Buying a dehumidifier has a lot of benefits to your home. Along with reducing humidity, they also take a lot of work away from your HVAC system. While air conditioners can also remove moisture from the air, it isn’t always efficient.
Dehumidifiers can be some of the most efficient means of home climate control. This article focuses on the most energy efficient dehumidifiers and teaches you how to identify them. When buying your next dehumidifier, the tips and reviews here will help your decision become even easier.
Dehumidifier vs. Air Conditioner: Energy Use & Power Consumption
As we know, dehumidifiers and air conditioners both remove moisture from the air. The difference is that the dehumidifying properties of an air conditioner are secondary. In fact, air conditioners are much more efficient at changing air temperature when there is less moisture, to begin with.
Dehumidifiers don’t lower the temperature of a room, and can actually increase it. Because they heat the air after removing the moisture, the exhaust air from the machines is warmer. In small spaces, this can make the room warmer.
When it comes to just removing moisture from the air, dehumidifiers are much more efficient. When used in conjunction with your air conditioner, both systems become more efficient. In an ideal world you can have your dehumidifier lower the relative humidity in your home to less than 60% for a much lower cost than your air conditioner alone.
The trade-off, then, is that with the lowered humidity levels, your air conditioner has to work less often and at a more efficient rate to lower the temperature in your home.
Why Invest in an Energy Efficient Dehumidifier
If you focus your buying on energy efficiency, you know you will get a great dehumidifier that is functional, reliable and can save you a lot of money. Buying with this mindset can reduce the number of features or options the unit has, but the savings are paramount.
When installed and operated properly, dehumidifiers can reduce your central air conditioner’s workload, which also saves you money. They also improve the air quality and keep your monthly bills lower on an average of about 30%.
Energy-Efficient Dehumidifiers Compared
Buying Guide for Choosing Energy Efficient Dehumidifiers
Energy Star Certification
Energy Star certification is a process that uses regulated testing to determine if the appliance or machine saves power and wattage draw to reduce the amount of energy used. Qualifying equipment becomes certified with a rating number, and an average annual cost prediction clearly posted.
The type of dehumidifier you choose will have a large part in the efficiency of the machine. Below the review section, we will outline the various types as it pertains to energy efficiency. However, you need to know that energy efficiency and ability don’t often go hand in hand.
Thermo-electric types are among the most cost-effective models but don’t compare to compressor types in terms of moisture removal. Desiccant dehumidifiers are quite energy efficient but fall behind the others in their humidity control abilities.
Many dehumidifiers rely on the ambient temperature to calculate how much to run when using automatic mode. This increases efficiency as the units don’t have to run continuously. The average temperature in your region, as well as the climate, will have an impact on how often the dehumidifiers run and how efficient they can be.
Capacity & Coverage Area
You also need to look at the capacity of the dehumidifiers. How much space can they effectively cover? Larger units may remove more moisture in a shorter time, but if they overpower the room, they won’t run efficiently.
Find the right size and capacity for the room size you will use the dehumidifier in. If your room size happens to fall between sizes, it is slightly more efficient to choose the larger size of the two.
Drainage & Ducting
Large units and whole-home dehumidifiers require ducting so they can use air from all over the home. Many models won’t include the ducting, which is an additional cost to consider.
You also need to think about drainage solutions. Many units will drain directly into a tank that you will need to remove and empty. This can become a chore. However, if your chosen model has a continuous drain option, even better.
With a hose connected, continuous drain uses a pump or gravity to remove the water and empty it into a drain away from the machine.
The dehumidifier rating is the measurement of the pints per day (PPD) moisture removal plus the wattage draw of the machine. In most instances, this rating isn’t displayed anywhere, relying more on the PPD to show you how well it works.
However, for those shopping with energy efficiency in mind, finding the dehumidifier rating isn’t that difficult, and the lower wattage draw machines will always be more efficient.
Other Dehumidifier Features
Filter Indicator Light
Filters play a significant role in the efficiency of these machines, and the better the filter, the higher rated the dehumidifier becomes. While not every model will offer HEPA filtration, if you can get a model that does, that is a huge bonus.
The main factor, though, is to know when to change the filter and unless you like to set reminders and alerts on your calendar or phone, having a filter indicator light on the machine is a great feature to look for.
When the dehumidifier is allowed to monitor itself, it runs more efficiently. Auto-humidistats measure the humidity levels in the air and turn on or off according to your settings. The use of a humidistat isn’t on every model, and automatic control humidistats make even more energy-conscious machines.
