If the air in your house feels damp and heavy, you might face a moisture problem. It might be accompanied by either a musty or wet odor. This happens when the air holds too much water vapor, or to put it simply, when the air becomes too humid. Humidity is not necessarily bad. We need it. However, humidity may become a huge problem for both your home and your health at excessive levels. You would take your best lawn tractor before the overgrown grass can overtake your garden. You have to resolve moisture problems ASAP.
It’s important to be familiar with Relative Humidity (RH). It is the ratio between the actual amount of water vapor in the air and the moisture-holding capacity of the air. The moisture-holding capacity of the air is the maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold at a certain temperature. RH is expressed in percentage. If it is at 100%, the air is fully saturated with water vapor. This is not the level you would want in any part of your home, be it your basement or crawl area. Check out this article to find the best 20 to 70-pint dehumidifiers.
What is the ideal RH level indoors?
The optimum RH level indoors is between 30% and 50%. This data is backed up by facts and science, confirmed by various organizations such as the National Asthma Council Australia. At this level, the air is comfortable to breathe in and would not cause harm to your body or your home.
- If the RH level in your house is below 30%, it will be too dry. It can irritate your nasal passages and dry out your skin. It causes respiratory problems and causes floors and walls to crack.
- If the RH level in your house is above 50%, it will feel heavy and uncomfortable. The amount of moisture in the air would promote the growth of unwanted microorganisms. It will be detrimental to both your health and your house.
The negative effects listed above can be avoided by keeping the humidity indoors. A humidifier can resolve low levels, adding moisture to keep it at a healthy level. In contrast, high levels can be kept in check via dehumidifiers. Nowadays, too much humidity is a more prevalent problem and a hassle to solve compared to low humidity.
What happens when it’s too humid indoors?
Areas with high humidity levels are like a breeding ground for mold and other allergens. Fungi thrive in warm and humid areas. Once these microorganisms have found a favorable condition, they can grow fast and infest more areas. If it’s too humid in your home, it’s very likely that your home will be infested with mold and dust mites. You must avoid this at all costs or resolve this issue once it starts. These do not only cause a musty odor but can also worsen your health to various degrees.
- Dust mites can infest beddings and furniture. They can trigger allergic reactions and skin irritation.
- Fungi produce pollen that can act as an allergen. These pollens can cause asthma and allergic rhinitis. They can also cause eye and skin irritation or wheezing. You’re also at risk of other upper respiratory tract infections.
- Prolonged exposure or inhalation of pollen can lead to chronic lung diseases.
Another problem with high humidity levels is that it makes our body incapable of sweating properly. Since sweating is important to level out our internal temperature, not being able to sweat causes our body’s internal temperature to rise. It increases the risk of heat stress and other cardiovascular diseases. This is why it feels worse when hot weather is coupled with high humidity!
Moisture promotes rusting and rotting. It also causes other forms of deterioration of materials, such as wood or other materials that aren’t moisture-proof or waterproof. Add mold and mildew infestation into the mix, and your house’s structural integrity will worsen in no time. This is why it’s important to take precautionary measures against moisture problems as soon as possible. It’s especially important if you’re looking to resell your house! A house with pristine walls and no moisture problems would sell better than the ones that need reupholstering or remodeling. Make sure to also check out our guide on cassette toilets or gasless MIG welders.
Advantages when getting one
Like how high RH levels can lead to an array of negative things, there are advantages that come from having a healthy level in your home! Here are some of them:
|Air quality||Cooler feeling||Fewer allergic reactions|
|Healthier respiratory system||Prevents mold||Prevents rotting||Saves money|
- better air quality
- cooler feeling due to lowered humidity
- It prevents heat stress.
- lowered risk of allergic reactions
- It promotes a healthier respiratory system.
- It prevents mold and dust mite infestation.
- It prevents the formation of a musty, damp odor indoors.
- It prevents rotting and other forms of deterioration of house walls and other fixtures.
- It helps keep products safe and in good condition despite long storage.
- It saves you money in the long run by avoiding restorations due to moisture problems.
So, is getting one worth it? YES! Given its advantages, I think it’s safe to say that buying a quality one is like insurance for your health and wealth. It’s not like they will make a big dent in your bank account. Overall, it’s a good and cheap investment to make as long as you purchase one of the right size and capacity.
