Unfortunately, humidity in basements is all too common. Too much humidity in your home can cause a host of problems, like unsightly and potentially dangerous mold and mildew.
In fact, according to Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy, “High humidity can cause mold and other damage to walls, flooring, and furniture, but a dehumidifier is a great way to save yourself these costly effects.” Thankfully, using a dehumidifier to remedy this situation is a great first step.
However, you’ll want to select the right dehumidifier for your needs. Let’s take a look at how to choose a dehumidifier, followed by the 10 best dehumidifiers for basements.
Best Dehumidifiers For Basements:
hOmeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier
Frigidaire High Humidity 50-Pint Capacity Dehumidifier
Vremi 1-Pint Portable Dehumidifier
Midea 4,500-Square-Foot Dehumidifier
Santa Fe Compact70 Dehumidifier
AlorAir Basement and Crawlspace Dehumidifier
LG PuriCare 50-Pint Clear Bucket Dehumidifier
Honeywell 70-Pint Dehumidifier
GE Portable Dehumidifier With Pump
Tosot 50-Pint Dehumidifier
How to Choose a Dehumidifier
Experts recommend that basements sit at less than 50% humidity, though closer to 30% is ideal. This 20% range will keep things comfortable while preventing damage or the build-up of mold and mildew. Knowing about a few essential factors will help you choose a good dehumidifier for your basement.
Determining Your Current Humidity Level Without a Dehumidifier
You can check your current humidity level by purchasing a hygrometer, which you can find at most local hardware stores. A hygrometer is just like a thermometer, but instead of measuring temperature, it determines humidity.
If you want to test your humidity right this second without taking a trip to the hardware store, an alternative way of checking your humidity only involves a few ice cubes. All you have to do is place a few ice cubes inside of a glass and set the glass on a table or a shelf in your basement.
Let the glass sit there unbothered for about 10 minutes before coming back to check the state of the ice cubes. If there’s condensation on the outside of the glass, the humidity level is high. If there’s no condensation at all, the humidity level is low.
Measuring the Size of Your Current Basement
Most basements are around 800 square feet, but you can check the square footage of your home to get the precise measurement. Another easy way of determining the size of your basement is by breaking out a handy tape measure and manually measuring the space.
Figuring Out Which Dehumidifier is Appropriately Sized For Your Basement
You will want to figure out which dehumidifier is appropriately sized for your basement. Since dehumidifiers come in all shapes and sizes, you’ll need to base your choice on the size of your basement and the base-level humidity in your basement.
Large-capacity dehumidifiers can remove more than 40 pints of water from the air in a single day. Therefore, they are typically best suited for large and very humid basements.
On the other hand, medium-capacity dehumidifiers can typically remove around 30 to 40 pints of moisture from the air per day. They are best for either mid-sized basements or larger basements that aren’t as humid.
Small-capacity dehumidifiers are the best option for small basements. These types of dehumidifiers are able to remove around 20 to 25 pints of water from the air per day.
Deciding on the Kind of Dehumidifier That You Want
There are a few types of dehumidifiers, and each one works differently. Therefore, it’s crucial to figure out which kind of dehumidifier you want since not all dehumidifiers function in the same way.
Compressor dehumidifiers use a fan to pull air over cold coils, which causes condensation. The condensation runs into a tank or into a drain hose. Most dehumidifiers intended for home use work in this way to remove the excess moisture from the air.
Desiccant dehumidifiers replace those cold coils with a desiccant material for moisture removal, before feeding the moisture into the collection tank. In general, desiccant dehumidifiers are on the less-powerful side, so aren’t ideal for damp basements.
Thermo-electric dehumidifiers use heat to collect water rather than cold coils or desiccant material. These dehumidifiers are best for warm climates and small spaces.
Choosing the Noise Level of Your Dehumidifier
Most dehumidifiers are about as noisy as your average mobile AC unit. However, the larger the dehumidifier, the greater the noise level. Make sure you read up on your dehumidifier’s decibel measurement to determine how loud it will be when it is running.
