Exposure to damp and moldy environments can cause health conditions, including sinus congestion, cough, throat irritation, and, in some cases, serious respiratory problems. Mold thrives in wet and damp conditions, so one way to prevent mold is to buy a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers work by taking water vapor out of the surrounding air and can significantly reduce the risk of mold taking root in your home. There are many different kinds of dehumidifiers, each with various features, qualities, and effectiveness levels. We at AirConditionerLab put together this comprehensive guide on the best dehumidifiers to prevent mold.
How Dehumidifiers Treat & Prevent Mold
Mold requires a consistent source of moisture to take root and grow. Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the surrounding air, removing a vital source of nutrients for mold growth. Dehumidifiers can prevent mold growth and inhibit existing mold growth by keeping the surrounding air dry and free of water vapor.
There are many different types of dehumidifiers, but all of them work based on the same principles. All dehumidifiers work by drawing in surrounding air and removing moisture through some mechanism. The dehumidifier then expels the de-moisturized air back into the room.
Dehumidifiers have a lot of benefits. They can:
- Help with allergies by preventing mold growth
- Control moisture levels and improve comfort
- Reduce your overall energy costs by keeping the temperature of a room stable
- Prevent the onset of pests and other creatures that seek out moisture
Dehumidifiers for Mold Compared
Choosing the Right Dehumidifier for Mold Issues
Dehumidifier Type vs. Room Type
There are specific rooms in your home that are more prone to picking up moisture than others. Some types of dehumidifiers are best for particular rooms and conditions.
Refrigerant humidifiers work by drawing in surrounding air and passing it over a cooling coil in the interior. When saturated air passes over this coil, the low temperature causes the water droplets to condense and gather on the surface. The extracted water vapor then drains into a collection chamber, which can be removed and emptied later.
Best for: Rooms that stay at room temperature (e.g., kitchen, bedroom, etc).
These kinds of dehumidifiers take in air and pass it over a rotating wheel covered in a “desiccant” (water-absorbing) material. Water is removed from the wheel by passing a jet of warm air over it, and the collected water drains into the empty tank at the bottom. Desiccant dehumidifiers tend to be smaller and more compact than refrigerant dehumidifiers.
Best for: Low-temperature areas (e.g., basements, garages, etc.)
Make sure that your dehumidifier is rated to work at a decent range of temperatures. Ideally, you should have one that can operate efficiently throughout most of the year, especially during the summer heat when moisture accumulation is most common.
Coverage Area and Extraction Rate
The coverage area and extraction rate refer to how large a volume the dehumidifier can handle and how much water it can pull out of the air per unit time.
Coverage area is usually rated in square feet while extraction rate is measured in liters per kilowatt-hour (L/kWh). An extraction rate of about 0.7-1 L/kWh is usually enough to keep you home at a recommended 50%-60% relative humidity (RH)
Ducted (HVAC)vs. Portable
Ducted dehumidifiers connect and drain moisture through an external water line. These kinds of dehumidifiers are typically meant to be placed and not move. Portable dehumidifiers, on the other hand, can be moved around and have a separate drainage bin for moisture.
Automatic drainage dehumidifiers continuously drain water from the device without manual input. Most of the time, water is drained through an external hose into a nearby drain or your home’s water main.
Manual drainage dehumidifiers require you to remove the water bin and dispose of collected moisture. We recommend automatic drainage dehumidifies because they are easier to handle.
- Filter indication lights
Lights that tell you when the filter is at capacity and must be cleaned/replaced.
Monitors relative humidity levels and modulates performance in accordance.
Auto-reset function automatically restarts the dehumidifier in case of a power outage.
- Frost sensor
Frost sensors detect when ice has formed on the condensation coil
- Digital controls
Digital controls on the font allow you to set humidity and performance levels
- Noise levels
Some dehumidifiers can be loud and clunky when in operation. Make sure to find one with reasonable noise levels.
You should also look for a dehumidifier with a warranty policy of at least 1 year, preferably longer.
