6 Best Dehumidifiers for Basements
What’s worse in the basement? The stale, humid air that’s hard to breathe or the smell of mold? Although we don’t like both either, there is a cleaning device that would be able to get rid of both problems. In this article, we will introduce you to the best dehumidifiers for damp and mold-filled basements.
We’ll also share some tips on choosing the right models, where to place the dehumidifier, and how long to keep it running. Whether it’s a crawl space, a finished or an unfinished basement, nothing is impossible for the moisture removal machine.
1. Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 Portable Dehumidifier
Choosing the best basement dehumidifier from the wide range of excellent devices available is no easy task. Still, the FRIGIDAIRE takes first place for its combination of control, efficiency, and user-friendly features.
The compact unit has a 50-quart capacity suitable for spaces up to 1,500 square feet. A 24-hour scheduler is installed and automatically restarts in the event of a power failure. A three-speed fan helps control airflow, and a washable filter captures dust and mites.
The 16.9-quart bucket is front mounted, so it’s easy to access and comes with a convenient carry handle. There is an automatic shut-off to prevent overflow. A built-in pump offers continuous draining as an alternative, but a hose must be purchased separately (a regular garden hose is fine). Casters are fitted for easy movement, and at 42 pounds, they’re not too heavy to carry upstairs if needed.
2. hOmeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier
The hOmeLabs humidifier offers an economical solution for basements up to 4,500 square feet. It offers many features you’d expect from a quality unit, with a 24-hour timer, overflow protection, auto-restart, and a washable air filter. There’s also a defrost feature and a turbofan to maximize moisture removal.
To make their humidifier as easy to use as possible, hOmeLabs has included a “Comfort” button. Once set to the desired humidity level, the unit will maintain this balance while operating 24/7 or until the reservoir is full. A continuous drainage is an option (hose not included). The bucket holds 1.6 gallons. The plastic used in its construction is a bit thinner than we’d like, and the grip attachment isn’t particularly sturdy.
3. Vremi Energy Star Dehumidifier
At just 33 pounds, the vremi compact dehumidifier is remarkably lightweight. Portability is enhanced by handles built into the top of the case. Yet it still offers the range of features you’d expect from much larger models.
Humidity is variable via the control panel, but the Vremi is very designed for unattended operation. It will run automatically until the tank is full, after which it will shut off until it is empty. There is also an anti-freeze setting, automatic restart, and a timer. The only real challenge with this otherwise excellent and very affordable device is an 8-quart bucket that might need to be emptied relatively frequently. There is an option for a continuous drain, although, as usual, a hose is not included.
4. Ivation Energy Star Large Dehumidifier
With adjustable fan speed, an easy-to-program LCD interface, and the ability to maintain pre-selected humidity levels in large areas, the Ivation 70-Pint dehumidifier is a top-notch dehumidifier for basements. The Energy Star-certified machine is easy to move from room to room (it weighs only 40 pounds and comes with casters).
With a capacity of 70 pints, it’s no wonder we chose this option as our best dehumidifier for large basements. Consumers can monitor the current humidity level and schedule the unit to turn on at preset times. The Ivation features an easy-empty 1.3-gallon reservoir and optional hose connection (hose sold separately). It also features an auto shut-off and restart sensor that detects frost buildup and turns the unit off to allow the frost to melt before re-igniting.
5. LG PuriCare UD501KOJ5 Pump and Dehumidifier
With its black metal casing, the high-quality LG Puricare dehumidifier makes an instant impression. It’s stronger than many plastic models, although at 45 pounds there isn’t much of a weight penalty. It’s also relatively quiet for a machine at this level of performance. A transparent LED panel provides control of humidity levels and timers. There’s an overflow alarm and auto shut-off that “rests” the LG humidifier for an hour every 24 hours to prevent overheating.
The bucket is side-loading and has a capacity of 1.7 gallons. A continuous drain is an option, and the LG also has a pump so water can be routed to a sink above the unit’s height if needed. Smart control comes from the SmartThinQ app. LG humidifier can be started and stopped remotely by phone, and a full bucket alert can be received. Compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant provides further home integration options (other devices required).
6. GE Portable Dehumidifier with Pump
Our second GE model is a high-performance device that can remove 50 pints of water per day and provides precise humidity control. It can run uninterrupted if needed. A three-speed fan helps increase airflow to clean wet areas faster. There is an audible alarm when the bucket is full and an alert when the air filter needs to be rinsed. It also has automatic restart in case of power loss, and automatic defrost.
At 15 quarts, the bucket capacity is better than many. A constant drainage is an option, and that’s where GE’s main advantage lies. Where many dehumidifiers rely on gravity, the GE model can pump water up to 16 feet from the unit to a convenient sink or other outlets. The hose is included.
How to Choose a Basement Dehumidifier
When we ask: what is the best dehumidifier for basements? Consider the special features to look for in products like this. Options for the best dehumidifier for basements vary widely based on each product’s features, type, capacity, and ease of use. Before choosing a dehumidifier for your needs, consider the size of our space and the amount of humidity suitable for your needs.