If the dehumidifier you are thinking about buying is louder than 65 decibels, then you can expect the noise to be comparable to the sound of traffic outside your house. So, if you use your basement frequently as a living space, you may want to reconsider your choice of dehumidifier as 65 decibels or louder can be hard to ignore.
Think About Your Preferred Functions and Features
Like all home appliances, dehumidifiers come with various functions and features. For example, some offer the option to attach a drainage hose for the sake of continual drainage. There are some dehumidifiers that come with a hose, while others require you to buy one separately.
Some dehumidifiers offer digital screens and control panels that display important information, like humidity levels and when to empty the tank. Some offer timers, an automatic shut-off feature, or the option of an energy-efficient setting. Others have wheels to make transportation easier, whereas some models must be picked up and moved.
Consider the Local Climate
Lastly, you’ll want to consider your local climate because your location might require certain features depending on the average weather and temperatures near you. For example, if you live in a cold environment, you might want to invest in a dehumidifier with an auto-defrost setting. On the other hand, if you live in a hot climate, you might prefer a thermo-electric dehumidifier instead.
Our 10 Favorite Dehumidifiers for Basements
So, now that you know what you’re looking for in a dehumidifier, are you ready to start shopping? Here are a few of our favorite options.
This dehumidifier from hOmeLabs can cover more than 4,500 square feet of space, making it suitable for most basements. It can effectively remove 50 pints of water every single day, too. That’s more than six gallons of moisture!
However, take note that the tank can only hold 1.6 gallons of water. Once it’s full, you’ll need to empty it, but don’t worry about keeping a close eye on the dehumidifier during all hours of the day. The dehumidifier will automatically turn itself off once the tank is full.
This dehumidifier is relatively easy to use. With a touch-panel to get things going and keep them running smoothly, the dehumidifier also offers an auto-defrost feature and a side filter that is easy to access when you need to give it a quick clean. In addition to all of this, the dehumidifier is really quiet as well, making it ideal for people who use the basement space as extra living space or even as an office.
Yes, the same folks who keep your food cold can also help you keep the humidity in your basement at bay. This high-capacity dehumidifier from Frigidaire is easy to use. A digital monitor will show you your basement’s current humidity level.
Additionally, wheels make the device easily portable. You can also choose to attach a drainage hose to this particular dehumidifier, allowing for continuous draining, meaning you don’t have to make sure you constantly remember to empty the tank when it’s full.
What if you need something for a particularly small space? This dehumidifier from Vremi has you covered. It is a great choice for spaces that are around 150 square feet at most. Think small basement laundry rooms or bathrooms.
This quiet and energy-efficient dehumidifier only weighs four pounds, so it’s easy to carry around and move from one place to another as needed. When the water tank is full, the dehumidifier will turn itself off automatically and alert you via an LED light.
If you need to remove humidity from a very large space, try out this 50-pint dehumidifier that can effectively maintain basements of up to 4,500 square feet. Ideal for keeping the humidity around 45% to 50% in any given space, this quiet dehumidifier also allows you to attach a garden hose to make constant drainage possible.
The filter is also easily washable. Additionally, there’s an auto-restart function, so if you have a power outage or another type of interruption arises, the dehumidifier will immediately start working again once the power returns. All of the previous settings will remain intact, too.
Some basements are extremely compact, leaving you with very little space to walk around, let alone use and then empty a dehumidifier that is a few feet tall. For those of you in a similar situation, a compact dehumidifier from Santa Fe may be your best bet.
Designed with crawl spaces in mind, it is lengthier than it is tall, so you can easily slide it into your basement space and use it as needed. The dehumidifier comes with all of the necessary hardware needed to set it up in a crawlspace, but you won’t need all of the hardware if you’re just using it for your basement.
Unfortunately, a specialty dehumidifier like this does come with a hefty price tag. However, it’s well worth it because it will keep your home and family safe from mold, mildew, and dust mites.
The AlorAir dehumidifier offers a comparable design to the Santa Fe Compact70 dehumidifier. One great feature that this dehumidifier comes with is a defrosting system, so it’ll keep chugging along even if the temperatures in your basement dip down into more frigid territory. The built-in pump also makes drainage easy.
