If the spring showers haven't already forced you into a dehumidifier purchase, the dog days of summer to come should. New models often appear in late spring and early summer, so be on the lookout for sales and in-store promotions. Delay too long and you might have to settle for a less-than-optimal dehumidifier—either a unit that's sized incorrectly to your needs or one that comes up short in Consumer Reports' dehumidifier tests.
Our engineers test dehumidifiers in a temperature-controlled chamber, measuring how much water they pull from the air at 80 degrees F and 60 percent relative humidity as well as 70 degrees F and 70 percent relative humidity. We also check to see how closely their humidistats come to maintaining desired humidity levels.
It's important to choose the right size dehumidifier. Large-capacity models remove moisture quickly and efficiently in tough situations, say, an especially wet basement. For small or damp spots a medium-capacity model will probably do the job with less cycling.
Frigidaire leads in both the large and medium capacity models in our dehumidifier Ratings, though we also like models from Soleus Air and Haier. Pay attention to the features. For example, if you plan to keep the dehumidifier in a basement with a floor drain, a hose connection lets you divert the condensed water directly to the drain so you don't have to empty the bucket. In a basement without a floor drain, a dehumidifier with a pump can send water up through a window or to a slop sink.
For additional tips, check out our dehumidifier buying guide video.