Buyer's Guide & Information

Best Dehumidifier for Garages Reviewed

We have reviewed & compared the best dehumidifiers for garages. These brands offer comfort and relief in the cold winter months.

Large Capacity

AlorAir Sentinel HDi90 Dehumidifier
AlorAir

Our Top Pick

hOmeLabs 70 Pint Dehumidifier
hOmeLabs

Budget Model

SEAVON Electric Upgraded Dehumidifier for Home
SEAVON

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air. They help control humidity levels and work wonders for wet areas like basements and bathrooms for inhibiting mold growth. Often overlooked, though, are our garages.

This article explains the need for a dehumidifier in your garage and tells you exactly what to look for when you set out to buy one. We showcase the 8 best dehumidifiers for your garage. Read on to find your next garage dehumidifier.

Dehumidifier for Garages Compared

ModelPints Per DayAreaDrainagePrice
hOme Labs353000 sq ftReservoir, gravity drainCheck Amazon
Aprilaire 1830 Pro703800 sq ftContinuous gravityCheck Amazon
Pro Breeze18 (oz)250 sq ftReservoirCheck Amazon
Alor Air902600 sq ftContinuous pumpCheck Amazon
Seavon9 (oz)195 sq ftReservoirCheck Amazon
Keystone353000 sq ftReservoir, gravity drainCheck Amazon
Vremi504500 sq ftReservoir, gravity drainCheck Amazon
Inofia301056 sq ftReservoir, gravity drainCheck Amazon

 

Signs That You Need a Dehumidifier in Your Garage

Garages are like basements in that they receive the least amount of attention when it comes to finishing. There is rarely much insulation, especially if it is a detached garage. Garage door insulation, concrete floors, and a large, open room with rapid temperature changes are a breeding ground for humidity, condensation, and mold.

High humidity levels can hurt our cars and tools that stay in the garage, increasing rust and corrosion risk. If you notice oxidization on your tools or cars, the garage windows are foggy, or condensation, then you have clear signs that you need a dehumidifier.

Buying the Right Dehumidifier for a Garage

Dehumidifier Type

There are three basic types of dehumidifiers. Below the review section, we will cover these types in more detail. However, what you need to know for now is that condenser models work like air conditioners, forcing the air to condensate on refrigerant coils where the moisture is removed.

Thermo-electric models use a heat exchange method that removes the moisture from the air passing through. You can also choose a desiccant type; these pass the air through a desiccant filled membrane that absorbs excess moisture.

Temperature Requirements

Various dehumidifiers work to reduce the humidity level in your space. The effectiveness will depend a lot on temperature and climate averages in your area. Most models can work on relatively low temperatures and will have effectiveness in high temp areas, too.

You need to know the average temperature ranges of your area, as well as the effect it has on your garage (making it 20 degrees warmer, for example), and ensure your model can handle those temperature ranges.

Capacity & Coverage Area

Each model will have a specific amount of moisture it can remove per day. This is measured in pints to give you a pints per day (PPD) capacity rating. This coincides with the square foot rating the machine can work effectively in.

Drainage & Ducting

You will also need to decide how the dehumidifier should drain. This can be into an internal tank for manual emptying or continuous draining through a hose with either a pump or gravity drains. Some models have the ability to use multiple drain types, and some only have manual emptying.

