For those of us that have basements and crawlspaces in our homes we have to worry about conditions that create a habitat for mold, mildew and bacteria. And when there’s mold and bacteria, there’s problems for those with allergies and asthma. Fortunately, the best dehumidifier for basement use can easily handle and control this problem.
Though a decent size investment, the cost of running a dehumidifier seems rather small in comparison to the full blown reconstruction you may need when you’ve got serious moisture problems. Mold remediation can cost anywhere from $500 to $30,000 to fix!
BENEFITS OF A DEHUMIDIFIER FOR YOUR BASEMENT
Mold & Mildew Protection
As previously mentioned, mold and mildew is a common predator in dark and musky locations like your basement, crawlspace or attic. These dehumidifiers are the perfect solution to control even the largest basement areas.
Accurate Humidity Controls
You get to control exactly the settings you want and need. These units are powerful and operate at the parameters that you require.
Water Damage Be Gone
Normally, excess humidity can cause a lot of damage to tools, equipment, photos and other items that you store in your basement. Pulling this excess water out of the environment will protect the integrity of your belongings and prolong their life expectancy.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DEHUMIDIFIER
There are varying types of dehumidifiers on the market and choosing one is normally fairly easy. Simply determine what kind of operational demands and features you need and pull the trigger. Here are a few of the primary things you’ll want to consider.
ENERGY STAR Qualified
Continuous Draining System
Auto Defrost to prevent coils from freezing
Without a doubt, the first thing you need to determine is how big of an area do you need to control. After you’ve determined the size of your basement (or control area), you can choose the corresponding dehumidifiers Pint capacity – how many pints/hour or day does this thing pull?
More options include whether or not you want to manually drain your dehumidifier or go with the Continuous Drainage feature, which allows you to hook a hose up to the unit and connect it directly to a drain or sink. No more emptying buckets once a day? Yes, please.
Many people also find that a dehumidifier runs the risk of having their coils freeze up, perhaps due to the low ambient temperatures normally present in basement conditions. Fortunately, many units come with an Auto Defrost feature to combat this.
Lastly, running a large dehumidifier for extended periods of time can be a costly endeavor. One of the best ways to minimize your impact is to look for a unit that is ENERGY STAR qualified. Many of them are also compatible with your home’s smart thermostat.
Running large pieces of equipment not only costs money but sometimes come with consumer concerns and product malfunctions. Owning a dehumidifier – with all it’s internal components – oftentimes can prove to have its own issues. Below are some of the common issues that customers have with these types of units.
- Frequent emptying of buckets
- Units can give off extra heat in the rooms they operate
- Evaporator coils freeze up due to low refrigerant, cold outdoor temperatures or a failing compressor
- Continuous running fan makes for increased noise levels
SAFETY AND OTHER INFORMATION
Even the best dehumidifier for your basement can only do so much. Especially if you put it in a place where it can’t perform at its best or you set it to the incorrect settings for your space. Above you’ll find a chat setting where others just like you discuss their preferred settings. Most suggest under 60 RH.
If you want to keep your dehumidifier running smoothly for as long as possible you will want to perform routine maintenance. Just like a portable AC unit, a dehumidifier will only last so long if it is not properly taken care of. Here are some tips on how to maintain and even fix some of the components on your own.
* * Prices for Dehumidifiers vary depending on availability and other factors. Rates may in fact be lower than stated. Check for updated prices.
BEST DEHUMIDIFIERS FOR BASEMENT USE
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When you think of environmental control products, Frigidaire immediately comes to mind. It’s no surprise their 70-Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier is rated as the best dehumidifier for a basement as per the many satisified customers. The Frigidaire 70 comes with Digital Controls and Humidity readout, 2 Fan Speeds, Easy Access Container, Washable Bacteria-Reducing Filter, Level Indicator, Full Tank Alert, Side Handles, Caster Wheels and is Energy Star efficient.
Pros: Convenient Integrated Handle – Easily rolls without tipping – Nicely designed control panel – Mostly quiet operation – Easy water emptying with hose – Easy clean filter – Works quickly – Can be set up with hose to avoid manual draining of bucket
Cons: Filter placement could be better – Moderate fan and compressor noise – Few handle breaking complaints when emptying unit
Though not quite as popular as the Frigidaire unit, the Keystone 70-Pint Dehumidifier comes with roughly the same amount features and at a price point that represents excellent value for the savvy shopper. The Keystone also comes with Electronic Controls with its LED Display, Water and Full Bucket Indicators, Easy Clean Filter with Clean-Filter Alert, 24 Hour Timer, Auto Restart, Auto Defrost and Rolling Casters. It also offers a Continuous Drainage Hose which makes it one of the more popular basement dehumidifiers on the market.
Pros: Easy to roll casters – 15 foot connector hose – Continuous draining option – Restarts after power failure – Fairly quiet operation – Nice digital display – Auto shutoff feature – One of the lighter dehumidifiers – Good value
Cons: Some weak handle concerns – Drainage bucket not flat on bottom and can’t be set down – Inserting bucket in unit can be awkward – Bucket size too small, frequent emptying – Couple complaints of emitting too much heat from unit
One of the Top 3 basement dehumidifiers as far as performance and ratings is the Friedrich 70-Pint Dehumidifier. The Friedrich is also an Energy Star rated unit and offers Continuous Drainage capabilities. Features include a beautiful Digital Temp/Humidity Display, Drain Pump for optional Vertical Continuous Drainage support, 2-Speed Fan, Auto Defrost, Washable Filter, Removable Bucket, 24 Hour Timer and Caster Wheels to easily move it into place.
