Basements have long been the subject of several horror movies, but the real horror lurking therein is the risk of unhealthy humidity levels. High humidity levels can make your basement feel stinky, stuffy, and damp, and the accompanying smell is likely due to mold and mildew growth.

When left unchecked, mold and mildew is not only damaging to your home and belongings, it’s also a health risk. To prevent this, you can use a basement dehumidifier to control humidity levels and protect your home, your things, and your family. In this article, we’ll be looking at the Top 10 Best Basement Dehumidifiers that money can buy and highlight all their key features and benefits.

  • Capacity: 70 pints/day
  • Covers up to 4500 sq. ft.
  • Max. noise level: 55 dB
  • Lowest operating temperature: 41°F
  • Normal, Turbo, and Auto Defrost settings
  • 1-year warranty

  • Capacity: 70 pints/day
  • Max. noise level: 53.4 dB
  • Lowest operating temperature: 41°F
  • Washable filter removes odors, bacteria, and other pollutants
  • Continuous drain operation
  • 1-year warranty

  • Capacity: 70 pints/day
  • Covers up to 4500 sq. ft.
  • Max. noise level: 52 dB
  • Built-in internal pump
  • Auto shutoff, auto restart, auto defrost settings
  • 1-year warranty

  • Capacity: 70 pint/day
  • Covers up to 4500 sq. ft.
  • Washable air filter to remove air pollutants
  • Auto Shut Off and Auto Defrost Settings
  • 24-hour timer
  • 1-year warranty

  • Capacity: 70 pints/day
  • Covers up to 700 sq. ft.
  • Max. noise level: 53 dB
  • Lowest operating temperature: 36°F
  • Automatic humidity control
  • 1-year warranty

  • Capacity: 30 pints/day
  • Max. noise level: 53 dB
  • Lowest operating temperature: 40°F
  • 2-in-1 silver-coated washable pre-filter combo
  • Auto restart, auto shut off, and auto defrost functions
  • 1-year warranty

  • Capacity: 30 pints/day
  • Lowest operating temperature: 41°F
  • Max. noise level: 52 dB
  • Antibacterial mesh filter
  • Continuous drain operation
  • 1-year warranty

  • Capacity: 70 pints/day
  • Covers up to 5000 sq. ft.
  • Max. noise level: 43 dB
  • 24-hour Timer
  • Automatic dehumidification
  • 1.5-year warranty

  • Capacity: 95 pints/day
  • Covers up to 6000 sq. ft.
  • Lowest operating temperature: 41°F
  • Auto shut off, auto restart, and auto defrost settings
  • 24-hour Timer
  • 1- year warranty

  • Capacity: 21 pints/day
  • Desiccant type dehumidifier
  • Lowest operating temperature: 34°F
  • Max. noise level: 43 dB
  • Full tank indicator and auto shut off feature
  • 2-year warranty

Quick Navigation

1. Keystone KSTAD70C

The KSTAD70C from Keystone is one of the more affordable basement dehumidifiers on the market and competes with its peers on power. With a 70 pint per day moisture extraction capacity, the KSTAD70C can cover areas as large as 4500 sq. ft.

One of the biggest drawbacks for this model is that several users have reported it to be very loud, so it’s best not to have it running when you have visitors over. It also has a pretty dated design compared to the other models in this list. This unit also gets noticeably warm while in use, which is not something that we like to observe in our dehumidifiers.

Overall, though, the KSTAD70C is an excellent option for those looking for a powerful dehumidifier that can cover large spaces and has all the features you would expect from a dehumidifier of its calibre, minus the hefty price tag. It’s reliability and durability sets it apart from other more expensive dehumidifiers.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage
  • High moisture extraction capacity
  • Low operating temperature
  • Feature-rich unit
  • Durable
  • Easy to use and maintain

Cons

  • Loud
  • Dated design
  • Short warranty
  • Heats up while in use

The Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 is a sleek, refrigerant-type dehumidifier that’s as popular as it is powerful. While its room coverage is not explicitly stated, you can tell it can service extra large basements with its 70 pints per day moisture extraction capacity.

