Several dehumidifiers

If you have a dehumidifier running all day during the summer months, it can use just as much energy as a window air conditioner.

In order to keep your home dry without racking up a huge electricity bill, you’ll need an energy-efficient dehumidifier. In the past, that meant a large, 60- to 70-pint capacity dehumidifier was your best option. But that’s no longer the case.

“In our latest round of testing, we found that today’s small- and medium-capacity dehumidifiers are now just as energy efficient as large-capacity models,” says John Banta, the Consumer Reports' engineer who oversees dehumidifier testing. “These efficiency improvements are due to a recent Energy Star requirement for all dehumidifiers that have a capacity less than 75 pints per day.”

But you might still consider a larger capacity than you technically need: They don’t cost much more, they'll get your home drier faster, and you don't have to empty the unit as often.

How We Test Dehumidifiers

We test dehumidifiers in three categories, divided by capacity: small (rated to remove 30 to 35 pints of moisture per day), medium (50 pints per day), and large (60 to 70 pints per day).

Our water-removal tests measure a model’s ability to remove water from the air in our test chamber at two different temperature/humidity levels (80° F and 60 percent relative humidity, as well as 70° F and 70 percent humidity) against the manufacturer's claims.

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The humidistat accuracy tests determine how closely each dehumidifier can reach and maintain a set humidity level.

For energy efficiency, our engineers calculate the amount of energy it takes to remove one pint of water from the air, and our cool room performance test judges a model’s water removal and efficiency performance in a room at 50 degrees with 60 percent relative humidity (a good indicator of performance in a cold, wet cellar or basement).

Below are six of the most efficient models from our ratings, listed from most efficient to least efficient, with picks from each of our three capacity categories. All of the models earn a rating of Very Good or higher for energy efficiency.

For more models and shopping advice, check our complete dehumidifier ratings and buying guide.

Energy-Efficient Small Dehumidifiers

Frigidaire FAD301NWD, $190
Capacity: 30 pints per day
CR’s take: If efficiency is your main concern, the Frigidaire FAD301NWD is your best option in this small category. It received a Very Good rating for energy efficiency and performed better in this regard than our most efficient 70-pint-per-day models. But this Frigidaire is sparse on features. It’s the only model in our ratings without a digital display and simply offers frost control and an auto-restart function (handy for summer brownouts). At just under $200, the Frigidaire is more expensive than other feature-rich, small-capacity models, but most of them can’t match its energy efficiency.

Whynter RPD-321EW, $185
Capacity: 30 pints per day
CR’s take: The 30-pint Whynter RPD-321EW also received a Very Good rating for energy efficiency, just like the Frigidaire above and earned high marks in all of our other tests. The Whynter lacks the built-in pump of its medium-sized brandmate (below) but does includes a drain hose that you can run to a floor drain. Other features include frost control, auto restart, a timer, and more. At this price, the dehumidifier is a good choice for small areas like crawl spaces.

Energy-Efficient Medium Dehumidifiers

Kenmore KM50, $250
Capacity: 50 pints per day
CR’s take: The Kenmore KM50 is the most efficient dehumidifier in our ratings—it's the only model to earn an Excellent rating for energy efficiency, even beating out its large-capacity rivals. It earned high scores in CR's other tests, too. But while this Kenmore is a strong performer, it doesn’t offer much in the way of features: just a basic digital display, frost control, and a timer.

Whynter RPD-501WP, $240
50 pints per day
CR’s take: The other medium-sized model in this list, the Whynter RPD-501WP received a Very Good rating for energy efficiency, compared with the Kenmore KM50’s Excellent score. But while it isn’t as efficient, this Whynter dehumidifier is still worth considering, thanks to its built-in water pump and included drain hose, which mean you can pump collected water into a sink or floor drain and not have to periodically empty the machine’s collection tank. This model also comes with numerous features, such as a filter-cleaning indicator, timer, auto restart, and more.

Energy-Efficient Large Dehumidifiers

LG UD701KOG3, $280
Capacity: 70 pints per day
CR’s take: The most efficient large-capacity dehumidifier in our ratings is the LG UD701KOG3. It earned high marks across the board in our tests, including a Very Good rating for energy efficiency. At just under $300, this model comes with a digital display, frost control, auto restart, a filter-cleaning indicator, and a timer. With its array of features and 70-pint-per-day capacity, this LG is a good choice for a large, dank basement.

Frigidaire FFAD7033R1, $235
Capacity: 70 pints per day
CR’s take: While not technically as efficient as the LG dehumidifier above, the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 also earned a Very Good rating for energy efficiency. It received high scores in just about every test, falling short only when it comes to cool room performance. And if you’re only using your dehumidifier during the summer months, that factor shouldn’t matter much. In terms of features, you can expect everything that the LG has, including frost control, auto restart, a filter-cleaning indicator, and more. And for $45 less, this Frigidaire makes a compelling case compared with the LG, although it doesn’t maximize efficiency to the same degree.