Best Attic Dehumidifier

Attics usually have a stuffy smell due to its location in the house. However, excessively damp air and musty odors are likely caused by mold, mildew, and other microorganisms that thrive in moisture. High humidity and musty odors may increase even more if you vent clothes dryers or bathroom exhaust fans into the attic. If you want to remove mold and odors from your attic, the first thing to do is reduce the humidity level and the best solution for this is a dehumidifier.

Depending on the size and condition of your attic, you can find the perfect dehumidifier for the space, from 13 pints up to 50 pints in capacity. To make the task easier for you, we have looked into the best dehumidifiers available today and gathered all the useful information you must know before making a purchase. Take your pick from our top six below or use our buying guide to choose the best attic dehumidifier for your home.

Comparison of the Best Dehumidifiers for Attic

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Dimensions: 24.25 x 15.96 x 12.2 inches
  • Moisture Removal Capacity: 50 pints
  • Coverage Area: Not indicated
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  • Dimensions: 24.3 x 15.4 x 11 inches
  • Moisture Removal Capacity: 50 pints
  • Coverage Area: 4,500 sq. ft.
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  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.2 x 9 inches
  • Moisture Removal Capacity: 34 pints
  • Coverage Area: 2,000 sq. ft.
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  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 8.2 x 12.2 inches
  • Moisture Removal Capacity: 30 pints
  • Coverage Area: 1,000 sq. ft.
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  • Dimensions: 7.1 x 10.9 x 18.3 inches
  • Moisture Removal Capacity: 14.7 pints
  • Coverage Area: 320 sq. ft.
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  • Dimensions: 10.59 x 6.85 x 17.52 inches
  • Moisture Removal Capacity: 13 pints
  • Coverage Area: 270 sq. ft.
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Top 6 Picks for the Best Dehumidifier for Attic

Frigidaire FFAP5033W1

Frigidaire FFAP5033W1 Dehumidifier

Our top choice dehumidifier for the attic comes from Frigidaire, a brand known for manufacturing high-quality home appliances. Attic mold stands no chance against the powerful performance of Frigidaire dehumidifiers. This Energy Star dehumidifier extracts up to 50 pints of moisture per day in large spaces.

You can select your desired humidity level from 35% to 85% RH and delay start or stop operation after one to 24 hours. To absorb moisture and keep your attic dry and free from mold, this dehumidifier has a strong fan with three speed settings: Low (167 CFM), Med (194 CFM), and High (229 CFM). 

This 50-pint dehumidifier has a large 16.9-pint water tank, with the standard auto shut-off feature that automatically stops operation when the container is almost full, as well as a bucket full alert that will tell you when this happens. Manual draining is more convenient with the front-loading bucket with handle and splash guard. For even more convenience, this model comes with a built-in condensate pump. To utilize the continuous drain feature, attach a standard garden hose onto the drain outlet and divert the water outside. 

Frigidaire’s SpaceWise design includes rolling casters and a top handle for added portability. The unit also comes with an easy-to-access washable mesh filter and an indicator light that will remind you to check the filter. Frigidaire dehumidifiers stand out for their exceptional performance even in temperatures as low as 41°F. They work continuously in lower temperatures without an auto defrost mode that turns off the unit periodically to melt ice. 

One downside is that Frigidaire comes with the usual one-year warranty. With its high-end quality, Frigidaire is also at the high end in terms of cost. 

PROS
• Energy Star certified
• Custom humidity control
• Quick and efficient moisture removal
• SpaceWise portable design
• Works well in low temperatures
• With built-in pump
CONS
• Higher price
• 1-year warranty

hOmeLabs HME020031N

hOmeLabs HME020031N Basement Dehumidifier

hOmeLabs offers almost anything you need in a high capacity dehumidifier at the best value. This unit removes up to 50 pints of moisture in large spaces from 3,000 to 4,500 square feet. It is Energy Star certified to ensure high performance and greater savings in the long run. 

The onboard humidistat allows you to select the humidity level from 35% to 90% RH in 5% increments. The unit will cycle on and off to maintain humidity without your constant supervision. You can also set the timer to automatically start or stop the unit for 0.5 to 24 hours. For maximum moisture removal and odor reduction, Turbo mode increases fan speed from 165 CFM to 188 CFM. In Comfort mode, the unit will automatically select the humidity level and fan speed depending on the ambient temperature. If you want your dehumidifier to run continuously regardless of the humidity, select Continuous mode.

For safety, the dehumidifier shuts off automatically when the 1.8-gallon tank is full. To enable continuous draining, attach a standard garden hose (not included) into the drain outlet at the back of the unit and direct the other end to a floor-level water drain. Built with four wheels and two side handles, the hOmeLabs unit can be easily dragged up to your attic or anywhere else in the house. During colder months, the auto defrost feature shuts off the unit when the temperature drops as low as 41°F. 

