A crawl space dehumidifier is the best way to cure a damp crawl space. They remove excess moisture from the air and maintain optimal humidity levels to keep your crawl space and wood structure dry. Here are our expert picks for the best crawl space dehumidifier.
Our Top Picks for Best Crawl Space Dehumidifier
Here are our top expert picks if you have a damp, musty crawl space or need to replace your crawl space dehumidifier.
What to Consider When Buying a Crawl Space Dehumidifier
There are several things to consider when selecting the best crawl space dehumidifier. You should know that portable dehumidifiers aren’t suitable for long-term use inside crawl spaces. This is because you have to empty it daily, which is not something you want to do.
Choosing a commercial unit with a compact rectangular shape and discharges condensation outside is crucial.
Before buying, be sure first to measure the size of your crawl space and then compare those dimensions with dehumidifiers.
What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need?
Crawl space dehumidifiers work well in areas of 2500 square feet or less. You should consider the size of the dehumidifier when buying one.
In a crawl space, it is crucial to have a high-performing dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are classified by how many pints of water they can remove daily. Dehumidifiers specifically for crawl spaces can range from 50-pint to a huge 120-pint capacity or higher.
For small crawl spaces of 1500 SF or less, we suggest you use a 50-pint or greater dehumidifier. This will ensure that the machine works hard to keep the area dry. In large crawl spaces, we recommend a 70-pint or greater dehumidifier.
The PPD rating for crawl space dehumidifiers stands for how many pints of water the device can remove in a day. The AHAM standard requires that the dehumidifier be tested with a temperature of 80°F and relative humidity of 60%. Dehumidifiers with ratings from 50 to 150 PPD are available.
The Saturated PPD Rating also tells you how many pints of water the dehumidifier can remove under conditions where it is very hot and humid. This is a very severe condition. Most of the time, the dehumidifier will never be exposed to these conditions, but it’s helpful to know how much moisture it can handle.
What Crawl Space Dehumidifier Features to Look For?
Even though the finest crawl space dehumidifier may not appear to be so, it should include the following features:
The best crawl space dehumidifier should have humidistats. A humidistat allows the unit to measure humidity and turns ON and OFF as needed. You can set the humidity level, and the dehumidifier does the rest. We recommend you set the humidistat at 55% in most areas.
If crawl space humidity rises above the setting, the unit turns to start working. If it falls below that point, the machine will stop working. The humidistat prevents the dehumidifier from running 24/7.
Crawl space dehumidifiers are energy-efficient, but even they will use a lot of electricity if it runs all day. A dehumidifier should not run all day. If it does, the humidistat may be too low, or the unit is too small for your crawl space.
All crawl space dehumidifiers come with a digital or analog control panel on the side of the unit. This lets you change and maintain the relative humidity levels in your crawl space. To set your humidistat, push the buttons to set your humidity level until you reach that number. Your dehumidifier will then turn on and off automatically to achieve and maintain that humidity level.
Some under-the-house dehumidifiers also feature remote control systems (usually purchased separately), so you can operate the device outside the crawl space.
Remote control for your crawl space dehumidifier can save you time and make your life easier. Going into the crawl space to work on your dehumidifier can be difficult. This option is not available on as many units but is available if users choose it.
Defrosting System And Temperature Rating
Dehumidifiers in crawl spaces can freeze and stop working when it gets too cold. To prevent this from happening, you need a defrosting system. A defrosting mechanism built into a dehumidifier is a good feature.
The condensing coils may freeze and harm the device if the crawl space gets too cold. Dehumidifiers with defrost systems can typically operate at temperatures as low as 20°F to 35°F.
The defrosting system keeps the dehumidifier from freezing and continues running when needed. This is an important feature to have, even if you live in a milder climate because even one hard freeze can cause a frozen coil to break the entire system.
However, it would help if you verified with the manufacturer. Some crawl space dehumidifiers will continue to run even while the defrost system is activated, ensuring that performance isn’t lost. Other dehumidifiers will turn off automatically when the defrost cycle begins.
If you are worried about noise, the sound level of your crawl space dehumidifier might be an issue. This is because the dehumidifier is close to the first floor of your home. A small dehumidifier’s noise levels generally range from 30 to 45 decibels (similar to the sound of a refrigerator). Still, larger units can be 55 to 100 decibels (similar to the sound of an air conditioner).
