Best Whole House Dehumidifier for Your Basement or Crawl Space (2022)

whole house dehumidifier for basement or crawl space

Purchasing a whole house dehumidifier can improve the quality of your overall health and the longevity of your home, and broad investments. Few things can compare to the performance of a good dehumidifier. 

The most common use for a whole house dehumidifier is controlling moisture in basements or crawl spaces. They are often used as part of crawl space encapsulation in crawl spaces.

As time goes on, though, you may notice that the perks of owning a one-room dehumidifier can offer diminishing returns, primarily if you intend on making multiple separate purchases with the intent to reduce the humidity of every room in your home.

Best Overall
Top Pick - Runner Up
Top Pick
$1,349.00
$1,679.99
$1,147.11
Pros:
  • For Basements & Crawl Spaces up to 2600SF
  • Freestanding or Ducting Installation Options
  • Cleaner Air with MERV 13 Air Filtration
  • 6-Year Warranty
Pros:
  • For Basements & Crawl spaces up to 5500SF
  • Smart Sensing Technology for Efficient Operation
  • Energy Star Most Efficient Certified Dehumidifier
  • 5-Year Warranty
Pros:
  • For Basements & Crawl Spaces up to 2600SF
  • Removes 90 Pints Per Day
  • Energy Star Certified Dehumidifier
  • 5-Year Warranty
Best Overall
$1,349.00
Pros:
  • For Basements & Crawl Spaces up to 2600SF
  • Freestanding or Ducting Installation Options
  • Cleaner Air with MERV 13 Air Filtration
  • 6-Year Warranty
Top Pick - Runner Up
$1,679.99
Pros:
  • For Basements & Crawl spaces up to 5500SF
  • Smart Sensing Technology for Efficient Operation
  • Energy Star Most Efficient Certified Dehumidifier
  • 5-Year Warranty
Top Pick
$1,147.11
Pros:
  • For Basements & Crawl Spaces up to 2600SF
  • Removes 90 Pints Per Day
  • Energy Star Certified Dehumidifier
  • 5-Year Warranty
09/30/2022 12:07 am GMT

We have done a vast amount of research into finding the best ones possible for you, and we are also going over a lot more information below. Some of these are commonly asked questions, and you will find yourself much more knowledgeable on the subject afterward.

What is a Whole House Dehumidifier?

Suppose you are not too versed in dehumidifiers. In that case, you may believe that a whole house dehumidifier is simply a large dehumidifier. 

While that may be partially true, the unit’s design meant to affect your entire home properly is not only much more expensive.

Traditionally, when people think of a dehumidifier, they default to some iteration of a portable unit with a built-in draining system. 

With commercial-grade dehumidifiers, there’s no tank to empty. The dehumidifier discharges moisture through a drainage hose that should go to a sump pump or the exterior.

For this reason alone, you may want to seek the aid of a professional contractor after your purchase to guarantee you will not have any problems arise after you make your purchase. An even more cautious person might want to have the professional shop understand their purchase better.

crawl space dehumidifier

Best Whole House Dehumidifiers for Basements and Crawl Spaces

Whether your ultimate goal is to combat allergens, mold, or bugs of any variety or lower your utility bills, this list will give you ample selection to find a dehumidifier. 

We have done a ton of research to find a device that fulfills your every need but will not leave you out in the cold after the initial investment.

Best Overall
Santa Fe Compact 70 Pint Dehumidifier
$1,349.00
Pros:
  • 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
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09/30/2022 12:07 am GMT

Santa Fe Compact70 70 Pint Dehumidifier for Basements, Crawl Spaces Up to 2,600 sq. ft.

Mold and mildew can wreak havoc on your business if you don’t protect yourself from them. Because moisture problems usually begin at the ground level, installing a whole house dehumidifier in your crawl space or basement is critical.

Santa Fe dehumidifier is recognized for its heavy-duty residential and commercial dehumidification capabilities. Here in South Carolina, we see a lot of Santa Fe dehumidifiers for controlling moisture in damp crawl spaces.

Additional features include:

  • The machine will work at any temperature from 49 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit so you can use it no matter the climate.
  • A pleated MERV 13 filter protects the dehumidifier’s internal components and captures irritants, thanks to its inclusion.
  • With this unit, you don’t have to worry about losing all your progress in the event of a power outage – it will automatically restart.