On the downside, hOmeLabs is made of light and thin plastic which can lead to breaking over continued use, so you need to handle it carefully, especially the water tank. However, the efficiency of the hOmeLabs dehumidifier at its price, along with the longer two-year warranty,  greatly outweigh the disadvantages. hOmeLabs also comes with a longer warranty of two years. For spaces smaller than 3,000 sq ft, you can choose from the more compact hOmeLabs dehumidifiers that offer similar functionality.

PROS
• Energy Star certified
• Excellent dehumidification performance
• Custom humidity control
• Continuous drain option
• Budget price
• 2-year warranty
CONS
• Made with flimsy plastic
• Not suitable for small spaces

Waykar PD160B

Waykar PD160B Dehumidifier

Although not as popular as the first two brands, Waykar is also a good choice for household dehumidifiers. The PD160B model can remove up to 34 pints of moisture per day, although some stores call this unit a 40-pint dehumidifier. It’s ideal for a smaller and less humid attic, or any residential space up to 2,000 square feet.

Set the humidity from 30% to 80% and the unit will work to maintain your desired level. If you set the humidity to 30%, the unit will operate in Continuous mode. The control panel features four buttons including the power, humidity setting, timer, and adjustable fan speeds. The Timer allows you to delay start or delay stop between one and 24 hours. The digital display will show the current humidity, the remaining time, as well as indicator lights to determine the working status.

This mid-sized dehumidifier has a small 0.66 gallon/2.5 L water tank with a transparent water level window on the front of the unit. When the tank is full, the unit will shut off automatically and the “Full” indicator light will illuminate. Alternatively, if you want your dehumidifier to run continuously, simply attach the included drain hose to the drainage outlet on the back of the unit to enable automatic draining. Make sure that the unit is higher than the drain and the hose is in a downward position to allow gravity to pull the water.

Like most compressor dehumidifiers, this Waykar unit operates in temperatures between 41°F and 95°F (5°C and 35°C). In low temperatures, it will go into auto defrost mode to prevent frost buildup inside the machine. Additionally, this unit comes with a reuseable and washable filter for better air quality. This portable dehumidifier is also ideal for a small basement, garage, laundry room, bathroom, and even a bedroom due to its low noise levels. It has an extendable top handle and four smooth-gliding wheels for easy movement. The air outlet on top can be adjusted to direct the airflow. It’s a great dehumidifier for most any application in small to medium-sized attics, but note that this Waykar unit is quite low in energy efficiency.

PROS
• Light and portable
• Quick moisture removal
• Quiet operation
• Continuous drainage with hose included
CONS
• Small tank
• Low energy efficiency

Inofia HD161A

Inofia HD161A Basement Dehumidifier

If you need a portable yet effective dehumidifier for a small attic, this 30-pint dehumidifier from Inofia is a perfect choice. It’s also useful for the basement, garage, laundry room, or even small apartments up to 1,000 square feet. Because of its small 4-pint (0.5-gallon) water tank, this is one of the smallest 30-pint dehumidifiers you can find. Compact as it is, Inofia doesn’t come short in features.

Just like most any household dehumidifier, you can select your preferred humidity between 30% and 80% with the built-in humidistat and digital controls. The unit will stop dehumidifying when your desired humidity level is reached and automatically restart when the humidity rises again. It has four buttons on the top control panel for the fan speed, timer, humidity setting, and power switch. The LCD display shows the room humidity, time remaining, and working status.

This small dehumidifier also features a full tank alert, auto shutoff, auto restart, and auto defrost features, along with the respective Full and Defrost lights. You can choose between two fan speeds to maximize moisture removal. The lights indicate if the unit is operating at Low or High speed and if the timer is set. You can also attach the included 6.56-ft drain hose to allow continuous drainage. Since the tank is small, you’ll likely want to utilize this feature.

Inofia is not the most energy efficient 30-pint dehumidifier you can get, but it’s perfect for small attic spaces with severe moisture problems like visible mold growth and musty air.

Ivation 14.7-Pint Compressor Dehumidifier

Ivation 14.7-Pint Compressor Dehumidifier

Ivation produces a wide range of portable dehumidifiers, from Peltier units, desiccant, and high capacity compressor units. While the smallest compressor-based unit for most brands has a 20 pint capacity, Ivation also offers this compact 14.7-pint compressor dehumidifier. It looks almost like a “large” Peltier dehumidifier, but packs the power and efficiency of the bigger compressor-based models. It’s ideal for a small attic or any room up to 320 square feet, in temperatures from 41°F to 95°F (5°C to 35°C).