Different dehumidifiers work in different ways, and some methods are better suited than others to the high humidity levels in basements. Here are some of the most common types of basement humidifiers:
- Compressor dehumidifiers: Most dehumidifiers for basements use a compressor to run a fan that pulls air over the cold coils, causing the moisture to condense (like droplets on the outside of a cold drink ). The droplets then flow into a reservoir, which must be emptied regularly, or a floor drain via a drainage pipe. For the best dehumidifier for basements or crawl spaces with high humidity, a compressor dehumidifier may be your best bet.
- Desiccant dehumidifiers: In this type of dehumidifier, moist air is drawn through a filter made of a desiccant material (a chemical drying agent). The desiccant traps the moisture, which then drains into a collection tank. Desiccant dehumidifiers can control humidity levels in small rooms above ground but may not be powerful enough for basements.
Thermo-electric dehumidifiers: Also known as “Peltier dehumidifiers” after physicist Jean Charles Peltier, who discovered the thermoelectric method of extracting moisture from the air, these units work by drawing in moist air along the surface of small heated surfaces (called “sinks”) where it collects and then drips into a collection tank. Thermo-electric dehumidifiers work best in warm rooms, and they’re often on the small side. While they may be the best basement dehumidifiers for small spaces, they may not be the best choice for a large or cool basement.
Capacity and cost
Dehumidifiers are rated by capacity (how much water they can remove from the air daily). Although labeled “small, medium, and large,” this refers to their power, not the size of their collection tank. Collection tanks hold between one and three gallons, and as a general rule, the more powerful the dehumidifier, the greater its capacity. To eliminate the high level of humidity found in many basements, a large capacity dehumidifier is needed.
- Small Capacity: These lightweight, portable, and affordable units collect an average of 15-30 pints of moisture per day. They are well suited for small rooms or closets and usually cost less than $250.
- Medium capacity: Capable of collecting 30 to 50 pints of moisture per day, medium capacity dehumidifiers work well in medium to large rooms but may not be powerful enough for a basement. They usually cost up to $350.
- Large Capacity: With the ability to remove up to 70 pints of moisture per day, a large-capacity unit is the best dehumidifier for basement mold. Expect to pay between $350 and $550 for one of these units.
It costs an average of $25 to $50 per month to run a large-capacity dehumidifier, depending on your utility rates, the size of your basement, and humidity levels. Although today’s dehumidifiers are more energy efficient than a decade ago, it’s wise to look for the Energy Star label when shopping. These models are the most efficient dehumidifier for basements, and you can save up to 30% electricity compared to a standard machine.
All dehumidifiers come with collection reservoirs, but some models also offer the option of attaching a drain hose (usually a standard garden hose) to direct collected moisture down a floor drain. The device will automatically shut off when the collection tank is full, so if you can’t empty it daily, you should probably buy a device with a drain hose.
Keep in mind that a pint weighs around a pound, so while a large capacity dehumidifier can collect up to 75 pints a day, tanks can typically hold up to three gallons to allow for easy and frequent emptying. – only the most powerful bodybuilder would want to carry around a 75-pound collection tank!
All dehumidifiers allow you to choose a base humidity level: normal, dry, or extra dry. But top dehumidifiers for basements have additional features that you might find useful.
The digital controls allow you to select the desired humidity level in percentage, for example, 35% or 45% humidity. The device will automatically turn off when the humidity in the room reaches the preset level, then turn back on when needed.
Timers allow you to program to automatically turn on/off the dehumidifier at a preset time, so you don’t have to do it manually.
Memory or automatic restart: Most of the wettest months bring thunderstorms with them, which often knock out power. Some models with auto-restart or memory functions will remember their settings before the power failure and continue to run where they left off.
Easy-to-carry collection tanks with comfortable handles and a well-designed spout that lets you dump water without spilling.
Frost sensors detect frost buildup and shut down the machine to save energy. When a compressor runs for long periods, frost can develop on the coils, reducing the dehumidifier’s efficiency. Although a unit with frost buildup will continue to operate, it will not remove moisture from the air as effectively. Some models also come with a restart feature that turns the unit back on after the coils have defrosted.
Water level sensors alert you when the water level in your tank is approaching or has reached its maximum capacity. Although most produce an audible alarm, some models will also alert you via smartphone.
Humidistats, also known as “hygrostats,” measure the humidity in the air to control excess moisture. Once a humidity level is programmed into your dehumidifier, the humidistat will automatically adjust its operation to maintain your room at the desired humidity level.
Wheels are usually attached to portable units allowing you to move your dehumidifier easily.
Dehumidifiers generate a noise similar to the hum of a window air conditioner, and the larger the capacity, the louder the unit will be. Most dehumidifiers produce between 53 decibels (comparable to a normal conversation) and 65 decibels (comparable to road traffic noise), but manufacturers are not required to list noise levels on their units.
Reading customer reviews is the best way to determine how loud a dehumidifier sounds. Placing the device on a flat surface can also help reduce noise.