The Compact70 is a powerful, reliable, and efficient moisture removal system that can save you money.

The compact size allows it to quickly enter the narrow window well into the crawl space with a bit of maneuvering. It’s simple to connect up and use. It’s significantly reduced the humidity and mustiness in homes where we’ve seen them installed, especially when paired with an encapsulation system.

The Santa Fe has a 6-year warranty with 2 years on parts and labor.

Top Pick - Runner Up
Aprilaire E100C Pro 100 Pint Dehumidifier
$1,679.99
Pros:
  • For Basements & Crawl spaces up to 5500SF
  • Smart Sensing Technology for Efficient Operation
  • Energy Star Most Efficient Certified Dehumidifier
  • 5-Year Warranty
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Sylvane
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/29/2022 05:08 pm GMT

Dehumidifier for Crawl Spaces, Basements, and Whole Homes up to 5,500 sq. ft.

In life, many people have said to put your best foot forward. With the Aprilaire, you would be doing precisely that. 

Whether it is the flexibility of utilizing it as a standalone unit or installing it alongside your existing HVAC solution, this baby will ease all of your moisture reduction needs.

Aprilaire’s unique design allows it to handle your entire home’s humidity needs. 

Still, it will also operate without further interaction after the initial installation, which is a blessing in disguise with its built-in drain system.

Using intelligent sensing technology, the unit will automatically turn on and reduce moisture in your home once it gets humid enough. 

You can count on it to take care of your home regardless of the busy lifestyle you need.

While that can seem like a heavy front-end investment, you will quickly get that money back throughout the unit’s lifetime, that lifetime coming with a 5-year warranty behind it to boot. 

Top Pick
AlorAir Basement/Crawl Space Dehumidifier with Pump and Drain Hose
$1,147.11
Pros:
  • For Basements & Crawl Spaces up to 2600SF
  • 198 PPD at Saturation
  • 90 PPD at AHAM
  • Energy Star Certified Dehumidifier
  • 5-Year Warranty
Buy Now on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
09/29/2022 10:23 pm GMT

AlorAir Duct-able Version Basement / Crawl Space Dehumidifiers Energy Star 5 Years Warranty

The next contender on our best-in-show list is the AlorAir 198PPD Duct-able Version, and while it still offers a vast majority of the Aprilaire’s benefits, this little beauty does so with a hefty price deduction. 

Costing just $1,047.11, you can gain access to massive reductions in your home’s humidity and other beautiful features!

One of the first features is a built-in automatic defrost setting. This setting allows the dehumidifier to function even in the coldest of temperatures. 

Having the defrost setting on is a huge deal when considering that an average dehumidifier risk is incurring severe damage or breaking when dealing with harsh winters.

Because this entire process happens as a cycle the second any frost gets detected on the coils, you can expect to save a lot on your energy bill thanks to the entire unit not needing to shut down, the restart to enter into this specific model. 

Another perk that is just about an industry-standard in most commercial dehumidifiers would be the 5-year warranty you get alongside your purchase

It is worth mentioning that you will need the ductwork for this dehumidifier to function in a whole-house capacity.

Top Pick
Waykar 155 Pints Commercial Dehumidifier Industrial Dehumidifier for Crawl Spaces, Basements, Whole Homes
$719.47 $611.54
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09/30/2022 05:18 am GMT

Waykar 155 Pints Commercial Dehumidifier Industrial Dehumidifier for Crawl Spaces, Basements, Whole Homes

Keeping up with the trend of reducing the price but staying nice (yes, the rhyme was most definitely worth the time), we have the Wayker within its sleek black and silver design lays a bounty of stability and efficiency. 

The unit itself is fitted with intelligent touch control. It will automatically sense when you need a little less moisture in your surrounding areas and will handle that problem quickly and with enthusiasm.

Those same sensors are responsible for turning the dehumidifier off when it is no longer necessary to run. They will save you quite a bit of money in the long run just by being energy-efficient!

The unit does have a few setbacks, though. For one, it’s smaller than the other units listed. It does not have the standard 5-year warranty the others do. 

However, you can still get a 2-year guarantee that comes standard with the product or purchase a 4-year protection plan directly from Amazon (offer effective as of writing this article).

As you might expect, costing only $589.99 for a dehumidifier that will achieve a vast majority of the same moisture reduction as its competitors, albeit at a slower pace, you can see why you can justify this price.

