Best Energy Efficient Dehumidifier for Homes

A lot of people worry if dehumidifiers are power hungry appliances, but in reality most of them really are not. Plus, recently there have been big advancements in energy efficiency and it takes only a few moments of your time to choose a more energy efficient dehumidifier for your home.

Hopefully I’ll make it even easier by sharing my own research and analysis on this topic. I’m in the process of switching to solar so I’m paying attention to the energy usage of all my appliances, so I’ve done a lot of legwork on this for my own home. In the table below, you will find five of the most energy efficient dehumidifiers for your home.

To minimize electricity costs, of course you want a dehumidifier that uses energy efficiently – but what’s the right way to measure this? We will look at the integrated energy factor (IEF) to understand energy efficiency and how it applies in the real world.

The five dehumidifiers in the following list are Energy Star rated with the highest IEF standard (this standard has been used beginning in 2021 onward). Each of these are optimized for particular purposes.

Let’s take a look at the details of these energy efficient dehumidifiers.

Comparison of the Most Energy Efficient Dehumidifiers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Dimensions: 12.19 x 15.96 x 24.25 inches
  • Coverage: Not indicated
  • Capacity: 22 Pints
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  • Dimensions: 15.4 x 11 x 24.3 inches
  • Coverage: 4,500 sq. ft.
  • Capacity: 50 Pints
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  • Dimensions: 16.6 x 11 x 24.3 inches
  • Coverage: 4,500 sq. ft.
  • Capacity: 50 Pints
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  • Dimensions: 24.8 x 13.78 x 15.75 inches
  • Coverage: 2,600 sq. ft.
  • Capacity: 90 Pints
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  • Dimensions: 34 x 15.42 x 17.1 inches
  • Coverage: 5,500 sq. ft.
  • Capacity: 100 Pints
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Most Energy Efficient Portable Dehumidifiers

Frigidaire FFAD5033W1

Frigidaire FFAD5033W1 Dehumidifier

Frigidaire is a popular brand of well-made home appliances. Although it’s not in the Energy Star Most Efficient list of 2021, this 50-pint dehumidifier has a very high IEF of 1.8L/kWh. Despite being a newer model (equivalent to the FFAD7033R1 discontinued in 2020), it has earned a great amount of positive feedback from homeowners and experts. Aside from the improved design and quality, this Frigidaire dehumidifier stands out for its exceptional performance in low temperatures down to 41°F. 

This unit features custom humidity control and a 24-hour On/Off timer that allows you to set your preferred humidity level for a specific time. It is considerably quiet with minimum noise levels around 47 to 51 decibels. Unlike most other brands with only two fan speeds, you have three options with Frigidaire: Low at 167 CFM air flow rate, Med at 194 CFM, and High at 229 CFM. While a compressor dehumidifier is naturally loud, a higher CFM fan can mask the compressor noise with the more pleasant fan noise. In addition, the top exhaust helps distribute the sound more evenly, creating a more pleasant sound. 

It also comes with an easy-to-access washable mesh filter and an indicator light that will notify you when it’s time to clean it. Auto shut-off feature automatically turns off the unit when the large 2-gallon water bucket is nearly full. The Bucket Full alert tells you when you need to drain the water, a hassle-free task using the front loading bucket with a carry handle and splash guard.

To enable continuous drainage, attach a standard garden hose into the drain outlet. It’s also available in a similar 50-pint with a built-in pump. Frigidaire’s SpaceWise design includes a top handle, caster wheels, and a cord winder to make dehumidifying from room to room much easier. 

You may notice that Frigidaire doesn’t have an Auto Defrost mode like other compressor dehumidifiers. This is because it’s specially designed to work in lower temperatures without having to stop periodically to melt the frost, thus saving energy. So, if you live in an area where temperatures often drop below 65°F, Frigidaire is the most efficient option for you. Although, take note that it’s on the higher end in most aspects, including the price.

PROS
• Works well in low temperatures
• Custom humidity control and timer
• Large water bucket
• SpaceWise design
• Quiet operation
• Continuous drain option
CONS
• Higher price

hOmeLabs HME020031N

hOmeLabs HME020031N Basement Dehumidifier

hOmeLabs is one of the top-rated, most energy efficient dehumidifiers for the last few years. It offers almost any feature you would need in a dehumidifier for your home. Most importantly, with this unit, you’ll get the best value for your money. It’s typically cheaper than most other top dehumidifiers, and it’s Energy Star certified with the highest IEF at 1.9L/kWh.

