Finding the Best Basement Dehumidifier 

 August 12, 2020

By  Lisa Nguyen

You and I will agree that a dehumidifier is a useful tool to improve air quality in your home. You might overlook them, but trust me, your house will be more comfortable to dwell in when a dehumidifier is in your house and functioning well. We cannot deny that humid surroundings are homes for stubborn mildew among other concerns. Allergens do their best in moist conditions.

Owning basement dehumidifiers mitigates the amount of moisture in the air and may also get rid of dust-friendly dust mites. If these mites are present and you are allergic to them, you will experience uncomfortable symptoms like a stuffy nose, repeated sneezing, or itchy eyes.

Additionally, high levels of moisture in your basement can destroy items in your home like electronics, clothing, furniture, and can even make your rooms unbearable and musty.

Buying the best basement humidifier goes a long way in saving all your valuables and keeping you comfortable. Yes, you need a dehumidifier to keep the standard relative humidity (RH) level in your house. For instance, during winter months , an RH of about 30% is recommended, especially when you notice condensation accumulating on window surfaces. On the other hand, an RH of about 50% is recommended during summertime.

Continue reading to get top-notch information about dehumidifiers to help you make an informed purchase.

What Benefit is the Dehumidifier?

The first and most important question I know you are asking yourself iswhat benefit is the dehumidifier. There are several features that dehumidifiers may offer you should consider.

Dehumidifiers Mitigate Humidity

Hence your house becomes less hospitable to stubborn allergens such as mold, dust mites, and mildew. When present, these allergens may cause:

  • Sneezing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Repeated wheezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Rashes on your skin
  • Eyes that are itching and watery
  • Other body irritations

Dehumidifiers Provide a Conducive Living Environment

Dehumidifiers provide a conducive living environment since they are quiet and run in the basement efficiently. It is hard for a visitor to notice one in your house. Mold and mildew come with odors that make your house smell musty or rotten. Dehumidifiers reduce the odor and make your house lively and comfortable.

You will not develop mold on your linens and furniture with dehumidifier devices. Dehumidifiers mitigate allergic irritations on your skin and your respiratory system. Hence you can live comfortably in your house with fresh air.

Reducing Dust in your House

A running dehumidifier reduces dust in your house. Thus, you do not need to clean your house as often. Dehumidifiers will also ensure your cereals and slices of bread remain fresh longer due to less moisture in the air.

You will not encounter signs of corrosion on your electronics and other tools.

What are the Things to Consider When Buying Dehumidifiers?

Having looked at the benefits of the dehumidifiers, we now would like to answer the second most important question people ask.

There are more than enough benefits for you to consider before deciding on the best dehumidifier for your basement. These questions will help you decide which option to go with.

What is the Temperature Range of The Basement?

During the winter season, when temperatures drop to their coldest all year, you need to have a dehumidifier that is capable of working in frigid temperatures. The equipment should withstand the overwhelming environmental rigors in your basement to work well. Therefore it is important first to measure the basement temperature levels to have a blueprint of what you need.

Dehumidifiers that boast high or average operating temperatures compared to your basement are the best in this case. Lower operating temperature dehumidifiers do not work well in areas with such levels of humidity. Therefore, you may not need to buy the latter in this case.

The Size of the Dehumidifier’s Water Tank

A dehumidifier has a water tank. The water tank goes a long way in deciding what is the best option for you. Big water tanks are the best because they save you time. With the big ones, you do not need to stop them to try and empty their contents. They are large enough to run for days or even weeks before you empty them.

On the other side, small tanks will give you a headache because you will have to empty them frequently. Some may need you to free their contents every day while others can run for a maximum of two days. However, buyers on a budget will find that small-tank dehumidifiers are suitable and will not mind emptying it even twice per day. For them, the purpose matters and not the size.

Take, for instance, dehumidifiers with a 70-pint capacity. The vapor damp is 10 pints for every 24 hours. If it has a 7-pint water tank, you need to empty it more frequently, almost every seven days to be exact if it’s working on full power. Ultimately, if the buyer is the ever-busy type, they will be at risk buying the small water tank dehumidifiers. One will need to sacrifice their time to drain the equipment, thus compromising their schedule.

However, some dehumidifiers allow you to hook them up directly to a drain. Many mobile dehumidifiers come with a self-draining hose connection. The only step you take is to place it in an area where the hose pipe empties its contents effectively. The place could be your basement floor, your laundry chamber sink, or any other suitable one.

Does it Have Automatic Restart or Continuous Modes?

The best-rated humidifier will have an automatic restart. In case of any power outage, the machine should automatically, through the inbuilt command function, restart when the power resumes.

Suppose the dehumidifiers for basements do not automatically restart, their functionality, efficiency, and value decrease. The automatic continuous mode will help the dehumidifier to detect the level of RH in the air automatically.