Different Types of Whole House Dehumidifiers

If you are not the most educated person in the very in-depth world of dehumidifiers for a moment, you might want to know that not all dehumidifiers are the same. 

Although it might be a tad alarming, how they remove humidity from the air can vary just as much as their design.

These differences can be subtle at first, but each plays its role in the grand scheme of things, especially when it comes to the environment the dehumidifier itself is expected to function. 

For instance, a refrigerant dehumidifier can quickly freeze up if operated below a specific temperature, but we’ll dive more into that below.

1. Refrigerant

Starting from the most easily recognizable and understood dehumidifier, we have the refrigerant-based model, which functions almost exactly like your refrigerator does (surprise). 

Your typical refrigerant dehumidifier draws in air from the room. It forces it across a metal plate within the dehumidifier cooled with nearby coils. 

As the air is dragged across the cooling plate, the moisture in the air condenses and drips into the water tank or ducting system. The dry air is released back into the room, reducing the room’s humidity and creating a new, odorless space by association. 

As we spoke of above, colder temperatures can hinder this process, as the coils themselves may freeze up and need to thaw out before the unit can get back to doing its job. 

The downtime during this time can allow excess moisture to build up. If exposed long enough, it can also break the unit, so the devices with defrosting capabilities are valuable.

2. Desiccant

Desiccant dehumidifiers utilize specialized materials that absorb moisture from the air when exposed and dry themselves out naturally over time. 

Some of the most common versions of a desiccant-based dehumidifier would be small silica gel packets with specific goods. 

These silica gel beads absorb moisture that could be exposed to the product and keep them from being damaged, apply this logic on a larger scale. You can sufficiently understand how desiccant dehumidifiers function. 

In a dehumidifier, the material will often rotate on a wheel, and warm air will runs over it to remove the moisture. Depending on the situation, the water tank is siphoned out via a hose or your good friend. 

Refrigerant-based dehumidifiers above can freeze up, so people who live in colder climates use desiccant dehumidifiers. They do not freeze up nearly as often and function exceptionally well in colder temperatures.

However, there is a bit of a trade-off in the efficiency department. It is worth noting that the material used to absorb the humidity can take a significant amount of time to dry fully, and units that dry rooms with desiccant materials can burn energy at a staggering rate.

crawl space dehumidifier

What to Look for in a Basement or Crawl Space Dehumidifier

Now that we have been over some of the best crawl space and basement dehumidifiers and how they function. The next logical step would be to understand better what priorities you should have when looking to make your purchase.

Depending on a few factors, you may want to do yourself a favor and look for something that can appropriately fit your lifestyle without hindering you from the effort. These factors you need to consider are as follows:

  • Your location
  • How much moisture are you trying to remove
  • Your general lifestyle is how often you can check on the unit

1. Pint Capacity

Size is no joking matter, especially regarding pint capacity, because this minor factor governs how much moisture your dehumidifier can effectively remove a day. 

Because of that, you will want to ensure you are investing in a dehumidifier that can handle the job. 

Purchasing a dehumidifier that is too small to handle the amount of room (or moisture you want to be removed) can leave the unit working too hard.

Having the machine work harder will eventually damage it in the long run, reducing its lifespan and causing you to need to buy another in the long run. 

You will essentially be spending more money than you would like, and we want to avoid that.

You can also purchase a unit that is too large. Getting a large machine will often cause the opposite. It gives your household an arid, arid climate and damages your health or other aspects of your home, depending on the severity of the overuse.

The latter option is much less likely nowadays, thanks to automated sensing technology that comes innately with most units. Going overboard is somewhat hard, but it is a possibility nonetheless.

2. Collection Tank

An essential part of a smaller dehumidifier, or portable if that term strikes you better, is a collection tank that houses the water collected from the air around it and is supposed to be dumped or drained for the unit after it reaches its maximum capacity.

Crawl space or basement dehumidifiers don’t have a collection tank and discharge condensation directly to the exterior. As such, they drain directly out of your home without you ever needing to interact with the unit itself, at the very least for water-related purposes.

3. Humidistat

While shopping, your unit may or may not have a humidistat. Although today these marvels of technology are standard, they effectively allow you to pick just how humid you want your home to be and actively sense the humidity level throughout your home.

4. Automatic Restart & Turnoff

Leaving little to the imagination, some dehumidifiers feature automatic restarts and shutoffs to deal with hazards or issues that may occur in your unit in a worst-case scenario. 