Due to its sheer power, the FFAD7033R1 does make a considerable amount of noise. Aside from the noise, this model has been described as being flimsy, and users have reported it lasting only a few months before becoming completely defective. It also doesn’t have an auto defrost mode, which is a common feature of dehumidifiers of its calibre.

Flaws aside, however, you can’t deny that the FFAD7033R1 is a top-notch dehumidifier with a bevy of useful features that make using it easier and more convenient. It has indicators for any parts that need to be cleaned or emptied (i.e.: bucket and filter) as well as automatic humidity settings and more.

Pros

  • High moisture extraction capacity
  • Large room coverage
  • Low operating temperature
  • Indicators for tank and filter
  • Automatic humidity control with humidistat
  • Easy set up and maintenance
  • Feature-rich unit
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Durability issues
  • Slightly loud
  • No defrost setting
  • Short warranty

If you want to avoid having to drain your dehumidifier manually, then you might need one that has a built-in internal pump that does it for you. Rated to cover up to 4500 sq. ft. of space, this model is perfect for use in large basements with its moisture extraction rate peaking at a whopping 70 pints per day.

The main drawback to this powerful device is that it costs a little more than its peers. There have also been reports that this model isn’t as durable as its price tag makes it seem. When you take everything into consideration, however, you can’t deny this model is combines both power and convenience into one sleek and silent device. It’s packed with a range of features such as indicator lights for a full tank and filter change. It has all the makings of a premium device with all sorts of automatic settings such as auto shut off, auto restart, and auto defrost.

Pros

  • High moisture extraction capacity
  • Large room coverage
  • Low operating temperature
  • Indicators for tank and filter
  • Internal pump allows for continuous drain operation
  • Feature-rich unit
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Durability issues
  • Short warranty

This Ivation 70-Pint Dehumidifier is a popular one. Reminiscent of the KSTAD70C, this unit also features a pretty dated design but is still as robust and powerful as every other unit on this list. From the name, you can already tell this also has a 70 pint per day capacity.

Although reasonably priced, there have been several complaints about this model’s durability, which is always alarming considering how short the warranty period is for these dehumidifiers. Aside from durability, there have been complaints about leaking and the loudness of the unit while in use.

With all things considered, the Ivation 70-Pint Dehumidifier is still a strong competitor in our search for the best basement dehumidifier for its solid performance, reasonable price, features, and energy efficiency. This model also comes with castors, which is advantageous for anyone looking to move their dehumidifiers around.

Pros

  • High moisture extraction capacity
  • Large room coverage
  • Energy efficient
  • Casters for mobility
  • Feature-rich unit
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Durability issues
  • Leaking issues
  • Short warranty
  • Loud

The Kenmore KM70 comes from one of the giants in the home appliance market and is backed by the brand’s standards for high quality and high performance. With its 70 pints per day capacity, though, the KM70 can service areas up to 700 sq. ft. which is a considerably smaller area. Aside from its disappointing room coverage, the KM70 is also a lot more expensive than the other dehumidifiers on this list with more or less the same specifications. Another disappointment is how loud this unit is while in use.

One of the highlights for this unit, however, is that it has a special Cleancel antimicrobial treatment on its water bucket to prevent bacteria from proliferating in the standing water. Furthermore, it’s able to operate at considerably lower temperatures (as low as 36°F) compared to its peers so you can rest easy using it during the colder months.

Pros

  • High moisture extraction capacity
  • Energy efficient
  • Casters for mobility
  • Feature-rich unit
  • Automatic humidity control
  • Very low temperature operation
  • Cleancel antimicrobial treatment on bucket

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Smaller room coverage
  • Short warranty
  • Loud

If you have a small basement and don’t need the power of all the dehumidifiers we’ve reviewed thus far, then the Whynter RPD-321EW might just be what you want. Only rated to cover smaller areas, the RPD-321EW is capable of extracting 30 pints per day.

Of course, since it was designed for smaller spaces, the RPD-321EW also has a lower moisture extraction capacity which is its biggest limiting factor. In addition, it’s also backed by the same measly warranty that all the other dehumidifiers on this list have.

