Excess moisture in your home can cause all sorts of problems, but perhaps the most annoying of all is the stubborn mold that just keeps coming back. Not only is it unpleasant to look at, mold can also trigger allergy symptoms, asthma attacks, and other health issues. Over time, it may even damage your furniture and the very structure of your house.
Mold is a natural part of the environment. Dampness and humidity are all it needs to start growing in the dark corners of your house. There are many solutions you can try to get rid of mold and prevent it from coming back. One effective way is to control indoor humidity with a dehumidifier.
Find the right dehumidifier to maintain 30% to 50% relative humidity in your home and prevent mold from spreading. We chose seven different models that perform best in different conditions. Take a look below to see which one will be perfect for your home.
|Model||Max Moisture Removal||Tank Capacity||Coverage||Dimensions|
|Frigidaire FFAP5033W1||50 pints||16.9 pints||Not indicated||24.25 x 15.96 x 12.2 inches|
|Honeywell TP70WK||50 pints||14 pints||4,000 sq. ft.||25.4 x 15.75 x 12.4 inches|
|hOmeLabs HME020031N||50 pints||1.8 gallons / 14.4 pints||4,500 sq. ft.||24.3 x 15.4 x 11 inches|
|Kesnos PD253D||70 pints||1.18 gallons / 4.5 liters||4,500 sq. ft.||22.83 x 11.81 x 11.81 inches|
|Inofia PD161C||30 pints||0.5 gallon / 4 pints||1,000 sq. ft.||17.3 x 8.2 x 12.2 inches|
|AlorAir Sentinel HD55||120 pints||n/a||1,300 sq. ft.||11.81 x 11.81 x 17.72 inches|
|SEAVON 560 sq. ft.||750 ml||2 liters||560 sq. ft.||17.6 x 9.92 x 7.52 inches|
Reviews of Dehumidifiers for Mold
Best Overall: Frigidaire FFAP5033W1
Frigidaire is known for high quality home appliances. The powerful performance of Frigidaire dehumidifiers earns them a spot at the top of current home dehumidifiers. Mold stands no chance against this unit. It extracts up to 50 pints of moisture per day and has an Energy Star rating to help save money on your bills.
With custom humidity control and a 24-hour timer, you can select a target humidity level from 35% to 85% and delay start or stop operation after a set time. For maximum moisture removal, choose from three fan speeds: Low at 167 CFM, Med at 194 CFM, and High at 229 CFM.
The 50-pint Frigidaire dehumidifiers have a 16.9-pint water tank, the biggest capacity for any dehumidifier of this size. They come 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 enable automatic drainage, attach a standard garden hose onto the drain outlet and direct it to a drain. Unlike the internal pump on other models, the Frigidaire is built to last longer.
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.
- Energy Star certified
- Custom humidity control
- Quick and efficient moisture removal
- SpaceWise portable design
- Works well in low temperatures
- With built-in pump
- Higher price
- 1-year warranty
Runner-up: Honeywell TP70WK
Another great option for efficient moisture removal in mold-prone areas is this Honeywell dehumidifier. It effectively removes up to 50 pints of moisture in the air in large rooms up to 4,000 square feet. It is also Energy Star rated for greater savings.
Honeywell features a digital humidistat to automatically control the humidity based on pre-set conditions. Select the desired humidity level from 30% to 90% with the soft touch buttons and digital display. Monitor the current humidity on the front mirage display.
This 50-pint dehumidifier comes with an average sized 14-pint tank with a tank full alert and auto shutoff. The removable water tank is easy to empty with a comfort-grip handle and anti-spill splash guards. For automatic continuous drainage, connect the included drain hose to the outlet on the back of the unit.
Honeywell dehumidifiers include a 24-hour energy-saving timer, and Sleep mode for a quiet operation. The unit operates from 41°F to 90°F with automatic defrost. It also comes with a durable washable air filter and a corresponding Filter Clean alert to remind you to check the filter. This powerful dehumidifier comes from a trusted brand with a long five-year warranty. It is highly portable with a foldable top handle and smooth-gliding wheels.
