Best Dehumidifier for Wood Floors

Excess moisture and humidity can cause all sorts of problems in your home, from slight discomfort, to permanent damage in wood floors and furniture. Wood is an organic material, and when exposed to dampness for extended periods, mold will start to grow and spread rapidly, eating away your house structure. Humidity and temperature can also cause your wood floor to shrink or expand, and soon you’ll notice gaps in your floorboard. Although wood naturally comes back to its form over time, it may become damaged permanently.

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recommends relative humidity levels between 30% to 50% RH. The most effective solution to maintain the temperature and humidity levels and preserve your wood flooring is by using a dehumidifier. Finding the right dehumidifier will prevent any of the problems caused by excess moisture and mold in your home. To learn more about dehumidifiers, we have put together this guide for you. To make things even easier, check out our top picks below.

Best Dehumidifiers for Wood Floors

Frigidaire FFAP5033W1

Frigidaire is one of the leading brands of home appliances worldwide. Damp and moisture do not  stand a chance against this powerful dehumidifier. It can remove 50 pints of water from the air per day in large rooms. To absorb moisture and keep your hardwood floors dry, it has a strong fan with three speed options: Low at 167 CFM, Med at 194 CFM, and High at 229 CFM. 

Frigidaire FFAP5033W1 Dehumidifier

This Energy Star rated dehumidifier features custom humidity control and a 24-hour timer. You can select your desired humidity level from 35% to 85% RH and delay start or stop operation after one to 24 hours. This 50-pint unit has a 16.9-pint water bucket, which is significantly bigger than the average for the 50-pint size.

It has the standard auto shut-off feature that automatically stops operation when the container is almost full, as well as a bucket full alert to notify you when this happens. Manual draining is more convenient with the front loading bucket with handle and splash guard. For those rooms with no floor drain, you can use the built-in condensate pump to automatically drain the water even vertically. You can direct the hose up into a sink or out a window to avoid spilling water on the floor.

Frigidaire’s SpaceWise design includes rolling casters and a top handle for added portability. The unit also comes with a washable mesh filter and an indicator light that will remind you to check the filter. Frigidaire dehumidifiers stand out for their exceptional performance even when the temperature drops as low as 41°F. Unlike other compressor dehumidifiers, 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
With built-in pump

CONS

Higher price
1-year warranty

hOmeLabs HME020031N

hOmeLabs HME020031N Basement Dehumidifier

Frigidaire’s strongest competitor today in the dehumidifier market is hOmeLabs. This hOmeLabs dehumidifier offers almost anything you need for a lower price. This high-capacity unit removes up to 50 pints of moisture in large spaces from 3,000 to 4,500 square feet. It is also Energy Star rated to ensure energy efficiency with high performance. 

The adjustable digital humidistat allows you to select a target humidity level from 35% to 90% RH and maintains this without your constant supervision. You can set the timer to automatically turn off or turn on the unit after 0.5 to 24 hours. On the top control panel you can 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. Meanwhile, Comfort mode sets the humidity level automatically based on the ambient temperature.

To prevent water overflow, the unit will shut off automatically when the 1.8 gallon tank is full. For continuous drainage, attach a standard garden hose (not included) into the drain outlet port at the back of the unit. Built with four wheels and a recessed handle on each side, the unit can be moved from room to room with ease. This dehumidifier operates in temperatures as low as 41°F, and the auto defrost feature shuts off the unit when frost forms. 

On the downside, hOmeLabs is made of light and flimsy plastic which may break easily with repeated use. However, the efficiency and reliability of the hOmeLabs dehumidifier at its price point 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 features and functionality.

PROS

Energy Star certified
High moisture removal rate
Custom humidity control
Continuous draining option
Budget price
2-year warranty

CONS 

Lower quality materials
Not suitable for small spaces under 3,000 sq ft

Vremi VRM010184N

Vremi VRM010184N Dehumidifier

The Vremi “Moisture Maniac” dehumidifier extracts up to 50 pints of water in a 3,000 to 4,500 square feet area. It has Energy Star certification like all Vremi dehumidifiers, with standard features like the adjustable humidistat, 24-hour timer, and multiple operation modes you can choose on the control panel.