Dehumidifiers with a Built-In Pump or Gravity Drainage

Anybasement dehumidifier for an air conditioning unit comes with a built-in pump or gravity drainage system. The machine contains a small rubber pipe that connects it to the basement floor’s drain. That way, the dehumidifier drains the vapor directing it to the exterior drainage system of your house.

Additionally, if the dehumidifier has built-in drainage, it goes a long way in saving you money that would rather be used to purchase pumps. We prefer to recommend inbuilt drainage dehumidifiers than their counterparts for your basement. However, the choice is yours.

Defrost Mode and Desiccant

One of the best features to look for in your dehumidifier is a defrost mode and desiccant. Basements are often the coldest part of your house, right? The cold may affect how well the machine works. The best dehumidifiers usually have a defrost mode for colder temperatures that removes frost from accumulating on the compressor because it can affect the machine’s effectiveness.

Desiccant humidifiers are also great options. You need not worry about the accumulation of the frost because the devices fare well with it. Moreover, the equipment has a relatively big range of operating temperatures.

Ultimately, however it works, we recommend buying a dehumidifier that can work in cold temperatures. Again, unless you live in a year-round warm climate (which mostly is not the case), consider buying a machine with an automatic defrost setting.


Because the heat-exchange coils found on the dehumidifier may frost over in the case the indoor climate drops below 60-65℉. As such, you need to buy a dehumidifier with a certification for 45-40℉.

Portability of the Dehumidifier

Having a mobile dehumidifier is certainly handy as you can bring it with you anywhere you go. Today you may need one in your bedroom, and tomorrow you need it for a hotel room. For this reason, portability becomes a significant factor to consider.

One good thing is that these types are easy to use due to modern advances in technology. They are also affordable and effectively work to improve the quality of air at home or wherever.

The key here is choosing one that effectively reduces humidity and maintains it at the RH recommended levels. Choose a portable dehumidifier that best suits your aspirations at home.

Size of the Dehumidifier

Earlier on, we talked about a dehumidifier’s tank size. Now we are dealing with its complete size. When picking your dehumidifier, you need to know its space in square units. Whether it’s the basement or not, familiarize yourself with the room’s general moisture levels.

Drying capacity of dehumidifiers is measured by the number of pints of water it removes from the air within 24 hours.

There is the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers that sizes dehumidifiers according to set standards that fit the buyer’s needs. You will also find an easy-to-follow chart that enables you to choose the best size depending on your area in square units (where the dehumidifier will sit). If the sizing map is missing from a dehumidifier, you can look for the Association of Home Appliances Manufacturers Selection’s guide.

The best basement dehumidifiers are those with higher capacities. As we said earlier, the small ones run continuously and may fail to bring down the humidity levels to the optimal requirement.

High-capacity dehumidifiers have outstanding features compared to the low capacity options, but tend to cost a lot more. The former can handle the excessively damp spaces that add humidity to the air in your room. Dryers and dishwashers dampen their surrounding areas, increasing the moisture in the room.

One more thing, you may need to choose a dehumidifier with a higher capacity than the indications of the square units of the room you are putting it in if you live in a humid region.


Because the indoor levels of humidity increase with the increase of the outdoor climate humidity.

Ability to Control Humidity

In any case, the type of dehumidifiers for the basement you choose should at least have automated controls that monitor and set relative humidity levels.

The desirable home relative humidity ranges between 40% and 50% during summertime and 30% to 50% in winter. With dehumidifiers with inbuilt hygrometers, you will notice they measure and display the relative humidity on the screen. A major boost, right? That is not all.

You will also use an adjustable humidistat to dial your favorable level of humidity, and guess what? The unit maintains it automatically.

If your humidifier lacks a hygrometer, you can also buy a separate one to keep it next to the dehumidifier. With it, you know when to adjust the machine since the hygrometer measures the indoor humidity.

Operating Quietly

Staying in a room with noisy interruptions could prove to be a nuisance. Your bedroom could be next to the basement where you have placed your dehumidifier. If it makes noise, your nights could be boring. To avoid boredom, choose a dehumidifier with two-speed fans since they run quietly, especially at low levels of humidity. Moreover, they save you money on energy costs. We recommend you test the noise level before you buy any new dehumidifiers.

Automatic Shut-off

In case you are not around and the tub is full and needs to be emptied, the unit has an overflow protection valve that automatically switches it off.

Make sure your dehumidifier has this feature, especially if it is small. If you can, purchase dehumidifiers with indicators to signal you when the bucket is full.

Price of the Dehumidifier

Any buyer wants to buy a product that will serve its intended purpose for the best value. The cost of the dehumidifier will largely depend on several factors, with the best features also coming with the heftiest price tags. Therefore we recommend budgeting accordingly before choosing your dehumidifier.