What Size Do I Need?
Like air conditioners, dehumidifiers have different sizes and capacities. They are often expressed in pints or liters per day. Most sizing charts only consider the RH level and room size. It is understandable because these two are the main determinants when choosing the right size or capacity. However, the temperature can also affect RH level indoors and performance. Warm air can hold more moisture than cool air. Some types do not work well in cold areas.
To properly gauge the right size that you need, you need to consider all three factors:
- Relative Humidity – How damp it is in your basement or crawl space without dehumidification.
- Room Size – Size of your basement/crawl space in square feet.
- Temperature – The average temperature in your area.
For a quick and easy measurement, you can use this chart from Energy Star. They made it based on the home dehumidifier sizing guide from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacture. Take note that the sizing below factors in room size and RH only.
Source: Energy Star
If you need a chart that has a wider are coverage or larger pint capacity, here’s another chart from Humidity Fixers:
Source: Humidity Fixers
Suppose you find it hard to gauge the humidity by only looking for symptoms of moisture problems. You can measure the actual RH level in your home instead of using a hygrometer. You can buy your own or rent one from a hardware store! You can match the percentage with the RH levels listed below. They are based on the new testing standards for modern dehumidifiers from the Department of Energy (DOE):
- Moderately Damp: 50-60% RH
- Very Damp: 60-70% RH
- Wet: 70-80% RH
- Extremely Wet: 80-100% RH
Another thing that you must note regarding sizing is the catch basin or water tank capacity of the unit. The unit’s tank capacity must be sized according to the pint capacity of the model itself. Large-capacity ones must be equipped with tanks that can catch around 1.5 to 2 gallons of water for a hassle-free operation. With a large tank capacity, you can run it overnight without draining the tank frequently. It can be pretty tedious.
To make sure that it can work optimally under certain temperatures, you have to look up the different types you need to know. There are two kinds in the market: refrigerant and desiccant. The former works best in humid areas, while the latter works well in hot and cool areas. Here’s a brief breakdown of the two:
- A refrigerant or compressor dehumidifier makes use of refrigerant. It’s a fluid that can transition from gas to liquid and can absorb heat from the air.
- A refrigerant is sensitive to cold and prone to freezing, which is why this type does not bode well in cold areas. In case of freezing, some units have auto-defrost functions. For cases wherein the frozen refrigerant damaged the coils, you might have to change the refrigerant and/or coils of the unit.
- Compressor dehumidifiers work optimally at a temperature range of 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a great choice if you live in tropical areas or if you have a well-functioning heating system indoors.
- A desiccant dehumidifier makes use of desiccant to remove moisture from the air. It is a hygroscopic material that absorbs moisture from the air.
- Inside the rotor, the desiccant is heated up to expel the moisture it absorbed. The usage of heat entails a higher energy consumption compared to refrigerant ones.
- A desiccant is stable and durable. It does not require regular maintenance or replacement. It isn’t sensitive to low temperatures and can function properly in both warm and cool areas.
- This type is a great choice if you want a unit with a long lifespan. It’s also great if you live in an area that lacks a sufficient heating system or suffers from harsh winters.
How many square feet does a 20 to 70-pint dehumidifier cover?
Basing our measurements on the chart provided previously, these are the areas that 20 to 70-pint models can cover the following areas:
|Common model sizes, in pints|
- moderately damp: 1,500–2,000 sq. ft.
- very damp: 1,000–1,500 sq. ft.
- wet: 1,000 sq. ft.
- extremely wet: 300–500 sq. ft.
- moderately damp: 2,500–3,000 sq. ft.
- very damp: 2,000–2,500 sq. ft.
- wet: 1,500–2,000 sq. ft.
- extremely wet: 1,000–1,500 sq. ft.
- moderately damp: 2,800–3,300 sq. ft.
- very damp: 2,500–2,800 sq. ft.
- wet: 2,000–2,500 sq. ft.
- extremely wet: 1,500–2,000 sq. ft.
- moderately damp: 3,500–3,800 sq. ft.
- very damp: 3,000–3,500 sq. ft.
- wet: 2,500–3,000 sq. ft.
- extremely wet: 2,000 –2,500 sq. ft.