Auto-reset is another option that comes in handy. After a power outage, dehumidifiers with auto-reset will come back on and use all of the previous settings that you input. This removes the need for you to reprogram the unit, and you can focus your attention elsewhere, knowing your dehumidifier is back on and doing its job.
Low Temperature Settings
Dehumidifiers can run at low temperatures. However, they will need some special care (see below). Many will run in extreme temperatures down to 36 degrees (Fahrenheit). However, the lower the operating temperature range, the less efficient the machines become.
Since they have to work harder at lower temperatures, the energy costs and wattage draws increase.
Frost sensors help the dehumidifiers stay running and last longer. If frost is detected by the sensors, the units will shut down and enter defrost mode. This keeps the system functional, even in cold weather.
Digital controls are almost all you will find anymore. However, models with analog controls are still around. Generally, analog controls are not exact and can end up costing you more to operate. Make sure your unit has digital controls, preferably with a readout in LCD or LED form.
Some dehumidifiers are marketed as quiet, for use in bedrooms or nurseries. Not all of them are quiet, though. With motors, pumps, and fans, they will make some noise. Larger units tend to be louder as they are designed to move more air and remove more moisture.
Warranties on dehumidifiers fall all over the map. From no warranty at all to lifetime warranties on certain parts. On average, anything over 2 years is considered a good warranty. However, make sure you understand the coverage terms and claim responsibilities before you buy.
Finally, the price will be one of the most significant factors. Staying in budget may mean waiting for more savings or a particular time of year when sales offer better pricing. Because of the machines’ nature and why we need them in our homes, settling for a cheaper model isn’t always the best idea.
7 Most Energy Efficient Dehumidifiers Reviewed
Most Energy Efficient Dehumidifier
|Coverage||2500 square feet|
|Water Tank Capacity||2.0 gallons|
|Air CFM Range||120 – 158 CFM|
|Drainage System||Tank, continuous pump|
The best 50-pint energy efficient dehumidifier is the Frigidaire model that comes with enough features to make the investment worth it. It also features a design that is suitable for any room and power for the wettest or areas.
With this model, you can use the collection tank or a continuous drain option. The tank itself will hold 2 gallons of collected water before needing to be emptied. The machine will shut off on its own and indicate that the tank is full.
If you prefer, you can connect a garden hose to the drain outlet and put the unit in continuous drain mode. This is ideal when you have the dehumidifier in the basement or crawlspace and don’t want to check on it every day.
The pump drain has a drain height of 16 feet so you can access any area for easy draining. The control panel is easy to use with touch-sensitive buttons and a clear LED screen to know your humidity settings.
The three fan speeds allow you to select the best option for your needs or the space this unit is installed in. With a 545 watt draw, you are looking at a 0.54 kWh drain, which averages out to about 3 kilowatt-hours per day (averaging 5 hours of usage time per day).
The 1-year warranty covers the parts and labor while the 4-year warranty protects the fans, motor, and pump in the sealed unit. Frigidaire is easy to get a hold of should anything go wrong, and their claim service is simple to follow.
- 1-/4-year warranty
- Front mount filter is easy to access
- Dual drain options
- Great customer service
- Not ideal for single room use
- Not the quietest model on the list
2. LG PuriCare
Best Quiet Energy Efficient Dehumidifier
|Coverage||2000 square feet|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.7 gallons|
|Air CFM Range||130 – 150 CFM|
|Drainage System||Tank, gravity drain|
The LG PuriCare dehumidifier is the quietest energy efficient model currently available. With a moderate wattage draw, dual drain options, and simple to use controls, you may wonder how you ever lived without it.
The control panel is a big draw to this machine. Let alone the sleek, stylish, and all-black casing, the bright LED panel is easy to see and lets you know where the humidity level is at. You can set the humidity and watch the two numbers begin to match.
When the humidity level reaches the set limit, the machine will turn off, saving power and energy in the process. When it is running, the quiet, 48dB fan gives off a gentle hum that is barely noticeable.
Draining the tank is easy and can be accomplished in two ways. The fastest method is manual. As the tank fills, it will set off a sensor indicating the tank is full on the panel. When this happens, the machine shuts off to prevent overflowing until you empty it.
If you would rather not, you can connect a drain hose and switch to continuous drain mode. The collected moisture then runs down the hose to your drain. Keep in mind that there isn’t a pump at work here (saving more energy), so you will need to position the unit and hose downhill so gravity can drain the water.