Other Features
  • Filter Indicator Light
    When the filter gets dirty, you need to clean or replace it. Most owner’s manuals will tell you this should happen at a specific interval, usually in hours of operation. Instead of keeping track of how many hours your machine has run, a filter indicator light alerts you that it is time to clean the filter.
  • Auto-Humidistat
    Humidistats work much like a thermometer. Instead of sensing the temperature, they measure the humidity level in the air. Auto-humidistat machines can be programmed to run when the humidity reaches a certain level and shut off when it drops to a set level. This helps you run the machine less, saving energy costs, and maintaining an ideal humidity level in your garage.
  • Auto Reset
    In the event the power ever goes out, auto-reset will keep the machine from reverting to factory defaults. When power is restored, the previous settings, including power levels, humidity and fan speed settings, etc. will all be maintained. This allows the dehumidifier to resume operation without needing to be reprogrammed.
  • Frost Sensor/Low Temp Warning
    In lower temperatures, some dehumidifiers will need to enter a defrost mode. Some do it after a certain number of hours in operation. Others utilize a frost sensor to only defrost when needed. During the defrost cycle, the unit will shut off, heat the coils, and collect the frost in the tank or drain hose. Then it will rest. After a few minutes, it will resume working as usual.
  • Digital Controls
    Almost all models now use digital controls, though few cheaper models utilize analog controls. Digital controls, along with LED and LCD screens, will give you more accurate readouts and control over the machine’s operation.
  • Noise levels
    Depending on the type of dehumidifier and its draining options and installation location, some models can get fairly loud. While this may not matter as much in a detached garage, it can be loud enough to cause some disturbances.Anything above 60dB is considered loud for these machines. Portable units, desiccant types, and those without an internal pump will rarely get over 55dB during peak operation, though.
Warranty

Warranties for these devices are just as varied as the machines themselves. Make sure you understand your warranty before you buy. You should know the coverage duration, terms, and what is required to make a claim. If you have a specific time to register the product (usually 30 days), you need to ensure this is done on time, or you may lose all warranty coverage.

Price

Price is going to be a significant deciding factor. You need to ensure the dehumidifier you choose fits in your budget but is enough machine to work properly in the size garage you have. Settling for a cheaper model may be a waste of money in the long run. Keep size, features, and capacities in mind when shopping in your price range.

8 Best Dehumidifiers for Garages Reviewed

1. hOmeLabs

Our Top Pick
Moisture Removal35 PPD
Coverage3000 square feet
Water Tank Capacity1.8 gallons
Air CFM Range165-188 CFM
Drainage SystemReservoir, gravity drain

Our top pick goes to the hOmeLabs dehumidifier. This model is one of several in the line up with varying capacities. The 35 PPD model is ideal for garages as it can move enough air to maintain humidity levels and offers dual draining options to fit any garage needs.

If your garage has a sink or drain, it is wise to use this model’s gravity drain function. The continuous drain means you never have to worry about remembering to empty water tanks. As the system removes moisture, the water runs through the drain hose and into a drain or sink in your garage.

It is a gravity drain, though, so your unit needs to be mounted higher than the drain, so it drains correctly. If you cannot accommodate this, then you also have the tank option. The water tank holds almost 2 gallons of water, so it will need daily draining.

This unit also has a two-speed fan and digital controls, including turbo. If you need to remove a lot of moisture quickly, the turbo setting will move the most air (about 188 CFM). After levels are more regulated, placing the unit in comfort mode will select the best humidity level (between 30 and 60%) based on the ambient temperature.

This model also comes with a 2-year warranty that covers the fan, motor, and controls. If you register online within 30 days of your purchase, the warranty will be extended an extra 6 months. Not a bad deal.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty (optional 6 month extension)
  • Dual drain options
  • Large space or wet area approved
  • Simple control panel

Cons

  • Has a continuous energy draw
  • May not retain settings after a power outage

2. Aprilaire 1830 Pro Dehumidifier

Best Dehumidifier For Large Garage
Moisture Removal70 PPD
Coverage3800 square feet
Water Tank CapacityN/A
Air CFM Range160 CFM
Drainage SystemContinuous

If you want to install a dehumidifier and forget about it, the Aprilaire 1830 is the best dehumidifier for large garages. This model boasts an aluminum coil and compressor set up that removes a lot of moisture. Best of all, you can install set it and forget it.

Install is simple, with the only two things to monitor are its location compared to the drain and that the machine is level. The drain needs to be lower than the unit for the gravity drain feature to work correctly. Leveling will ensure proper drainage.

Since there isn’t a water tank to deal with, you can use a garden hose for draining, or place the unit directly over a drain and let it run. The controls are easy to use and allow you to set a target humidity level.

Once this is done, the machine will run when needed to maintain the humidity level in your garage (up to 3800 square feet). This model does need ducting, but in a garage setting this isn’t that difficult.

