Best dehumidfiers for damp basements

Don't Waste Your Money

This spring's soggy weather and record breaking rains have sent dehumidifier sales soaring in the Cincinnati area, at a time when the appliance industry as a whole is down 25 percent.

If you're in the market for a dehumidifier, our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine have just released their newest tests, so you don't get soaked at the store.

Shawn Gabor says a new dehumidifier made all the difference in her home.

"We spend a lot of family time down here in the basement. But after we got the dehumidifier, it was much less damp and much more pleasant down here," said Gabor.

And tougher environmental regulations are forcing manufacturers to build greener dehumidifiers.

"Most manufacturers are using a new refrigerant, which is less damaging to the ozone layer. And we found that these new, ozone-friendly dehumidifiers are just as good, if not better, at removing humidity than older models," said Dan DiClerico, Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports tested 17 dehumidifiers, using a special environmental chamber to measure capacity -- that's how much water they can remove per day. But the magazine has a caution for buyers.

"We generally recommend large-capacity dehumidifiers, which our tests show work more efficiently and therefore cost less to operate," said DiClerico.

And the Winners are....

More efficient is the Danby Premiere, which is a Consumer Reports Best Buy at $200. It can remove 60 pints of water per day and received the top score for efficiency. It is sold by Home Depot and online.

Whirlpool, which is the past made many top rated units, no longer makes dehumidifiers as of early 2011. You may still find some for sale, however.

Consumer Reports Top Ratings:

For large spaces:

  • Danby Premiere DDR6009REE $200
  • LG LD650EAL $240
  • GE ADKW65LN $260

For medium spaces:

  • Kenmore 50501 $200
  • GE ADKW504TDL $250
  • Danby DDR5009REE $200

For small spaces:

  • GE ADKW30LN $160

Consumer Reports says you should set your dehumidifier for under 50 percent humidity. That stops mold and dust mites from thriving.

Icing Problems?

If your basement is typically below 65 degrees in winter, look for a model with frost control: otherwise your coils will ice up if you run it during the winter months.

If you find your coils still icing up in the spring, because your basement is still too cool, try placing the unit on a table:  the air will be warmer than on the concrete floor.  In a worst case scenario, move the unit up to the first floor, and put a fan at the bottom of the basement steps.

As always, don't waste your money.

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