A Dehumidifier Should Be Energy Efficient

You need to buy dehumidifiers that have the energy star label. Dehumidifiers are constantly running, meaning they are constantly costing you money. The most energy-efficient models will save you a bit of extra cash.

Choose dehumidifiers that are certified with a government-sponsored label.


Because they save you lots on utility bills since they are guaranteed to run efficiently using less energy.

Filters Should be Washable

Some dehumidifier models have filters protecting the coils from dust and dirt. Before you purchase these, make sure you can remove and wash them easily. Some filters cannot be washed, rather, they must be replaced outright.

Warranty of Dehumidifier

Like any other product, a dehumidifier with a warranty is often more reliable than not. When buying your basement dehumidifier, consider the warranty offered to give you the confidence to buy it. That way, you will not panic about any faulty functioning since you know you can replace it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need a Dehumidifier?

Yes, you do. If you have excess moisture in your house, you could face many a large number of hazards, like:

  • Musty odors and mold
  • Increased window condensation
  • Wet stains on ceiling and walls
  • Structural floor damage or uneven floorboards
  • A constant clammy feeling
  • Increased allergy concerns

If you ignore these problems, other health hazards like respiratory problems and severe allergic reactions can pop up. You can avoid all of these problems by purchasing a dehumidifier.

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

Dehumidifiers pull in the sticky and damp air. Then they cool this air using the inbuilt condenser to drive away from the moisture with help from small fans. It then redistributes the dehumidified dry air back into your surroundings. At the same time, moisture collects in a bucket located at the interior of the dehumidifier.

Since dehumidifiers should maintain healthy humidity levels, they should be placed in troublesome areas such as bedrooms, crawl spaces, and basements.

What is a Suitable Humidity Level?

Like we said, most spaces ideally maintain a level of humidity between 45 to 50%. Any higher relative humidity levels create a breeding site for dust mites, mold spores, bacteria, and other pests to thrive.

A 30% humidity level or lower is just as damaging though. It can lead to an increased chance of skin and respiratory illness, skin irritation, cracking of ceilings, separating wood floors, and many more problems.

What is the Best Size for my Humidifier?

The best size for a dehumidifier all depends on your preferences and the features you want. But some factors will largely determine the size of the unit you buy. See below.

Dehumidifiers by Room Size

  • Small room dehumidifiers are specifically designed to control moisture in rooms of up to 500 square feet. Additionally, they are designed for small and damp areas such as offices and bedrooms.
  • Medium room dehumidifiers are best at dehumidifying areas of up to 1000 square feet.
  • Large room dehumidifiers serve relatively larger areas of humidity problems. They can treat excessively wet to damp conditions. If you have a large basement, bedroom, or crawl spaces of up to 1500 square feet, go for these large room dehumidifiers.
  • Whole-house dehumidifiers cover an area of up to 3000 square feet to remove excess moisture. You can often integrate them with the existing home HVAC system.

Dehumidifiers by Type of Room

  • Another variable to consider when buying your bet room dehumidifier is the type of the room. Depending on the kind of area you are dehumidifying, you can find a more specific model of dehumidifier.
  • Some dehumidifiers are specifically designed to handle humidity issues in crawl areas spaces that are tight. They are called crawl area dehumidifiers.
  • Similarly, there are reliable basement dehumidifiers specifically made to contain musty smells and other moisture problems in your basement.
  • If you need to keep your interior swimming pool comfortable, ultimately mitigating any damage related to moisture, choose indoor pool room dehumidifiers.
  • There are dehumidifiers that are specifically built to help alleviate damage from recent flooding.
  • Lastly, industrial dehumidifiers are useful in warehouses and manufacturing centers. They help to keep the facilities for employees comfortable as they protect your valuable equipment from moisture damage.

What Other Characteristics Should I Consider When Finding the Best Dehumidifier?

The best dehumidifiers have the following features:

  • An internal pump that pumps water automatically to a water tank for effective running
  • A direct drain that is connected to a floor-level pipe, which in turn initiates continuous operation
  • Filter indicator that notifies you when the filters need to be emptied
  • An auto-humidistat is responsible for automatically sensing the levels of moisture in the unit surroundings and automatically shutting off the unit once the suitable humidity level is attained
  • Settings for low temperatures allowing dehumidifiers to run in temperatures as low as 41℉
  • Auto-defrost settings responsible for keeping units from from failing in temperatures below 65℉
  • Lastly, an auto-reset feature will keep the unit working after a power outage

Final Words

To conclude on the best dehumidifier, there are all sorts of factors to consider when buying one. We hope this article helps you make up your mind and find yourself the best dehumidifier that suits your needs. Remember, the best dehumidifiers tend to cost a bit more so be prepared to spend some cash if you want the best features.

If this guide was helpful, we encourage you to read our other buyer’s guides on similar products.

Lisa Nguyen

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