You also get a 5-year warranty to back the machine from the controls to the compressor. Should anything ever go wrong, a phone call to Aprilaire will have you sorted in no time.

Pros

  • 5-year warranty
  • Once a year filter cleaning
  • Simple controls
  • Great customer service

Cons

  • List
  • List

3. Pro Breeze

Best Small Dehumidifier For Garage
Moisture Removal18 ounces per day
Coverage250 square feet
Water Tank Capacity0.4 gallons
Air CFM Range118 CFM
Drainage SystemReservoir

The best pick for a one car garage is the highly portable Pro Breeze. This compact unit is ideal for small garages up to 250 square feet. It does have a couple of drawbacks, but overall it is a great unit to maintain garage space humidity levels.

This portable unit uses a thermoelectric method of moisture collection and can convert about 18 ounces per day. The reservoir tank can hold up to 52 ounces, so you only need to think about emptying the tank every other day or so.

If you forget, that won’t be a problem. This model offers an auto-shutoff when the tank gets full. When that happens, the machine shuts down to avoid overflowing the tank. It also illuminates the tank full LED indicator. Once the tank is emptied, the device will resume operation.

The downside here is the operating range. It does not have a defrost cycle, and if the temperature falls below 41 degrees, the unit won’t operate at all. The ideal temperature range is between 59 and 90 degrees (Fahrenheit).

It also only comes with a 1-year warranty. While the model doesn’t tend to break down in this time period, a longer coverage term would be helpful. It does run quiet, though, and can be used in the garage even if used in a living space.

Pros

  • Ideal for small spaces
  • Quiet operation
  • Full tank indicator
  • Auto-shutoff feature

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • No defrost cycle

4. AlorAir Basement/Crawlspace Dehumidifier

Removes Most Water
Moisture Removal90 PPD
Coverage2600 square feet
Water Tank CapacityN/A
Air CFM Range210 CFM
Drainage SystemContinuous pump

If you have a lot of moisture, condensation, or even standing water in your garage, you need a powerful dehumidifier. The AlorAir crawlspace dehumidifier is the model that removes the most water.

Considered a commercial grade appliance, this machine can remove up to 90 PPD. It also features a continuous pump drain feature and heating to prevent freezing. The internal pump will remove the water through your attached hose and into a nearby drain. If you need to go up and out, this model features a 15-foot drain height.

The Hot Gas Valve (HGV) heating cycle shuts down the unit while removing frost, ice and frozen piping. It is efficient and economical, working in minutes with minimal energy draw. Once the defrost cycle is complete, it only needs a few minutes to rest and assume normal operating temperature before it will automatically kick back on.

This model is also capable of operating with the AlorAir remote control panel. This allows you the chance to monitor the humidity, speed, and functionality of the machine from anywhere (corded length limits) and make adjustments without having to go to the machine physically.

Unfortunately, the remote panel is a separate purchase. However, you do get a 5-year warranty to back your investment, and AlorAIr customer service is there to answer any questions you may have at any time.

Pros

  • 5-year warranty
  • HGV defrost cycle
  • Extreme temperature operation
  • MERV-1 filtration

Cons

  • Remote control panel sold separately
  • Must drain externally

5. SEAVON

Best Budget Dehumidifier For Small Garage
Moisture Removal9 ounces per day
Coverage195 square feet
Water Tank Capacity16 ounces
Air CFM Range98 CFM
Drainage SystemReservoir

If you have a humidity problem in your smaller garage and you are on a tighter budget, there is still hope. The Seavon dehumidifier is a small, portable and affordable unit that can quickly remove moisture from the air.

This model isn’t going to blow you away with high-end specs and massive moisture removal capabilities. What it will do is quietly and quickly get to work and remove excess moisture from the garage whenever you need it.

The unit is small and thus has limited features. For example, the collection tank is only 16 ounces, so it will need to be emptied once or twice per day. However, you can easily control the unit with a simple button. On or off, those are your choices. With one touch, you can start removing the humidity in your small garage.

It removes up to 9 ounces per day when running constantly. If the tank does get full, the unit will shut off, and the LED indicator will let you know it is time to empty—effortless operation with simple functionality.

