Dehumidifiers are available in a range of sizes in different types suitable for residential and commercial applications. They can be small and portable like the regular units commonly used at home, and they can be installed permanently in crawl spaces, damp basements, or another central location for constant humidity control in large spaces. Some commercial-grade dehumidifiers allow for ceiling-mounted installation to save floor space and get it out of the way of other equipment in the room.
These dehumidifiers are typically used seasonally in water-damaged sites or permanently in rental apartments and various commercial spaces such as indoor pools and greenhouses. To find the best ceiling-mounted or wall-mounted dehumidifier you need, consider the following units we picked to help you.
Top 7 Best Ceiling-Mounted Dehumidifiers
The Dri-Eaz PHD200 (formerly Dri-Eaz F515) is a portable industrial dehumidifier packed with a lot of power. It can remove a maximum of 134 pints of moisture per day and 75 pints per day under AHAM conditions (80°F and 60% humidity), although it has below average airflow of 180 CFM and a coverage area of 1,300 square feet.
This Dri-Eaz wall-mounted dehumidifier model comes in a compact package with added features for easy movement and transport from site to site. This compact dehumidifier can easily fit in hard-to-reach narrow spaces like hallways, bathrooms, and crawl spaces. It has recessed feet indents so you can stack up to three units on a hand truck. For permanent installation, you may use the Dri-Eaz hang kit to secure the unit suspended from the ceiling. Dri-Eaz dehumidifiers are built for tough environments. They are particularly popular in water damage restoration projects, after-flood repairs, and construction sites. The PHD200 model features Dri-Eaz’s rugged rotomolded polyethylene housing that resists the toughest conditions and natural wear and tear throughout the years.
The Dri-Eaz PHD200 Compact Dehumidifier has an electronic control panel that displays the inlet and outlet temperatures and relative humidity levels, and it also tracks the number of job hours plus life hours. There is also an included purge button for the pump reservoir. The dehumidifier comes with a built-in condensate pump and a 20-feet drain hose that releases water in any direction for more convenient draining across large spaces.
• Small and compact
• Large coverage area
• With built-in humidistat
• Built for heavy-duty use
• Too bulky for its capacity
Aprilaire is an American brand and known manufacturer of whole-house air quality products such as dehumidifiers. If you’re looking for a quick and efficient indoor humidity solution for the whole house, the Aprilaire E100 is the best dehumidifier for the job. In particular, this unit removes up to 100 pints of moisture per day under AHAM conditions of 80°F and 60% RH in spaces up to 5,500 square feet with airflow of 265 cubic feet per minute (CFM). It’s rated with a high integrated energy factor (IEF) of 1.95L/kWh and is granted the Energy Star Most Efficient mark in 2021.
The Aprilaire E100 features easy-to-use electronic controls with an adjustable humidistat to set the humidity level between 40% and 80% RH and a digital display that shows the current humidity and working status. You can mount the panel on the front or top of the unit or integrate it with the Aprilaire remote humidistat for your convenience. The E100 model includes four leveling feet, while E100C has four caster wheels. For ceiling-mount installation, you can use the new Aprilaire hanging kit.
Similar to most other dehumidifiers in its size, the E100 offers a continuous draining option via gravity. Attach the included drainage adapter and hose to the outlet on the side of the unit and place the dehumidifier above a low-level drain. One disadvantage is the lack of a built-in pump. However, Aprilaire offers this external condensate pump with 20-feet drain hose to release the collected water up to 15 feet above the unit into a sink or out of a window.
Like most compressor dehumidifiers, the E100 operates in temperatures between 41°F and 104°F. It features an automatic defrost mode to prevent ice buildup in colder temperatures. Aprilaire dehumidifiers are made in the USA and built to last with corrosion-resistant aluminum coils and a reliable five-year warranty.
Many customers have noted that Aprilaire dehumidifiers produce loud vibrations when operating, so you should avoid installing the unit between floor joists. Lastly, it’s highly recommended to hire a licensed HVAC contractor for installation even if you know how to do it yourself. Otherwise, Aprilaire may void the warranty in case any issues arise or you need replacement parts in the future.
• Energy Star Most Efficient
• Powerful moisture removal
• Excellent quality built to last
• Continuous draining option
• Made in the USA
• With five-year warranty
• Requires professional installation
• No built-in pump
Crawl spaces and basements are usually the dampest areas in the house and need high-capacity dehumidifiers. Because these spaces are often narrow, compact dehumidifiers are specially designed to fit in these spaces. Santa Fe is particularly known for heavy-duty dehumidifiers with small profiles perfect for crawl spaces and commercial areas. The Santa Fe Advance90 is one of its smaller units and it removes 90 pints of moisture per day under AHAM conditions.
