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Frigidaire leads our latest Ratings of dehumidifiers

Consumer Reports News: February 24, 2012 10:53 AM

With the rainy season fast approaching in many parts of the country, retailers are stocking up on dehumidifiers—and possibly luring early birds with tempting offers on top-performing models. Consumer Reports latest Ratings of dehumidifiers are now available, and include five models that performed well enough in our climate-controlled labs to earn a recommendation. Frigidaire is the big winner, though with one small caveat.

Among large- and medium-capacity dehumidifiers, Frigidaire owns the top-rated models, both of which should do an excellent job of removing water from the air in damp basements and other humid parts of your home. However, our testers detected a slight problem with the continuous-drain feature on at least two samples. When used in this mode, water would sometimes drain into the internal water collection bin instead of out the hose that's designed to let the machine run non-stop. Frigidaire says it is aware of the problem and now includes a repair kit with affected models. If you already one, contact Frigidaire at 706-860-4110 to request the kit.

The minor design flaw doesn't change our overall recommendation of the Frigidaires, especially the larger 70-pint model, which was the most effective and efficient of all dehumidifiers at removing water in our tests. But if you want continuous draining without having to modify your dehumidifier, consider one of the recommended models by Soleus, Haier, or GE. Our dehumidifier buying guide (including a video), will help you weigh the various factors, such as noise, cool room performance, and convenience.

One final word of advice: even the best dehumidifier might not do the job if too much moisture is finding its way into your home. So if you've got a dank basement or other damp environment, be sure to treat possible causes first, such as inadequate gutters and downspouts or poor ventilation in the kitchen or bathrooms.

Daniel DiClerico

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