Top Five Portable Dehumidifiers
This article is about the top five portable dehumidifiers sold in the USA and why I think they are the best in their class. A detailed description of each of these units is contained in our comprehensive reviews and, by following the links, you can find what you need to decide which of these appliances is the right choice for you.
I have not ranked these units. At the bottom of this page you have an opportunity to vote for the model which you think is the best. All the votes will be published here so you and our other visitors will decide which is rated number one.
How Did I Decide on the Top Five Portable Dehumidifiers?
All of these models belong to "families" of similar dehumidifiers produced by their manufacturers for use in the home. In each case I have chosen the most powerful unit in the family because portable dehumidifiers are most often used in basements. Units in the 65-70 pint range are, therefore, the most popular type sold in the USA.
Although these models are sold in the USA they are not dehumidifiers made in the USA. Four of the five are manufactured in China and branded by US based companies while the Winix is made in the Republic of Korea. By and large the only types made in the USA at present are the more expensive basement models and commercial units.
Effective performance is a must so you may be certain that every one of these appliances is good at sucking water from the air. Energy efficiency is the next criterion and each of these units is Energy Star® qualified and there is little to choose between them on that score.
Reliability and working life-time is the next issue. Portable dehumidifiers are notorious for breaking down within one to three years so those which are found to be more dependable will always be more highly thought of.
Most portable dehumidifiers share the majority of their "features" with other models, adjustable humidistats, timers, multiple fan speeds, continuous drainage, auto-defrost and so on. Most of the features are essential and are only notable when they are not commonly included with competing units.
Reviews by consumers are a strong indicator of which is the best to buy but are not entirely reliable since most users have experience of no more than two other brands.
If several models make the grade for all these tests there are two key measures by which the best may be separated from the also rans. The first of these is "value for money".
For example, the more reliable portable dehumidifiers are better built and a better built model will cost more. The issue is how much it costs and how long it lasts. A $200 unit that lasts two years costs $100 per year to replace. A $500 appliance that lasts four years costs $125 a year to replace. If this was a real example the $200 unit provides better value for money than the $500 one, despite its shorter working life. Visit our page about the costs of running these appliances for a more detailed discussion of this point.
This calculation would be more difficult if there were also significant differences in energy efficiency, since the cost of energy over the life-time of a dehumidifier will almost always be greater than its purchase price. In comparing a $1000 basement model with our $200 portable we may easily find that the longer life and much greater energy efficiency of the basement model means that it provides better value for money than the portable.
Our page about the best way to control moisture in basements explains this more fully. In the case of portable units, however, the differences in energy efficiency between them are marginal.
In my experience more expensive portable dehumidifiers rarely, if ever, pay back the higher investment with a sufficient extension of their working lives. For this reason I have chosen five models from among those with a reasonable reputation for reliability and also a relatively low purchase price.
The second measure is what might be called the "irritability factor". By this I mean aspects of performance that disappoint, even when the overall package is reliable and effective. Looking at reviews by consumers, the leading factors are noise levels and water collection buckets that are difficult to remove and replace. Other examples include fans that run continuously, drainage hoses that are difficult to attach and the amount by which the output air heats the room.
Some of the irritability factors are inexcusable. Noise caused by secondary vibration, for example, is a consequence of poor build quality. Others are matters of personal taste, continuously running fans, for instance, provide better monitoring of relative humidity than those that sample the air intermittently. It is a matter for each individual to decide whether the best model is the one that makes less noise or controls humidity more precisely.
I have excluded the inexcusable but retained those models which irritate some but not others and where the irritating factor reflects a conscious choice by the manufacturer. The buyer must weigh the importance of such characteristics when reaching her decision.
To sum up this section, I have chosen five portable dehumidifiers with good all round performance at affordable prices and with the minimum of irritability factors. None is perfect but all approach the perfect compromise between cost and performance.
The Five Portable Dehumidifiers I Recommend
The five selected models are dealt with in alphabetical order, no ranking remember.
Alen MDF3-70 (70 pint)
Although a little more expensive than some other brands the Alen MDF3-70 lacks no essential or desirable feature and shows the best build quality of the five. The penalty paid for that quality is that it is a little heavier than some other, comparable models.
Visit the Alen MDF3-70 page for full details.
Danby DDR7009REE (70 pint)
The Danby DDR7009REE is one of three best selling models that are difficult to separate out. It is a well regarded unit with many favorable reviews to its name. It meets all our criteria being a sound all round performer, with all essential and desirable features, at a competitive price.
Go to our Danby DDR7009REE page for more information.
Frigidaire FAD704TDP (70 Pint)
Among these models the Frigidaire FAD704TDP is as popular with its users as any and boasts a host of positive reviews. It has no exceptional characteristics but offers acceptable performance and reliability across all the measures by which these appliances are judged.
You can find a detailed description of the Frigidaire FAD704TDP by following the link.
The Frigidaire FAD704TDP, although still available for purchase, has been replaced by the Frigidaire FAD704DUD. It is too early to judge whether the FAD704DUD will replace the FAD704TDP among our top five portables but as user experience with this model grows we will let you know. Subscribe to our RSS feed to be sure of an update.
You can find a detailed description of the Frigidaire FAD704DUD here.
GE ADER65LN (65 Pint)
The third of our major sellers is the GE ADER65LN 65. This model has the lowest water extraction rate of the five units we have selected but is a worthy competitor in the field. Once again reviews of the ADER65LN are plentiful and positive. With no major weaknesses and competitively priced the GE ADER65LN deserves its place in our top five.
Visit my GE ADER65LN page.
The GE ADER65LN has now been replaced by the GE ADER65LP. The new model is almost identical to the old so will replace the GE ADER65LN among our top five portable models.
You can see my full assessment of the GE ADER65LP here.
Winix WDH871 (70 Pint)
The Winix WDH871 is the most expensive model on our list. It passes all the tests we have set but it offers one feature not found with the other four units or with most portable models. This feature is an integral condensate pump with a 15 foot vertical lift capacity. This feature is useful to some and since a separate condensate pump would cost between $40 and $80 it qualifies as offering value for money to its users.
For more information visit the Winix WDH871 page.
Your Chance to Pick the Best Portable Dehumidifier
We have suggested our top five portable dehumidifiers but at the end of the day only you can decide which is the best model for you. You can cast your vote with a single mouse click. Your vote, and those of others, will help future visitors to make the best choice also.
What Other Visitors Have Said About This Page
Wed Sep 28 2011
Thanks and here is something I found out. Your top 5 article helped a lot. Thanks! I think I am going with the Alen. If you order directly from Alen, they ship for FREE.
To add your own opinion please click on Visitor Comments
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