Do you want to buy the best crawl space dehumidifier to remove damp from your crawl space? Then you're in the right place.
We have tested 5 crawl space dehumidifiers including AlorAir and Sante Fe using our dehumidifier testing process. We've compared moisture removal, performance, build quality and price and can now tell you which crawl space dehumidifier you should buy.
In this guide, you will learn the difference between each crawl space dehumidifier and the pros and cons of using each one in your home.
If you just need to know which crawl space dehumidifier is the best, the answer is the AlorAir Sentinel HD55.
AlorAir Sentinel HD55
Perfect for small to medium sized crawl spaces.
Santa Fe Compact70
Perfect for small to large sized crawl spaces.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier Reviews
AlorAir Sentinel HD55 Dehumidifier
Best for medium sized crawl spaces
AlorAir Sentinel HDi90 Dehumidifier
Best for large crawl spaces
Sante Fe Compact70 Dehumidifier
Dri-Eaz F515 PHD 200 Compact
Dri-Eaz F413 Revolution LGR
Ivation 70 Pint Dehumidifier
Non heavy duty option
Buying A Dehumidifier For Your Crawl Space
How do you dehumidify a wet crawl space? There are lots of dehumidification products on the market. But they are all designed for different environments and different rooms. What makes a dehumidifer that is suitable for a crawl space different from those used in bathrooms and kitchens? There are several things to consider:
The noise levels of a dehumidifier you install underneath your home aren't as important as the noise output of smaller models you would use elsewhere in the home.
Most crawl space dehumidifiers operate at a similar noise level so don't focus too much on this feature.
Your dehumidifier needs to be powerful enough to dehumidify the entire crawl space. These areas are usually large as they cover the footprint of your entire home. Their square footage is significant, but they are also not as tall as a room. You should measure the volume of the space beneath your home and decide on a dehumidifier that is powerful enough to cover that volume.
What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need For My Crawl Space?
70 pints of moisture per day is usually sufficient although 95 pints is perfect for larger areas. Dehumidifer performance is rated at either pints per day or pints per 24 hours.
Power is one thing, but your dehumidifier’s efficiency is equally important. Dehumidifiers for crawl spaces are designed to work for long durations, so you want it to be as energy efficient as possible as it works to remove excess moisture.
Crawlspace dehumidifiers need an efficient continuous drainage system. If you were just buying a dehumidifier for your kitchen, then using the onboard water bucket would be fine. But you don’t want to have to make a trip downstairs a couple of times per day each day, so make sure that you choose a dehumidifier that has a continuous drainage system.
Low Temperature Operation
The appliance needs to work at low temperatures and have an auto defrost function. The auto defrost system prevents the internals of the machine from forming frost and working at low temperatures is something that is often required in a basement and crawl space.
An auto reset function is also important for this type of dehumidification appliance. This function restarts the device after a power outage, keeping all of its original settings. This is great, since even if you are home, it saves you an unnecessary trip down into your crawl space.
So, which are our top 5 picks for the best crawl space dehumidifiers on the market right now? We have listed them below, so choose the one most suited to your needs. We hope our crawl space dehumidifier reviews at least give you a good starting point for what you are looking for, if not a final decision on the best dehumidifier for your crawl space.
Looking for the best commercial dehumidifier? Take a look at our recommendations.
The Sentinel HD55 from AlorAir is our recommendation for the best dehumidifier for crawl space use. Its a great commercial grade crawl-space dehumidifier with an Energy Star rating which makes it as efficient as it is powerful. It is suitable for much more than just the area beneath your home too – as it can also perform well in a warehouse, an office or a shop and other similar environments.
As a 55 pint model, the Sentinel HD55 has a coverage area of around 1300 square feet, depending on humidity levels. This is a good average power level which can cover both smaller but very damp crawl spaces, as well as larger, but not so damp ones.
This crawl space dehumidifier will be of great help in battling mold growth, mildew, heavy odors and corrosion, which are so easy to form and develop in a non vented crawl space.
Pros and Cons
Our next recommendation is another AlorAir dehumidifer – the Sentinel HDi90. The main difference from our previous recommendation is that this is a 90 pint dehumidifier. That means that this model easily covers much bigger areas than the smaller Sentinel HD55 and most other dehumidifiers.
