Dehumidifiers use one of two types of technology to remove moisture from the air. The best models can usually reduce humidity to 30-50%. Right now, moisture is not a major threat to mold, which is a major danger in a basement.
Understand the differences between types of dryers
A dehumidifier can be used in the basement (or in one of the rooms of the house): Coolant and desiccant.
Below we explain what they are and where they can best be used.
A refrigeration dehumidifier is a versatile type that is usually used in basements, large rooms of a house and unheated areas where there is a risk of moisture. It’s sometimes called a compressor, but it’s the same thing.
This type of dehumidifier works by collecting air from the room and passing it through cold coils in the unit, where it condenses. In other words, it treats the air to remove moisture, then the water drips into a convenient catch basin at the bottom (or is fed in via a hose).
The refrigeration dryer is the most common type. It is very effective in removing condensation from windows and surfaces. Its biggest limitation is that it only works up to 30 degrees Celsius, but not below. Overall, this is the best all-around solution, so it can be used in a heated basement or in any room of a house or apartment.
At a glance: Our recommendations for refrigeration dryers
The desiccator is based on the use of an absorbent material. This is the only way to remove moisture from the air circulating in the unit. The material is then heated to remove the collected water, which enters the collection vessel (or exits through a hose on some models).
The models generally operate between 1 degree Celsius and about 35 to 40 degrees Celsius, considerably less than the more limited refrigerant dehumidifiers.
This alternative design works best in bedrooms, basements or unheated areas. They also work well in parts of the house where it is generally cooler. Because basements face the scientific reality that heat rises, it is difficult to keep a basement warm enough at low temperatures.
Also, using the basement as an office, guest room, playroom, etc. adds moisture that has nowhere to go in the breathing process. This results in higher humidity when the cellar is occupied for long periods.
Treatment of condensation, moisture or mould on the core
While it is very helpful to remove excess moisture from the air, moisture has to come from somewhere. If the moisture causes daily problems with condensation or even a major problem with mold or humidity, it is also important to address these issues.
Unheated basements or living rooms cause more and more problems in the long run. If you take steps to heat the room, you can avoid many of the problems that occur in the first place.
Given the above, any room in the basement, unlike the rest of the property, may also have moisture problems. This is because it is at the lowest level – perhaps even under the floor – and the heat naturally rises to the other occupied levels above it, making it difficult to keep enough heat in the room. This is where good insulation is useful to retain much of the heat and prevent overloading of the dehumidifier.
What do you think before buying a dehumidifier?
There are several things to consider before buying a dehumidifier.
Here are a few of them:
Do you need a dehumidifier to improve your health?
Excessive fluid can, over time, cause a number of medical problems. Of course, people with respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD, will feel the effects.
In addition, allergy sufferers, including those allergic to dust, may find that increased humidity leads to a multiplication of dust mites and worsens their condition.
Choice between drying types
Since many dehumidifiers are small enough to be somewhat portable (or completely portable because they are more compact), you can buy one unit and use it in different parts of the house. This is often an indication that the right person is being sought for the position in question.
A refrigerant dehumidifier (also called a compressor) uses cold coils to condense the water collected in the water tank. It can withstand various temperature levels, but is not best for colder temperatures such as those below 30 degrees Celsius or British winters that get even colder.
In contrast, desiccants are best suited to lower temperatures and unheated spaces, such as B. a basement used for storage, very powerful. These models typically operate at temperatures from 1 degree Fahrenheit to 35 degrees or higher. They use a material that absorbs moisture from the air and then heats it to release the collected water.
How much dehumidification do I need?
Dehumidifiers are not only classified by type, but also by the number of liters of moisture they can hold per day. The smaller the humidifier, the smaller its capacity.
Buyers should relate the gallon capacity to the size of the room or basement where the unit will be placed. If you have a smaller space, a daily flow of 10 litres may be sufficient. In other situations, 20 litres is a chance. Also note if you plan to use the dehumidifier not only in your basement but also in other large rooms. In this case, a larger litre volume is not sufficient to cover all needs in one unit.
High humidity vs low humidity
It is useful to purchase a small monitor to check the basement or other parts of the house for high, medium or low humidity. The inexpensive ThermoPro TP60 hygrometer can confirm the current humidity. This will give you a baseline measurement and confirm if you have a moisture problem somewhere in the basement or another part of the house.