- moderately damp: 4,000–4,500 sq. ft.
- very damp: 3,500–4,000 sq. ft.
- wet: 3,000–3,500 sq. ft.
- extremely wet: 2,500–3,000 sq. ft.
Who makes the best ones?
Aside from the factors discussed above, the brand is also something that you should look into before buying one. To review each brand available is like signing up for a week-long marathon. To help streamline your choosing process, here’s a brief description and review of the brands:
Homelabs is stylized as hOmeLabs. They became well-known due to their products’ excellent capacity and performance. They also offer great cost-efficiency. Not only is this brand popular due to the quality of its products. The customer service trumps other brands in terms of responsiveness and sincerity. Despite being a mid-size company that mostly relies on e-commerce, hOmeLabs produces high-quality home appliances. They include dehumidifiers and air purifiers. They also make coolers and air conditioners. What’s even greater is that most of the time, hOmeLabs appliances are much cheaper than other brands that offer the same product type.
One of their most popular products is the HME020031N. It’s a 115 V 50-pint refrigerant dehumidifier that can cover 4,500 square feet of space. It’s an Energy Star certified product, which denotes energy efficiency. This product has a 4.7 rating on Amazon! Here’s a brief list of its features that shows why it’s a very sought model:
- 1.6-gallon removable water tank
- 70-pint capacity
- built-in wheels and handles for portability
- 1-24 hr timer or continuous cycle
- automatic shutdown for full water tank
- comfort feature sets the humidity level automatically
Ivation is another brand that offers air conditioners and dehumidifiers. As a relatively new brand established last 2018, one would think that Ivation is behind its competitors. It is not the case at all! The keystone to their success is that they create practical solutions in the form of innovative products. They are inspired by the ideas and feedback of the consumers. This way, Ivation makes sure that its products can truly enhance the quality of life.
What’s amazing about this brand is that you can find both compact models and large-capacity, powerful ones in one place! Through their website, you’ll see that they have compact options that can fit in the palm of your hand. It can draw 6 oz. of water per day from the air. But suppose you need a much more powerful unit. You can find a 95-pint beast on their list, which is Energy Star certified. It can cover up to 6,000 square feet of area and has a built-in 16W pump for continuous water drainage.
Unlike other brands, Danby is not a newbie in creating high-quality appliances. For over 70 years, Danby has expanded from North America. They now offer affordable yet powerful products in Canada and other countries all over the US. From climate control to refrigeration, you’ll surely find an appliance that will suit both your budget and your needs in Danby. You can get a Danby dehumidifier of excellent quality and amazing coverage for as low as $160!
Danby follows the latest guidelines by DOE and creates energy-efficient models, lowering electricity costs. This brand offers various products, with capacities ranging from 22 up to 95 pints.
GE Appliances is another brand that focuses on improving the life quality of its consumers. All of the home appliances that GE offers are manufactured in the US. They are designed to be eco-friendly and smart. With their ongoing innovations, GE appliances keep rising to the top due to their quality and efficiency. It is a perfect addition to our modern lifestyle.
GE offers models with built-in pumps and smart features. They offer clean filter alerts and auto-adjusting features. They have a defrost control and washable filters, too. Furthermore, these products are Energy Star certified. It signifies energy efficiency.
SoleusAir focuses on providing top-notch appliances for improving the air quality in your home and commercial spaces. You can find Soleus products in various retail stores in the US, such as The Home Depot or Walmart. In addition to these retail shops, Soleus has also expanded to Canada and Korea. You can also buy online through Amazon or their official website. Considering the popularity of SoleusAir products worldwide, it’s not a surprise that their customers’ reviews show amazing feedback. Soleus appliances boast durability and power.
You can find a variety of models among their products, such as 30 to 70-pint portable models. What’s amazing about SoleusAir is that even their large-capacity models for commercial spaces operate at low noise levels. These units have programmable timers and adjustable humidity levels. They boast smart features like auto-adjust and defrosting.
Suppose you’ve been a homeowner for a while now or have been buying home appliances for quite some time. Frigidaire is a brand that is surely familiar to you. Frigidaire has been the leading brand of cooling appliances. They have been renowned for producing high-quality, energy-efficient home appliances since 1918. As one of the pioneers of air conditioners and freezers, Frigidaire is now one of the most popular and trusted brands out there. They never let anyone down with their reliable products.