This unit is designed for large internal areas – with its 90 pint power and 210 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) coverage, the HDi90 is the perfect option for any area up to 2,600 square feet. And the great thing is that even with its immense power, the HDi90 is still surprisingly efficient. With a 2.88 L/kWh and only 5.56 amps the HDi90 will do its job as effectively and as efficiently as possible.
Best of all, this dehumidifier for crawl spaces has a built in condensate pump (make sure you order the pump version) which many owners will find essential.
Pros and Cons
Formerly known as the Compact2, the Compact70 is Santa Fe's most popular crawl space dehumidifier and is the best alternative to AlorAir dehumidifiers. It combines high-power performance with the most compact of designs, making it perfect for even the smallest of crawl spaces.
The Compact70 is capable of removing 70 pints of moisture per day under AHAM conditions which is an environment of 60% relative humidity and 80 degrees fahrenheit. This allows it to compete with much larger models with it capable of working in spaces up to 2,600 square feet.
Humidity and fan speeds are controlled by simple dials and switches on the unit, allowing you to set a humidity level of anywhere between 20-80%. Purchase the remote humidistat and this can be done without having to enter your crawl space.
One of our favorite features are the number of customization options which are available. You can choose to hang this unit in several configurations as well as make use of optional accessories such as condensate pumps and ducting kits.
These accessories offer alot of versatility compared to the Sentinel HD55 and HD90 models.
The Santa Fe Compact70 is perfect for most homeowners and will quickly and efficiently improve the air quality of the space beneath your home. Easily one of the best dehumidifiers for crawl spaces you can buy.
Read our full review of the Santa Fe Compact70.
Pros and Cons
Another great option for big crawl spaces, this Dri-Eaz F515 dehumidifer pumps 75 pints of water from the air every 24 hours. It has two different operating modes – humidistat and continuous operation.
The humidistat mode works by maximizing moisture removal efficiency. It maintains a preset humidity level and adjusts its operation accordingly to the current humidity levels.
The continuous operation mode is exactly what it sounds like – you set the device to work continuously at one power setting until you say otherwise. This is ideal when you want to drop the humidity levels as fast as possible with zero downtime.
If you have a big enough garage, the Dri-Eaz PHD 200 would also make a great dehumidifier for garages as its well suited to continuous operation.
Pros and Cons
It also comes with an included 40’ drain hose, a 25’ power cord and a 3M HAF filter. This little dehumidifying machine displays real time inlet and outlet temperature and relative humidity and has a built-in humidistat.
It is much smaller than other models of its power class, making it great for crawlspaces and other places where it might be required. It is also much easier to transport if you need it for more than one location.
Pros and Cons
Last but not least on our list is this 70 pint appliance from Ivation. This IVALDH70PW model is a more standard type of dehumidifying appliance, one that would fit well inside the home as well, not just in the area underneath your house.
Its specifications make it well suited for a crawl space too, however, which is why we recommend it. If you are looking for a portable dehumidifier which would need to temporarily be used in this location but can be moved inside your home after that, this Ivation model is the perfect option. It is also the type of dehumidifier that can be used in an apartment.
It is powerful enough to easily take care of all the mold, mildew, dust, allergens, and odors in any area or home of up to 4500 square feet of footprint (depending on the level of dampness too, of course). It has a programmable humidistat, a hose connector, an auto shutoff and auto restart function, as well as a bright and easy to use LED display. It’s not the quietest model on the market, but that shouldn't put you off given the location where you intend to use it.
Pros and Cons
Crawl Space Dehumidifier Comparison Chart
Pints Per Day
AlorAir HD 55
19.2 x 12.2 x 13.3"
1300 sq ft
Santa Fe Compact70
12 x 12 x 21"
2600 sq ft
23.2 x 15.2 x 17.7"
2600 sq ft
12.5 x 12.5 x 17.6"
3800 sq ft
12.5 x 21.5 x 12.5"
7000 sq ft
Why Using A Dehumidifier For Your Crawl Space Is Important
High levels of humidity and condensation are a serious problem for your home's foundation. Since many homes in the US are constructed from timber, the presence of excess moisture in crawl space air is the perfect breeding ground for wood rot and other forms of timber decay in your floor joists. You can also expect an outbreak of mold and mildew to form if the levels of humidity are high enough.
Over time, you will find that your foundation becomes weakened which in turn can affect the overall integrity of your property. In the worst case scenario, this moisture could rise through the construction of the crawlspace and enter the interior of your home itself, requiring water damage restoration.