Still, the automatic turnoff will initiate in a more normalized setting when optimal humidity levels have been reached.

In most cases, these are here as security measures to prevent fires or anything that might cause damage to the unit or your home. 

Once again, this is a feature most units come with, but double-check your specific device before purchasing if this is a must-have for you.

5. Electronic or Manual Controls

Breaking this topic down to its most basic form will allow you to know whether or not the dehumidifier comes with some manner of remote control or not. 

The remote enables you to adjust your specific settings on the fly or whether you will need to approach a particular spot on the device and change them via a knob or dial.

It just boils down to preference and ease of access. This is not typically a make-it-or-break-it situation, but if you do not fancy a stroll over to your unit or an associated panel, make sure it comes with remote control!

6. Air Filter

As time goes on, your air filter will eventually become caked with the same grime and dust that is floating in the air around you, causing the need for you to either clean your filter or replace it entirely.

The timeframe with this can fluctuate significantly depending on the type of dehumidifier you get and other contributing factors like whether you have pets or not. 

Still, in most cases, you should expect to replace your air filter every two months or so, even more frequently if you do have pets.

How you need to clean your filter (assuming you can clean them in the first place) should be done according to your manufacturer’s manual, and if it says that you can only replace it, don’t try to “stretch” the filter out with a makeshift cleaning job.

Doing so can not only damage your dehumidifier but can potentially void in active warranties you may have on the product to begin with.

7. Wheels to Move Around

When dealing with portable dehumidifiers, you often have to move them from room to room to combat moisture actively or get them out of the way to clean around them. 

Whole house dehumidifiers, however, are typically stationary, and as such, you will not find many that come with wheels.

Certain brands market this as a feature for people who need to move from job sites or any other feasible reason, and as such, they can potentially have them, but more often than not, you should not expect to have any on yours.

8. Drainage

We briefly touched base on this, but your typical whole-house dehumidifier utilizes the same ductwork the unit is connected to drain the water collected from its daily use. 

This drainage usually runs outside your home or into a designated sewer drain in your basement. This varies heavily on the installation method.

If you aren’t the one who is installing your dehumidifier and are curious, or have a preference as to where your unit is draining, be sure to ask your HVAC contractor to ensure your needs are met. 

basement dehumidifier

Whole House Dehumidifier FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions. Continue scrolling down to see if there is a question you might need answered or are curious about.

Does a Whole House Dehumidifier Work?

Absolutely! A whole-house dehumidifier can decrease moisture and humidity in a basement or crawl space up to 5000 square feet. Before ordering a unit, you should know the square footage you need and the appropriate model. You may need multiple dehumidifiers in a segmented basement or crawl space with poor airflow.

How Do I Know if I Need a Whole House Dehumidifier?

You’ll likely need a whole-house dehumidifier if you have chronic moisture issues in your basement or crawl space. Chronic moisture issues include wood moisture content over 20% and humidity levels over 60%, which can cause wood rot and mold growth long term.

If all other measures of controlling moisture and humidity have failed, a whole house system can help. It won’t prevent water intrusion; other corrective actions may be needed to control stormwater runoff, such as a gutter or french drain system.

How Much Should a Whole House Dehumidifier Cost?

A whole house dehumidifier costs $500 to $2000 plus installation. A professionally installed crawl space or basement dehumidifier can cost $1300 to $2800. The cost can increase if you install drainage pumps, vents, or outlets to set up your dehumidifier.

Where Should a Crawl Space Dehumidifier be Placed?

To work well, a crawl space dehumidifier should be raised 4 to 6 inches off the ground. It is best to put the dehumidifier near the middle of the crawl space. The condensate pipe needs to drain properly into a condensate pump or gravity drain, taking the water outside the crawl space.

How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run in a Crawl Space?

Ideally, a crawl space dehumidifier will shut on and off to maintain a humidity level of 45% to 55%. The dehumidifier, if installed correctly, should not need to operate more than 10 to 12 hours a day. A dehumidifier that runs longer than 12 hours a day may need service or be too small for the space.

Conclusion

Knowing the dimensions of your home and just how much moisture you intend to remove is critical to making the right purchase to meet your needs. Take time and potentially speak with a licensed contractor or local pest control company to make sure you don’t purchase anything you don’t need or install your dehumidifier wrong. 

Photo of author

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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