Frigidaire products are a little bit pricier than other brands. They are exceptionally powerful and cost-efficient. On their website, you can find ones controlled via Wi-Fi. They are equipped with a clean air ionizer and are Energy Star certified. With a capacity range of 20 to 60 pints, you’ll surely find the model that will suit your needs best. If you want a foolproof way of ensuring a healthy RH level indoors, try looking into the units listed below:
- Frigidaire FAD301NWD Small Room 30 Pint
- Frigidaire FAD504DWD Energy Star 50 Pint
- Frigidaire FFAP7033T1 Large Room 70 Pint
- Frigidaire FGAC7044U1 Large Room 70 Pint
FAD704DWD vs. FFAD7033R1
These two Frigidaire products are the stars of most home dehumidifier reviews. Both units can operate in low temperatures and have a 70-pint capacity. They are portable and energy-efficient, equipped with washable filters. You’ll enjoy their gravity drain and continuous drain via a hose. They offer electronic controls with a digital display, with a 35-85% RH setting feature. They can cover 1,400-4,500 square feet. The FAD704DWD is the predecessor of FFAD70331R1, so one would expect that the latter would have better features. Some reviews say otherwise, and some reviews agree. If these two are your top choices, here’s a summary of some of their differences. You won’t have to read through all the reviews on the internet:
Energy Efficiency & Performance
Both units have the same initial power draw, taking up 745 watts if the RH is at 100%. Once set to your desired RH level, the FFAD70331R1 reaches it faster than the FAD704DWD. Therefore, the former is much more energy-efficient. This makes sense because FFAD70331R1 is Energy Star certified while FAD704DWD is not.
In terms of RH reading accuracy, FAD704DWD is more accurate. It has 1-2% increments, which gives a more accurate reading compared to the 5% increments of FFAD70331R1. If the actual RH of the area is 40%, FAD704DWD will display it as 51%. The FFAD70331R1 will display it as 55%.
I would say that the latest model has the upper hand, the FFAD70331R1. It doesn’t have the holes at the front that the FAD704DWD has. This is where it takes in air. It fits in the sleek and modern style that most appliances have.
Vent & Fan Positioning
FAD704DWD takes in air from the front and exhausts dehumidified air at the top of the unit. It is useful if you want to place it in a corner or against the wall. On the other hand, FFAD70331R1 takes in air from the rear and exhausts air at the sides. It limits the amount of air it can intake if it’s placed near or against a wall. If you prefer the FFAD70331R1, make sure to place it in the center of the room or place it a few inches away from the wall.
FAD704DWD has only two fan speeds.
FFAD70331R1 has three fan speeds.
Water Bucket Capacity
FAD704DWD has a 16.3-pint water bucket.
FFAD70331R1 has a 13.1-pint water bucket.
Both units are relatively quiet and aren’t disturbing even when operating at high speeds. However, FFAD70331R1 is proven to be the quieter unit among the two.
FAD704DWD – low fan speed: 63.4 dB; high fan speed: 67.2 dB
FFAD70331R1 – low fan speed: 50.5 dB; high fan speed: 53.5 dB
I’m sure that Whirlpool is a brand that we’re all familiar with, just like Frigidaire. It’s a renowned brand that offers home appliances and products. Whirlpool has been winning the hearts of many since 1992. They ensure each product meets its consumers’ expectations in terms of performance and energy efficiency.
Whirlpool products have different capacities, ranging from 20 up to 50 pints. Whirlpool products are also smart, equipped with preprogrammed humidity levels for your bedroom and basement. There are also a lot of advanced features like the child lock function and filter alerts, and timers. Another notable feature is the Low Temp operation, which allows their dehumidifiers to operate wonderfully even at 41°F.
Kenmore should be on your list! With over 100 years of experience in designing and manufacturing innovative home appliances, Kenmore has perfected the art. They make highly energy-efficient appliances. This brand has garnered energy efficiency honors from Energy Star for three consecutive years as a testament to this statement!