On the bright side, the RPD-321EW is a breath of fresh air because of its more modest price tag. Despite being cheaper, the RPD-321EW doesn’t skimp on features and even comes equipped with a silver-coated washable pre-filter that protects your dehumidifier from both bacterial and physical contaminants.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Best for smaller basements
  • Low operating temperature
  • Silver-coated washable pre-filter
  • Compact, space-saving design
  • Feature-rich unit

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Lower moisture extraction capacity

If you liked the Frigidaire we reviewed just now, but feel like it’s too much power for your needs, then you might like its smaller, cheaper sibling, the Frigidaire 30-Pint. Of course, like the RPD-321EW, this model has a lower moisture extraction capacity compared to the other humidifiers on this list. There have also been durability and leaking issues from several users which isn’t great considering how short the warranty is.

With all things considered, though, this model is still a solid choice for anyone on a tight budget. It’s energy efficient; comes in a compact, save-saving design; has all the right features, and just right for a small basement where space might be at a premium.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Best for smaller basements
  • Energy efficient
  • Low temperature operation
  • Compact, space-saving design
  • Feature-rich unit

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Durability and leaking issues
  • Lower moisture extraction capacity

The Opolar 70-Pint Dehumidifier is definitely making waves in the market. Capable of extracting up to 70 pints of moisture per day, the Opolar 70-Pint can service areas as large as 5000 sq. ft. which is larger than the other 70-pint dehumidifiers on this list.

Reviewing this product, we didn’t find too many flaws with it. In fact, the only thing wrong with it is the short warranty (but it’s no different from every other dehumidifier). The lack of real flaws is a testament to the high quality performance of this model. Aside from having a modest price tag, it doesn’t skimp on any key features and even comes equipped with an auto swing louver to help direct air flow to specific areas. It’s quiet and it looks good doing its job.

Pros

  • More affordable compared to other dehumidifiers with same specs
  • High moisture extraction capacity
  • Large room coverage
  • Auto swing louver
  • Casters for mobility
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • Short warranty

The Ivation 95-Pint Dehumidifier was designed for more heavy-duty dehumidification in commercial basements. Capable of extracting a whopping 95 pints of moisture per day, the Ivation 95-Pint can service areas up to 6000 sq. ft. in size without sacrificing aesthetics.

For such a powerful unit, it’s no surprise that this is the most expensive dehumidifier on this list and is also reportedly very loud as well. Alas, the same short warranty persists with this unit despite its price. Fortunately, you’re sure to get your money’s worth with this unit from its solid specifications alone. It even has an internal pump built-in for continuous water drainage which further boosts convenience. Surprisingly enough, this unit also features a more compact design despite being one of the most powerful dehumidifiers in the market today.

Pros

  • High moisture extraction capacity
  • Large room coverage
  • Internal pump for continuous water drainage
  • Energy efficient
  • Compact, space-saving design
  • Feature-rich unit
  • Casters for mobility

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Short warranty
  • Loud

The EcoSeb DD322EA-SIMPLE is quite special because it’s a different type of dehumidifier: while all the others are refrigerant dehumidifiers, the DD322EA-SIMPLE is a desiccant dehumidifier. Two of the key advantages of a desiccant dehumidifier over refrigerant types is that it can operate at lower temperatures and is a lot quieter because it doesn’t have a compressor.

One disadvantage, however, is that you’re actually paying more for a lower moisture extraction capacity and smaller room coverage. In general, desiccant dehumidifiers are more expensive and don’t have the same robust specifications of refrigerant types. This unit in particular also lacks a timer which should be a staple in most electronic home appliances by today’s standards. Despite some flaws, however, the DD322EA-SIMPLE is perfect for small to medium-sized basements. It’s quiet and energy efficient to boot. You’re also free to use it even during the colder months because it can operate at temperatures as low as 34°F, and it is backed by a longer 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Longer warranty compared to other dehumidifiers
  • Very low operating temperature
  • Energy efficient
  • Automatic humidity control
  • Feature-rich with safety features

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Lower moisture extraction capacity
  • No timer

Buyer’s Guide

Why You Need a Basement Dehumidifier

A basement is the part of your house that’s either completely or partially below the ground floor. Because of its close proximity to the moist earth, it is more prone to dangerously high humidity levels all year round. High humidity levels cause basements to become cool, damp, and give off a noticeable musty smell. That smell is likely due to mold and mildew which proliferate where it’s dark and moist.