A decent portable dehumidifier can run you about $100-$200, while a sophisticated whole-house model can run upwards of $1000+. Keep in mind energy costs as well. Small dehumidifiers can cost just pennies a day to run, while large commercial models can cost hundreds of dollars a year to run 24/7.
7 Best Dehumidifiers for Mold Reviewed
1. Vremi 4,500 Sq. Ft. Dehumidifier
Best Dehumidifier for Mold
|Moisture Removal||50 pints|
|Coverage||4,500 sq. ft|
|Dimensions||16.6 x 11 x 24.4 inches|
|Water tank capacity||1.8 gallons|
First up is the Vremi Dehumidifier. This dehumidifier has a large coverage area and is Energy Star rated for efficiency. It works best for large areas like basements. The Vremi is rated to remove up to 50 pints of water per day and sports a clean and sleek look with rounded corners and a compact profile.
The Vremi also has a turbo mode that increases fan speed and can maintain comfortable moisture levels for long periods. It can cover an enormous 4,500 square feet and has a 1.8-gallon capacity tank. It has ducted draining, but you can also manually remove the tank if you choose to.
The Vremi is very easy to use too. A digital display on the top shows the current performance and relative humidity levels. It has been described as a “must-have” for large basements and also works well in RVs.
This dehumidifier won our pick for the best dehumidifier for mold due to its overall performance, large coverage area, and convenience. It is very energy efficient, has a special turbo mode, and has multiple drainage options, making it easy to find a place to put it.
- Large coverage area
- Drainage tap
- Great for large areas
- Drainage can clog
2. Midea MAD20C1ZWQS
Best Small Dehumidifier for Basement Mold
|Moisture Removal||20 pints|
|Coverage||1,500 sq. ft.|
|Dimensions||15.31 x 0.51 x 19.80 inches|
|Drainage System||Manual or ducted|
|Water tank capacity||0.8 gallons|
Up next is the Midea MAD20C1ZWS dehumidifier. This portable dehumidifier is great for smaller rooms and ideal for bedrooms and bathrooms. It can cover up to 1,500 sq. feet and features a 20-pint daily extraction rate. The Midea also comes with an auto-defrost feature and low noise rating.
The Midea has both manual and ducted drainage capabilities. The 0.8-gallon tanks can easily be removed and drained. You can also connect it to a standard 0.75 in. garden hose. Reviewers state that the Midea can “drink like a fish” and pulls a surprising amount of moisture out of the air given its size.
The Midea also is uber-portable thanks to its small frame and profile. It can easily fit unobtrusively in a corner or under a cabinet out of the way. Despite its small size, it is mighty and has a large area of coverage. The Midea is ideal for basements but also works well for larger bedrooms, living rooms, and attics.
Overall, it is the best dehumidifier for basement mold. It has a compact profile, multiple drainage options, and useful quality-of-life features like an auto-shutoff and simple digital display for setting performance, relative humidity levels, and a timer.
- Small and compact
- Ducted and manual drainage
- Very quiet (~51 decibels)
- Water tank is easy to remove
- Small tank capacity
- Tough to clean
3. Aprilaire 1830 Pro
Best Large Dehumidifier for Basement Mold
|Moisture Removal||70 pints|
|Coverage||3,800 sq. ft.|
|Dimensions||25 x 12.5 x 14.5 inches|
|Water tank capacity||9 gallons|
Next is the Aprilaire 1830 Pro. This dehumidifier is made from durable and rust-resistant aluminum coils designed by Aprilaire, a leading indoor air quality manufacturer. The Aprilaire has a sizeable 9-gallon tank and can remove up to 7- pints of water per day with maintenance requirements.
The Aprilaire has a slightly bulky boxy design, but it performs great. There is no water tray to remove as you can just set it up near a drainage center and let it go. Auto-start mechanisms automatically turn it on when the humidity gets too high.
The Aprilaire also comes in 3 other models for your home sizing requirements. No matter what size you need, there is an Aprilaire that will get the job done. It also minimizes airborne mold spore survival rate by keeping relative humidity levels below 60%.
