The crawl spaces under our houses are vulnerable to a lot of problems relating to poor air quality, the most problematic usually being high humidity due to a lack of ventilation. It is this problem which leads most people into looking to buy a crawl space dehumidifier.
High humidity in your home’s crawl space can lead to a lot of unpleasant consequences, such as mold problems, pests, structural damage, heavy odors, allergy triggers, and more. As a result, taking proper care of your basement crawl space moisture problems is one of the most important things any home owner should do. Yet, a lot of people neglect to do so.
Closing up your crawl space is one of several highly effective and energy efficient ways to make sure your home is more comfortable and healthy. However, if you opt for closing your crawl space (crawl space encapsulation), you still need to take care of its humidity and ventilation first. Simply insulating your crawl space without taking care of its humidity with an air purifier can be as disastrous as leaving it as it is.
So, how does one go about dehumidifying their crawl space? There are a ton of dehumidifier products on the market, but they are all designed for different environments and different rooms. What distinguishes a crawl space dehumidifier from any other? There are several key things to consider:
So, which are our top 5 picks for the best crawl space dehumidifiers on the market right now? We will list them below for your convenience, but you don’t need to constrain yourself to just those 5 models – the market offers a lot of different options for a lot of different crawl spaces. We hope our list at least gives you a good starting point for what you are looking for, if not an outright decision as to the best dehumidifier for your crawl space.
This Sentinel HD55 model from AlorAir is our starting pick for a commercial grade crawl space dehumidifier. It has an Energy Star rating which alone demonstrates its capabilities. It is suitable for much more than just a crawl space – as it can also perform well in a warehouse, an office, an apartment or a shop, and other such places.
As a 55 pint dehumidifier, the Sentinel HD55 has a coverage area of around 1300 square feet, depending on the humidity levels. This is a nice average power level which can cover both smaller but highly damp crawl spaces, as well as larger, but not so damp ones.
A dehumidifier such as this one will be of great help in battling mold growth, mildew, heavy odors, or corrosion, which are so easy to form and develop in a crawl space.
Next on our list is another AlorAir model – the Sentinel HDi90. The chief difference you will notice immediately from our previous entry is the fact that this is a 90 pint dehumidifier. As such, this model easily covers much bigger areas than the smaller Sentinel model and most other dehumidifiers.
This unit is designed for huge crawl spaces – with its 90 pint power and 210 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) coverage, the HDi90 is the perfect option for any space 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 both as effectively as possible and as efficiently as possible.
Best of all, this model has a built in condensate pump (make sure you order the pump version) which many owners will find essential.
Another great option for big crawl spaces, this Dri Eaz compact model 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 dehumidifier 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.
It also comes with an included 40’ drain hose, a 25’ power cord and a 3M HAF filter. This little dehumidifying dynamo 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 crawl spaces and other small places where its work might be required. It is also much easier to transport if you need it for more than one place.
Last but not least on our list is this Ivation 70 pint dehumidifier. This IVALDH70PW model is a more standard type of dehumidifier, one that would fit well inside the home as well, not just in a crawl space.
Its specifications make it perfectly suited for a crawl space too, however, which is why we have to mention it. If you are looking for a dehumidifier which would need to temporarily be used in a crawl space but can be moved inside your home after that, this Ivation model is the perfect option.
It is powerful enough to easily take care for all the mold, mildew, dust, allergens, and odors in any crawl space or home of up to 4500 square feet of space (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 dehumidifier on the market, but for a crawl space that doesn’t really matter.
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. 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.
Usually for several reasons. Due to its location, your crawlspace is in close proximity to the ground or dirt floor which naturally contains a significant quantity of water.
If there is a crack in your crawl space's walls and you lack a vapor barrier, this water can enter your crawl space 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.
Simply put, 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.
And there are our 5 suggestions for the best crawl space dehumidifier. Depending on the size of your crawl space, as well as its needs, different models can be better suited than others - but we firmly endorse the AlorAir Sentinel as our top pick. The other models we have tested also make great choices as do the Santa Fe thermastor range.
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 space - but it might be a good choice for those who live in smaller homes and don't need such a heavy duty option.
If you are indeed looking for a general guide to dehumidifiers - we suggest that you check out our comprehensive dehumidifier buying guide.