The 5 Best Basement Dehumidifiers That Keep Mold and Mildew at Bay
Prevent moisture damage and keep mildew growth under control with the best basement dehumidifiers.
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Basements are notorious for their moisture problems, and if left unchecked, they can lead to mold and mildew growth, as well as expensive flooring issues. Buying the best basement dehumidifier for your subterranean space removes that excess moisture from the air, collecting the water droplets in a bucket (to be emptied later), or continuously draining them using an external hose system.
The best basement dehumidifier system will be powerful enough to handle the square footage of your space, and also provide features that are most helpful to your specific needs. When used in conjunction with other moisture mitigation methods like a floor sealer, vapor barrier and waterproofing, you can rest easy knowing your basement will be dry and comfortable.
Frigidaire High Humidity Dehumidifier
With an impressive 60 pint capacity and the ability to fully customize your humidity levels, this Frigidaire dehumidifier is perfectly suited for basement use. The straightforward controls and digital readout allow you to easily select your fan speed, and an internal sensor automatically shuts the unit off when it reaches your desired humidity setting.
You can either empty the reservoir when it fills up, or if you have floor drains nearby, use a separate hose to continuously drain as it works. Even more: Upkeep is a breeze with the easy-to-clean washable filter.
- Easy to use
- Very quiet
- Large capacity is perfect for bigger spaces
HomeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier
Despite the low cost of the HomeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier, it’s still capable of covering 1,500 sq. ft. of basement space, and removes an impressive 22 pints of water from the air every day. The defrost function, which helps avoid frustrating ice buildup, is extremely helpful in ensuring the device runs smoothly. It conveniently shuts off when the tank is full, and the optional turbo mode comes in handy in ultra-high humidity situations. You’ll also want to check out how to waterproof a basement to keep it dry and mold-free.
- Low cost
- Turbo mode
- Automatic defrost
- Drainage hose not included
- Not suited for extra-large basements
Best for Large Basements
HomeLabs 4500 Dehumidifier
The HomeLabs 4500 Dehumidifier is capable of effectively processing spaces as large as 4,500 sq. ft., which—along with its three drainage options—makes it our best dehumidifier for large basements. This is also the only basement dehumidifier with a drain hose and pump, so if you prefer not to use a removable reservoir or gravity drain, you can propel collected water directly into a sink or out a window. If your goal is to prevent mold and mildew growth in your large basement with minimal effort on your part, this unit is a prime choice.
- Specifically designed to suit large spaces
- Built-in pump for easy drainage
- Energy Star Certified
- More than 38,000 five-star reviews on Amazon
- May be overkill for smaller basements
Best for Small Basements
GE Dehumidifier 20 Pint
Whether you’re remodeling a basement or just making minor upgrades, this lightweight and compact affordable GE pick is the best dehumidifier for small spaces. At just 30 pounds, this unit is convenient to carry from room to room, and is still effective enough to remove 20 pints of water from the air every day. A helpful alarm alerts you when the water bucket is full or missing, helping to prevent accidental leaks and spillage. Or, you can install a garden hose and empty it into a floor drain.
- Compact size doesn’t take up much room
- Portable design with built-in handles and hidden wheels
- Clean filter alert
- Auto defrost
- Relatively small water bucket
- Not suited for large spaces
Best Smart Dehumidifier
Honeywell Smart WiFi Energy Star Dehumidifier
If you enjoy the convenience and hands-free operation of smart devices, consider the Honeywell Energy Star Dehumidifier. The voice-controlled settings and fast speeds allow you to adjust its operation from across the room, or—since it’s Wi-Fi enabled—you can use your mobile device from practically anywhere. This dehumidifier is large enough to be used in basements up to 4,000 sq. ft., and it features a thermal overload protector for added safety.
- Wi-Fi and Alexa capabilities
- Ability to control multiple Honeywell units at once
- Powerful enough for large basements
- Does not have a pump
What to Consider When Buying a Basement Dehumidifier
To ensure you choose the best basement dehumidifier, consider the size of your basement when shopping for options. Most products clearly state their maximum square footage, while others may require some simple math on your part.
You should also think about the best drainage method. While all basement dehumidifiers have a removable bucket that fills with collected water, many also have gravity drains that can be connected to a hose. Higher-end models usually have a built-in pump that allows you to direct that water up and into elevated drains like sinks or out a window. Keep in mind that if you have a finished basement, you may not have an accessible floor drain. And of course, always be mindful of your budget. We found plenty of affordable options, or you can check out these dehumidifier sales.
How We Chose the Best Basement Dehumidifier
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
How long does it take for a dehumidifier to dry a basement?
This depends on the size of your basement, as well as the initial humidity level. For example, a smaller, less humid basement dries much faster than a large very damp one. Luckily, the best basement dehumidifiers clearly state how many pints of water they collect from the air every 24 hours, making it easier to see which options work faster than others. Keep in mind that if you’re dealing with flood water, a dehumidifier alone isn’t going to cut it—you’ll need to use a shop vac as well.
Where should you place a dehumidifier in the basement?
To ensure your dehumidifier works efficiently, it should be placed as close to the source of moisture as possible. If your moisture isn’t coming from a specific area, place the dehumidifier in the center of the basement. Never place a dehumidifier against a wall as it can obstruct its airflow and hinder its performance.
Will a dehumidifier get rid of a musty smell in the basement?
Yes! By removing the excess moisture that causes mold and mildew growth, a basement dehumidifier eliminates the musty smell caused by these uninvited guests. It may take a few days, but eventually the basement dries out and the stinky odor goes away. (Basement odor eliminators are another great option to get rid of that musty smell.)
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