It features Comfort, Continuous, and Turbo modes similar to the hOmeLabs. The standard auto shut-off, auto restart, and auto defrost functions are also present. The sleek and modern design comes with convenient built-in wheels and two side handles for easy movement. This high capacity dehumidifier is great for a damp basement, garage, attic, or a large living room. 

This 50-pint dehumidifier comes with an average sized 1.8 gallon water tank. When operating continuously in maximum capacity, you may have to empty the tank up to four times a day. If you don’t want to manually drain water, you can use the automatic drainage functionality. Attach a standard garden hose (not included) to the outlet port and direct the other end to a low-level drain or sink.

Similar to hOmeLabs, the Vremi dehumidifier is relatively quiet considering they are both compressor-based units with a side exhaust. As long as you’re not using it in a bedroom or office, the noise will be almost unnoticeable. So, if you need an efficient dehumidifier for large spaces, then this 50-pint Vremi is a good alternative to our top two choices.

PROS

Energy Star certified
Large coverage area
High moisture removal rate
Easy-to-use controls
Continuous draining option

CONS

Has to purchase drain hose separately
Not suitable for small spaces

Honeywell TP70WK

Honeywell TP70WK Basement Dehumidifier

Another great option to keep your wood floors dry  is the Honeywell dehumidifier. This unit removes up to 50 pints of moisture in large rooms up to 4,000 square feet. It is also Energy Star rated to help save on your monthly bills without sacrificing performance.

Like most any modern dehumidifier, Honeywell features a digital humidistat to automatically control the humidity based on your preference. Select your desired humidity level from 30% to 90% with the soft touch buttons and digital display. WHat I like about Honeywell dehumidifiers is you can monitor the current humidity from across the room on the front mirage display.

This 50-pint dehumidifier comes with an average sized 14-pint tank with the standard tank full alert and auto shutoff function. 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 1-meter drain hose to the outlet on the back of the unit.

Honeywell dehumidifiers also include a 24-hour timer for Auto Off or Auto On, and Sleep mode for a quiet operation. The unit operates from 41°F to 90°F with automatic defrost (but no defrost light indicator). 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. One thing I don’t like about Honeywell is the lack of text labels on the control panel. 

PROS

Energy Star certified
Custom humidity control
Continuous drain with hose
Mirage display
5-year warranty

CONS

No defrost light
Unclear control buttons

Ivation IVADH50PWP2

Ivation IVADH50PWP2 Dehumidifier

Ivation offers a wide-range of dehumidifiers. This Energy Star unit is rated to remove excess moisture by up to 50 pints per day from an area of 4,500 square feet. It includes an adjustable humidistat with digital display and control buttons on the top control panel. Select the optimal humidity from 30% to 90% and the dehumidifier will work to maintain this level.

You can also set the timer to enable auto start or stop after 0.5 to 24 hours. You’ll also find the fan speed button with lights to indicate whether the unit is in Low or High speed. What sets this model apart is the temperature sensor and display that not a lot of dehumidifiers have today. You can view the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. This is also where the timer is shown while setting. 

This 50-pint dehumidifier features a large 2.25-gallon tank with a water level window. When the tank is full, the unit will shut off automatically and the Full Tank indicator will light up until you remove and empty the tank. Alternatively, this model comes with a built-in pump you can use to divert the water upwards into a sink or basement window if you don’t have a floor drain nearby.

The unit operates efficiently between 41°F and 100°F with an auto defrost mode to prevent damages from ice buildup. The unit also comes with a washable filter you can access by removing the tank and pulling down from behind the front intake grille. One common issue with Ivation dehumidifiers is the noise output. This 50-pint unit in particular, can be louder than most other 50-pint dehumidifiers. 

PROS

Energy Star certified
High moisture removal rate
Custom humidity control
Large water tank
Built-in pump
Temperature display

CONS

Average quality and durability
Loud operation

How Humidity Affects Wood

High humidity levels can cause severe damage to wooden materials. In fact, the NWFA estimates that 90% of wood flooring failures are caused by humidity and too much moisture in the air. During hot and humid summers when there’s an abundance of moist air, the hardwood floor absorbs this moisture, causing your wood flooring to swell, expand, or crack. Many wood flooring manufacturers recommend humidity levels between 30% and 50% RH.