Dehumidifiers collect water in their reservoirs and should be emptied regularly to prevent overflow. They stop working as soon as the sensor is activated to confirm that the tank is full.
Some models are equipped with a hose that allows the collected water to be properly discharged to the drainage system. Homeowners should consider whether they have access to a drainage system from the basement or, if not, how they will drain the water tank.
Required or undesirable features in a dehumidifier model?
Several special features may have a special appeal or you may find them necessary. Here is a brief description of these options:
- The HEPA filter is an advanced filter that can clean the air when it is collected or before it is redistributed. Other models may be equipped with a nanosilver filter, which is antibacterial but does not meet HEPA standards. Would this be acceptable and what is the price of replacement filters on the market? Some filters can also be washed, but not all.
- Is it necessary to be intelligent? – Is a smart dehumidifier available or worthwhile? Want to download an app to control it when you’re in bed or out of the house to turn it on or off or change the settings? Only the most expensive models offer intelligent functions.
- Continuous drainage – Larger models are usually equipped with external drainage via a hose which allows the dehumidifier to continue working without you having to worry about emptying the water tank. Some hoses are included or can be purchased as an option. Other models do not have this option at all, as they are smaller, have less capacity or fall within the budget range of the market.
- Noise level – What is the noise level of the model in decibels? Some models are 30 dB or less, while others are slightly louder. The different operating modes change the decibels depending on the dehumidifier model. It is worth considering using the basement as a bedroom or home office.
- Defrost – Some models can control the temperature to prevent frost from forming. Sometimes they can defrost, but they can also stop working if the room gets too cold.
- Operating system – Is the operating system simple? Is there a convenient digital control, a dial, or are there other options? Are the controls granular, allowing you to set the desired moisture content to the exact percentage, or do the controls not allow for such a level of specificity?
- Automatic restart – The automatic restart feature is useful when a power failure is inconvenient. You can start the dehumidifier without human intervention.
- Time controlled operation – Some models have a timer that allows you to set them to operate for a certain amount of time and then turn them off. This is useful to do at less busy times or before bedtime.
- Is the humidifier on? – Not all models have built-in humidification technology for repeated measurements of basement or room humidity. Recording this data can lead to more accurate settings based on the readings.
The number of spaces required for the dehumidifier is usually about 20 cm, where the vents are located. It is recommended not to place the unit directly against a wall. This prevents heating up.
Is the frost sensor included?
The unit may freeze due to accumulated moisture if the cellar or room temperature becomes too low. The frost sensor checks if there is frost in the room and then stops operation to protect the internal work surfaces.
Our recommended dehumidifiers:
Here are our best dehumidifiers for your basement. We have divided them into several categories to help you make the choice that best suits your home.
Best multi-purpose dehumidifier Corlitec 12L/day dehumidifier with digital humidity indicator
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Corlitec dryer 12L/day
The Corlitec model, at 12 litres per day, excels as a coolant producer that captures enough moisture.
It has a detailed control panel on the top of the unit and a ring-shaped digital display on the front that shows the approximate current humidity level (below 45%, between 45% and 65% and above). There is also a child lock to prevent unwanted manipulation of the controls.
Thanks to the smart timer function, the dehumidifier can work for 1 to 12 hours, after which it switches off. It seems that the defrost detection function cannot be found.
There is a fabric drying method that comes in handy during the colder months to dry clothes that normally hang on the clothesline.
The 2 liter container can be emptied manually or you can use the included water drain hose to prevent moisture from entering. In addition, the display indicates when the unit is full and switches off automatically to prevent overflow.
The filter cloth can be removed and is easy to clean. You should do this several times a month. In addition, it is advisable to wash the water tank with an alkaline detergent to remove any mold or sludge.
The unit operates quietly at 36 dB and consumes between 160 and 185 watts in operation.
Overall, this model is the best all-round solution available today. It has a good capacity of 12 litres per day, a constant water discharge, a digital control including a flexible timer and is also equipped with a child lock.
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Best portable dryer AUZKIN Mini Portable Electric Dehumidifier 1000ML
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AUZKIN 1000ML Dryer
The AUZKIN refrigeration dryer is an excellent portable model with a 1-litre tank and a light weight of just 1.3 kilograms. The unit is smaller and therefore its condenser can collect up to 450 ml of water per day in basements or rooms with temperatures of 30 degrees or more. This model not only captures excess moisture, but can also filter dust and remove moldy bacteria.