- Energy Star certified
- Custom humidity control
- Continuous drain with hose
- 5-year warranty
- Average quality and durability
Best Value: hOmeLabs HME020031N
The hOmeLabs dehumidifier offers almost anything you need in a dehumidifier at a good value. It removes up to 50 pints of moisture in large spaces from 3,000 to 4,500 square feet. This Energy Star rated unit ensures that you’re not sacrificing your monthly bills for high performance.
Automatic humidity control allows you to select a target humidity level from 35% to 90% and maintains this without your constant supervision. You can set the timer to delay start or stop for 0.5 to 24 hours. Choose from Comfort, Turbo, and Continuous modes. For maximum moisture removal and odor reduction, Turbo mode increases fan speed from 165 CFM to 188 CFM.
To prevent spills, the device shuts off automatically when the 1.8 gallon tank is full. For continuous drainage, attach a standard garden hose (not included) into the drain outlet at the back. Built with four wheels and two side handles, the unit can be easily dragged anywhere in the house. 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 is evident in its tank design. However, the efficiency of the hOmeLabs dehumidifier at its price greatly outweighs 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.
- Energy Star certified
- Excellent dehumidification performance
- Custom humidity control
- Continuous drain option
- Budget price
- 2-year warranty
- Made with flimsy plastic
- Not suitable for small spaces under 3,000 sq ft
Best 70-pint Dehumidifier: Kesnos PD253D
This high-capacity portable dehumidifier by Kesnos removes up to 70 pints of moisture from the air in 24 hours. It can cover large areas up to 4,500 square feet.
You can see the current humidity level on the top display and adjust humidity from 30% to 85% with the easy-to-use control panel. The unit will automatically stop when the ambient humidity becomes lower than your setting, and starts dehumidifying when humidity rises again.
The top display also includes a 24-hour timer and the fan speed button to choose between fast and slow speed. You can also choose between two modes: dehumidifying and drying laundry. If you’re using it in the bedroom, this unit has the added convenience of the lights off feature which turns off the LED panel light. It also has a Lock button to prevent children from accidentally changing the settings.
The compact structure of this unit reflects its small reservoir. The 4.5-liter/1.18-gallon water tank will need to be emptied at least twice daily on hot and humid summer days. This unit has an audible and visible alert when the tank is full. If you don’t have time for manual draining, use the included 6.56-ft hose to allow for automatic gravity drainage.
Like most portable dehumidifiers, the Kesnos 70-pint dehumidifier has the standard auto shutoff, auto restart, and auto defrost features. It also comes with a washable filter that you will need to clean once or twice every month. It is not Energy Star certified like most of our top picks, but its strong dehumidification performance is guaranteed to stop mold in its tracks.
- High moisture removal rate
- Compact and portable design
- Easy-to-use intelligent controls
- Continuous drain option with hose included
- Small tank capacity for its size
- Low energy efficiency
Best 30-pint Dehumidifier: Inofia PD161C
This 30-pint dehumidifier from Inofia is perfect for the basement, garage, laundry room, or small homes up to 1,000 square feet. On account of its 4-pint (0.5 gallon) water reservoir, this is one of the smallest 30-pint dehumidifiers you can get.
Select a target humidity between 30% and 80% with the automatic 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 the power switch. The LCD display shows the current humidity, temperature, and working status.
Like most modern dehumidifiers, this small unit features a full tank alert, auto shutoff, auto restart and auto defrost features, along with the respective Full and Defrost lights. You can attach the included 6.56-ft drain hose to allow continuous drainage. 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.
Inofia is not the most energy efficient 30-pint dehumidifier you can get, but it’s perfect for small rooms with severe moisture problems like visible mold growth and standing water.
- Small and portable
- Smart humidity control
- Continuous drainage with hose included
- Small tank capacity
- Low energy efficiency
Best for Crawl Space: AlorAir Sentinel HD55
Crawl spaces can be a breeding ground for moisture and mold. If not controlled, it will spread to the whole house through your air vents. To maintain the crawl space, find a dehumidifier specifically designed for it.
AlorAir offers a line of dehumidifiers for the crawl space. The smallest in this line is the Sentinel HD55.
This compact dehumidifier extracts up to 55 PPD at AHAM conditions (80°F, 60% RH), and a maximum of 120 PPD at saturation (90°F, 90% RH). With an airflow rate of 130 CFM, it covers up to 1,300 square feet. With its Energy Star certification and affordable price, you can be sure of high performance without racking your monthly bills.