This unit extracts up to 50 pints of moisture from the air in large, extremely damp rooms from 3000 to 4500 square feet. Operating this unit is no trouble with the digital humidistat and intelligent control panel. Set your target humidity level from 35% to 85% RH and the dehumidifier will maintain this automatically. You can choose from Comfort, Turbo, and Continuous modes with Timer settings of 0.5 hour increments up to 10 hours, then at 1 hour increments up to 24 hours.

Turbo mode increases fan speed from Normal at 165 CFM to High at 188 CFM for maximum moisture removal and odor reduction. At this rate of airflow, noise levels are fairly low for a side exhausting unit. In Comfort mode, it will set the recommended humidity levels based on the ambient temperature. If the temperature is below 65˚F, the humidity will be set at 55% RH. Between 65˚F and 77˚F, it will be set at 50% RH. Above 77˚F, the humidity will be set at 45% RH. Auto defrost feature kicks in when the unit detects frost on the coils.

To prevent water overflow, the unit will shut off automatically when the 1.8 gallon tank is nearly full. If you don’t have the time for manual draining, attach a standard garden hose onto the drain port at the back of the unit to enable gravity drainage. The unit also comes with a washable filter. The sleek and stylish look of this dehumidifier will blend well in any modern home. Built with wheels and side handles, it can be dragged anywhere with ease. However, hOmeLabs is made of light and flimsy plastic which may break after repeated use.

Overall, the efficiency and reliability of this hOmeLabs dehumidifier greatly outweigh any drawback. For its standard price, you can get one of the most high-performing and energy efficient options, plus a longer two-year warranty.

PROS
• Energy Star Most Efficient
• Large coverage area
• Excellent dehumidification performance
• Custom humidity control and timer
• Continuous drain option
CONS
• Made from lower quality materials

Vremi VRM010184N

Vremi VRM010184N Dehumidifier

The Vremi “Moisture Maniac” flagship dehumidifier is another top performing unit with a very high IEF of 1.9L/kWh. It extracts up to 50 pints of moisture in large spaces from 3,000 to 4,500 square feet, such as a damp basement, garage, attic, or a large living room. It comes with all the standard features like the adjustable humidistat, 24-hour timer, and multiple operation modes you can choose on the control panel. The smaller models, with 22-pint and 35-pint capacities, are also Energy Star certified.

This unit features Comfort, Continuous, and Turbo modes similar to the hOmeLabs model. The standard auto shut-off, auto restart, and auto defrost functions are also present. This 50-pint dehumidifier comes with an average tank capacity of 1.8 gallons. When operating at full 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 drainage outlet port and direct the other end to a low-level drain or sink. The simple and portable design comes with four wheels and two side handles for easy movement. 

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 energy efficient dehumidifier for large spaces, then this 50-pint Vremi is a good alternative to our top two choices.

PROS
• Energy Star Most Efficient
• Large coverage area
• High moisture removal rate
• Custom humidity control
• Continuous draining option
CONS
• Not suitable for small spaces

Most Energy Efficient Crawl Space/Whole-Home Dehumidifiers

AlorAir Sentinel HDi90

AlorAir offers a range of high efficiency commercial grade dehumidifiers for crawl spaces or basements, as well as professional water restoration. One of their mid-sized units for crawl spaces is the AlorAir Sentinel HDi90. The crawl space is often overlooked, but a lot of humidity issues root from this part of the house. Since you rarely visit your crawl space to monitor operation, it’s important to know that your dehumidifier is not wasting energy. The HDi90 ensures powerful performance and impressive energy efficiency with an IEF of 1.95L/kWh. 

AlorAir Sentinel HDi90

This unit removes 90 pints of moisture per day on average conditions (80F, 60% RH), and a maximum of 198 pints per day at saturation (90F, 90% RH), from a 2,600 square feet area. It’s equipped with the Hot Gas Valve system for quick and efficient defrosting, allowing it to run at temperatures as low as 33°F. This ensures continuous operation without having to stop periodically to defrost. The unit also comes with a heavy duty condensate pump that pushes water out up to 15 feet vertically. AlorAir uses epoxy-coated coils and a rare earth alloy tube evaporator which protects the unit from corrosion and freon leakage. All their products come with a 5-year warranty.