This Santa Fe dehumidifier has an airflow rate of 309 CFM and a coverage area of 2,600 square feet. It is Energy Star certified with an IEF of 6.1 pints/kWh. Although it doesn’t have a digital display, you can set the humidity level from 20% and 80% using the adjustable knob. You have the option to run the fan continuously or only when the unit is operating. To clean the air that enters the unit and protect its internal components, it also includes a pre-filter and a MERV-13 filter. You may also use a MERV-11 filter as a replacement or MERV-14 as a pre-filter.
Santa Fe is made in the USA under the Wisconsin-based family of brands ThermaStor. It is built with durable steel and operates in temperatures between 49°F and 90°F. The unit also comes with a drain hose for continuous drainage. Santa Fe recommends setting up a drain trap when installing horizontal dehumidifiers. Although it doesn’t have an internal pump, you can use Santa Fe’s external condensate pump with a 20-ft drain hose that can pump up to 15 feet above the unit. For installation, the Advance90 and five other Santa Fe models are suitable with this small hang kit. If needed, they also offer a ducting kit and accessories. Santa Fe provides six years of warranty.
• High energy efficiency
• Powerful moisture removal
• Top-rated crawl space dehumidifier
• Excellent quality made in the USA
• No built-in pump
Now under the Santa Fe name is the former Ultra Aire ductable whole-house dehumidifiers. Santa Fe’s Ultra dehumidifier line offers a range of models with horizontal and vertical designs for different uses. One of the bigger units, the Ultra155 (formerly Ultra Are XT155H) may not be Energy Star rated, but it has a pretty good IEF rating of 7.3 pints/kWh.
This whole-house dehumidifier removes 155 pints of moisture per day and is ideal for large spaces up to 3,500 square feet with airflow of 391 CFM. It is recommended for ducting and can be configured to supply fresh air ventilation to your HVAC system. The Ultra dehumidifier is built with heavy-duty steel and operates in temperatures between 49°F and 90°F. Although, to operate this dehumidifier you must purchase a remote control humidistat and wire it directly to the unit.
The fan runs only when the unit is operating. The unit includes a pre-filter and a MERV-13 filter. While not as effective, a MERV-11 filter may also be used as a replacement. You can add a MERV-14 filter to improve filtration of particles between 0.3 and 1 micron by 90 to 95%. This model also offers optional gravity drainage but the hose is not included. You may opt to use Santa Fe’s separately sold condensate pump with drain hose. You can use the large hang kit to install this unit.
Santa Fe dehumidifiers are guaranteed a six-year warranty on parts and two years on labor. To ensure proper installation, we suggest you hire a licensed HVAC contractor to install and set up this dehumidifier.
• High energy efficiency
• High moisture removal rate
• Perfect for crawl space and whole-house
• Excellent quality made in the USA
• Drain hose sold separately
• No built-in pump
Quest dehumidifiers are commonly used in indoor growing facilities and similar commercial spaces with high humidity. They come in a variety of designs and functions for different purposes. The Quest 70 dehumidifier is designed for flexible installation in tight spaces with severe humidity problems. This compact dehumidifier can be freestanding or suspended from a ceiling using the Quest small hang kit.
The Quest 70 can effectively remove up to 70 pints of moisture per day, under AHAM conditions. One of the only two Energy Star rated units on our list, it has an energy factor of 5 pints or 2.37L/kWh. Unlike other commercial compressor dehumidifiers, the Quest 70 operates in a wider range of temperatures, from 33°F to 110°F. However, this model does not have the Automatic Defrost, which means you will need to turn it off manually when temperatures drop to avoid frost buildup.
This energy-efficient dehumidifier includes a built-in humidistat with an adjustable control knob so you can choose the humidity level, roughly from 20% to 90% RH. The air filter is easily accessed and must be replaced every three months. The unit also comes with a drain hose to allow continuous drainage via gravity, although a built-in condensate pump would have been more convenient. You can purchase a separate condensate pump, Quest digital controller DEH3000R, and ducting accessories for installation. Quest provides a five-year warranty on the refrigerant system and one year on other parts and labor.
• Light and compact
• High energy efficiency
• Powerful moisture removal
• Built-in humidistat
• No built-in pump
• No auto defrost
The Quest Dual Series is a best-seller among professional growers for its high efficiency and convenient overhead installation suitable for greenhouses, indoor pools, spas, and other commercial areas. Ceiling-mounted installation is recommended due to the size of the unit, but you can always use it on the ground if you have the space for it.
