What We Like
Great design includes handles and caster wheels
Glossy finish makes for effortless cleaning
Effective in rooms up to 1500 square feet
What We Don't Like
Requires frequent emptying (if not set up for continuous draining)
Too noisy for everyday spaces
Concerns about longevity
Like most things in life, managing your home’s humidity level is all about balance. If your air is too dry, you may have a tough time keeping houseplants alive or fending off airborne illnesses like the common cold. On the other hand, if your air is too humid, your home may become a breeding ground for dust mites, mold, and mildew—all of which can be major contributors to indoor allergies. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your indoor humidity levels, there are dozens of dehumidifiers on the market. We tested the Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier to see if it could keep our basement dry during a particularly rainy April. Read on for our verdict.
Performance: Just as promised
This dehumidifier performed exactly as expected, completely filling its 7.1-pint container in roughly 7 hours. Since it’s designed to pull 30 pints of moisture from the air in 24 hours, simple math revealed it was working to its best ability. We tested it in the 800-square-foot basement of our 110-year-old house which is notoriously damp. Typical humidity levels in our basement can be as high as 70 to 90 percent—a far cry from proper moisture levels which range between 35 to 45 percent. Within four days of using the Frigidaire, our basement was at 60 percent humidity. Since we had the windows open for a remodeling project on day three, we think we could have even gotten to 55 percent under normal circumstances.
This dehumidifier performed exactly as expected, completely filling its 7.1-pint container in roughly 7 hours.
Design: Sleek and smart
As far as dehumidifiers go, this one is well-designed and as pretty as they come. We were immediately impressed with its sturdy construction. The plastic is smooth and shiny, making it easy to wipe down; a functional design choice for a dusty basements and crawlspaces. The interface is neat and minimalist, so the buttons and notifications are easily identifiable.
The top handle is a stroke of genius. The large retractable handle makes it easy to lug the 34-pound appliance around. And, if you’re simply moving it across a room, it glides easily on four caster wheels. This feature can be a double-edged sword if you’ve got little ones, however, as our toddler was quick to realize how fun it was to push around. For this reason, a locking wheel mechanism would be a welcome addition.
Setup Process: Simple or complex, the choice is yours
This dehumidifier is simple to unbox and has easy-to-follow instructions. The entire unit is already assembled, so no tools or know-how is required. We found that the tape that secured the water bucket and handles peeled off easily and left no marks or adhesive behind. The only part that is separate from the unit is the continuous drainage adapter.
The dehumidifier weighs 34 pounds, so it does require some upper-body strength to pull it out of the box and move it to its location—especially if you’re carrying it up or down stairs. As with many appliances, this dehumidifier requires a clearance around it to avoid overheating and ensure proper airflow. For safe operation, it should be at least 12 inches away from walls and other obstructions. The manufacturer recommends you operate the dehumidifier on the Continuous Setting for a few days before selecting your desired humidity level. After that initial period, you simply select your desired humidity levels in 5 percent increments. Once you’ve done that, the read out screen will display the room’s current humidity level using its internal hygrometer.
We tested it in the 800-square-foot basement of our 110-year-old house which is notoriously damp...within four days of using [it], our basement was at 60 percent humidity.
It should be noted that the unit needs to be in an upright position for at least two hours before turning it on. During that two-hour window, we’d recommend placing the unit outside or, at minimum, away from common living areas. We found the plastic smell to be quite overwhelming.
Set Up for Manual Mode: If you’re planning on emptying the water bucket each time it fills instead of setting it up for continuous drainage, then set up is as simple as placing the dehumidifier on a level surface and plugging it in. For the first few days, we manually emptied the dehumidifier, which meant we had to remember to go down to the basement several times a day. Removing the bucket is simple and the built-in handle makes carrying it to the sink an easy chore. The water pours out with minimal splashing (as long as you pour slowly). We did notice that no matter how careful we were, the container dripped on the floor a bit when we put it back in the dehumidifier. On a concrete floor, this isn’t a big deal, but if you place it on carpet, you may want to put a plastic mat under it. Aside from a few drops of water here and there, the toughest part of using the dehumidifier is remembering to empty it.
Set Up for Continuous Drainage: If you opt to use the continuous drainage feature, the set up process is a bit more involved. The added effort will pay off big time when you aren’t emptying the water bucket on daily basis, though. To make the continuous drainage installation easier, Frigidaire provides a drainage adapter. It’s just a plastic tube that you insert into the continuous drainage port, but it makes connecting the garden hose easier. Once you’ve connected your hose to the adapter, you can either run the hose to a sump pump or a sink. The benefit of running it to a sump pump is that gravity does all the work and the water will flow easily from the dehumidifier to your drainage point.