The 1-year warranty is a little low for the industry. Luckily the price point is low enough that if it does break after the warranty period, you can’t really get upset.

Pros

  • Simple one-button operation
  • Full tank indicator
  • Automatic shut off

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • Small water tank

6. Keystone

Best Value Dehumidifier For Cold Garage
Moisture Removal35 PPD
Coverage3000 square feet
Water Tank Capacity0.8 gallons
Air CFM Range165-188 CFM
Drainage SystemReservoir, gravity drain

A fully featured dehumidifier at a great price is the key to the Keystone dehumidifier (pun intended). This model offers everything you need in a standard dehumidifier and gives you the best value for a cold garage.

Why cold? Not every garage can be heated or located in the tropics. This model is capable of cold weather operation and features an auto-shutoff function for both the tank and frost. When frost or freezing are detected, the machine will shut down and begin a defrost cycle. There will be an LED indicator to let you know why it isn’t running.

The tank holds just under a gallon of water and offers a visual window on the front with a float to let you know its full. There is a full tank LED indicator on the digital control panel, as well.

If you don’t want to mess with emptying a water tank, there is a gravity drain option as well. You will need to supply the hose and make sure the drain is lower than the dehumidifier, though.

The power cord is a little short (about 7 feet), so you may want to use an extension cord. However, this budget-friendly model will remove a lot of moisture in a short amount of time. The 1-year warranty covers the casing and controls with a 5-year warranty on the internal sealed system.

Pros

  • 1/5-year warranty
  • Visual tank level indicator
  • Auto-reset function
  • Auto shut off and defrost cycles

Cons

  • Short power cord

7. Vremi

Best Dehumidifier For A Two Car Garage
Moisture Removal50 PPD
Coverage4500 square feet
Water Tank Capacity1.8 gallons
Air CFM Range158 CFM
Drainage SystemReservoir, gravity drain

For those of you with a garage shop or a two car garage that need humidity control, look no further than the Vremi “Moisture Maniac.” This little machine is a maniac and will surprise you with the amount of moisture it pulls from the air.

This machine lets you choose how to dispose of the collected water. The 1.8 gallon tank seems like a lot, but it will fill quickly as this beast of a machine works hard. With 50 PPD moisture removal, you will need to empty the tank daily.

However, if you want to attach a garden hose, the continuous drain option lets the machine run 24 hours a day. The downside here is that humidity control cannot be adjusted in continuous drain mode. It either runs, or it doesn’t.

If you leave it to tank fill, you can set the humidity level, and the unit will run until that humidity level is reached in the entire space. You don’t need to worry about the tank overflowing with auto-shutoff, but it will shut down until the tank is empty.

One thing to note, aside from the dismal 1-year warranty, is that this unit is quite loud. If you have a connected garage or are using your garage as a living space, this machine may disrupt sleep or Netflix binge-watching marathons.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Auto-shutoff and Auto-restart
  • Defrost cycle
  • Huge capacity moisture removal

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • Unit is quite loud during operation

8. Inofia

Best 30 Pint Dehumidifier For Garage
Moisture Removal30 PPD
Coverage1056 square feet
Water Tank Capacity0.5 gallons
Air CFM Range112 CFM
Drainage SystemReservoir, gravity drain

Inofia brings you the HD161A model that has enough moisture removal power to work in almost any garage. With 30 PPD removal and the capacity to handle up to 1056 square feet, you won’t be disappopinted.

The downside first. This unit has a small reservoir of only 0.5 gallons. This means that you will need to empty it often, sometimes as much as three or four times per day. However, there is a good side.

It also offers a continuous gravity drain feature, and it includes the hose. While most units want you to tie up your garden hose, this model supplies everything you need except the humidity. Once set up, you can run it in continuous mode, which offers auto-restart if the power goes out and adjustable humidity settings.

Note, though, that if you set the dehumidifier to 30% humidity control, it will automatically run in continuous operation mode, and you must have the drain hose attached. The settings allow for 5% increments in the humidity setting as well, so you won’t ever get that “magic number” of 43% for flu and virus control, but 40% is just as good there.