The 1-year warranty is a little light, even for LG standards. Still, with the dehumidifier’s durability and construction, you probably won’t need much in the way of warranty claims anyway.
- Clear LED display
- Easy drain feature
- Runs quiet
- Simple set up
- 1-year warranty
- Safety stand-by may trigger earlier than expected
3. Haier HEH50ET
Best Energy Efficient Crawl Space Dehumidifier
|Coverage||900 square feet|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.3 gallons|
|Air CFM Range||180 CFM|
|Drainage System||Tank, gravity drain|
The best energy efficient dehumidifier for crawl spaces and even basements is the Haier HEH50ET. This 50 PPD model moves a lot of air and removes a ton of moisture. With enough features to keep your button-pressing fingers happy, it also remains portable enough to move around as needed.
The control panel is a delight here. The buttons press firmly, and you know what you are adjusting your settings to. The LED indicators also let you know what is going on with the machine at any given time. Filter changes, full tank, and humidity controls are all right there on the panel for you.
If you use the reservoir tank, it will hold a little under one and a half gallons. With 50 PPD moisture removal, you can expect to empty the tank every couple of days. However, if you forget or aren’t around when it gets full, the auto-shutoff feature will kick in.
You can also use the gravity drain by connecting a garden hose to the attachment and letting the machine drain itself. This is ideal in a crawl space when you don’t want to have to get in there all the time.
The filter change is about every 250 operating hours, and the unit will continue to run even if the filter needs changing. However, for optimal performance and best energy efficiency practices, it is better to change it on time or even early.
The downside here is the 1-year warranty. There isn’t much to it, but it does cover the entire machine, parts, and labor. While there aren’t any ducting connections, installing in a crawl space is still simple enough; just make sure it stays level.
- Easy to use controls
- Auto-shutoff feature
- LED indicators for filter and tank
- 1-year warranty
- No ducting connections
Best Portable High Efficiency Dehumidifier
|Coverage||3000 square feet|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.6 gallons|
|Air CFM Range||128 CFM|
|Drainage System||Tank, gravity drain|
The Danby model is easily the best portable high-efficiency dehumidifier you will find. This is also a small dehumidifier that can be used in single rooms or large spaces alike. While it has a high output, it offers a lot of savings and moisture removal.
Whoever said you couldn’t do big things with small packages never heard of dynamite or Danby. This unit removes up to 50 PPD of moisture and does so without raising your energy bill. From the low wattage draw to the ability to reduce the hours your AC runs, it almost pays for itself.
You also get the dual drain option here. With a 1.6-gallon tank, you can empty manually or a hose connection for gravity draining to a nearby receptacle. The touch-sensitive control panel offers you an LED humidity readout and LED indicators for all other settings.
You never have to guess what your settings are between two fan speeds, filter and tank indicators, and humidity control indicators. This compact unit also looks good from all sides, so you can literally put it anywhere, even on a table or bookcase.
When the tank is full, though, it can weigh over 50 pounds, so make sure whatever you set it on can handle the weight. If you want to run it overnight, the tank should be emptied first, so it won’t fill overnight.
With a 2-year warranty on parts and labor, you are protected against any fault the machine could have. Warranty claims aren’t the easiest, but they will go through given enough patience and effort.
- 2-year warranty
- Auto-shutoff feature
- Clear LED indicators
- Touch-sensitive controls
- Warranty claims aren’t easy
Best Energy Efficient Dehumidifier For The Bedroom
|Coverage||4500 square feet|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.5 gallons|
|Air CFM Range||110 – 140 CFM|
|Drainage System||Tank, pump drain|
The TOSOT dehumidifier may be one you have never heard of before. However, this model is the best energy efficient dehumidifier for the bedroom. It is a compact model with a low wattage draw and a high output.
It is rated for up to 4500 square feet, which is more than needed for most rooms. If you find that it is too much machine, they also offer smaller sizes that go down to 1500 square feet of coverage. However, as expected, if you go smaller, the moisture removal per day is less, too.
With 50 PPD removal capabilities, though, you won’t have to worry about your humidity for some time. The unit also has a humidistat control so it can be programmed to come on or off based on the temperature and humidity level around the machine.
This saves even more energy since it won’t run constantly. For draining, you have two options. The tank will hold about 1.5 gallons, but you also have an internal pump to pump the tank empty for you.