If you don’t have a sump pump, you’ll likely need to run it to your basement sink, which means you’ll need an additional piece of equipment—a condensate pump. Some dehumidifiers come with these pumps internally included, but they are typically more expensive. Before we had our French drains and sump pump installed, we used a $40 condensate pump to direct the flow of water from our dehumidifier up to our laundry room sink.
If you don’t want to use a condensate pump, the other option is to install the dehumidifier higher than the sink, again allowing gravity to do the work. The wheels on this model may pose an issue when trying to secure it to a shelf or table top, however.
Maintenance: Easy to care for and intuitively designed
Cleaning the filter is only required after 250 hours of use, which we didn’t get to while testing this product. However, the unit’s filter is located on the back of the dehumidifier, and it snaps in and out easily which leads us to believe it’d be a cinch to clean. The filter is made of washable, reusable antibacterial mesh, just make sure it’s completely dry before you put it back in. And, if you choose to use the continuous drainage function and aren’t around your dehumidifier on a daily basis, consider setting a reminder to check the filter every couple of weeks.
Noise: You’ll never forget it’s running
Depending on where you are using this appliance, the noise level may be bothersome. When we had it set up in our kitchen, it was loud enough to make conversation difficult. When we moved it down to our basement, the noise level was no problem at all. We tested the sound level with a decibel measuring app on our phone and it read at 62—basically equivalent to an air conditioner.
We tested the sound level with a decibel measuring app on our phone and it read at 62—basically equivalent to an air conditioner.
Size: Which is right for you?
When it comes to selecting your dehumidifier, the room size matters. Some experts recommend buying a slightly larger unit than your room technically requires. Sizing up can provide two main benefits: First, it may be more energy efficient since the higher capacity unit won’t need to run as much or work as hard to keep humidity levels down. Second, a higher capacity unit may cut down on noise levels since it can be run on a lower fan setting. For more information on how to pick the right dehumidifier, check out our dehumidifier sizing guide.
Price: What you’d expect
As far as pricing goes, the Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier is squarely in the middle of the pack. The MSRP is $289, but it can often be purchased from online retailers for under $200. If you decide to size up, Frigidaire’s next model is a 70-Pint unit and its MSRP is $309, but again, can be found for around $260 from online retailers.
Competition: There’s enough variety to find exactly what you’re looking for
TOSOT 30-Pint Dehumidifier: The TOSOT 30-pint dehumidifier is slightly smaller, weighs 2 pounds less and has a bit more of a modern design. However, the front of the unit has a diamond grill pattern that looks nice in product photos, but is a hassle to clean. And, without handles, the TOSOT is harder to move from one area to another. On the plus side, the TOSOT touts its quiet operation at just 48 decibels, so it may be a better option for everyday living spaces.
hOmelabs 30-Pint Dehumidifier: With an MSRP of $179.99, the hOmelabs 30-Pint Dehumidifier is one of the least expensive 30-pint options out there. It’s a bit smaller and weighs 3 pounds less than the Frigidaire 30-Pint Dehumidifier. The initial warranty is a 2-year rather than a 1-year, but it does not have the added 5-year sealed system warranty. Perhaps the most important distinction is that the hOmelabs 30-Pint is specified for use in rooms under 1,000 square feet instead of 1,500 square feet. If your space is under 1,000 square feet, the hOmelabs is the most economical choice.
Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier with Effortless Humidity Control: If your room size is near the 1,500-square-foot limit of the Frigidaire 30-Pint and your budget isn’t set in stone, sizing up to the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier may be your best bet. The interface and design are identical, it just operates at a higher capacity. However, it is 4 inches taller and 13 pounds heavier, so this larger version is best-suited to more permanent installations.
If you’re concerned about energy efficiency, rest easy knowing that all of these dehumidifiers are Energy Star rated.
- Product Name 30-Pint Dehumidifier
- Product Brand Frigidaire
- MPN FFAD3033R1
- Price $289.00
- Weight 34 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 10.5 x 13.8 x 20.5 in.
- Color White
- Capacity 7.1 pints or continuous
- What’s Included Dehumidifier, drainage adapter for continuous operation, and instruction manual
- Warranty 1-year warranty covering parts and labor, 5-year sealed system warranty