The 1-year warranty is a little concerning, but it is the way some of the cheaper models save money. Set up in your garage with the drain hose, though, you have little to worry about except the 6-month filter cleaning and general maintenance.

Pros

  • 24 hour programming
  • Auto shut off
  • Auto shut off
  • Drain hose included

Cons

  • 1-year warranty
  • Small capacity tank

How Dehumidifiers Work & Their Benefits

Dehumidifiers have a fairly simple functionality. Their job is to pull air into the machine, pass it over refrigerant coils, absorbent materials, or through a heat exchange pump, which causes condensation.

The condensation forms water, which falls to the collection tank or out the drain hose. The air is then warmed up to prevent it from collecting more moisture on the way out and returned to the room, warmer and drier.

There are several benefits to dehumidifiers:

  • Reduces moisture content in the surrounding air.
  • Lowers relative humidity levels.
  • Maintains humidity at levels that inhibit mold and mildew growth.
  • Can keep the air warmer.
  • Lowers the risk of humidity and moisture to those with asthma, pneumonia, or bronchitis.

Types of Dehumidifiers Explained

As we mentioned earlier, there are three main types of dehumidifiers. Here, as promised, are the more in-depth explanations of those types.

Compressor

Compressor models are the most common. They tend to have a higher exchange rate and can work longer (though at a higher energy cost) than the other types. Here an internal compressor moves refrigerant through coils, much like the condenser unit of your air conditioner.

As the cold, moist air is pulled in, it passes over the coils where it is heated, and the coils’ moisture condenses. The water is removed from the coils and enters the drain or tank. The warmer, drier air is pushed out of the exhaust vent and back into the room.

Desiccant

Desiccant models are the quietest of the various types. They only use a small fan and have no compressors or pumps. Instead, the humid air is passed through a filter-like screen full of desiccant, usually a silica gel. The natural moisture absorbency of this material pulls the moisture from the air as it passes through.

When the gel is full, an electric heating pad turns on to dry the gel and remove the water into a collection tank. The gel can last several years in this cycle before it needs to be replaced, making these models more energy efficient, though they remove less moisture per day then the other types.

Thermo-electric

Thermo-electric models use what is known as a Peltier pump to cause a heat exchange long the line. As the air moves down the line, it is heated to the point the moisture is removed to condensate on the cooler, drier lines.

The condensate then moves to the collection tank or through the drain line where it is removed from the garage.

These models are much quieter than the compressor types, though they remove less moisture in a day. They are more energy efficient, though, making them popular choices as well.

Ideal Humidity Level in Garages

The ideal humidity level of your garage is something determined by the size and use of your garage. For keeping your car out of the elements, you can go with a lower humidity level than average. However, if your garage is a living space, you may want to opt for a slightly higher humidity level.

Research shows time and again that a humidity level between 30 and 60% is ideal for living and fighting mold. Anything below 60% will inhibit mold growth and can even kill mold that is already there.

Below 30%, though and the air becomes too dry for our skin and organs, making it difficult to maintain skin moisture and can cause dry, itchy eyes, dry mouth, and other effects.

Studies show that flu and flu-like viruses stop or die in a relative humidity of 43%. Based on this, the new normal for living spaces is between 40 and 60% humidity. It is wise to invest in air quality control tools or, at a minimum, a hygrometer to monitor the air in your garage.

Garage Dehumidifier Sizing Guide

To properly size your dehumidifier, you need to understand how dehumidifiers are rated. They have a single rating, the amount of moisture they remove per day. This is measured in pints, and the number is shown as pints per day or PPD.

This measurement directly correlates to the dimensions of your garage. Measured in square feet, the larger the PPD rating, the larger the space the machine will be useful in. If you know your garage’s square foot measurement, you can match that with a PPD rating to find the ideal sized dehumidifier.

On average (though specifics will vary from model and brand), 20 PPD will work for anything up to 500 square feet. 30 to 40 PPD will accommodate up to 800 square feet, and 50 PPD will work up to about 1200 square feet.