The best way to check would be to look up the manufacturer’s decibel rating and read customer reviews before making a purchase.
Although manufacturers are not required by law to disclose the noise levels of dehumidifiers, reading customer reviews is still the best way to get accurate information.
To protect the device from harm, virtually all crawl space dehumidifiers include a filtration system. The filter system may be as simple as one filter or as complex as two to three layers of filters. Some filters are washable, while others are disposable. We recommend asking if the filter is washable and, if so, how often it should be replaced.
You must have your dehumidifier checked and the filter cleaned or replaced at least once a year. Some crawl spaces are hard to get into and can be dangerous. While the homeowner can do this, it’s best to have professional service performed.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier Reviews
- For Basements & Crawl Spaces up to 2600SF
- Removes 70-Pints Per Day
- Freestanding or Ducting Installation Options
- Cleaner Air with MERV 13 Air Filtration
- Auto Restart After Power Outage
- Auto Defrost Function
- Energy Star Rating
- 6-Year Warranty
Santa Fe Compact 70 Pint Dehumidifier
The Santa Fe Compact70 is a powerful and reliable crawl space or basement dehumidifier. It features a compact size perfect for tight spaces. The large operating temperature range, MERV 13 air filtration, and auto restart after power outages are added benefits that make this our best overall pick.
The Compact70 is engineered and assembled in the United States, making it a quality product you can trust. It’s also flexible, with both freestanding and ducting options available. This unit is perfect for areas with low clearance because of its compact horizontal design.
It delivers years of use in harsh conditions. So if you’re looking for an effective dehumidifier that will keep your basement or crawl space dry, the Santa Fe Compact70 is worth considering.
- Basements and Crawl Spaces up to 2800 SF
- Removes 70-Pints Per Day
- Auto Defrost Feature
- Auto Restart
- Low-Temperature Operation
- Optional Remote Available
- Energy Star Rating
- 5-Year Warranty
Aprilaire E70 Pro 70 Pint Dehumidifier
The Aprilaire E70 Pro 70 Pint Dehumidifier is a compact and efficient solution for removing excess moisture from the air in a sealed crawl space or basement up to 2,800 square feet.
This Aprilaire dehumidifier features an easy-to-use design and simple setup. Its energy efficiency operation still removes up to 70 pints of water daily.
The corrosion-resistant aluminum coils make this unit built to last. It’s made in the USA and backed by a 5-year warranty.
AlorAir Crawl Space Dehumidifier
The AlorAir Basement/Crawl Space Dehumidifier is an Energy Star certified dehumidifier that quickly and effectively removes moisture from the air. It features a robust build and can remove up to 90 pints of water daily at AHAM conditions or up to 2,600 sq. ft.
The unit also has an automatic defrost system that prevents frost build-up on the coils, making it ideal for use in cold environments. Additionally, the dehumidifier features internal corrosion protection to extend the life of the coils.
The AlorAir Basement/Crawl Space Dehumidifier is designed for utility bill savings, with an estimated yearly energy cost savings of $250 compared to other dehumidifiers on the market. Additionally, it comes with a 5-year warranty for peace of mind.
- Basement and Crawl Spaces up to 1300 SF
- Removes 55 Pints per Day
- Auto Defrost
- Auto Restart
- Low-Temperature Operation
- Internal Corrosion Protection
- Optional Remote Control
- Energy Star Rated
- 5-Year Warranty
ALORAIR Basement/Crawl Space Dehumidifier – 55PPD
The ALORAIR Sentinel HD55 Commercial Dehumidifier quickly and effectively removes moisture from the air, making it a great choice for use in basements, crawl spaces, or other moist environments.
With a capacity to remove 120 pints per day at saturation and 55 pints per day AHAM, this dehumidifier can handle even the most humid air in small spaces.
The unit features a low-temperature operation of 36 degrees Fahrenheit with auto-detection of frost and auto-defrost. The unit will operate continuously, no matter the weather.
Additionally, the built-in corrosion protection system helps to minimize freon leakage and extend the life of the coils. The design is also ETL-listed for safety and comes with a 5-year warranty.