Once you connect a hose (not included), the unit will operate as usual, and when the tank gets full, instead of shutting off and alerting you to empty it, the pump will kick on and drain the tank. Be warned, though, that for storage time, the tank doesn’t always get completely emptied.
With a 1-year warranty, you won’t expect much from the coverage. However, if you do need to make a claim, the process is reasonably simple, and customer service is happy to help.
- Auto on/off pump
- Three speed fan
- Humidity level setting
- Full digital controls
- 1-year warranty
- Pump doesn’t completely empty tank
Best Energy Efficient Dehumidifier For Large Rooms
|Coverage||4500 square feet|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.8 gallons|
|Air CFM Range||165-188 CFM|
|Drainage System||Tank, gravity drain|
The hOmeLabs dehumidifier is the best energy efficient model for large rooms. It has a huge capacity and will cover most of your home if needed. The portability is also nice when you want to move it around based on your needs that day.
Like the TOSOT humidifier, this one comes in various sizes and capacities, too. From 1500 square feet of coverage to 4500 square feet. When you have a large room, basement, or multiple rooms to cover, though, this model will not let you down.
The control panel is relatively simple to use and has enough indicators to let you know what operational settings are in place. You can also drain into the tank or connect a hose to the outlet for a gravity drain in continuous operation mode.
The four double caster wheels make the unit easy to move from room to room, even over carpet. However, if you are using the drain hose, make sure wherever you move it to is uphill from the drain and within reach of your hose.
The 2-year warranty is great, and customer service is always just a phone call away. There is also an option to go to the hOmeLabs website and register your new purchase to extend your warranty an extra 6 months.
- 2-year warranty (optional 6-month extension)
- Dual drain options
- Large space or wet area approved
- Simple control panel
- Doesn’t always hold settings after a power outage
- Draws power even in stand by or idle mode
7. BLACK+DECKER BDT50PWTB
Multiple Sizes Available
|Coverage||1000 square feet|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.8 gallons|
|Air CFM Range||148 – 165 CFM|
|Drainage System||Tank, optional pump drain|
Black & Decker is a name that we all know and trust. Their products span all of home improvement, HVAC climate control, and tools. The dehumidifier department makes many different sized models, and you can easily find the one that fits the space you need.
This particular model can remove up to 50 PPD and comes with an internal pump for draining. The other sizes use gravity drain options, but one draw for all of them is that the drain hoses are included. With this model, the pump hose is 16.5 feet long. All other models come with a 4-foot drain hose.
If you want to use the tank, you can. This helps the machine stay portable and can be used in bedrooms while you sleep, which may be too far from a drain to use that option. With a 1.8 gallon capacity, You won’t have to worry about it filling up while you sleep.
If it fills while you are away, though, you are still safe. These models all feature auto-shutoff and auto-reset functionality and won’t overflow into the unit or on your floors. The drain attachment, tank, and filter housing are all easily accessed, with the tank in the front and filter and drain in the rear.
The caster wheels make it easy to move around so you can perform your maintenance and put the unit where it will serve your needs the best.
- 16.5-foot drain hose included
- Easy access tank, filter, and drain
- Portable for use anywhere
- 1-year warranty
- Only one option has pump
3 Types of Dehumidifiers
There are three basic types of dehumidifiers, compressor, desiccant, and thermo-electric. Each one offers a unique method of removing moisture, and they all have advantages and disadvantages.
The models that use a compressor work much like the evaporator in your air conditioning unit. Air is pulled in and pushed over coils full of refrigerant. The colder coils cause the air to condensate, thus removing the moisture from it.
Condensation then runs through the hose to the drain or collection tank. These models are the most common and are more efficient when running an entire home or large space. However, they tend to be the loudest of the types and can interfere with activities like sleeping or watching TV.
Descant models are the quietest of the bunch, most making hardly any noticeable noise. With decibel ratings below 40, you can see why. These models use a fan to draw air in and over or through a filter-style panel of desiccant material. Silica gel is most often used.
The silica gel does get full of water eventually, and the dehumidifier will use a heating element to dry out the gel so it can resume pulling moisture from the air. These models are the least efficient as they don’t remove as much moisture as the other options.
The thermo-electric models use a heat transfer method that utilizes a Peltier pump. As the heat moves through the pump, the air is forced to condensate as it moves along. The condensate is then flushed into a water tray or into a drain hose.
