If you live in a humid region like described you will sooner or later look for a dehumidifier. My list of the Top 4 Portable Dehumidifier under $200 is limited to low-pint models such as 30-Pint or even less. Another aspect I put attention on was the portability, meaning lightweight and size of the dehumidifier in order to use it in tiny living spaces. Actually reading the customer reviews about small dehumidifier I realized that people living in RVs, Campers or Boats are most likely the ones to be interested in getting a good dehumidifier.
This is how a dehumidifier works. It takes moisture out of the air by sucking in moist air and moving it over some ice cold tubes. The moisture collects on those tubes and drips into a tube or bucket. Dry air is then pushed out into the room where it mixes with the remaining moist air and is pulled back into the dehumidifier. Eventually the air in the room becomes dry, but not as dry that you would need to use then a humidifier.
One of the most reliable models is EcoSeb’s 15-pint Desiccant Dehumidifier. It is called Desiccant Dehumidifier because it is efficient at super low temperature (as low as 34°F) where a compressor type can’t be.
There are rules of thumb about the pint size of the dehumidifier depending on the room size:
- 25-30 pint for up to 400 square feet
- 40 pint for up to 800 square feet
- 50 pint for up to 1000 square feet
- 65 pint for up to 1300 square feet
These are the exceptions to this rule: In coastal areas the square foot coverage will be reduced by 50%. And this rule is based on an average ceiling height of 8’. If the ceiling is 10’ high, you have to add 25% more to the square foot coverage.
Pint tells how many pints of water the dehumidifier generally can remove in 24 hours. The buckets coming with the dehumidifier generally aren’t larger than 15-20 pints regardless of the size of the model. If you don’t want to empty the bucket regularly you can connect a hose (it can be simple garden hose) to an opening in order to drain the water into a tube or floor drain. Most models have this feature, some even provide a hose.
One important factor for dehumidifying is the temperature in the room. At or above 70 degrees F the humidity can be reduced to 35-40%. Below 70 degrees F the humidity will stay around 60%. This means you can use the temperature in your room for modifying the humidity such as placing the dehumidifier high off the floor being always the coldest. Most of the dehumidifiers are warming the air anyway, this helps in turn to reduce the humidity even more. In a small room a dehumidifier is able to raise the temperature by 3-8 degrees.
It is plenty enough to keep a humidity level at 50% or just below because mold won’t grow below 50% humidity. To try drying the air to even below 40% is considered to be a waste of energy. To find out the humidity level in a room you can use a hygrometer or some models include a humidistat.
Another advice I found was to keep the windows closed while the dehumidifier is working, otherwise you would try to dry the outdoor air. And – the filter coming with the dehumidifier should be cleaned every month, depending on how often you use it, of course.
Take a careful look at the size of the model in order to be sure that it fits the place you want to put it.
Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier
- Energy Star certified
- Manual relative humidity range: 35 – 85%
- Effortless full tank alert system
- Auto shut-off
- 30 Pint
- Washable filter that reduces bacteria, room odors and other airborne particles
- Top handle, integrated side handles and caster wheels
Compared to our previous dehumidifier, this one seems much more efficient and therefore producing less heat then expected. The dehumidifier can be hooked up to a hose with standard garden connection.
I have a relatively dry cellar and the 30 pint dehumidifier is adequate for my 24 x 32 foot cellar. I did not want a larger dehumidifier because I don’t want something heavy to empty. 30 pints is about 30 pounds.
Works like a charm – had a basement with a water issue and this machine quickly made the room dry. The auto feature is wonderful, it tests the humidity and tells itself when to start or stop.
Since this review was written, Frigidaire has discontinued selling this product. An alternate is now available.
EdgeStar 30 Pint Portable Dehumidifier
- Energy Star certified
- Adjustable humidity range: 35 – 80%
- Quiet operation
- Direct drain option
- Removable water bucket
- 30 Pint
- Electronic controls with precision humidistat
I use it during the day to remove moisture from a salt mist humidifier used at night. I put it on turbo and it removes enough moisture to fill up the tank each day. It comes with an attachment that hooks to a hose and if you put it out a window, or in the tub of a bathroom, you will never have to empty it.
Worked very well , couldn’t believe how quiet it was.
Exactly as described and easy to use/install. Really cuts on electric bill in the summers.
Since this review was written, EdgeStar has discontinued selling this product. An alternate is now available.
EcoSeb 15-Pint Desiccant Dehumidifier
- Tilt protection
- Automatic water full shut down
- Heat temperature detection and shuf-off
- 15 Pint
- Quiet, smaller and lightweigh
- Easy to use rotary humidistat
I needed a dehumidifier that I could run 24/7 that wouldn’t drive me crazy with noise. I am totally happy with this guy. It’s really compact and unobtrusive in the space.
We use the EcoSeb in a 30′ RV. This unit is very quiet in low speed mode during the day. We switch it to high speed during the night if it is damp and or cold. Keeps our place very dry.
It is amazing quiet when operating in the economy mode, which is all I need for my 700 sq-ft apartment.
NewAir 25 Pint Portable Dehumidifier
- Continuous drainage set-up: tank doesn’t need to be emptied
- Auto-defrost function for reliable low-temperature operation
- 25 Pint
- Washable filter at the back of the unit
It works well wherever it’s placed. We use it in a motor home that altogether has the square footage of a large room and it eliminates condensation on the inside of the windows great. The neat thing is it’s size and simplicity. One switch and that’s it.
This is a good little dehumidifer. It’s small without being miniature, and it can handle a good amount of space. The best thing is that it’s fairly quiet.
We live in a 31 ft camper with a large slideout on the Oregon coast,so much moisture that it ran down the walls and the carpet was wet. 2 days of running this unit and the camper is dry,absolutely amazing and she couldn’t be happier. Not a drop of moisture on the windows or walls.
Since this review was written, NewAir has discontinued selling this product. An alternate is now available.
* Prices are good at the time the article was written, but subject to change without notice.