Kenmore models can remove 30-70 pints of water from the air in a day, depending on the type and capacity of the unit chosen. What’s great about buying from Kenmore is that you can choose between portable and stationary units! In addition, most models have a built-in hygrometer and HEPA filter. They are very helpful in setting up your desired RH level and removing allergens in the air.
Tosot has come a long way since its establishment in 2003 by Gree Electrical Appliances. After nearly 20 years of dedicated work and service, Tosot is now known as one of the trusted brands. They offer intelligent products that solve our daily struggles in our homes. What sets the products from Tosot apart from others is the seamless auto-adjustment of the operating mode of each unit. It responds to the environment in real-time. These models have continuous drainage systems that eliminate the need for the traditional water basin. It adds to the convenience and user-friendliness of the units.
Tosot products have capacities ranging from 12 up to 50 pints. Suppose you’re still reluctant to check out this brand. These features might change your mind by providing high energy efficiency and intelligent Wi-Fi control. They have a fire-proof electric box and washable filters.
Hisense is an all-in-one type of brand, offering various products. Hisense was focused on developing radios and TVs in its early years. They have now expanded to designing and producing technology for households. It caters to various sets of needs of its consumers. What caught my eye when I was reviewing this brand is that its creators and designers never settle for mediocrity. They do not settle for less to have a variation in their product designs. They always excel in each design they put out, whether it’s laser cinema equipment or a HiSmart Dehumidifier.
Each appliance from Hisense screams “hi-tech” and “smart” and yet stays user-friendly and reasonably priced! Hisense offers small to large-capacity models. You can find 25 to 100-pint models with various area coverage limits on their official website. Some models are inverter units, and some boast built-in pumps and various operating speeds.
Vremi is well-known for its affordable and high-quality home and kitchen appliances. This brand is not a big fan of overpriced products, even if the item is jam-packed with smart features! What’s even greater is that they have amazing customer service. It is applauded by many in the customer feedback! I love how each of their product designs emits a fun, exciting vibe. It adds to the appeal and impact of Vremi.
You can find small-capacity ones on Vremi, such as the 1-pint portable option that can cover 150 square feet. Vremi also has 22 to 50-pint dehumidifiers available for you to choose from, with an area coverage range of 1,500-4,500 square feet. They are Energy Star certified and capable of working efficiently with minimal energy consumption. They are all compactly designed and boast a sleek, modern look that can easily complement your home. So far, Vremi is the most affordable and currently offers many discounts. If you want another option for a low-cost 50-pint model, you can check out Keystone KSTAD50B!
The Homelabs brand is certainly topping the list for the best dehumidifiers. The best one in the current market is the HME020031N model. It’s best known for its extensive coverage of 4500square feet. It even reduces odor in the home along with its main function.
This depends on the wetness and humidity of the area you intend to cover. In very damp areas, it is only likely to be effective in an area of 2500 square feet. But in wet rooms, it will only cover between 2000-2500 square feet. 70-pint models will only work in 1500-2000 square feet in very wet rooms.
70-pint dehumidifiers are made by top brands like Honeywell, Homelabs, LG, Midea, and Frigidaire.
There are also smaller, lesser-known brands in the market. However, these are the best ones proven to provide quality service.
The LG Puricare UD501KOG5 and the Frigidaire FFAD2233W1 are great buys. As well to this, the Homelabs HME020031N is also a great option. GE45 pint humidifier is one model you won’t regret buying also.
In general, a dehumidifier would last anywhere from 3 to 5 years. It can even last longer than 5 years if it receives good servicing and maintenance.
Last reminders before you leave and purchase the one that’s right for you:
These products can consume quite a lot of energy compared to other appliances. And just like how you have to pick the size, you have to choose the right amp wire size and proper extension cord. It’s important if you’re going to operate a lot of high-wattage appliances to ensure your safety. Even an honest mistake can lead to a short-circuiting or accidental fire.
Remember that although they can help maintain the RH level indoors to a healthy range, it is not a permanent solution. You have to seek out where all the moisture is coming from and tackle the root of the problem first. If a continuous water source or leak causes the moisture problem, a dehumidifier running 24/7 won’t be enough. Your house can suffer major damages. The renovation will be more tedious and complicated than adding a shower to a half bath. If worse comes to worst and you’ll have to do some renovations, make sure to check out these links. They can help make your renovation much easier.