Why Is My Crawl Space Damp?
Usually for several reasons. Due to its location, your crawlspace is in close proximity to the ground or dirt floor which naturally contains a lot of water.
If there is a crack in your crawl space's walls and you lack a vapor barrier, this water can enter this area which will raise the level of internal humidity. Couple this with cool temperatures and insufficient ventilation (a lack of fresh air or outside air) and you are left with damp.
Non-vented crawl spaces are particularly susceptible to this problem due to the lack of dry air. The presence of standing water can also quickly raise the level of humidity in this environment.
Cold environments with lower temperatures suffer from damp and high humidity. Moisture levels are high and this is often made worse by the enclosed conditions found in small crawl spaces and tight spaces.
How Will A Dehumidifier Help?
By lowering the level of humidity and pumping moisture out of the environment. In combination with sealing any cracks within the structure of your crawlspace, you will benefit from a more comfortable living environment and avoid costly repairs. For more detail: learn how a dehumidifier works.
You can also visit Corroventa for a detailed overview of this topic.
Where Should You Place Your Dehumidifier in a Crawl Space?The best place to install a dehumidifier in a crawl space is one where there are no obstructions blocking the airflow discharge. Concrete blocks should be used as these units often need protection from water damage, and can also collect moisture themselves if not installed on level ground.
What is The Price of a Crawl Space Dehumidifier?
There are many factors that influence this. A good unit should cost around $800-1,600 but be prepared to call in some professionals for installation as well.
Why Are Crawl Space Dehumidifiers So Expensive?Crawl spaces won’t fit just any type of dehumidifier, 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, and eventually leads to the higher cost. A regular unit is much larger than one made specifically for use in spaces like these - it needs both complex components as well as engineering know-how because while performing at its best capacity.
Can I Use A Regular Dehumidifier In A Crawl Space?
Yes, you can use a regular dehumidifier in a crawl space. It isn't the best option unless you have a small crawl space as it won't be as efficient as a larger, more powerful dehumidifier designed to be used in crawl spaces.
Active Crawl Space Dehumidification
Musty odors will quickly become a thing of the past as the internal air volume beneath your house begins to dehumidify, loses moisture and becomes dry. A reduction in allergies and improved health in addition to preserving the structural integrity of your home are just some of the many benefits you can look forward to.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier Installation
A wall mount or ceiling mount is the most common installation option for many home owners. We suggest surveying the installation area to find a location that offers good access for maintenance and doesn't provide an obstruction.
It is also important to keep in mind how you intend to dispose of the moisture that is collected from the atmosphere, which is why we recommend choosing an installation location that is in close proximity to a drain if possible.
It is advisable to locate your new dehumidifier as centrally as possible, as this will allow it to operate more efficiently which should in turn remove moisture much faster with a more even distribution throughout the area.
Companies such as Dri-Eaz also sell wall mounts for their product range so be sure to buy a set if you plan on a wall mounted installation.
Finally, we recommend removing as much dirt, dust and debris from the area as possible to prevent it from prematurely clogging the appliance's filters. Doing so should reduce the frequency that each filter needs to be removed for cleaning.
Crawl Space Dehumidifier Maintenance
These appliances are designed to run for extended periods of time without so much as an inspection. Once installed, there is no requirement to perform any maintenance other than to change the onboard air filters in conjunction with the recommendations detailed within the owners manual.
Each coil, valve and compressor should be checked monthly to ensure they are free from dust and debris.
Dehumidifiers For Crawl Spaces
- AlorAir Sentinel HD55 - Best Value for Money
- AlorAir Sentinel HDi90 - Best With Pump
- Santa Fe Compact70 - Best Alternative
- Dri-Eaz F515 PHD 200
- Dri-Eaz F413 Revolution
- Ivation 70 Pint Dehumidifier
The best crawl space dehumidifier is the AlorAir Sentinel HD55. Depending on the size of your crawlspace and how much dehumidification power you require, the larger models we tested might be more suitable.
You might have noticed that we included the Ivation 70 pint model in this review for its versatility – it isn't specifically designed as a dehumidifier for crawl spaces - but it might be a good choice if you live in a smaller house and don't need such a large dehumidifier.
If you are looking for a general guide to the best dehumidifiers which includes several reviews - we suggest that you check out our comprehensive dehumidifier buying guide.