Although small, this Ivation dehumidifier doesn’t lack useful features and functionality. It has an easy-to-use LCD display with four control buttons, so you can set the humidity level from 40% to 65% in 5% increments, or choose Continuous operation to keep the unit running. When humidity is manually selected, the unit will pause dehumidification for 60 minutes then run the fan for five minutes to monitor the relative humidity. Then, it will resume dehumidification if the room humidity rises by at least 5%.

You can also set a timer for automatic shut-off between one and 24 hours, and adjust the LCD backlight to make viewing more comfortable for your eyes. The unit stops automatically during the threat of tilt or water overflow. Moisture collects in the 3.8-pint tank and the indicator light will notify you when you need to empty the tank. Alternatively, attach the included 6.56-ft drain hose to allow continuous draining via gravity. 

The dehumidifier also comes with a washable air filter you can easily pull from the top of the unit. There’s an extendable handle on top, as well as four caster wheels for easy movement. In lower temperatures, the unit will go on Auto Defrost mode to prevent frost buildup. You can choose between two fan speeds to maximize moisture removal. At 112 CFM airflow, it operates at a peak noise level of 46 decibels. Small, portable, quiet, yet powerful, it can handle any small room with moderate humidity issues, like a bathroom or bedroom. If you need a compact yet effective dehumidifier for a small space, then this is another good choice.

PROS
• Light and compact
• Low power consumption compared to its desiccant alternative
• Easy to use controls
• Continuous draining with hose included
CONS
• Less powerful than a full-size model

Ivation 13-pint Desiccant Dehumidifier

Ivation 13-Pint Small-Area Desiccant Dehumidifier

Ivation also offers compact dehumidifiers which use desiccant technology for efficient dehumidification in a wider range of temperatures. Unlike its compressor-based counterpart, this Ivation desiccant dehumidifier removes 13 pints of moisture in temperatures as low as 33°F and as high as 104°F. It is ideal for any space up to 270 square feet.

This portable dehumidifier has an LCD display with touch buttons for easy control. You can adjust the humidity level from 35% to 85% in increments of 5%, and the dehumidifier will cycle on and off to maintain the set humidity and conserve energy. Alternatively, you can run the unit continuously below 35%. This model also features Sleep mode with low fan speed and a dim screen. The timer lets you schedule operation duration and shut off between 1 and 12 hours.

While this is a versatile dehumidifier, the built-in safety features make it perfect for RVs and boats. The auto stop function prevents damage by automatically shutting off the unit during the threat of tilt or water overflow. Auto-restart feature resumes operation in your last settings in case of a power interruption. The display also shows the temperature which you can view in Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Additionally, you can change the fan speed and adjust the air vents to speed up drying. The unit also comes with a washable air filter and a 3.8-pint tank with a transparent water level indicator and handle. For continuous drainage, attach the included drain hose to the outlet port. 

If you need a versatile and efficient dehumidifier you can easily bring anywhere, you can’t go wrong with the Ivation 13-pint desiccant. Just one drawback is it draws more power than a compressor unit of the same capacity. Although, this won’t be a big deal if you only need to run it for a few hours a day. However, if you need a versatile and efficient dehumidifier you can easily bring from one room to another, you can’t go wrong with the Ivation 13-pint desiccant dehumidifier. If you want something with a bigger capacity and coverage, consider the 19-pint model.

PROS
• Quiet desiccant operation
• Custom humidity control
• Works in a wide range of temperatures
• Small and portable
CONS
• Small capacity and coverage
• High power consumption

Do You Need a Dehumidifier in Your Attic?

The main purpose of a dehumidifier is to reduce dampness in the room and help maintain a comfortable humidity level in your home. If there is too much moisture in your attic, it may condense on your roof, which rusts the exposed nails and rots the roof deck. Some common signs of excess moisture and humidity are water stains on ceilings and walls, condensation on windows or metallic surfaces, and peeling or flaking of paint or wallpaper.

Excess moisture in the attic can lead to mold growth. One of the first signs of mold growth is if you or anyone in your household is having allergic reactions while at home. These include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes. Although, if you rarely visit this part of your house, it may be too late until you notice you have mold problems. You’ll know you’re breeding mold in your attic through the musty odors they produce. 

Of course, one sure way to know you have a mold problem is if there is visible mold growth. Different types of mold appear differently, and some may be difficult to identify. You might see black spots on wall corners. Mold is usually fuzzy or slimy, some may have a greenish color or appear yellow or blue. You might also find powdery white mold on wood or fabrics.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be a good idea to place a dehumidifier in your attic.