The Quest 225 is the largest unit in the Quest Dual series. It removes up to 225 pints of water per day under AHAM conditions. Although this unit is not Energy Star rated like most other Quest dehumidifiers, it is highly efficient with an energy factor of 3.2L/kWh. Note that this unit runs on 220-240V. You need two of these hanging brackets for the overhead installation of this unit.
Quest features an automatic humidistat built-in with a control knob so you can adjust the humidity to your desired level while the unit cycles on and off to maintain this setting. The unit includes an 8-ft drain hose for continuous gravity drainage. For your convenience, Quest also offers a separate condensate pump kit.
The Quest Dual Series operates at temperatures ranging from 56°F to 95°F with a standard auto-defrost function. For large spaces or whole-house applications, supply and return ducting options are also available. The Quest Dual is available from 105 pints to 225 pints in capacity, so be careful in choosing the best dehumidifier size for your space. It has five years of warranty on the refrigerant system and one year on other parts and labor.
• High energy efficiency
• More capacity options
• Continuous gravity drainage
• Overhead installation to save space
• No built-in pump
• The unit occupies a large space
Finally, we have this portable desiccant dehumidifier perfect for low-temperature areas. The Ecor Pro EPD150-PRO has the widest operating temperature range, from as low as -4°F to as high as 104°F. This compact dehumidifier can extract a total moisture content of 53 pints per day under AHAM conditions and a maximum of 74 pints at saturation. Its performance is equivalent to 150 pints per day for a compressor unit. It has an airflow rate of 224 CFM for the process airstream and covers an area of 2,000 square feet. The Ecor Pro DryFan dehumidifier can work upside down, on its side, on the ground, or mounted to a wall or ceiling with the included mounting brackets.
Desiccant dehumidifiers like Ecor Pro do not produce any condensate, reducing the risks of frost buildup and damage in low temperatures. The Ecor Pro EPD150-Pro uses a three-hole system, which means there is only one fan inside to take in the process air and then two air outlets. After the process air passes through the desiccant rotor, the dried air is heated and becomes the reactivation air. This warm and dry air removes the moisture from the desiccant then exits the dehumidifier through vents. This three-hole system is more efficient since the reactivation air has already been dried and heated instead of drawing moist air from the room.
The unit self-regulates to maximize energy efficiency and auto-restarts in case of a power outage. The built-in analog amp meter measures energy consumption and the hour meter counts the number of operating hours. However, the unit itself does not include a humidistat and only operates continuously when switched on. You need the Ecor Pro humidistat to enable remote operation and control.
Overhead installation or ducting to your HVAC system is relatively easy given the unit’s light and compact structure. The unit’s interior and exterior are made from marine-grade stainless steel to withstand harsh conditions. Although, keep in mind that desiccant dehumidifiers are a lot more expensive, costing up to two or three times the price of the equivalent refrigerant unit. However, this is a great investment for constant humidity control in commercial spaces with particular needs and even residential areas in cold but humid regions.
• Light, small and compact
• Operates in low temperatures down to -4°F
• High performance and efficiency
• Excellent quality and durability
• Easy installation
• No humidistat
• Higher cost
How Does a Dehumidifier Work?
Before you choose a dehumidifier, it’s important to at least have some idea how it works. This way you’ll also know when it’s not functioning properly. The basic purpose of any dehumidifier is to reduce humidity levels by removing excess moisture from the air. The two main types of wall-mounted dehumidifiers — refrigerant and desiccant — are classified by the moisture removal method they utilize.
The most common type of dehumidifier is called the refrigerant or compressor. It works similarly to an air conditioner as it uses a compressor to pump the refrigerant to and from the condenser and evaporator coils to facilitate moisture removal.
A fan draws warm, moist air into the dehumidifier and passes it over the cooling coils. As the temperature decreases, the air loses its ability to hold water vapor. Moisture condenses and drips down into a reservoir or flows out through a drain hose. A heavy-duty ceiling-mounted dehumidifier usually includes some kind of drain trap at the bottom to prevent leaks or even a built-in condensate pump to automatically drain the collected water. Once moisture is removed, the dryer air is reheated before it is released into the room.