AlorAir has an onboard humidistat that monitors and maintains humidity in the crawl space. Set your desired humidity level from 35% to 90% and the unit will work until this is reached. The unit is also equipped with the hot gas defrosting system to operate effectively in temperatures as low as 36°F. Once frost is detected on the coils, the unit defrosts to prevent damages. AlorAir uses epoxy-coated coils to protect the internal components against corrosion and freon leakage, with a five-year warranty on internal components.
You can purchase the optional remote control with this unit, which makes it perfect for a narrow crawl space. It also comes with duct flanges for the option to connect it to your existing ducting system. Due to its size and capacity, the Sentinel HD55 is ideal for small and tightly enclosed crawl spaces. A possible drawback is there is no internal condensate pump, which means you need to attach the drain hose provided and elevate the dehumidifier to allow gravity drainage.
- Energy Star certified
- Small and compact
- With built-in humidistat and optional remote control
- Most affordable model with its capacity
- No built-in pump
Best Dehumidifier for Mold in Small Rooms: SEAVON Dehumidifier
For smaller rooms and basements with moderate dampness, this SEAVON dehumidifier is a great choice for you. This portable dehumidifier can quickly remove 750 ml (approx. 25 oz.) of moisture at 80℉, 85% RH in areas up to 560 square feet or 5,300 cubic feet. At 59℉, performance may start to decline. It will not work below 41℉.
SEAVON uses the Peltier technology for a quiet and low-cost operation perfect for bedrooms and bathrooms. It is on the bigger side of Peltier dehumidifiers, which typically come with a capacity of as little as 200 ml per day.
SEAVON also has the auto shutoff function found in most dehumidifiers along with a full tank indicator and a water-level window on the side. To drain, simply remove the 2000ml water tank from the side of the unit. What sets this model apart from other Peltier dehumidifiers is the remote operation.
It has a sleek design with one button for the power switch and a magnetic remote to control the lights and fan speed. In Sleep mode, the fan is set to low speed for ultra quiet dehumidification. A possible downside is if you lose the remote control, there will be no other way to control the fan speed.
This small dehumidifier has a handle on the back for added portability. You can place the unit on top of the bathroom counter or on a bedside table. Running on 72 Watts, it is one of the most cost-efficient options for small rooms with moderate moisture and mold problems.
- Small, lightweight, and portable
- Low energy consumption
- Whisper quiet operation
- Easy to use
- With remote control
- Low capacity
- Temperature restrictions
What Causes Mold Growth in the House?
Mold is a microscopic organism that belongs in the fungi kingdom. It can be found almost anywhere there’s moisture. Some type of mold multiplies by producing spores that travel through the air. When the spores find a damp surface in your home, they will start to grow and spread.
Like any living organism, mold needs food and air to survive. Once it spreads, mold feeds off of organic materials in your home. This includes drywall, insulation, wooden furniture, carpeting, fabric, and other porous surfaces.
Consistently high indoor humidity often comes with mold problems. Excess humidity may be caused by many factors. Showers and baths build up moisture in the bathroom. Cooking and doing laundry can also add moisture to the indoor air. Without proper ventilation or enough airflow, this may lead to mold growth.
If you have a roof leak, burst pipe, or faulty drainage, this causes severe dampness in your house. It’s important to find professional solutions to tackle any of these issues immediately to prevent moisture and mold problems.
What are the Signs of Mold?
You’ll know you’re breeding mold in your home through the musty odors they produce. 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. If you notice condensation on windows and water stains on walls or ceilings, this is another indicator of high humidity in your home.
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.
Can a Dehumidifier Kill Mold?
The short answer is no, dehumidifiers do not actually kill mold. What they do is prevent mold from growing in the first place. Dehumidifiers reduce humidity and moisture, making the environment inhospitable for mold.
Certain types of mold multiply through spores that spread in the air. A dehumidifier eliminates mold spores before they find a moist surface in your home. Additionally, a dehumidifier helps maintain humidity within 30% to 50% RH, where mold cannot survive.