Sources of Humidity in the Attic

Finding the source of moisture in your attic can be a difficult task. So, if there aren’t any obvious signs (or even if there are), it’s best to hire a professional to check and get the problem rooted out once and for all. Meanwhile, here are some common causes of excess humidity in the attic: 

The first thing you may need to check is if you have roof leaks. While it may not yet be evident anywhere else in the house, water damage due to leaky roofs will likely show first in the attic.

Another thing you’ll need to check for leaks is your pipelines, especially the pipes that run through the attic. When water vapor condenses on cold pipes, your attic pipes can sweat and leak water into the room.

Further, your home’s foundation can also cause excess moisture in your attic. Groundwater travels through your basement or crawlspace and evaporates into the air inside your house. 

Lastly, poor ventilation can trap humidity in your attic space. If your attic is unheated, warm and moist air from lower levels will come up through small cracks in the ceilings and floors made for light fixtures, wires, vent pipes, and fans.

Sizing Dehumidifiers for the Attic

The Department of Energy determines the pint ratings of dehumidifiers and the testing standards for them. Starting early 2020, dehumidifiers are tested at 65°F and 60% humidity, 15° lower than the 2012 standards of 80°F and 60% humidity. This new condition is designed to give a more accurate representation of the dehumidifier’s actual performance. With the new standards in place, previously 30-pint, 50-pint, and 70-pint rated dehumidifiers are now labeled 20- or 22-pint, 30- or 35-pint, and 50-pint, respectively.

Each unit has a recommended area of coverage depending on the manufacturer. However, keep in mind that this is only a guide and the correct size for your space will also depend on its current conditions. If your attic is only slightly damp and smaller than 1,000 square feet, a capacity of at least 20 pints may be enough. For a wet or extremely wet environment with the same dimensions, you’ll need at least 30 to 35 pints. It’s essential to use only the right size dehumidifier for your space to maximize its effectiveness and efficiency. 

Factors To Consider Before Buying A Dehumidifiers For Attic

Moisture Removal Rate

This refers to the volume of moisture that the dehumidifier can remove from the air in 24 hours. The lowest capacity rating for most brands is 20-pint or 22-pint for a compressor dehumidifier. The next bigger size would be 30-pint or 35-pint, and the highest capacity for residential dehumidifiers is usually 50 pints (previously 70 pints). The actual amount of moisture removed per day depends mainly on the size and dampness of the space. A larger and more humid attic requires a more powerful capacity. However, this doesn’t mean the highest capacity is always the best. 

Tank Capacity

Dehumidifiers collect the moisture in an internal tank. Once the tank is full, you will need to remove it from the unit and pour the water out. For full-size units, you may have to do this at least once up to a couple of times a day or a week depending on room conditions. Larger dehumidifiers typically have a larger tank capacity. Most dehumidifiers also offer optional continuous drainage via gravity with a drain hose (may not be included with the unit). 

Coverage Area

You want a dehumidifier that can cover the entire space and even more. The efficiency of the dehumidifier will also depend on the amount of space that it has to cover. Obviously, a dehumidifier can accomplish its task more quickly in a smaller area than a larger one with equal humidity levels. Standard 30- to 50-pint units have recommended coverage areas between 1000 to 3000 square feet.

Noise Level

This is important if your attic is near your living and sleeping spaces. Noise is subjective, but typically, the quietest dehumidifiers have a top exhaust. Since the fans make a pleasant white noise as opposed to the loud buzzing of compressors, a higher fan speed masks compressor noise well. If you’re concerned about the noise levels, you must consider this factor before making a purchase.

Portability

To minimize the costs, you may want a compact dehumidifier that you can use in different parts of your house. Most modern dehumidifiers are built with wheels and a handle for easy movement. If your basement moisture issue isn’t that severe, a mini model may be enough. If you’re going to be going up and down the attic,  it will be helpful to know the dimensions and weight to ensure it can fit where you need it. 

Additional Features

Dehumidifiers usually include the standard auto shutoff feature and indicator light for your convenience. Full-size units offer custom humidity control with a built-in humidistat. You set a target humidity level and the dehumidifier will automatically cycle on and off to maintain this level and conserve energy at the same time. Most dehumidifiers also feature an on/off timer, multiple fan speeds, and different operation modes depending on your needs. 

Conclusion

It’s important to maintain healthy humidity levels in your attic, just like the rest of your home. You need to keep the relative humidity at 30% to 50% throughout the house to keep mold and funky odors away. A common cause of excess moisture in the attic is warm air escaping from lower levels of the house, but to provide real solutions, it’s best to get a specialist to check. When you do decide to use a dehumidifier in your attic, some factors you must consider is the total area of the space and the correct pint size you need. To help you make the decision, check out our list of the best attic dehumidifiers or use our guide to choose. 

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