If your home has a crawl space under its foundation, you may think humidity is not a worry. Well, the truth is, that is not entirely true. This type of spaces have as a main function to separate your home from the damp soil below. You also get easier access to the plumbing system of your house through here. So, why exactly do you need to consider getting a crawl space dehumidifier?
Today’s review is here to answer this question and more. We’ll tell you about the benefits of using such a device in your home. We prepared a buying guide to help you navigate through the ocean of possibilities. That is, the variety of products available on the market. We put together a thorough selection of the best crawl space dehumidifiers. If you’re in a rush, check out our comparison table for a quick overview. And if you’re curious for more, look at the more detailed analysis below. We put the strengths and weaknesses of each model under examination. Last, but not least, keep reading our tips for proper maintenance of your dehumidifier.
Ready to dive in the world of crawl space dehumidifiers? Let’s get started!
Most coverage: AlorAir LGR 85 Pints Commercial Dehumidifier with Pump
This totes an impressive coverage of 7000sqft and is great for large homes or rooms.
Best quality: Aprilaire 1820 Crawl Space Pro Dehumidifier
Great for those looking for a mix of affordability and quality.
Best portable option: Dri-EAZ F413 Revolution LGR Compact Dehumidifier
Perfect for people who are renting their property and wish to take it with them when they move.
Benefits Of Using A Crawl Space Dehumidifier In Your Home
For those who live in an area with a humid climate, a dehumidifier is, probably, part of the household already. In case you haven’t thought much about the need to get one for your space, keep reading.
Believe it or not, you should know that the air in your crawl space does impact the air quality of your home. Long story short, the air rising at higher levels of the house originates at the lower levels. That means the moist air from your crawl space or basement circulates around your home. More than just a damp smell, this air carries plenty of airborne particles. So, if you have mold or other pests developing in the humid atmosphere from your crawl space, look out. Especially if you have vents at this level, chances are what you’re breathing is not that clean.
Investing in a crawl space dehumidifier helps protect your health. Dry, clean air means less risks of developing breathing problems. Your home will be less welcoming for dust mites or mold this way. Not to mention, this is priceless for those who suffer from allergies and keeps symptoms at bay.
Also, it contributes to protecting the integrity of your home’s structure. More than 28% humidity in the air leads to wood rot. Condensation becomes damaging as it increases the decay of wood. If your house’s structure has a wood framework, the wood might fail in supporting its whole weight. A crawl space dehumidifier prevents this, by maintaining an optimal level of moisture.
Less humidity also translates as reduced risk of contamination. Termites and other humidity-loving organisms can thrive in a damp encapsulated space. Keep pests away to also ensure your home is not getting eaten from the inside out.
A dehumidifier helps increase the level of comfort in your house. A lot of humidity in the air can make you feel hot and sticky all the time. Not to mention those pesky symptoms breathing problems, included in the package. If you rely on an air conditioner to lower the temperature in your house, you know that it doesn’t work on the humid part. So, lower temperature plus high humidity is still not that comfy. With the help of a crawl space dehumidifier, you gain more control over these variables. You may even find yourself feeling good at a medium or high temperature, when the air is dry.
Lower your energy bills, by reducing the operation time of your air conditioning unit. With a dehumidifier, indoor air quality changes for the good and reduces the time you keep the AC running. You will be able to keep humidity levels below 60% (recommended value for comfort), at all times. Giving your air conditioner some time off means spending less energy. Your bills will show that.
4 Signs You Need A Dehumidifier In Your Closed Crawl Space
If benefits don’t talk to you that much, then you may focus more on necessity. There comes a moment when it’s undeniable that your home’s crawl space needs a dehumidifier. Even if this area doesn’t communicate with the outside, humidity remains an issue. Depending on the season or climate, excess moisture can lurk in there. Here are four red-flag signs that you need to take control over it.
- You notice a damp, mouldy smell in your house. It is a sign that there is an area where mildew or mold flourish. Most often, it is the moisture in the crawl space that creates the perfect conditions for this to grow.
- Water pipes, the HVAC system and other ductwork are in the crawl space. All these types of equipment can contribute to condensation. Having a dripping pipe leads to extra humidity that can easily get out of hand if not handled properly.