Small design with a compact width of 15 cm, a depth of 15 cm and a height of 25,6 cm. It has a black lid and two control buttons. In the bottom half of the dehumidifier is a transparent 1 liter water tank that is illuminated by several LED lights to show when the portable dehumidifier is in use. Also, the front of the water tank turns red when full, which is nice.
An automatic switch-off function switches the functions off when there is between 700 and 800 ml of water in the tank. This is to prevent overflow.
The tank itself slides forward, can be carried to the sink and then emptied. It’s a good idea to clean it up before reinstalling.
The required distance from walls is at least 0.5 m for optimum performance.
The noise level of 39 dB is good. The power requirement of 40 watts is considerably lower than many other models, but still meets the ideals of portable design.
In general, it is important that you understand what you are getting here. This little player does its job and is pretty quiet. It is not equipped with a 2 litre tank and does not allow the use of a hose for emptying. It is also unable to remove a large amount of moisture, which may be necessary in a large basement. But it’s also lighter, more portable and can fit into a small basement without taking up too much space.
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Quietest dehumidifier: Small portable air dryer Manwe 900ML
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Manwe dryer, 900ML
The Manve is quite small, with similar dimensions to the Auzkin portable dehumidifier above; it is also only 1.21 kg lighter. But what sets it apart is that it only emits 28 dB, making it ideal for people who work in a basement or want to use it as a bedroom.
This cooled cylindrical model has a simple on/off switch on the top and a colored LED indicator on the front and top (it can be turned off if desired). A 1 liter water tank that can hold up to 300-400 ml of humidity per day. As a smaller, quieter unit it captures an acceptable volume of moisture, ideal for small to medium sized basements without serious moisture problems but looking for some improvements to combat condensation or surface moisture.
The tank is equipped with a sensor and automatically stops when it is full. This is good because the bowl must be removed and pushed into the sink or drain. There is no possibility of permanent drainage through a pipe.
The unit is equipped with a filtration system that removes up to 99% of pollutants. It captures dander, dust, smoke, bacteria, unwanted odors and more.
The power supply is operated by pressing a button on the top panel. In operation, only 23 watts are consumed – a very economical consumption compared to more powerful models.
Overall, this model is ideal if you need a low capacity dehumidifier for a large basement that is also quiet. The energy efficiency is also impressive. Finally, it is not negligible in terms of moisture absorption and purifies the air at the same time.
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Best dehumidifier for severe moisture problems: Pro Breeze dryer 20 l/day
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Pro Breeze 20L
The Pro Breeze is a refrigeration dehumidifier that is one of the big players on the market.
This model has a capacity of 20 litres per day to capture large amounts of moisture from the air. There is no 400 ml a day model here, and it shows. The unit is designed to operate at a humidity level of 30% to 80%. The desired humidity can be set according to your needs.
The large 5.5 litre water tank also shows here that the Pro Breeze makes a difference. However, with the supplied hose, the tank can also be emptied continuously to prevent it from overflowing.
If you do not use the continuous draining function, the machine will stop when the tank capacity is nearly reached to prevent overflow. And that’s not all: the four casters on the bottom allow you to move the entire unit wherever you want. This is ideal if you need to carry a full tank of water to the sink.
The digital display on top of the unit has options. A castle for children is a good thing. The operating mode and speed can be adjusted as required. In addition, the digital display shows the current humidity and other indicators.
It’s a four-mode system, including a fan for cooling only (you can set the speed manually), a wash mode for dry clothes, an automatic defrost function to prevent the machine from freezing at lower temperatures (it turns off), and the aforementioned child lock.
There is also a longer 24-hour timer that can be set with a start and end time, rather than on a specific period. It’s very practical.
The device weighs 14.5 kilograms. The dimensions are also quite large: 20 x 32 x 58 centimetres. It also consumes 450 watts of power during operation.
Overall, this Pro Breeze model is a very capable device. It has almost all the features you want to solve simple moisture or mold problems in your basement and keep everything under control. This is our top choice of refrigerant dehumidifier for severe humidity problems.