Anything over 60 PPD is considered commercial grade and will work in extremely wet areas like basements, and can fit up to 5000 square feet. Keep in mind that the PPD is only a guide. Many smaller dehumidifiers have a lot of reach, and can fit bigger spaces.

It isn’t uncommon to find 20 or 30 PPD units with capabilities to match 2500 to 4000 square foot spaces.

Dehumidifier Drainage Options

Just as there are different types of dehumidifiers, there are various ways they can hold or get rid of the moisture they collect. The drainage options are something to consider when shopping for a dehumidifier for your garage.

Reservoir

Reservoir, or tank models, rely on a collection tank. These can vary in size from a few pints to a few gallons. This is a manual empty style that requires you to remove the tank and empty down a drain, tub, or toilet when it gets full.

Depending on the dehumidifier’s capacity, this emptying can be required two or three times per day.

Outlet

A better option is known as an outlet drain, or gravity drain. Instead of a tank, a hose (small plastic or garden hose) is connected to a drain spout on the machine’s rear or bottom. As water is collected, it works its way into the drain through the hose and out the other end.

With these models, the machine needs to be elevated over the drain area so the gravity can pull it all the way through the hose and into the drain for proper removal.

Condensation Pump

One of the best methods is a condensation pump. Some models have an internal pump and work much like an outlet drain style. The difference is that the pump does all the work of removing the water instead of gravity.

With these models, your drain hose can go in any direction, even up—ideal for basements and garages where a drain may not be nearby. You can run the hose up depending on the pump’s drain height capacity. Drain height is a measurement, in feet, of how high it can pump water through a hose.

How to Install Dehumidifiers in the Garage

Installing a dehumidifier in your garage is relatively simple, and generally easier then a garage AC but will depend on the type of unit you purchase. For example, portable units need little more than a place to sit, out of the way, and a nearby drain to pump or gravity feed into.

Permanent units, sometimes known as whole-home dehumidifiers, may require ducting for intake and exhaust and need to be installed in an area where it can pull air, stay out of the way but have a drain and exhaust duct port nearby.

Placement in the garage will depend on where the intake and exhaust vents of the machine are located. If you have a front intake and top exhaust model, for example, you can easily place them in a corner or along a wall. Rear intake models need a more central mounting location to allow proper airflow all around the machine.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

How much do these dehumidifiers cost?

Dehumidifiers will range in price based on the type, features, and drain options. There are mini dehumidifiers that have no fans and only use passive moisture removal through silica gel. These small units can cost about $15.

Large, whole-home units with multiple drain options, remote control, and control panel installs and ducting requirements can cost more than $600. All other styles and brands fall somewhere in between.

How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier in muggy garages?

The running costs of a dehumidifier have little to do with how muggy or humid or wet the space is and more to do with the machine’s wattage draw and how much you are charged per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity.

Based on size and capacity, an average kWh cost of 4 cents, running a 700-watt dehumidifier for 8 hours will cost about $2.24 per day. 20 PPD units can cost as little as $28 per year to operate while commercial grade 70 PPD units can reach $350 per year or more.

Should a dehumidifier run all the time?

A dehumidifier should not continuously run, all day and night. Unless you are in a wet basement or construction area and need the extreme moisture removal, dehumidifiers should run and operate until humidity levels reach the magic 30 to 60% range. Once there, they should be shut off until the humidity rises above 60% again.

How often should I clean my dehumidifiers?

Care and maintenance of your dehumidifier will be the same as any other fan or refrigerant-based appliance. You will have daily checks, weekly cleanings, and monthly maintenance to perform. Each model has different requirements which are clearly outlined in your model’s specific owner’s manual.

Where is a good place to buy these units?

Any big box store or home improvement outlet will carry dehumidifiers. You can find current year models for sale in places like Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Menards. Online shopping at sites like Amazon or Sylvane gives you the chance to save a lot of money by purchasing last year’s models or finding online-only sales as new models arrive.

Conclusion

The best dehumidifier for your garage doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. There are a lot of brands and models to choose from. This article showed you all the consideration factors that should weigh in on your decision. We also showcased the best dehumidifiers for your garage space.

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