- Your home’s structural integrity has signs of damage. From rotting wood to termites infestation, excess moisture can lead to serious damage. Other problematic aspects you need to look out for are rust, swollen floor, doors or window frames. If your insulation becomes saggy, you should take some measures, before things aggravate.
- Your level of breathing comfort is decreasing while you are indoors. You may experience headaches or allergies. You could develop symptoms specific to breathing problems, even if you never had such issues. Poor quality air does not simply stay in the crawl space. It circulates throughout your home so you eventually breathe it. Due to the airborne particles existing in it, you become prone to developing allergies.
In case you tick them all, you may want to consider more than just a dehumidifier for your crawl space. An expert can help evaluate the damage done and guide you towards more impactful measures.
Most Important Features To Look For In A Crawl Space Dehumidifier
One more pit stop before revealing our favorite dehumidifiers. Let’s get you well informed on what makes such a device appropriate for your crawl space. Before making a purchase, check out the specs, to make sure your choice matches your needs. Among the most important features, we mention: the coverage area, size, safety features. Let us break them down for you.
- Coverage Area
Depending on this indicator, you can estimate the unit’s performance in your space. You need to consider how large the surface is, but also the level of humidity. You want to choose a model that can dry out properly, even when moisture is above average. Keep in mind that a crawl space which is not well insulated or sealed can host more humidity.
- Tank Capacity
According to the level of humidity in your area, your dehumidifier might get full pretty fast. If you’re on a tight schedule or you have your hands full most of the time, having to empty the tank can be quite tedious. You can consider getting a unit with a bigger tank capacity, so you don’t have to empty it every day.
This factor makes a difference for your comfort level. You don’t want to invest in a dehumidifier that takes too much of your crawl space. A unit too big will not only stick out like a sore thumb in an already cramped space. It will also break your back while trying to carry it down there. Remember to choose something easy to move and suitable for your space.
- Safety features
Beyond added comfort, a crawl space dehumidifier should take away, not add to your worries. The latest models include features that guarantee the product’s durability and safety. Consider what would actually make things better or easier for you. Look for units that have automatic shut off, touch screen, timer or a remote control.
You can see this as the manufacturer’s promise that your investment is worthwhile. If you’re stretching your budget to get a particular model, you want to make sure it will not fail you in a few months. Most dehumidifiers come with a 5-year warranty, but some models offer lifetime warranty. Check out the specifications to know what are your options in case your unit requires fixing. Some manufacturers can be rather strict with what the warranty covers.
Air Pollution in Our Homes
Research has shown that 96 percent of homes tend to take at least one problem with the indoor air quality. Since we tend to spend a lot of time indoors (and especially in the current global pandemic situation), we are exposed to air that can be more harmful than you think. As humans, we often tend to underestimate the level of pollution outdoors, so it makes sense to think that we are not aware of how polluted the air inside our house is either.
When you consider the number of wildfires the planet has been recently experiencing, it’s almost alarming to think how the poor outdoor air quality is slowly finding its way to our homes. What’s even more alarming is that indoor air pollution is the leading cause of death for about 3.8 million people each year. Harmful pollutants that contribute to these numbers come from a variety of sources: from cooking to using electronic machines. From carbon monoxide to aerosols, chances are there is something floating in the air inside your home that’s slowly killing you too.
The situation tends to become direr during the winter, when our windows are closed most of the time and whatever fresh air, we could get from outside is limited, trapping allergens inside the house. Even in colder months, it’s important to open our windows as much as possible, allowing potential cooking fumes to go outside, but also decreasing the number of allergens trapped inside the house.
Even if indoor air quality is something that we tend not to think about very often, there are a few things that you can do to help improve it, such as:
Making sure the house is cleaned as often as possible. Dust or pet dander are enemies that strongly decrease the quality of the air you breathe indoors, so you might want to to start vacuuming the carpets and changing the bedding more often. Cleaning clutter is also recommended because it helps trap dust that triggers allergic reactions.
If you have an HVAC system, make sure that you change the filters on a regular basis. These filters tend to be regular dust magnets that eventually return it into the air you breathe.