Because of the condensation process, a refrigerant dehumidifier generally performs best in warm and humid climates. Most residential units can only operate in temperatures as low as 41°F, while the efficiency starts to decrease as the air gets cooler. Additionally, condensate may start freezing inside the machine when temperatures drop. To avoid this, this type of dehumidifier features an auto-defrost function which stops dehumidification periodically to melt the ice that has built up on the coils. Some commercial refrigerant dehumidifiers use advanced technologies to allow operation in lower temperatures with less downtime, saving more energy.
The other main type of dehumidifier uses some kind of desiccant that extracts moisture from the air until it is fully saturated. The most noticeable difference from the more common refrigerant dehumidifier is that a desiccant unit is lighter and quieter since it does not use a compressor. All it really needs is the desiccant chemical itself, which determines the dehumidifier’s capacity, area of coverage, and renewability.
Commercial desiccant dehumidifiers prominently feature a rotating wheel filled with hygroscopic silica gel. To operate, they usually work with two separate air streams, the process air and reactivation air. The humid air is pulled into the dehumidifier by a fan and passes through the process zone of the desiccant wheel. The moisture from the air transfers to the surface of the desiccant, resulting in dryer air that is released back into the room.
A heater warms the second air stream, which may come directly from the room or from a portion of the already dehumidified air. The reactivation air passes through the remaining part of the desiccant wheel in the opposite direction of the process air. The moisture now transfers from the desiccant to the air, thus reactivating the desiccant so it can extract moisture again. This warm and moist reactivation air is then vented outside. The wheel rotates continuously and the cycle repeats.
A desiccant dehumidifier is ideal in cold and dry conditions that need strict humidity control. Because desiccant dehumidifiers don’t work by cooling down the air, they can continue to operate in lower temperatures. Compared to refrigerant dehumidifiers, there is almost no risk of frost since there is no condensate formed at any point and the heater constantly warms the inside. Buildings and construction materials that are hard to dry often need a professional desiccant dehumidifier.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Dehumidifier
Ceiling-mounted dehumidifiers offer high-capacity performance in a tough and durable construction and you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. To do this, consider the following features before you make a purchase.
Perhaps the most important specification for any dehumidifier is the total amount of moisture it can remove per day. For commercial dehumidifiers, we measure this in two ways.
The AHAM capacity is the measured under the conditions of 80°F and 60% RH, the average type of environment as recommended by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. This should be closer to the performance of the dehumidifier in actual use. On the other hand, the maximum capacity is the largest amount that the unit can collect per day at saturation (90°F and 90% RH). For desiccant models, the capacity is not measured the same way since they do not produce condensate.
The size of the dehumidifier you need mainly depends on the size and condition of the space you need to dehumidify. To help determine which capacity is best for you, measure the dimensions of your space and the humidity level. A larger space and higher moisture content both require a more powerful dehumidifier. However, this doesn’t mean that the highest capacity is always the best.
As mentioned, you need a dehumidifier that can handle as much space as you have. You can expect a dehumidifier to accomplish its task more quickly in a smaller area than a larger one with similar humidity levels. While a higher capacity usually covers a larger space, it can vary per brand and model. Dehumidifier manufacturers should indicate this for each model.
Another specification to note is the airflow, in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This is the volume of air that the dehumidifier can process per minute. The airflow rate does not necessarily relate to the coverage area and capacity, but it’s important to note when using dehumidifiers for deep drying.
Most commercial dehumidifiers, especially when mounted on a wall or ceiling, have options for continuous drainage. Simply attach the drain hose (which may be included with the unit) onto the outlet port typically on the side or at the back of the unit. If the dehumidifier is mounted on the ceiling, place a tray beneath the outlet and make sure the hose is directed down towards the drain to prevent water leakage.
Some heavy-duty dehumidifiers may also come with a built-in condensate pump for automatic draining in any direction even vertically up to a certain height. This is particularly useful for large spaces without a floor drain available. If you’ve already found a dehumidifier you like but it doesn’t have a pump built-in, you may opt for a separate external unit.
Meanwhile, desiccant dehumidifiers do not need drainage since they don’t produce any condensate.
Most dehumidifiers work best in warm and humid climates. If you get extremely cold winters, then you need a dehumidifier that can operate even when temperatures drop to 41°F or below. Commercial dehumidifiers are typically built to handle harsher conditions than residential dehumidifiers. They are equipped with advanced defrosting systems to automatically melt frost and protect the internal components. However, compressor dehumidifiers are still limited by the operating temperature range. On the other hand, desiccant units are particularly efficient in low temperatures down to -4°F. You can find many benefits of this feature in commercial or industrial applications.
