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Cheap Dehumidifiers Buying Guide

While there are many inexpensive dehumidifiers that consumers deem satisfactory, we found some that are notable for how effectively they draw moisture from the air. The Soleus Air DP1-70-03 (starting at $179) has a huge 70-pint capacity, which makes it ideal for basements.

The Frigidaire FAD504DUD (starting at $189) has a 50-pint capacity, so it can handle smaller basements, and users say it's quiet as well as efficient. The Eva-Dry 2200 (starting at $79) is also very quiet and much cheaper, but it's much smaller, and too many reviewers have found it ineffective.

At the high end of the dehumidifier market, prices start at $500 and range upward of $5,000. Some of these pricier units are built into the heating and cooling system in a house and must be professionally installed, while others are portable but remove moisture from the whole house. The differences between cheap dehumidifiers and mid-price or high-end models have to do with size and durability. Expensive dehumidifiers tend to hold a lot of water and tackle multiple rooms (or the whole house), work at low temperatures, and often last for years. They often have pumps that will keep them running continuously into a drain without having to be elevated. Cheap dehumidifiers are fine for smaller areas. They generally remove up to 50 pints of water a day and come with buckets that need to be emptied often. Their life expectancy is relatively short.

Don't base your choice of humidifier solely on price. If you live in a tropical or humid area, there may be more moisture in the air than a small, budget dehumidifier can handle. If the machine is going to be situated in a room you use often, noise will play a role as well -- smaller units tend to be quieter. Using a cheap dehumidifier in a cold basement presents another issue: Most will freeze at lower temperatures.

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Dehumidifiers come in several types. Portable units can be moved from room to room. Basement dehumidifiers are heavy-duty and stationary and come with a drain attachment. There are also dehumidifiers made especially for crawlspaces, to combat humidity lurking there that can damage the wooden supports of a house. Mini dehumidifiers are designed for closets and small bathrooms. We found that most portable dehumidifiers also come with a drain attachment option so they can be used in the basement. If that's where you plan to place your dehumidifier, make sure to buy a model with enough capacity to handle the larger (and probably damper) area.

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