If you’re looking to protect your home from crawl space moisture damage, the ALORAIR Sentinel HD55 Commercial Dehumidifier is an excellent choice.
How Much Does it Cost to Run a Crawl Space Dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers remove the moist air crawl space and replace it with dry air. These dehumidifiers only consume 4 to 5 cents of electricity per hour. A dehumidifier operating on 280 to 300 watts of electricity will cost approximately $150 annually if they run for 9-10 hours each day.
Dehumidifiers with the Energy Star rating use less energy than other models. They use about 15% less energy than old dehumidifiers without an Energy Star rating.
It would be best to consider how long the dehumidifier will last. A longer life expectancy means you may have to spend more money in the long run.
Because crawl spaces are humid and harsh environments, dehumidifiers often malfunction for homeowners. For less expensive models, the life span can be as little as 12-24 months. A higher quality dehumidifier should last much longer than that. Check the warranty the company offers. A dehumidifier warranty can vary from 1-year to 3-years.
How To Install Crawl Space Dehumidifiers?
If you have a lot of space in your crawl space, installing a crawl space dehumidifier is not too hard. If you don’t have a lot of space, or if there are other problems in your crawl space, such as hazards or pests, it is better to hire a professional.
Where To Place Crawl Space Dehumidifier?
You should place a commercial dehumidifier in the center of the crawl space. Keep the dehumidifier away from the crawl space access door or any other access point that allows outside air in.
If a central location isn’t possible, place it a few feet away from the foundation wall, with the intake pointed towards the foundation wall and the output pointed towards the center.
A dehumidifier should sit 4 to 6 inches off the ground. you can achieve this by setting the dehumidifier on a solid and level base or using straps to suspend it from the floor joists.
If placing the dehumidifier on a base, you can adjust the legs to level it. If there is enough room, you can use straps to hang it from the joists. This protects the dehumidifier from water damage and flooding and increases condensate drainage through efficient condensate drainage.
Because of the extra height, you may not need a condensate pump to remove condensation. You can use a gravity drain to remove excess moisture by sloping the pipe down to the outside.
The drainage hose connects to a condensate pump. The condensate pump’s job is to get rid of water collected through a long hose or a drain pipe that goes outside or to a sump pump. You don’t have to empty the tank by crawling under the space.
Crawl space dehumidifiers work the same way as portable dehumidifiers. They collect the moisture they remove from the air. The key difference is that they don’t have a collection tank to empty (who would even want to empty it daily). Instead, they drain automatically through a drainage hose.
The condensate drain line of your crawl space dehumidifiers will automatically direct the collected moisture outside your crawl space. You can put a P trap in the line to help prevent backflow. If gravity doesn’t work, you’ll need to add a condensate pump to the side of your dehumidifier.
Encapsulated Crawl Space
You need to encapsulate the crawl space when using a dehumidifier. Encapsulation involves installing a reinforced vapor barrier and sealing off the foundation vents. Otherwise, humid outdoor air will still enter the crawl space, making the dehumidifier ineffective.
Why is a Crawl Space Dehumidifier Important?
Crawl spaces are often damp and musty places. You can have a damp crawl space even in a dry climate. If you don’t manage moisture in crawl spaces, the structure of your house becomes damaged, costing thousands to repair.
When it’s damp, mold and mildew are more likely to grow. If you have mold in your crawl space, it can quickly spread throughout your home and even affect your health. For example, sensitive people may experience allergic symptoms or respiratory issues like asthma.
A commercial dehumidifier in a crawl space reduces the humidity that causes damp crawl space conditions.
If you have plumbing leaks in your crawl space, you must fix them before getting a dehumidifier for it to be effective. Dehumidifiers can’t fix plumbing leaks or remove standing water caused by poor drainage. You need to fix these problems first.
What does a Crawl Space Dehumidifier do?
A humid crawlspace can damage your home’s structure and cause health problems. A dehumidifier will help protect your home from structural damage to wood framing caused by wood rot and wood-destroying organisms (like termites). It also prevents mold growth, negatively affecting indoor air quality.
A commercial crawl space dehumidifier will manage humidity by removing moisture in the crawl space that causes mold and musty odors. Depending on the model, a crawlspace dehumidifier can remove 40 to 100 pints of water per day. It also circulates the air inside your crawl space and keeps the wood and insulation dry.