Air purifiers can go a long way in improving indoor air quality. They are particularly useful in homes with high pollution levels, in homes with pets, and in other situations where you can’t control the source of the problem.
Our Top 7 Most Recommended Crawl Space Dehumidifiers
Next on our list, comes the review of our seven favorite crawl space dehumidifiers. The comparison table below gives you a quick overview of their most important traits. We also have a more thorough analysis, pros and cons, ready for your critical eye. Keep reading to know more.
|Product||Coverage Area||Tank Capacity||Size|
|ALORAIR Crawl Space Dehumidifier||1300 sq.ft.||26 liters||19.2 x 12.2 x 13.3||57.3||5 years||durable design, for long lasting performance|
|ALORAIR STORM LGR Extreme||2300 sq.ft.||40 liters||22.8 x 13.7 x 17.3||78||limited 5 years||waterproof design|
|Aprilaire 1820 Pro Dehumidifier||2800 sq.ft.||33 liters||25 x 12.5 x 12.5||56||5 years||large area coverage|
|Dri-EAZ F413 Revolution LGR Compact Dehumidifier||7000 sq.ft||64 liters||12.5 x 21.5 x 12.5||65||lifetime limited||extensive warranty, excellent performance|
|Keystone 95 Pint Dehumidifier with Built In Pump KSTAD957PA||6000 sq.ft.||45 liters||18.8 x 14.2 x 24.6||60.6||90 days limited||high-end features at an affordable price|
|Dri-Eaz PHD 200 Commercial Dehumidifier with Pump||> 1200 sq.ft||60.5 liters||12.5 x 12.5 x 17.63||63.2||lifetime limited for housing||outstanding performance, durable materials|
|ALORAIR Basement/Crawlspace Dehumidifiers 198PPD (Saturation), 90 Pints (AHAM)||2600 sq.ft.||94 liters||23.2 x 15.2 x 17.7||57.3||5 years||top of the list in dehumidification capacity|
The ALORAIR Crawl Space Dehumidifier brings balance between performance and budget. Featuring a 5-year warranty, this unit promises to dry up your crawl space in no time. Capable of covering up to 1,300 square feet, it brings extra-comfort with the remote control.
The long-lasting epoxy coating and internal corrosion protection ensure the device’s durability. Thanks to the auto-defrost feature, it functions great even in temperatures as low as 36 degrees F.
Removing up to 26 liters of water a day, this ALORAIR model promises not to blow up your budget. Energy efficiency comes under the form of economical operation for this unit. Reduce your AC running time and increase comfort by removing excess moisture. This device is a great investment for your home, at an affordable price.
- durable design (epoxy coating)
- auto defrosting feature
- remote control
- easy to assemble
- protection against freon leakage ( Rare earth alloy Tube Evaporator).
- only five years of warranty.
Beyond any doubt, the ALORAIR STORM LGR Extreme is able to dry up your crawl space in any conditions. The unit’s design aims to help with water damage restoration in extreme cases (floods). Thanks to its waterproof design, you can even sink it in water and know the circuit board is safe. The device has the capacity to remove up to 190 pints per day (90 liters) when set on Saturation mode.
Among its best features, the model includes a timer and a digital humidistat control. Compact, portable, this dehumidifier operates on a temperature range of 33-105 degrees F. Take it wherever you need and enjoy top performance, even in tight spaces.
- efficient in water damage restoration
- high performance
- portable (ridged handle)
- compact, stackable, waterproof design
- LED display
- built-in timer
- digital humidistat control
- HGV defrosting
- extra long cord (19.6 ft.)
- durable epoxy coated coils.
- limited warranty (you get 5 years only for the compressor,evaporator and condenser).
Drying up your entire home becomes a breeze with the Aprilaire 1820 Pro Dehumidifier. With a coverage area of up to 2,800 square feet, this product is the work of USA’s leader in indoor air quality solutions. Aprilaire guarantees this unit will do a great job keeping any space moisture-balanced. It can remove up to 33 liters in a day from your crawl space.
Thanks to its reduced, compact size, it fits conveniently in any tight space. And the front-mounted control panel allows you to access settings and information easily.