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Dehumidifiers with sorption filters are designed for colder environments, as explained above. They are not as widely available, so it is more difficult to choose a recommended model.
We discovered that the two best models are from the same brand, EcoAir. Both models are very similar, but one has a smaller capacity and the other a larger capacity with additional features.
We have tested them for you below.
EcoAir Drying Agent DD1 Single
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The EcoAir desiccant dehumidifier (DD1 Simple) is a 7 liter model with a daily capacity to capture moisture from the air. It is ideally suited to drop down to 1 degree Celsius, rather than the usual 30+ degrees of refrigeration dehumidifiers. For warmer days it also works up to 35 degrees Celsius.
It has a 2 liter water tank and the possibility to empty it continuously thanks to the included 1 meter hose. The automatic switch-off when the water tank is full is very practical. In addition, in exceptional cases, an alarm will sound to warn you that the appliance has fallen over and that there is a risk of water leakage.
In turbo mode the dehumidifier works at full speed. There is also an economic mode that works quietly, but still produces interesting results. The washing method for drying clothes is also very attractive.
Humidity settings are accessed via a rotary knob rather than a digital control panel (the most recently tested EcoAir DD3 Classic MK2 has a digital control panel).
The pull-out and removable nano-silver air filter helps improve indoor air quality. It needs to be cleaned every two weeks. It is better to vacuum or brush than to wash and reduce efficiency. We recommend replacing the antibacterial filter every one to two years.
The dehumidifier weighs 7 kg, but has a handy carrying handle on the top to lift it and set it up.
The noise level is very low (34 dB) despite the high output, because no compressor is used, which makes all the difference! The power consumption is 300 watts, which is average for dehumidifiers of this size. It also restarts automatically after a previous power outage in the house.
Overall, the EcoAir DD1 Simple has many points of interest for buyers. It lacks a digital display, a timer, and a few other nuances, but it still does an excellent job.
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EcoAir DD3 Classic MK2 dehumidifier
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The EcoAir DD3 Classic MK2 is a better model than the previously reviewed DD1 Simple.
It has a daily capacity of 10.5 liters and removes moisture from the air at a constant Celsius degree and an improved degree of 40 degrees (compared to the 35 degrees of the DD1 model).
The water tank is a large 4.2 litre tank, cleverly covered with a lid to prevent spillage. However, there is also the option of continuous emptying using the emptying hose supplied. And the anti-tilt safety feature that warns you is also very welcome.
The top-level digital control panel also offers more functionality than the DD1. There is a timer that allows you to choose between 2, 4, 8 and 12 hours. The target humidity can be set at 40, 50 or 60%. There is also a wash mode and three other modes that control the amount of moisture absorbed (and the amount of energy the unit consumes).
The nanosilver filter can be removed, wiped or completely replaced.
The noise level is between 36 and 47 dB, depending on the operating mode.
Energy consumption also depends on the operating mode. It ranges from 420 to 735 watts. Moreover, the model weighs 7.5 kg and has a foldable carrying handle.
Overall, the EcoAir DD3 Classic MK2 is a significant improvement over the DD1 Simple model. It has a 1 degree cooling system, operates at a low noise level of 36 dB, has a 4.2 litre water tank with continuous drain and has a daily collection capacity of 10.5 litres. It’s very hard to ask for more than that!
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frequently asked questions
What size dehumidifier should I use for my basement?
Calculate the area. So if you want to pump out a 1,000 square foot basement, you’ll need a 14-pint unit. For rooms with high humidity, it is best to choose a dehumidifier that can hold 12 gallons of water per 500 square feet, and add 5 gallons for every additional 500 square feet.
What is the best dehumidifier to buy for a basement?
The best dehumidifier for basements: LG PuriCare dehumidifier with clean 50-pint bucket. The best dehumidifier with a pump: GE 45 pint dryer. The best dehumidifier for small rooms: Frigidaire low humidity dehumidifier with a 22 pint capacity. The best intelligent dehumidifier: LG PuriCare 50 pint pump and Wi-Fi.
Which dehumidifier is recommended by consumer reports?
Buy a CR dehumidifier with low power: The Frigidaire FFAD2233W1 can extract 22 gallons of water per day, and its tank can hold 12 gallons, almost twice as much as most we’ve tested in this category. It does its job, but the humidifier is the least accurate of this group and gets an average score in this test.
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