As for looks, this PuriCare dehumidifier from LG Electronics wins top prize. The sleek, black design makes it suitable for use, even in basement spaces where you might frequently work or socialize. The dehumidifier features a clear bucket, so you can keep an eye on when you need to empty the water, though you also have the option to connect a drainage hose to the back.
One unique feature is its resting stage, which means that the dehumidifier shuts off for a bit. The 23-hour timer keeps it from overheating. The coolest feature? This dehumidifier connects to your Wi-Fi and works with Alexa to respond to voice controls.
This dehumidifier is easy to use and works well in large spaces. The auto-drain pump comes equipped with a drain tube, so you can run the tube either horizontally or vertically up to 15 feet away from the dehumidifier. This makes it easy to drain the water either into a sink or out of a window. The air filter can be hand-washed multiple times as well.
Multiple setting options allow you to choose whether you want to run at full capacity, save energy, or work at a lower temperature. An auto-restart function makes sure the dehumidifier turns back on in the event of power outages. Plus, the wheels make it extra portable, which is a good thing when you consider that this dehumidifier weighs 43 pounds.
Another dehumidifier that comes equipped with a pump is this 50-pint dehumidifier from GE, which allows you to pump the moisture into any area up to 16 feet away from the device. An alarm function lets you know if the bucket is either full or missing.
There is another alarm function that tells you when the filter needs to be cleaned as well. The humidistat will show you the exact current humidity levels in your basement alongside other features, like three different fan speeds and an auto-defrost function.
This 50-pint dehumidifier is well-suited for large rooms up to 4,500 square feet, though smaller variants are also available. It features an internal pump, which allows for continuous pumping. Plus, there are three fan speeds.
The digital controls allow you to set a target humidity level. That way, the device has something to work towards. After it reaches that desired humidity level, it will automatically shut off.
A Caveat Concerning Older Dehumidifiers
If you purchase an old and used dehumidifier second-hand, you may notice some changes or differences. That’s because the Department of Energy changed the way it evaluates dehumidifiers in 2020.
Due to these changes, newer dehumidifiers typically advertise that they reduce humidity at lower rates than older dehumidifiers. However, this doesn’t mean that newer-model dehumidifiers are worse or less effective than older models.
You’ll see some 50-pint dehumidifiers advertised as 70-pint dehumidifiers prior to 2019. This is because the DOE simply evaluates new dehumidifiers based on lower basement temperatures. The lower the temperature, the less moisture a dehumidifier can remove from the air.
Caring for Your Dehumidifier
Once you’ve purchased the perfect dehumidifier, you’ll want to make sure that you take care of it properly. Make sure that it’s in a well-ventilated space and that any airflow into or out of the dehumidifier is unrestricted. Additionally, be sure to clean the vent at least once per week. This will prevent the dehumidifier from overheating and ensure that the dehumidifier works at full capacity.
What if a Dehumidifier Isn’t Enough?
If you find that you’re still seeing a lot of humidity in your basement and the dehumidifier doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, don’t automatically blame the dehumidifier. It could be that your humidity is caused by a continual water source.
It’s important to know where exactly the humidity is coming from in these situations. You could have an unknown leak that requires the help of a professional, but you’ll never know if you don’t first start out with a dehumidifier like the 10 we talked about today!
You might also be interested in: Everything A Homeowner Could Want To Know About HVAC Maintenance
The 10 Best Dehumidifiers For Basements:
- hOmeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier
- Frigidaire High Humidity 50-Pint Capacity Dehumidifier
- Vremi 1-Pint Portable Dehumidifier
- Midea 4,500-Square-Foot Dehumidifier
- Santa Fe Compact70 Dehumidifier
- AlorAir Basement and Crawlspace Dehumidifier
- LG PuriCare 50-Pint Clear Bucket Dehumidifier
- Honeywell 70-Pint Dehumidifier
- GE Portable Dehumidifier With Pump
- Tosot 50-Pint Dehumidifier