These models are quieter than a condenser model but require more electricity to operate in large capacities, making them slightly less energy efficient.
Dehumidifier Running Costs
The running costs of your dehumidifier will depend on a lot of factors. First, you will need to consider the size, output, and capacity of the machine. You also need to take into consideration the required wattage as well as how much your electric company charges per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
Once all of these are factored in, you still need to determine how many hours the dehumidifier will run and for how many days. While it isn’t an exact science, one of the easiest methods is to look at the Energy Star label on the packaging or the unit itself. This will give an estimate of the annual cost to run the machine.
If you want a more accurate measurement, you need to do the math on all of the factors listed above. In general, though, you can also take an educated guess by knowing the averages. On average, for example, a 20 PPD unit running for 5 hours per day, 5 day s a week, will cost about $30 per year.
Likewise, larger models that remove 70 PPD or more can easily run the electric bill up over $350 per year.
Tips for Installing Dehumidifiers
Installing your dehumidifier can be a challenge. First, you need to decide if you need a portable, single room dehumidifier or a whole-home system. For portable units, you can move them to the room that needs them the most. Typically this will be wet areas like basements, bathrooms, and kitchens or laundry rooms.
You should make note of where the intake and exhaust vents are located. If possible, placing the dehumidifier in the corner or against a wall will be the best option. If the vents prevent this, it will also work well on a shelf, table, or near the doorway.
For whole-home units, proper installation will require knowing where the drains are located. If you need to go uphill (or to another floor of your home), you need a pump drain system. Otherwise, a gravity drain will work.
Install the unit on flat, level ground, higher than the drain (for gravity fed), and ensure the ducting is attached and routed correctly. Beyond that, you only need to ensure you have easy access to the filter and control panel for adjustments, cleanings, and filter changes.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
What kind of dehumidifier is the most cost efficient?
Depending on your needs, the cost efficiency of a dehumidifier will change. Single rooms that only need a little bump in lowering humidity can save a lot of money with portable desiccant models. Likewise, more serious dehumidifying may find savings using a whole-home compressor system with a gravity drain.
Are new model dehumidifiers more energy efficient than older ones?
Energy efficiency has made a lot of progress in the last twenty years. Each year that goes by, we see better and better efficiency ratings on machines and appliances. However, if older models mean ones from decades ago, then yes, modern models are much more efficient. Suppose it has only been a few years, though, probably not so much. If you are looking to replace your current dehumidifier and it is less than 4 or 5 years old, it may be more cost effective to wait a few more years before replacing the unit, if possible.
What’s the ideal humidity level for a house or a basement?
Ideal humidity levels have a wide range and offer different benefits. Killing mold or preventing mold growth, for example, happens anywhere below 60% humidity. Respiratory illnesses, though, require much lower levels to be effective in prevention and treatment of the illness. Anything at or above 30% is recommended. As long as your home is between 30 and 60%, you should notice the most beneficial effects.
How do I know what size dehumidifier to get for my basement, crawl spaces, garage, or for the whole house?
The size you need will be determined by the size of the space and the dehumidifier’s capacity. Single rooms, for example, will have a smaller square footage and require fewer pints of removal per day. The easiest way to know is to have the square footage of the room, basement or home and compare it to the capacity listings of the model you have in mind. If the capacity meets or exceeds your sizes, then that model will work for you.
Should I stick with a well-known brand when buying these appliances?
Well known brands, like Frigidaire or Haier, may seem like the safest option. However, it is also important to keep in mind that not all dehumidifiers are complex machines that require extensive engineering history to be good. Many “unknown” brands make high-quality units that perform just as well, or even better, than ones made by a name you already know.
Where is a good place to buy these units?
There are many places to purchase dehumidifiers in both portable and whole-home styles. Big box and chain stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menard’s and even Walmart will carry a varied selection. However, if you want better deals on models both new and old, you can shop online. Amazon has great deals and a large stock of many types, styles, and brands. You can also check out Sylvane for high-quality dehumidifiers at reasonable prices.
When you shop for a dehumidifier with energy efficiency in mind, the task becomes a little more complicated. You can’t just pick a model with the capacity you are looking for. It also needs to be efficient, smart, and easy to use.
This article outlined a lot of factors for you to consider and showcased the most energy efficient models. If you are still unsure, check out the top pick again. The Frigidaire High-Efficiency 50 PPD model is one that will work in just about any room of any home at any time. You can’t go wrong here.
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