’ll see models from a wide variety of manufacturers in our dehumidifier ratings, including Danby, Frigidaire, GE, Hisense, hOmeLabs, Honeywell, Midea, and TCL. Just over half of the dehumidifiers tested scored Excellent in our water removal tests. This means that they remove the amount of water from the air that their ability demands.

All dehumidifiers have a humidistat (like a thermostat for humidity), but our tests show that some are more accurate than others. The humidistat senses the humidity level in an area and turns the dehumidifier on or off as needed to maintain the desired humidity level, similar to how your air conditioner keeps the room at its set temperature.

Only a few of the dehumidifiers we’ve tested score highly in our humidistat accuracy tests, coming very close to the humidity level you select. For less than $10, you can buy a low-cost hygrometer — a device that measures humidity — to track humidity levels.

Why CR recommends these dehumidifiers

In 2019, the Department of Energy changed its testing standard by which dehumidifiers are rated, lowering the test room temperature to better reflect conditions in a basement, where dehumidifiers are commonly used.

Since then, manufacturers generally claim that their dehumidifiers can remove between 20 and 50 pints of water from the air in 24 hours. This is a change from older dehumidifiers, which tended to claim removal rates of 30, 50 and 60 pints per day.

This does not mean that the new dehumidifiers remove less water than the old group. “In a colder environment, the dehumidifier is surrounded by less water in the air, so the volume of water it is able to extract decreases,” says Kollontai.

All models of our current dehumidifiers meet the new DOE standard.

Below are nine impressive models, with capacities ranging from around 20 pints to at least 40 pints per day. All score high enough to make our recommended list and do well at removing water. Be sure to check out our dehumidifier buying guide when shopping. Here’s a tip: consider a dehumidifier with a larger capacity than you could technically need. The dehumidifier will dry your room faster and you won’t have to empty the tank as often.

Best Large Capacity Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers in this category draw at least 40 pints of water per day and should be used in large damp or wet rooms.

Honeywell TP70WKN

CR’s opinion: The Honeywell TP70WKN is the highest of all the dehumidifiers we tested and can remove 50 pints of moisture from the air per day. The reservoir, however, is smaller than most in this category and holds only 13 quarts of water. This means you will have to empty it more often. But like all the models tested, this one allows you to connect a pipe that diverts the water to a drain. The little extra: the hose is provided.

Midea MAD50C1ZWS

CR’s opinion: The Midea MAD50C1ZWS checks all the key boxes to keep your basement dry. Water elimination: excellent. Accuracy of the humidistat: also excellent. Noise and energy efficiency: very good. Indeed, its only downside is a relatively small 15-quart tank, contributing to its poor convenience score. To remove the 50 pints it’s designed to handle daily, you’ll need to empty it several times a day, or purchase and attach a hose to divert the water to a drain. The predicted reliability, however, received an excellent rating; owner satisfaction received a high rating.

homeLabs HME020031N

CR’s opinion: The hOmeLabs HME020031N dehumidifier delivers on its promise of removing 50 pints per day; we give it an excellent rating for water shedding. Accuracy, noise and energy efficiency of the humidistat receive very good marks. But this unit only gets a fair rating for convenience due to its relatively small 12-quart tank. To avoid emptying it several times a day, you will need to purchase and attach a hose to divert the water to a drain. Predicted reliability received an excellent rating; hOmeLabs was also the only dehumidifier brand in our rankings to score very high for owner satisfaction.

Best mid-capacity dehumidifiers

The dehumidifiers we’ve tested in this category can remove 30 to 35 pints of water from the air per day and are intended for medium to large rooms that are somewhat humid but not wet.

Best Small Capacity Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers in the small capacity group can remove 20 to 25 pints of moisture per day and can help dry out small humid spaces.

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