A built-in humidistat monitors and automatically adjusts the humidity in the area. You can set your target humidity level and the unit will shut off once this is reached, thus reducing your energy consumption. When the dehumidifier senses humidity above your setting, it will start operating again. Most wall- and ceiling-mounted dehumidifiers work with a remote digital humidistat for more convenient operation.
Industrial dehumidifiers are mostly built with steel or heavy-duty plastic to make them more durable and resistant to harsh environments. The metal or rotomolded casing gives them a rugged structure ideal for a variety of commercial applications. The unit’s construction also protects the internal components from harmful elements and chemicals in job sites. Lastly, take note of the product’s warranty policy. A longer warranty period typically means the manufacturer has confidence in the quality and durability of its product.
Uses for a Ceiling-Mounted Dehumidifier
Ceiling-mounted dehumidifiers are often used in large commercial areas where floor space is extremely valuable. Although most are used in commercial spaces, they can be beneficial for a variety of purposes in both residential and industrial applications.
While the typical portable dehumidifier is smaller, it needs a lot of open space on each side to promote airflow. Ceiling-mounted dehumidifiers give you more flexibility in installation. If you have limited space in your house for multiple portable units, you can use a high-capacity dehumidifier, hang it from your basement ceiling or between floor joists in the crawl space, and then connect it to your air ducts to cover the whole house. It can also be a perfect solution to high humidity if you have limited space in a damp basement, laundry room, or indoor pool.
Considering the costs of purchasing, installing, and operating them, ceiling-mounted dehumidifiers are more commonly used in commercial spaces. Merchandise or any goods for sale or storage can be damaged when exposed to excess moisture. High humidity may also cause electrical equipment to overheat and malfunction. A commercial-grade ceiling-mounted or wall dehumidifier is an ideal solution to humidity control in spaces for storage or transport of goods and equipment.
Additionally, indoor facilities such as pools, spas, and greenhouses where water is always present, require high-capacity dehumidifiers to keep humidity down to comfortable levels. Excess moisture combined with other chemicals in the air can be dangerous to people’s health and damaging to furniture and structure.
Lastly, services involving food preparation, cooking, and cleaning may cause high moisture levels. It’s critical to meet requirements for temperature and humidity levels in these industries.
Proper Usage, Maintenance of Ceiling-Mounted Dehumidifiers
Ceiling-mounted dehumidifiers offer greater flexibility in installation. You can place it in many different areas in a residential or commercial property. Just like any other dehumidifier, they must be operated in an enclosed space to work effectively. It’s best to keep doors and windows closed as more outside air enters the job will be harder for the dehumidifier.
When using the dehumidifier, find the right humidity setting for its purpose. Most dehumidifiers feature a built-in humidistat to adjust the room humidity to your set humidity level. The ideal indoor humidity range is from 35% to 55% RH. Depending on the ambient temperature and application, you may need to select a different setting. In any case, keep your dehumidifier operating only when it’s absolutely necessary.
Dehumidifiers usually require little to no maintenance, but it’s still imperative to perform routine cleaning to take extra care of your unit. When installing your dehumidifier on the ceiling, make sure that it can still be accessed for maintenance and cleaning every few weeks. Consult your manual for specific instructions on installation, usage, and maintenance.
Frequent cleaning helps maintain proper functioning and prolong the life of your dehumidifier. The unit collects not only moisture but also dust, dirt, and all kinds of impurities in the air. When it builds up inside the unit, it can contaminate the air your dehumidifier releases into the room. Clan the unit’s exterior as soon as you notice dust or grime. Wipe it with a damp cloth and vacuum the inside to remove any remaining debris. Wash or replace the filters as needed.
Lastly, take note of the unit’s operating temperature range. Most dehumidifiers work best at temperatures 56°F and above unless it’s specifically designed for colder conditions. If you operate in colder environments, the condensate may freeze on the coils and damage the machine permanently. If you really need to operate in lower temperatures, a desiccant dehumidifier is designed specifically for this purpose.
Dehumidifiers come in different types and sizes with a variety of features for every need. When used correctly, they effectively reduce humidity in the air to prevent mold growth, eliminate musty smells, and protect goods and equipment in storage. They can be portable or permanently installed to your HVAC, hanging from the ceiling, or mounted on a wall to save valuable floor space in small homes or apartments, and large commercial spaces such as indoor pools, spas, restaurants, and growing areas. Although, note that these ceiling-mounted dehumidifiers are usually high-capacity commercial units and cost at least twice the closest portable dehumidifier. Desiccant models for low temperatures are even more expensive. In the long run, they are well worth your investment if you need strict humidity control.