Another feature that makes the AlorAir Sentinel HDi90 an ideal choice for crawl spaces is the optional remote control. This will be useful for monitoring the status of operation in particularly narrow crawl spaces. You also have an option for ducting this unit with the included duct collars.  This model uses a MERV-8 filter that can be easily accessed and cleaned. Although considering the maximum airflow of 210 CFM, the unit can be quite loud at 58 decibels. Overall, with its high-end specifications and affordable price, it is one of the best choices for your crawl space.

PROS
• Energy Star Most Efficient
• Custom humidity control
• Works in low temperatures
• With internal condensate pump
• High capacity for its size
CONS
• High noise levels

Aprilaire E100

Aprilaire is an American brand well-known for air quality products including dehumidifiers for crawl space and whole house applications. If you need a quick and efficient solution to humidity for the entire home, the Aprilaire E100 is ideal for most average sized houses. The Aprilaire E Series is the more energy efficient dehumidifier line compared to the more popular 1800 Series. In particular, the E100 (or E100 Pro in some stores), has an IEF of 2.35L/kWh, removing up to 100 pints of excess moisture per day. With an airflow rate of 265 cubic feet per minute (CFM), it can dehumidify an area of up to 5,500 square feet. 

The unit features an interactive display that is easy to set up and use. For your convenience, you can mount the control panel on the front or top of the unit. It features an adjustable humidistat and simple electronic controls with a digital display that shows the humidity and current working status. Set your desired humidity level from 40% to 80% RH and the humidity sensors will sample the air every hour. If the current humidity is higher than your setting, the unit will start dehumidifying until the relative humidity is 3% below your target. The dehumidifier operates in temperatures between 41°F and 104°F with automatic defrost to prevent ice buildup.

Like other Aprilaire dehumidifiers, the E100 offers continuous drainage option. Simply attach the included drainage adapter and hose to the outlet on the side of the unit. Place the dehumidifier on a level surface above the drain for a smooth and mess-free drainage. The unit also comes with a washable filter that you will need to clean or replace at least once a year. The CLEAN FILTER reminder will display on the control panel after six months. The 1850 model includes four leveling feet, while the 1852 has four caster wheels. Aside from this small difference, the two models include the exact same features and functionality.

Aprilaire is USA-made and built to last with corrosion-resistant aluminum coils and a reliable five-year warranty. However, one downside is Aprilaire dehumidifiers do not come with a built-in pump, but if you really need the drain pump functionality, Aprilaire offers an external condensate pump. Install it into the unit and the collected condensate will be pumped out automatically up to 15 feet above, into a sink, out of a window, or directed to your sump pump. 

While the noise level usually isn’t an issue when it comes to whole-home dehumidifiers, it can still be disturbing if the unit is installed near a living or sleeping area. According to customer reviews, Aprilaire may produce loud vibrations when operating, so hanging it from a floor joist may not be ideal. Furthermore, the manufacturer strongly recommends hiring a licensed contractor for installation. Otherwise, the warranty will be void in case any issue arises.

PROS
• Energy Star Most Efficient
• Excellent quality built to last
• Powerful moisture removal
• Low temperature operation
• Continuous draining option
• Made in the USA
• With five-year warranty
CONS
• May be bulky and noisy
• No built-in pump

What is Energy Efficiency and IEF (Integrated Energy Factor)?

The DOE determines dehumidifier performance through two metrics: the capacity and energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is not just the amount of energy the dehumidifier consumes while working. It is the amount of work done (in the case of dehumidifiers, the volume of moisture removed) using a kilowatt-hour of energy. In simple terms, energy efficiency is a quality of an appliance to use less energy in getting the same work done. Greater energy efficiency helps cut down your energy bills and reduce pollution.

The energy efficiency metric or Energy Factor (EF) measures the liters of water a dehumidifier is able to remove per kilowatt-hour of energy. As of June 2019, the DOE has implemented new testing standards for dehumidifiers. This includes a new energy efficiency metric, the Integrated Energy Factor (IEF). Unlike EF, IEF also considers the amount of energy a dehumidifier consumes when the compressor has cycled off.

What Is A Good IEF Value For A Dehumidifier? 

If you check the full list of dehumidifiers with Energy Star rating, you’ll see that the lowest IEF for energy efficient models is 1.57 L/kWh, while the most energy efficient dehumidifiers have a 1.90 L/kWh integrated energy factor. To get maximum energy efficiency, you may want to look for an Energy Star dehumidifier with at least 1.7L/kWh IEF.

