CR's survey finds that consumers aren't thrilled with most brands
CR's Jose Amezquita uses a meter to measure the humidity in our test chamber as he tests a dehumidifier.
By Tim Barribeau
It’s easy enough to forget that dehumidifiers are working around the clock. That is until it’s time to empty the tank. Or worse, when you notice that the room has developed a musty smell—and that your dehumidifier gave out. This might leave you wondering how long should you expect your dehumidifier to last. Our survey data shows that to be about 10 years, and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers projects the same.
Our reliability data is part of our approach to rating products across many categories. In this case, through surveys in 2019 and 2021, we asked CR members who purchased a new dehumidifier between 2011 and 2021 about their experience, and 15,436 offered feedback about 18,226 models.
Based on our survey data, we estimate that around 17 percent of dehumidifiers will develop problems or break within the first five years of ownership. Some brands are better than others, and you can see this difference in our predicted reliability ratings. In particular, four brands stand out for specific reliability-related issues. Hisense and DeLonghi dehumidifiers are more problematic than most brands for failed water pumps, failed compressors are an issue for Kenmore, and excessive noise comes up with Haier.
We also ask members how likely they are to recommend their dehumidifier, and use the results to calculate an owner satisfaction rating. These ratings, along with our lab test results for performance, are incorporated into an Overall Score for the models in our dehumidifier ratings.
Most Reliable Dehumidifier Brands
Our survey found that five brands stand out as the most reliable—and two stand out as significantly less so. Regardless of reliability, CR members aren’t wildly enthusiastic about most brands.
HomeLabs dehumidifiers stand out from the other 21 brands in our survey as the only ones to grab an Excellent predicted reliability rating as well as a Very Good owner satisfaction rating. Keystone, Midea, Toshiba, and Perfect Aire also got top reliability ratings, but the first three brands lagged slightly with midrange owner satisfaction, and Perfect Aire earned only a Fair satisfaction rating.
Arctic King, Winix, Insignia, and Amazon Basics earn Very Good ratings in reliability—although all were below that in owner satisfaction, with Amazon Basics, in particular, receiving a Poor rating. We don’t currently have any models in our ratings from those brands, with the exception of Arctic King.
Least Reliabile Dehumidifier Brands
As for the least reliable de, Hisense and Soleus Air receive only a Fair predicted reliability rating and therefore, CR can’t recommend them at this time.
Most of the models in our dehumidifier ratings earn an Excellent rating in our water-removal test, meaning they remove the number of pints of water from the air as claimed by the manufacturers. But our tests for humidistat accuracy, energy efficiency, noise, and tank size illuminate differences among the models.
We test dehumidifiers in three categories, based on capacity. Capacity, in this case, refers to the amount of water a dehumidifier can remove from the air (not the tank size). The six dehumidifiers below earn an Excellent rating in predicted brand reliability and are among the top performers overall within their category. They’re listed in order of capacity, from small to large.
Most Reliable Small-Capacity Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers in this group can remove 20 to 25 pints of moisture per day and help dry out small, damp spaces.
Most Reliable Medium-Capacity Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers we tested in this category can remove 30 to 35 pints of water from the air per day and are meant for midsized or large rooms that are somewhat damp but not wet.
Most Reliable Large-Capacity Dehumidifiers
Dehumidifiers in this category pull in at least 40 pints of water per day and should be used in large rooms that are damp or wet.
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