- durable structure
- compact design
- aluminum coils resistant to corrosion
- easy installation and usage
- front-mounted interactive display.
- limited warranty (5 years only)
- no remote control
- requires a specific type of power sources (110V-120V AC single phase 60 Hz).
The Dri-EAZ F413 LGR Dehumidifier surely revolutionizes humidity control. This compact, portable unit offers an impressive performance of up to 64 liters a day. Ideal for those who face high levels of humidity in their home (from hot and humid climates). You will love how easy it is to use it and read all the information you need about its operation. The frontal control panel shows the inlet and outlet temperature and relative humidity. It can also keep track of the operating time.
Easy to stack, the dehumidifier stands its ground pretty well, thanks to its recessed feet. Another useful feature is the automatic restart. This ensures the unit does its job even after power outages. To empty the tank, rely on the built-in automatic pump-out. This allows you to take out the condensed water even into a sink or toilet.
- sturdy, compact, portable design
- built-in frontal control panel
- automatic restart after power outage
- high performance (up to 64 liters of condensed water a day)
- built-in pump-out
- extended (lifetime) warranty
- RH, inlet/outlet temperature display.
- high-end dehumidifier
- no remote control.
With its built-in pump, the Keystone 95 Pint Dehumidifier takes away some of your worries. It allows you to drain out the water upwards from your crawl space or basement. Removing up to 45 liters of condensed water a day, this unit works great even in spaces up to 6000 square feet. The LED display, together with its automatic functions make it a great candidate. It features a 24-hour timer and a self-shut off option when the tank is full.
Alerts inform you about the need to clean the dust filter or empty the tank. Power outages have no impact on its performance, as the device restarts automatically.
- LED display
- high performance (coverage of 6000 square feet)
- removable dust filter
- alerts for full tank/ clean-filter
- portable (omni-directional caster wheels)
- automatic restart and shutoff.
- rather heavy (compared with other dehumidifiers from its range)
- only 90 days limited warranty.
There will be times when you need professional dehumidification. For that, the Dri-Eaz PHD 200 Commercial Dehumidifier comes to the rescue. Ideal for basement, crawl space and even larger areas, it can remove up to 60 liters of condensed water per day. You know you can count on its durability, when you see the warranty. The polyethylene housing comes with a lifetime warranty. For the compressor and coils you get 6 years, while the parts and labor have a warranty of 1 year.
Thanks to the digital humidistat included, you get to control the relative humidity. Use it in your crawl space or any area where excessive moisture becomes problematic. The touch-pad controls, lighted display and auto-pump out system are other valuable features.
- high performance in large areas
- solid construction
- lifetime warranty for housing
- digital humidistat
- built-in pump
- touch-pad control panel
- self-restart in case of power outage.
- limited warranty for components
- some clients accused malfunctions on the purge pump
- high-end product.
When you want to go big, choose the ALORAIR Crawl Space Dehumidifier Sentinel HDi90. With an outstanding capacity, it can remove up to 94 liters of condensed water a day. The unit works great in spaces up to 2600 square feet. As the 26-liter counterpart, it features an auto-defrosting protection. This means you can rely on this dehumidifier to function well even in temperatures as low as 36 degrees F. This is thanks to the HGV (Hot Gas Valve) System making your device able to operate for longer periods of time. The internal corrosion protection is a promise that oxidation shouldn’t worry you. Rely on the remote control to access the settings without having to crawl down near the unit.
Freon leaks are a worry of the past as well, thanks to the Rare Earth Alloy Tube Evaporator protection. This feature helps preserve the coil’s heat transferability. Count on this dehumidifier to restart with the desired settings after a power outage. Energy efficiency is easily maintained with the automatic humidistat control.
- portable (built-in handles)
- memory self-restart in case of power outage
- remote control
- outstanding capacity (94 liters per day)
- auto defrost protection
- coil corrosion protection
- automatic humidistat control.
- limited warranty (only five years)
- some users accused leakages.
