buying guide dehumidifiers

fresh air everywhere.

  • stamp out damp.

    Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air to help your home feel less damp and reduce odors. They're great for humid climates and in summer months when the dew point climbs. They're perfect for minimizing moisture in basements, crawl spaces and storage areas.

    how they work

    Dehumidifiers use a fan to force air over chilled coils, removing moisture. Dry air is expelled through the unit back into your home. The condensed moisture drips from coils into a container that you'll need to periodically empty.

  • care for your air.

    Damp or excessively moist air can be uncomfortable and create musty odors. And it can also be a breeding ground for mold, mildew and dust mites that can worsen allergies and damage furniture, documents and books, photographs and electronics.

    shop dehumidifiers
  • A/Cs & air purifiers.

    If you already have an air conditioner, you may not need a separate dehumidifier. Try your A/C alone to see if helps the air feel drier. You may still need a dehumidifier for rooms that aren't adequately cooled by air conditioning or still feel damp despite air conditioning. If you don't have enough indoor humidity to require a dehumidifier but some areas of your home still smell musty, you might want to try an air purifier.

    air conditioning buying guide air purifier buying guide

things to know.

  • by the numbers.

    A humidity level of 40–50% in summer and 30–50% in winter is most comfortable. You can test your home's air with a humidity meter or sensor, but if the air feels moist or damp, a humidifier will definitely help.

  • what size should I buy?

    Climate, your home's air circulation, family size, and even laundry equipment can affect indoor humidity—and what size dehumidifier you'll need.

    Use these Association of Home Appliance Manufacturer's guidelines to help you choose the right size. Quick tip: If in doubt, purchase the next largest size to make sure you're covered.

    learn more about choosing a dehumidifier size
  • unit sizes at a glance.

    The room size, along with dampness level, will help you determine the right sized dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from your home.

    large-sized models

    Large models are rated to remove up to 75 pints a day and are great for large, wet spaces. Typically the most energy-efficient, large models can handle a wide range of humidity levels. The bucket can hold up to 9.5 gallons of water. Many have settings for lower or quieter operations. As a general rule, buy the largest model you can afford—the increase in cost will be offset by the unit's effectiveness.

    medium-sized models

    Medium-sized models are typically rated to remove 45 to 50 pints of moisture a day; the bucket can hold between 5 and 6.25 gallons of water. This is a good size for medium or large spaces that are damp or wet.

    small-sized models

    Small-sized models are rated to remove 25 to 40 pints of moisture a day. They are generally the least expensive type of dehumidifier and are well suited to smaller areas that are damp but not wet. The bucket can hold 3–5 gallons of water.

  • noise levels.

    You should expect to hear some noise from any size or age dehumidifier, but newer models are designed to be quiet, and smaller models will generally make less noise than large ones. Take noise levels into consideration when you're deciding where to place your dehumidifier.

  • energy costs.

    Using a dehumidifier use will boost your utility bill a bit, but controlling excess moisture in your home keeps the air comfortable and can help protect your investment in your house. Large units tend to be the most energy-efficient. For any size unit, look for the Energy Star seal—these can be 10–20% more efficient than other models.


Reduce dampness with features that make operating your dehumidifier a breeze.

  • hose connection.

    If your basement has a floor drain, a hose connection lets you send the condensed water directly to the drain, so you don't have to empty a bucket. If you don't have a floor drain in your basement, you can direct the hose into a utility sink, other elevated drain, or even out a window.

  • easy-to-empty bucket/tank.

    Dehumidifier-bucket capacities can range between 1–75 pints (2–9.5 gallons). Smaller buckets are usually easier to empty. Look for comfortable or padded handles and a cover that makes removing and emptying it easy and spill-proof.

    built-in pump

    No drain? No worries. Some units come with a pump that helps move water up to an elevated drain or window.

  • user-friendly controls. humidity setting

    Electronic controls let you select a basic humidity level like "normal," "dry" or "very dry" depending on your preference, while digital controls let you program a specific humidity level. Some models feature an adjustable humidistat that works like a home thermostat, by turning the unit on and off automatically to maintain a preset humidity level.

    automatic shutoff

    Auto shutoff is a common feature that turns off the unit when the bucket is full, preventing overflows.

    auto restart

    Auto restart is a common feature that turns the unit back on after a power outage. This is a handy feature if there's a blackout while you're away.

    frost sensor/automatic defrost

    Auto defrost and frost sensors turn off the unit if frost were to form on the coils. It's an energy-saving feature, designed to keep the unit from wasting energy by running without dehumidifying.


    Timers are money- and energy-saving features that let you program the unit to turn off and on while you're away or to run only during cheaper, off-peak electricity hours.

    signal light

    It tells you when the water container is full.

    washable air filter

    A washable air filter screens out dust and other particles as the unit works. Look for one that's easy to remove and clean.


    These are found on portable models; they make it easier to move and maneuver heavier units.

    multi-speed fan

    This fan lets you run the unit on slower speeds when there's less humidity in the air. It's a great feature to reduce noise and control energy use.

  • dehumidifier safety
    & maintenance.

    Be safe with tips to get the best performance from your dehumidifier.

    learn more about how to use dehumidifiers