When the humidity is lower than recommended levels, wood may shrink, and you’ll notice thin gaps between wood planks. Once humidity rises, the hardwood floor will expand and most gaps will automatically close. When the wood is often exposed to extreme conditions, it becomes stressed and deteriorates. This can make the hardwood flooring brittle, increasing the potential risks of damage. The wooden board may split or crack.

Extreme dampness can lead to cupping of wood. This is when the floorboard edges swell and curl upward, making it look like a cup. The opposite of cupping is called crowning. Conversely, this is when the center of the board expands upward while the edges remain flat. Both can be caused by excess moisture from humidity, water spillage, or moisture from the crawl space or basement. Lastly, when wood expands due to high humidity, the floorboards will press against each other, which can lead to cracks.

House with wood flooring

Preventing Hardwood Floor Moisture Problems

Keeping the temperature and humidity in your home within the recommended levels is essential in maintaining your new hardwood floors and other house structures, as well as for the comfort and health of everyone in the household. Watch out for the common signs of excess humidity and monitor the humidity levels of your home with a digital hygrometer. The optimal range is around 30% to 50% RH.

Excess moisture is extremely damaging not only to wood floors. It encourages mold to grow inside floors, walls, ceilings, or almost any damp surface. Hardwood floors especially in basements or crawl spaces can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew if you don’t get the moisture under control.

Humidity levels may fluctuate throughout the day. If you live in a region with high humidity, installing a dehumidifier may be a necessity. In some places, you might only need it every summer when humidity is at the highest. A portable unit like the ones we featured above is enough. But if you need constant humidity control all year, then you must look for a whole-house dehumidifier to connect to your HVAC system to keep your wood floors in shape.

Benefits of Using a Dehumidifier

Reduces Allergies

Excess humidity promotes an environment susceptible to mold and mildew growth. Touching mold or inhaling mold spores may cause allergic reactions, allergy-induced asthma attacks, and other respiratory conditions. Dust mites also thrive in humid conditions and may trigger allergy symptoms similar to hay fever. They cannot survive when relative humidity drops to 50 percent or below.

Improves Air Quality

High humidity levels decrease comfort in your own home. You are also at higher risk of dehydration in humid conditions. The more humidity in the air the more it becomes 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 unpleasant odors, greatly improving indoor air quality for everyone’s health and comfort.

Preserves Hardwood Floors and Other House Structures

Dry air lowers the chances of mold and mildew growth, metal rusting, or wood rotting. Moisture itself can weaken the structure of your house. Maintaining the humidity level within optimal range helps prevent rapid destruction caused by condensation, rust, corrosion, or pest infestation, and save money on house repairs.

What to Consider When Looking for a Dehumidifier

Moisture Removal Rate

This refers to the volume of moisture that the dehumidifier can remove from the air in 24 hours. Residential dehumidifiers are rated to remove anywhere from 20 to 70 pints per day. The actual amount of moisture removed per day depends mainly on the size and dampness of the space. A larger room with a higher moisture content requires a more powerful dehumidifier. However, this doesn’t mean the highest capacity is the best. Use only the right size dehumidifier for your space to maximize its efficiency. 

Coverage Area

You want a dehumidifier that can cover the entire room. 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. 

Energy Efficiency

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

Additional Features

Dehumidifiers usually include the standard auto shutoff feature and indicator light for your convenience. Full-size units feature a built-in humidistat, an on/off timer, multiple fan speeds, and different operation modes depending on your needs. 

Conclusion

Installing hardwood floors in your home can be extremely expensive. While it’s not the worst thing excess moisture can cause, you wouldn’t want to damage your wood floors with a simple humidity problem you can prevent with the right dehumidifier. Wood structures are especially vulnerable to moisture, mold, and pests. If you live in a humid place, then a dehumidifier is your best solution to high humidity. Carefully consider the size of the space where you need it, and any other specific needs you have.