Advantages of Installing a Crawl Space Dehumidifier
Did you know that installing a crawl space dehumidifier may be a long-term solution to excessive moisture levels and the problems it causes? You can install a dehumidifier for between $800 and $1400 to help keep your crawl space dry.
Lowers Humidity Levels
A crawl space can cause high humidity levels in your home. Often, people think that their air conditioner will take care of the humidity issue. But this is not always the case. A humid crawl space means higher humidity levels inside your home. So you need to address this problem to keep your home comfortable and healthy.
A crawl space dehumidifier is a good investment if you don’t want to deal with a damp crawl space.
Helps Protect Your Home Against Wood Eating Pests
A damp crawl space is a breeding ground for pests like termites and wood-destroying fungi, which causes rot and decay. Any pest infestation in the crawl space can spread to other areas of your home.
A dehumidifier in your crawl space can help to prevent pest infestations by eliminating the conditions these pests need to thrive.
Protects Your Home’s Structural Integrity
Mold can ruin the wood in your home, making it weak. If the humidity in your crawl space is high, this creates a place where water can form, making the mold worse. Mold feeds on the wood causing dry rot.
Dry rot is caused by chronic wet crawl space conditions where the wood is exposed to moisture over time. It’s a cycle where wood absorbs moisture from the air, swells, and dries out. This process repeatedly happens in chronically damp crawl spaces, causing dry rot.
Wood moisture content should be no greater than 18%, with 14% or less an ideal number.
Crawl space dehumidifiers help maintain humidity levels at 45% to 55%, reduce moisture, and keep wood moisture content low.
Improves Your Indoor Air Quality
A crawl space dehumidifier for your crawl space will improve the air quality in your home. This will stop mold and mildew from growing in your crawl space. Mold releases airborne toxins that enter the house and can cause health problems.
Buying a dehumidifier that effectively removes moisture from your basement is essential. This is important because mold and mildew will grow if you don’t have a dehumidifier. This will make the air quality in your home bad. People with allergies or respiratory problems might feel better in their homes if they have a dehumidifier.
They Help Lower Energy Costs
A crawl space dehumidifier can help you save money on your energy bill. This is because a dehumidifier can reduce the air’s moisture which in turn causes your home’s HVAC system to run less, making your home more energy-efficient.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier FAQs
These should be direct answers, no fluff, and 2 to 3 sentences.
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Dehumidifier in a Crawl Space?
A crawl space dehumidifier costs about $600 to $2000 plus installation. Professional installation in a damp crawl space typically includes sealing the crawl space (encapsulation), which can cost $2000 to $15,000 depending on the crawl space size.
What Size Dehumidifier for a Crawl Space?
Crawl space dehumidifiers are by how many pints of water it can remove per day. Generally, a 70-pint commercial-grade dehumidifier, like the Santa Fe Compact70, can manage a crawl space up to 2600SF as long as the area is open without segmented walls.
Should You Put a Dehumidifier in a Crawl Space?
A crawl space dehumidifier is needed if you have chronic damp crawl space conditions or live in an area that is warm and humid. Chronic wet conditions are caused by poor drainage, high groundwater content, sweating ductwork, or a humid climate.
Can any Dehumidifier Work in a Crawl Space?
Not all dehumidifiers are suitable for use in a crawl space. For example, a portable dehumidifier has a collection bucket that will need emptying daily. In contrast, a stationary heavy-duty commercial dehumidifier discharges moisture directly outside either from a condensate pump or a sump pump.
Where to Place a Dehumidifier in a Crawl Space?
It’s best to place a crawl space dehumidifier in the center of the crawl space about 4 to 6 inches off the crawl space floor by suspending it from the joists or setting it on a raised platform. You may need multiple dehumidifiers in a large or segmented crawl space to maintain 45% to 55% humidity levels and dry the crawl space.
Can You Use a Regular Dehumidifier in a Crawl Space?
A regular dehumidifier is not made for use in a crawl space. A regular dehumidifier has a limited collection capacity and requires daily emptying of a collection bucket. If the dehumidifier collection bin is full, it will not work until you empty it. This would be a daily chore that most people would not want to do.