Features to Consider When Choosing a Dehumidifier
Moisture Removal Capacity
The capacity refers to the volume of moisture that the dehumidifier can remove from the air in 24 hours. Full-size dehumidifiers are rated to remove 20 to 70 pints per day. The actual amount of moisture removed per day depends on the condition and the size of the space. A larger space with a higher moisture content requires a more powerful dehumidifier. However, this doesn’t mean that you should get the highest capacity you can find. Use only the right size for your space to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers collect the moisture in an internal tank. Once the tank is full, you will need to remove it from the unit and empty the water manually. For full-size units, you may have to do this at least once up to a couple times a day or a week depending on room conditions. For mini dehumidifiers in less humid areas, you may need to empty the tank at least every two days up to a week. It’s important you do this as soon as you can to prevent mold growth inside the machine. Modern dehumidifiers also offer an optional continuous drainage through a hose (may not be included with the unit).
You want a dehumidifier that can also cover as much space as you have. 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. Portable models can cover anywhere from 150 to 500 square feet.
Some dehumidifiers are more efficient than others. Look for the Energy Star label to make sure you’re getting an energy efficient unit per the EPA’s requirements. They are about 20% more energy efficient than a non-Energy Star model. You can find the energy efficiency information in the manual, on the unit itself, or in the Energy Star website.
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.
Other Benefits of Using a Dehumidifier
Touching mold or inhaling mold spores may cause allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose, eye and skin irritations. It can also lead to allergy-induced asthma attacks and other respiratory conditions. Likewise, dust mites are among the most common allergy and asthma triggers at home. They also thrive in humid conditions and trigger allergy symptoms similar to hay fever. They cannot survive when relative humidity drops to 50 percent or below.
Helps your air conditioner
During hot and humid summer days, your air conditioning unit may not be enough to keep you comfortable. An air conditioner lowers the temperature, and in turn, helps reduce the humidity. However, cooling down heavily moist air makes the job a lot tougher for your air conditioner, which will equate to higher air conditioning bills. All the while, running an air conditioner alone will not be able to remove all the excess moisture.
Improves indoor air quality
High humidity levels decrease indoor comfort. You are also at higher risk of dehydration in humid conditions. More humid air is more difficult to breathe. This is because the air contains high amounts of water vapor and lower oxygen molecules. Using a dehumidifier keeps out excess moisture and odors, greatly improving indoor air quality for your health and comfort.
Preserves furniture and structures
Dry air preserves the structural integrity of the house as well as the furniture and appliances. Aside from eliminating mold and its damaging effects, maintaining the humidity level within optimal range also helps prevent rapid destruction caused by condensation, rust, corrosion, or pest infestation.
How to Maintain a Dehumidifier
Even the best dehumidifiers can only last so long until natural wear and tear takes them. It’s important to observe proper maintenance to get optimum performance and help your dehumidifier last longer.
- Find the best location for your dehumidifier. Make sure that the air can flow freely on its way in and out of the unit. It is recommended to maintain at least 6-8 inches distance from walls or furniture. You wouldn’t want to come too near the unit anyway since it can get hot when operating.
- Select the right humidity settings. The ideal indoor humidity range is around 30% to 50%. Most compressor dehumidifiers feature an onboard humidistat to automatically adjust the room humidity to your setting. It’s important that you pick the correct settings for the location and application. Turn off the dehumidifier at night unless absolutely needed. This way there’s less noise and you’re also saving energy.
- Any appliance needs frequent cleaning to maintain proper functioning and prolong its life. A dehumidifier collects dust, lint, and all sorts of impurities in the air. These may accumulate inside the unit and affect operation. To ensure your health and comfort and keep your dehumidifier in excellent condition, clean the unit at least every few weeks. Use a damp cloth with soapy water to wipe the exterior, then vacuum the inside to remove any remaining dirt.
- If you’re using the tank, don’t forget to rinse it every time you empty the water. Disinfect the tank with mild soap or a vinegar solution every week or two. If you’re using a drain hose, still wash the tank in case water gets inside. Flush the same solution into the hose to disinfect it. Since the tank or drain hose is always wet, frequent cleaning and disinfection prevents mold from growing and spreading inside the machine.
- Clean or replace the filter when needed. Dehumidifiers come with at least one filter to catch impurities in the air. Dirt and bacteria may collect in the filter and eventually get in the air. Most filters are easily washable and each dehumidifier has a recommended period in which you need to change out the filters. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on filter cleaning and replacement to be sure.