Pros: Drain Pump built in (vertical or horizontal) – Temperature and Humidity Display – Works quickly to lower RH – Timer setting for desired operation – Pump strong enough to pump water uphill – Quick setup – Easy clean filter
Cons: Unit can be loud with vibrations, pump and condensor – Some digital reading malfunctions – Few complaints of early unit operation malfunctions
The Danby 70-Pint Dehumidifier proves to be yet another reliable dehumidifier for basement or other areas known to cultivate mold and mildew. Like many others it offers Continuous Draining and is Energy Star complaint, so it helps to save on your electric bill. It features Easy-To-Read Digital Controls that display Temperature and Humidity, 2 Fan Speeds, Auto Restart, Auto Defrost, Washable Filter, Full Tank Indicator with Auto Shutoff and Caster Wheels for mobility.
Pros: Auto shutoff when reservoir is full- Temp and humidity display – Easy setup out of box – Comes with 5 ft. hose – Wheel casters for easy moving – Handles to lift unit – Lightest weighing dehumidifier
Cons: Not as quiet as competing brands – Few mentions of unit creating slightly heated basement – Fan runs continuously
Whynter is another big name in the home environmental controls industry and their 70 Pint, Energy Star unit is a top rated dehumidifier for basement or crawlspace use. The Whynter is built for Continuous Operation use and comes with a Clear Digital Display featuring Temp/Humidity readouts, Auto Restart and Shutoff, an Auto Defrost feature, 24 Hour Timer, Washable Pre-Filter, Handles and Caster Wheels for portability. It’s Gravity Drain feature allows you to pump with up to 15′ of vertical lift.
Pros: Auto restart and auto shutoff option – Auto defrost – Pump drain option – Included 16.5′ hose – Casters for easy moving – Timer and Humidity controls – 2 speeds, high and low – Moderate operational noise – Easy setup – Easy to remove and clean filter – Lightweight in comparison to competitors
Cons: Fan runs constantly – Collection bucket could be larger – Bucket handle seems to be made cheaply
The EdgeStar 70-Pint unit is another large-scale dehumidifier on the affordable side of your budget. It’s Energy Star efficient, comes with a clean Digital Display, 2-Speed Fan, Washable Air Filter, Auto de-icer to prevent coils from freezing up, Auto Shutoff, Auto Restart after power failure and has Caster Wheels for transportability. It also allows for direct-to-drain in order to eliminate bucket emptying.
Pros: Caster wheels for portability – Relatively quiet operation – Easy to use LCD control panel – Timer setting – Has power outage reset – Auto shutoff – Easy Grip Handle
Cons: Filter removes from top not side, causing dust to fall into unit – Smaller water bucket needs frequent emptying – Bucket a little awkward to put back in unit – Some complaints about cheap hose connection
DeLonghi is yet another top name in home comfort products and their 70-Pint dehumidifier rates fairly well. Their patented pump function offers continuous discharge (up to 16′ vertical) for convenience and is also Energy Star qualified. For features, this 70-Pint dehumidifier offers 2 Fan Speeds, a bright LCD Display that monitors Temp and Humidity, Auto Defrost, a Visible Water Level, 24 Hour Timer, Washable Air Filter, Handles and Caster Wheels to easily move it from place to place.
Pros: Gravity pump function – LCD controls monitor temp and humidity – 24 hour timer – Easy to clean filter – Hose included – Turns back on after power outage
Cons: Fan runs continuously – Need to reset specified settings after power outage – May be louder than competing brands – One of the heavier units
Everyone recognizes the Whirlpool brand and their 70-Pint unit rates as one of the best dehumidifiers for basement and similar type spaces. It offers Digital Controls with Temperature, Humidity and Time Displays, Auto Shutoff, a Programmable Timer, Full Tank Alert, comes with a Washable Air Filter with Warning Indicator and includes a large Handle and Caster Wheels for easy pulling. It also supports continuous draining via hose attachment.
Pros: Timer function – Wheels for easy maneuverability – Larger water capacity – Easy setup – Bright digital display that monitors temperature and humidity
Cons: Hose not included – Fan runs continuously – May not be the quietest on the market – Timer cannot be set to turn off at a certain time
One of the more popular and affordable units on the market is the Sunpentown (SPT) 65-Pint, Continuous Drainage humidifier. The SPT unit comes with a clean Digital Display with touch-button controls, 2 Fan Speeds, Memory Restart Function, Washable Air Filter, Full Tank Warning with Auto Shutoff, a Lift Handle and Caster Wheels to move it into place.
Pros: Auto bucket shutoff – Lifting handle – Low and High Setting – Casters for mobility – 10 Liter removable water tank
Cons: Multiple unit malfunction complaints before year 2 – May be louder than competing brands
With multiple products on the market, you can be assured that now you’ll be able to find the best dehumidifier for your basement needs. Weeding through the brand names and extra features to find one that suits your needs, however, is something that you’ll have to do for yourself. Hopefully you are now better informed to be able to select a unit that not only does what it needs to do, but is backed by reliability reports from actual owners of these dehumidifiers. And if you’re still not ready to unload a few hundred dollars on a dehumidifer, there are always cheaper alternatives such as opening windows and using high powered fans for circulation.