Mold and mildew can damage any belongings you may have in your basement as well as pose a serious health risk for anyone with sensitivities to them. To prevent these problems, a dehumidifier can be placed in the basement to effectively lower humidity levels.

Different Types of Dehumidifiers

Refrigerant Dehumidifiers

Although not explicitly stated in product descriptions or user manuals, most of the popular dehumidifiers in the market are refrigerant types. This is also the most common type.  Refrigerant dehumidifiers work by drawing moist air into the dehumidifier and passing it over a cold evaporator coil. The coil cools the air past its dew point, the atmospheric temperature below which water droplets begin to form. This causes condensation, which collects on a pan and can be removed manually or purged through a hose directly connected to the dehumidifier. The newly dried air is then released back into the room.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers work by running moist air through a rotor that has a moisture adsorbent desiccant material. A desiccant is a hygroscopic substance that is widely used for drying purposes. Once the water is removed from the air, the dry air can then be released back out into the vicinity. Water collected from moist air is removed by heating and the vaporized moisture can then be ducted out of the house/building.

Key Characteristics of Basement Dehumidifiers

When it comes to choosing the right dehumidifier for your home, it’s important to keep these key characteristics in mind:

Extraction Rate

The extraction rate for a dehumidifier measures how much water it can extract on a daily basis. This is often measured in pints per day (PPD). Generally, refrigerant dehumidifiers are able to extract larger amounts of water as compared to desiccant dehumidifiers and are particularly more useful during flood restoration when materials require more rapid drying. Of course, extraction rates vary from brand to brand and from model to model so it’s best to do a little research beforehand.

Area Coverage

Area coverage simply measures how big of a space the dehumidifier is able to service. This changes dramatically depending on the relative humidity of the basement, the temperature, and how sealed the area is. A dehumidifier will be able to maximize its area coverage when the basement is very tightly sealed.

Operating Temperature

This is a very important characteristic that you will have to look into when purchasing a dehumidifier as the operating temperature directly affects how your dehumidifier will work. Desiccant dehumidifiers, in general, are able to withstand colder temperatures than refrigerant dehumidifiers. This is because refrigerant dehumidifiers struggle to reach the required dew point during the cooler seasons. There are certain brands of refrigerant dehumidifiers that are able to operate at temperatures as low as 33°F, though, so it’s best to do a little research on this.

Running Costs

Generally, dehumidifiers don’t cost much to operate. You can expect to spend $15 to $35 per month on electricity, but this can go upwards of $50 if your dehumidifier is running continuously. Between the two types, refrigerant dehumidifiers consume less energy than desiccant dehumidifiers.

Noise

Because refrigerant dehumidifiers use compressors to run, they’re typically louder and noisier than desiccant dehumidifiers. Generally, basement dehumidifiers make between 45 to 55 dB of noise which is comparable to urban ambient sound or conversation noise.

Size/Weight

Basement dehumidifiers generally come in more or less the same sizes. Their size is directly proportional to their specifications: the more powerful it is, the larger it will be. When choosing a dehumidifier, make sure you have enough space for it in your basement.

Basement Dehumidifier Care and Maintenance

Compared to other types of home appliances, basement dehumidifiers often need very little maintenance, but they aren’t maintenance-free. There are still necessary steps you need to take in order to keep your dehumidifier in the best shape.

Ensure proper placement of unit

One of the first things to determine when bringing home your basement dehumidifier is where to place it. To get the most out of a dehumidifier, you have to place at least 6 inches away from the walls to ensure proper airflow. Furthermore, it’s best to keep the basement as tightly sealed as possible to keep the dehumidifier running optimally. Open windows/doors can make the dehumidifier work twice as hard to remove the moisture in the room, leading to higher electricity bills.

Adjust the humidistat to the right level

All dehumidifiers come with a humidistat that allows you to set the humidity to your desired level. Ideally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends keeping indoor humidity levels to 30% to 50%. The same is true for your basement. To keep your dehumidifier from working too hard, make sure you adjust the humidistat to the right level and avoid setting it at a very low humidity level.