The Aprilaire is ideal for most large basements and big rooms in your home, such as living rooms, master bedrooms, and attics. It has a slightly bulky design but is extremely powerful. Drainage is simple and also has a durable filter that does not need to be replaced very often.
- Extremely efficient
- Large coverage
- Large tank capacity
- No messy drip tray
- Bulky shape
- Somewhat loud
Best Dehumidifier for Mold in the Bedroom
|Moisture Removal||22 pints|
|Coverage||1,000 sq. ft.|
|Dimensions||15.2 x 10.32 x 19.7 inches|
|Water tank capacity||1 gallon|
This hOmeLabs Dehumidifier is designed for medium to large rooms and is rated best for basements and garages. It features a 1-gallon capacity tank and can pull out up to 11 pints of moisture per day. It also has a very sleek and sophisticated design and won’t be an eyesore in your home.
The hOmeLabs is super easy to use and does not require any special setup. Simply adjust it to desired levels and turn it on. The dehumidifier will automatically shut off when the tank reaches full capacity and automatically restarts once it is emptied and replaced. Unfortunately, there is no ducted drainage option.
Overall though, the hOmeLabs is great for medium-sized rooms and is convenient to use. Reviews describe it as a “life-changer,” and it has a simple digital interface to set parameters. It also has a special turbo mode for increased power and performance.
The hOmeLabs is an excellent dehumidifier with energy-efficient features and is ideal for medium to small rooms. It is also very affordable for its power and performance. The only downside is that there is no ducted drainage option, so you have to remove the tank manually.
- Sleek compact design
- Very quiet
- Automatic shut-off and start
- 2-year warranty
- Relatively small tank capacity
- No ducted drainage option
Best Dehumidifier for Black Mold
|Moisture Removal||1.5 pints|
|Coverage||270 sq. ft.|
|Dimensions||15.8 x 10.1 x 7.2 inches|
|Water tank capacity||0.5 gallons|
Sitting at 5th is the Afloia, our pick for the best dehumidifier for black mold. The Afloia has a small compact design and an intuitive interface. Despite the size, it is highly efficient and can pull out 1.5 pints of water per day. Its optimal temperature range is between 50-86 degrees-F.
The Afloia has a convenient auto-shutoff feature that turns the machine off when the reservoir is full. It also uses the latest energy-saving technology to reduce overall power consumption. It is ideal for small rooms like bedrooms, closets, and living rooms. It is also very quiet and can run without disturbing anyone.
The Afloia makes a great portable dehumidifier because it is lightweight and can be taken around easily with a convenient carrying handle. It is also effortless to take apart and clean.
The Afloia is energy-efficient and compact. The tank is easy to remove, but there is no ducted drainage option. It is also very powerful, so you will have to empty the tank relatively frequently. Otherwise, it is an excellent dehumidifier that is particularly suited for removing and reducing the incidence of black mold.
- Small compact design
- Tranquil operation
- Energy-saving technology
- Low tank capacity
- No ducted drainage option
6. Pro Breeze Electric Mini Dehumidifier
Best Dehumidifier for Mold Allergies
|Moisture Removal||1 pint|
|Coverage||150 sq. ft.|
|Dimensions||7 x 6 x 11 inches|
|Water tank capacity||0.14 gallons|
Our penultimate entry is the Pro Breeze Electric Mini Dehumidifier. This dehumidifier is quiet and efficient, capable of removing up to 1 pint of moisture a day with minimal noise and power consumption. The Pro Breeze is ideal for smaller rooms and uses thermoelectric cooling mechanisms that are energy efficient.
The Pro Breeze is also highly portable. It weighs just over 2 pounds and so can be carried to and from without much effort. In that sense, it is a great “spot” humidifier to treat problem areas as they come along because you can place it virtually anywhere.
The Pro breeze has an operational range of 150 sq. ft. –it does not get much coverage. As such, it is best suited for small rooms like bedrooms, closets, and bathrooms. It also has an easily removable tank and an auto-shutoff feature when the tank is full.