Some Tips On Crawl Space Dehumidifier Maintenance
If you are wondering how to take proper care of your crawl space dehumidifier, we’re here to help. Though these units usually need low maintenance, that doesn’t mean you can just skip this step. Below, you’ll find some easy-to-do procedures, to help your dehumidifier work at its best. Performed regularly, these steps can even extend your model’s life.
- Check the manufacturer’s guidance.
This way, you will learn about your model’s specific requirements. The owner’s manual or guide can give precious details about the installation. Maintenance and warranty conditions are also mentioned here.
- Clean or replace the air filter regularly.
Depending on how dusty your crawl space is, the filter can get clogged. Its main function is to trap airborne particles that can affect your health if you breathe them. At the same time, by doing so, the filter also protects the integrity of the unit’s internal elements. A dirty or overused filter will impact the device’s performance. That is because it prevents air from moving freely through the dehumidifier.
- Find the best place to install your dehumidifier.
For your unit to give its best results, there should be no obstacles around the exhaust and air intake valve. Keep the access doors and windows closed while your dehumidifier is operating. It works best in encapsulated spaces, as other humidity sources are well controlled. If extra moisture finds its way inside through a window, your unit has to do extra efforts to compensate. That, on the long term, translates as higher energy bills. Consider the room temperature when installing your appliance. Some models can handle lower temperatures better than others.
- Keep the air intake and exhaust grilles clean.
Don’t let dust or debris block the airways. Use a vacuum brush to remove any dirt from the grilles, for optimal performance. Do this every few months or more often, depending on how polluted the air is in your space.
- Wash the water tank regularly.
As some debris can make its way in the water container, this can turn into a favorable environment for mold. Prevent that from happening by keeping an eye on the tank and cleaning it periodically. Use soap or disinfectant to reduce bacteria lurking in there.
- Take control over condensation.
Though the outside of your dehumidificator is corrosion-protected, the other components may not. Wipe down any excess moisture from the control panel for example.
- Avoid short-cycling the compressor.
Turning on and off the dehumidifier within a few minutes can cause damage to the compressor. The system doesn’t have enough time to balance the pressure within. This poses an overheating risk and can even lead to a short-circuit. To prevent such problems, consider a model that features an automatic delayed start.
- Look out for frost or ice build-up on the coils.
Unless your dehumidifier has an auto defrost function, you should look out for any ice build-up. If temperatures drop drastically, your dehumidifier’s condenser can develop a frost layer. Make sure to inspect the coils regularly. Otherwise, your appliance can stop working or get damaged.
Do dehumidifiers work in crawl spaces?
Yes, they do, but you need to take into account the fact that this might considerably increase your electricity bill. A dehumidifier installed inside a crawl space might require maintenance and repairs, and you need to regularly drain out the collected water, otherwise it can end up following the space.
How much is a dehumidifier for a crawl space?
As you can imagine, there are a lot of factors that influence the end price of a crawl space dehumidifier. A good unit will cost between $800 and $1,600, but it also costs calling in a professional to install this unit.
Why are crawl space dehumidifiers so expensive?
Simply out: a crawl space dehumidifier requires more sophisticated components and engineering because it has to perform just like a regular dehumidifier, but has to come in a more compact size. Crawl spaces won’t fit just any type of dehumidifiers, which means that units designed for this specific purpose need to be compact. That also means that more technology has to fit in a smaller product, which eventually leads to the higher cost.
Where should a dehumidifier be placed in a crawl space?
The best place to install your dehumidifier in a crawl space is one where there is nothing blocking the airflow discharge. Concrete blocks are often the best place to install these units.
As you learned from today’s review, crawl spaces hide a real threat for your health and home’s integrity. Investing in a powerful, efficient dehumidifier helps you prevent a lot of damage. And even save up some money, by reducing energy bills generated by your AC functioning. Feel free to go through our guide as many times as you need. Compare, analyze and decide for yourself what crawl space dehumidifier is the one for you. We are confident that the information included above gives you a comprehensive view. From main features to tips for maintenance, you can find it all here.
Check out our articles on this topic, to discover the best small dehumidifiers. If you need a unit for your basement or you’re just looking for a quiet dehumidifier, we got you covered. Let us know in the comments if there is anything else you’d like to know.