Replace the filter periodically

Most dehumidifiers come with an air filter to remove unwanted air pollutants such as allergens and dust. The filter protects the dehumidifier as well as ensures the air it releases is as clean and healthy as possible. Different models use different types of filters and it’s best to always check the manufacturer’s instructions or user manual to find out how often you should change out your dehumidifier’s filters.

Check the drain

It’s important to ensure that there are no blockages or airlock in the dehumidifier’s drain system to keep it running efficiently. Otherwise, a qualified service professional may need to repair it.

Check coils for frost or ice build-up

A common problem with dehumidifiers is that they’re prone to frost or ice build-up especially when they’re running in cooler conditions. This will interfere with how the dehumidifier operates.

If you think your dehumidifier is suffering from this problem, turn off the dehumidifier and unplug it so that you can safely access the internal system. Be warned, though, that opening your dehumidifier or taking apart may void your warranty. In these cases, it’s best to check for defrosting tips in the user manual or contact the manufacturer of your dehumidifier.

You can also try placing the dehumidifier in a warm place to hasten the defrosting process. Another way to curb this problem altogether is to purchase a dehumidifier unit with an automatic defrost function that shuts the compressor off when it detects ice build-up. The fan keeps running to melt the ice build-up and, once all the ice has melted, the compressor turns on again and operation resumes as normal.

Clean air intake and exhaust grills

As with any home appliance that solves air quality problems, the air intake and exhaust grills of the dehumidifier need to be cleaned regularly to keep it running efficiently. You can do this by running a vacuum brush over the grills at least once per season.

Avoid short-cycling the compressor

Avoid switching on and turning off your dehumidifier at short intervals. Doing this can cause the compressor to overheat and potentially trip your circuit-breaker. You should be waiting at least 10 minutes before switching your dehumidifier on again. This allows the pressure in the system to equalize and prevents damage to the compressor.

Draining Options

When you purchase a dehumidifier, you have the option to choose between three drain methods:

Manual draining from the bucket

This is probably the simplest but also the most tedious way to drain your dehumidifier’s water bucket. Dehumidifiers generally shut off automatically when the bucket is full. You can remove the water bucket, dump out the water, replace it back inside the dehumidifier, and it’ll run again as normal. Unfortunately, this option is very inconvenient, especially for the elderly or anyone with physical disabilities.

Gravity draining with a hose

Another, more convenient way of draining the water bucket is by attaching a standard garden hose to the dehumidifier. The problem with this method is that you have to place your dehumidifier at a higher level than your drain outlet because it works with gravity.

Automatic draining with an internal pump

Dehumidifiers with an internal pump, while considerably more expensive, rid you of the responsibility of having to manually empty your dehumidifier’s water bucket every now and then. You also don’t have to worry about having to position your dehumidifier higher than your drain outlet as the internal pump forcefully pushes out water via a hose and doesn’t rely on gravity.

FAQ

Where does the water extracted by my dehumidifier go?

This depends on the drain method that you choose. If you’re using a hose to either drain your unit by gravity or with an internal pump, you can direct the hose to a floor drain, a nearby sink, a window, or attach it to an outlet pipe. There are several options for you and you can choose whichever option is most convenient.

What is the ideal humidity level for my basement?

The ideal humidity level for the crawl space is the same for the rest of the house: 30% to 50%. This is the humidity level recommended by the EPA and is the level at which mold spores are unable to grow. For more information on maintaining the ideal humidity levels at home, read our guide here.

How much noise can I expect from my basement dehumidifier?

Generally, basement dehumidifiers make between 45 to 55 dB of noise on the highest level which is about as loud as regular conversation noise or urban ambient noise. If you’re planning on only using it tucked away in a basement, then it shouldn’t be too distracting.

Can a dehumidifier help control my allergy symptoms?

Yes, it can. High humidity levels cause mold, mildew, dust mites, and bacteria to thrive in your environment. Dehumidifiers can help keep these humidity levels under control and thus can create an overall healthier and safer environment for anyone suffering from allergies.