How to Size Dehumidifier for Energy Efficiency

The DOE set new testing standards for dehumidifiers. Starting early 2020, dehumidifier performance tests are performed at 65°F and 60% humidity, 15° lower than the 2012 standards of 80°F and 60% humidity. This new condition is supposed to give a more accurate representation of the dehumidifier’s actual performance in a basement setting. 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. For a damp or slightly damp area smaller than 1,500 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 about 30 to 35 pints. If the room is around 2,000 square feet, start with the 35-pint up to the 50-pint for larger and damper spaces. For more details, you may check this guide by Energy Star.

In the case of commercial grade dehumidifiers like the AlorAir unit, capacity is determined by two sets of conditions. One is at 80°F and 60% humidity as recommended by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. This represents the actual performance of the dehumidifier in an average environment. Meanwhile, the capacity at saturation is measured at 90°F and 90% humidity. This is the maximum performance of the dehumidifier in extremely hot and humid conditions. 

Features to Consider When Buying an Energy Efficient Dehumidifier

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. The next bigger size would be 30-pint or 35-pint. The highest capacity for portable dehumidifiers is usually 50 pints (previously 70 pints under the DOE 2012 standards), but some brands still offer 70-pint units. 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 always 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. 

Noise Level

This is important if you want to use your dehumidifier near your living and sleeping spaces. Noise is subjective, but the quietest dehumidifiers usually 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.

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 and digital humidity readout. 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. Auto restart resumes operation to your last settings after a power outage.

Tips on Increasing Energy Efficiency in Dehumidifiers

Of course, the easiest thing you can do is to get an Energy Star dehumidifier with a high IEF. Still here are a few tips to further reduce your energy usage and maintain your dehumidifier’s efficiency.

Find the right size dehumidifier.

Again we mention how critical it is to use the right size dehumidifier for your space to maximize its effectiveness and efficiency. If you use a dehumidifier with a smaller capacity than you need, it has to work harder for a longer period, leading to higher energy costs and an overworked device. To find the right size dehumidifier, measure the area of the space you need to dehumidify. If you notice visible signs of moisture like condensation, mold, or rust, go with a higher capacity unit. In case of extreme dampness, it may be better to get the next bigger size recommended for your square footage. Larger dehumidifiers are generally more energy efficient, but you should only get the right size for your space. 

Remove the sources of humidity.

Some common household activities can cause humidity levels to rise for certain periods. When you use the bathroom or cook in the kitchen, open a vent or window and run an exhaust fan to keep the moisture out. Also avoid drying your laundry indoors. Finally, if you still have humidity problems, check your plumbing. If there’s a leak somewhere in your house, you’ll notice damp spots on your walls or floor. Clogged gutters can also raise humidity levels so make sure to keep them clean and clear. 

Use your dehumidifier properly.

Dehumidifiers generally perform well in warm, humid environments and start to experience problems in lower temperatures. If you get really cold winters in your area, get a dehumidifier designed to operate at the given temperature. Additionally, frequent cleaning of your dehumidifier helps maintain proper functioning. Depending on the type of dehumidifier, there is a recommended way of cleaning. Refer to your manual for more specific instructions.

FAQ

How long does it take for a dehumidifier to work?

It varies depending on the size of the room and the level of dampness. Keep the doors and windows closed and you should feel a significant change within 6 to 7 hours of operation. For a crawl space or whole-home unit, give it at least a day or two of continuous operation.

Should I leave my dehumidifier on all the time?

Only when necessary. Although dehumidifiers are equipped with safety features like automatic shutoff, it’ll be safer not to leave it running unsupervised for long periods. For example, if the humidity isn’t that severe during the night, turn off your dehumidifier to save energy.

How much electricity does a dehumidifier use?

It depends largely on its capacity and energy efficiency. In general, a regular 50-pint dehumidifier consumes anywhere from 500 to 700 Watts, while a similarly constructed 30-pint consumes about 300 to 500 Watts.

Will a dehumidifier cool a room?

No. Like most electrical appliances, it may heat up its surroundings. However, operating a dehumidifier in a humid room can make it feel cooler to us because of the changes in relative humidity. Higher humidity makes high temperatures feel even higher because of moisture saturation.

How long does a dehumidifier last?

With proper care and maintenance, your dehumidifier should last up to five years. Clean the water tank and filter at least every few weeks to maintain proper functioning and help your unit last longer.

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