The Pro Breeze is small, but it is mighty. You can run it for days at a time without incurring much energy costs, and it has a wide range of operational temperatures for a portable dehumidifier. Overall, it is one of the best portable dehumidifiers that you can get and will do wonders for your mold allergies.
- Excellent for seasonal allergies
- Efficient thermoelectric cooling system
- Straightforward interface
- Auto-shutoff mechanism when the tank is full
- Relatively small tank capacity
- Manual drainage only
Best Manual Draining Dehumidifier
|Moisture Removal||35 pints|
|Coverage||3,000 sq. ft.|
|Dimensions||10.8 x 15.4 x 23.2 inches|
|Water tank capacity||1.5 gallons|
Last but not least is the Keystone Dehumidifier. This dehumidifier has a large 3,000 sq. ft. operational range and can drain up to 35 pints per day. The Keystone has a compact design and a moderately sized 1.5-gallon tank. It can easily be placed out of the way in a corner or even in a closet.
The Keystone uses a continuous drainage system that requires a nearby drain. The upshot is you don’t have to deal with a messy drip tray. The Keystone also has a convenient digital display that indicates relative humidity levels and allows you to set parameters with a button’s touch.
The Keystone is best suited for small to medium-sized rooms. It is also lightweight and relatively portable for its size, although it has a boxy, slightly bulky frame, making it hard to place in some areas.
Overall though, the Keystone is a great and affordable dehumidifier. It is strong, energy-efficient, and has convenient features such as a turbo mode and auto-defrost mode. It also has a continuous drain option, so you do not have to deal with the manual draining if you do not want to.
- Small, space-conscious design
- No drip tray
- Convenient LED display
- 24-hour timer
- Somewhat loud
- Challenging to take apart and clean components
Problems to Health & Homes Caused by Mold
Mold is produced by fungus and requires moisture to survive and grow. Mold can cause a whole host of health problems, including respiratory distress, sinus congestion, sore throat, and more. Prolonged mold exposure can be deadly in some cases.
Here is a list of common types of mold and where they are most likely to form.
- Mildew – showers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets, refrigerators
- Black mold – leaky roofs, windows, ceilings, insulation
- Aspergillus – food, drywall, building materials
- Cladosporium – wood surfaces and fabrics
- Penicillium – objects with water damage
Dehumidifier vs. Air Purifier for Mold: Which is Better?
Air Purifiers can remove already existing mold spores and allergens from the air while dehumidifiers prevent their growth. Air purifiers are great for dealing with allergies, but they don’t really treat mold. Air purifiers do tend to cost less to run than dehumidifiers, though. Air purifiers do not have to be drained, but you have to replace the filter more frequently.
How to Effectively Use a Dehumidifier to Eliminate Mold
If you have a portable dehumidifier, you can set it up in most places in your home. Dehumidifiers work best when placed out of the way, away from other noise generating things like vans and ventilation. Ensure that your dehumidifier has proper drainage when you set it up and that the humidistat is set at an acceptable range.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
How do I know what size humidifiers to get?
Dehumidifiers have coverage ratings, so make sure you get one that can cover the room you place it in.
What is the best dehumidifier setting to prevent mold?
Try to aim for 50%-60% relative humidity levels.
Can a dehumidifier spread mold?
If not emptied regularly, standing water can contribute to mold formation.
Will a dehumidifier kill mold spores?
No, but they can prevent its growth and keep them dormant.
What type of maintenance does a dehumidifier need?
Dehumidifiers require regular cleaning to prevent mold growth on the inside and must be emptied regularly (for non-ducted models).
Where is a good place to buy these dehumidifiers?
I recommended shopping at online retailers like Amazon or Sylvane for the best deals. You can also buy dehumidifiers at most department and home goods stores, such as Home Depot or Wal-Mart.
So to wrap things up, our choice for the best dehumidifier for mold is the Vremi. The Vremi 4,500 sq. ft. humidifier is the best overall humidifier because of its large capacity, high extraction rate, and overall performance. It makes an excellent dehumidifier for large spaces but can also be dialed down for smaller rooms.
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