Intuitively-designed control panel
Handles and caster wheels aid in placing it
Smooth finish makes for easy cleaning
Heavy, 47-pound build
Your home’s daily humidity levels may not be something you give much thought to, but when they’re consistently too low or too high, you’ll surely notice. If your home’s humidity levels are too high, a unit like the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier can help you reign in your indoor moisture. Maintaining proper moisture levels in your home can provide a multitude of benefits, including reducing your risk for mold and bacteria-induced health hazards. Beyond the health risks, too much humidity can also cause damage to personal belongings like photographs and textiles as well as construction materials or even your home’s HVAC and plumbing systems. We tested the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier in our basement to see if it could take a damp and musty space and make it a little more inviting. Here’s what we discovered.
Performance: Extremely effective
To test the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier, we put it to work in our semi-musty basement. Our house is over 100 years old, and the basement is surrounded mostly by clay soil which is terrible for drainage. For the last several years, we’ve been in a near-constant wet basement battle—weeping walls, musty odor, damp floor, you name it, we had it. But, a few months back we had French drains installed and it’s been a total game changer.
Before running the dehumidifier, our hygrometer indicated that the basement had a humidity level of 62 percent. After two days on the continuous setting, the musty smell disappeared and our humidity level lowered to 45 percent.
With our basement no longer taking on water, we were able to test this dehumidifier in an ideal and enclosed environment. And, we’re happy to report the Frigidaire did not disappoint. Before running the dehumidifier, our hygrometer indicated that the basement had a humidity level of 62 percent. After running the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier for two days on the continuous setting, the musty smell disappeared and our humidity level lowered to 45 percent.
Design: Modern and sleek
This dehumidifier is one of the best looking we’ve encountered. Because aesthetic choices are personal and subjective, it’s possible that some may find this unit to be a bit plain, but we adore and appreciate its minimalist feel. No bells, no whistles, just sturdy construction with a high-gloss plastic exterior that gives it a modern feel and makes wiping it down a breeze.
We found the retractable top handle to be thoughtfully designed and very useful. This dehumidifier is big and heavy, measuring 11.6 x 15 x 24.4 inches and weighing 47 pounds. Without the handles and caster wheels, we wouldn’t be able to move it very far without the use of a dolly. A welcome addition to the caster wheels would be a locking mechanism to keep the dehumidifier from rolling around or being moved inadvertently.
Setup Process: Simple, but you might break a sweat
The Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier unboxes easily. Everything is already put together, so it’s ready to go right out of the box. Set up can be as simple as plugging it in (if you’re operating in the manual emptying mode), provided you’ve let the unit stand upright for two hours before starting it up. Aside from the instruction manual, a small drainage adapter is the only separate component in the box, so keep an eye out for it. As a note, if you aren’t accustomed to lifting 50-pound appliances and carrying them downstairs, be sure to ask for help. Even with the handle, we found this wasn’t a one person job.
Regardless of whether you plan on emptying this unit manually or setting it up for continuous drainage, you’ll want to ensure proper airflow, especially by the rear section of the unit. To avoid overheating, place the dehumidifier somewhere it will have at least 12 inches of space on all sides. And, like many appliances, be sure to plug it directly into an outlet. For fire safety, you should never use an extension cord.
One more factor to consider during set up is your home’s temperature. This unit, just like its 30-pint sibling, is designed to operate in temperatures ranging from 41 degrees to 90 degrees, so it’s perfect for a chilly basement. If your space is hotter than 90 degrees, you may want to consider removing humidity from the air by way of an air conditioner.
Set Up for Manual Mode: If you choose to empty the water bucket manually, set up is extremely easy. Just find a level surface with a 12 inch clearance all around it and plug it in. After set up, the hardest part of using this dehumidifier is remembering to empty it. Running the unit in Continuous Mode (CO on your display screen) is recommended for the first few days, but after that you can select your ideal humidity level. We found emptying the water bucket to be a bit messy. Because it holds 13.1 pints (which weighs around 13 pounds), it’s hard to pour with accuracy. That said, if you’re dumping it into a large utility sink (like we did), this shouldn’t be a big deal.
Set up for Continuous Drainage: To test this unit, we installed it in the utility corner of our basement which houses our sump pump. It was easy to screw the drainage adapter into the port on the side of the dehumidifier. Then, we just attached a garden hose and ran it to the sump pump. Because the sump pump is at ground level, this set up allows gravity to do the work rather than requiring an extra condensate pump to force the water up and into a sink.
Keeping the exterior of this unit clean is very easy; a quick swipe with damp rag takes care of dust without trouble. For performance maintenance, you’ll need to routinely clean the filter. Because cleaning the filter is only required after 250 hours of use, we’ve yet to experience a filthy filter. We did take the filter out and wash it anyway, though. We found that it snaps in and out of the back of the unit quite easily and is a cinch to scrub clean as it’s made of sturdy (and reusable) antibacterial mesh. The filter should be completely dry before you put it back in the dehumidifier, so either let it air dry or pat it completely dry with a towel.
We adore and appreciate its minimalist feel. No bells, no whistles, just sturdy construction.
The unit will alert you when it’s time for a cleaning. But, unless you’re near your dehumidifier regularly, we recommend setting a reminder to check it every couple of weeks, at least until you’re in the habit.
Noise: Entirely tolerable
On its low fan setting, we actually had to walk over to the corner of our basement to make sure the dehumidifier was still running. When the unit was running with the fan on high, it was quite noisy when we stood next to it. But, across the basement in our laundry area, it didn’t sound any louder than a low hum. Ultimately, for this large of a dehumidifier, we think noise should be less of a factor since it’s likely not going to be placed in a common living area.
Unexpected Perk: Laundry is easier
Our delicate clothing and ‘lay flat to dry’ pieces dried much faster on our basement drying rack than ever before. Prior to running the Frigidaire 70-Pint dehumidifier, our clothes would lay damp on the rack through at least three loads of laundry. Now, by the time we go downstairs to switch out a load, many pieces of clothing are already dry.
Sizing: Picking the right dehumidifier
There are two major factors to consider when selecting the size of your dehumidifier: the size of your room and the average humidity level. Our basement is 800 square feet and very damp. So far, this 70-pint dehumidifier is performing quite well. On the other hand, if your space were only slightly damp, a 70-pint dehumidifier could handle a space larger than 1,500 square feet. In fact, some reviewers noted they were able to dehumidify an entire newly constructed 4,000-square-foot home.
Price: Middle of the pack
When looking at this unit’s $339 MSRP, you may think it’s expensive. But, when you consider that it can often be found at online retailers for nearly $50 less, the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier ends up at a reasonable price point. Another factor to keep in mind—many states participate in rebate programs for Energy Star certified appliances like this one. The rebates and incentives program in our state offers a $50 rebate for this particular unit, so it’s definitely worth looking into. However, even if you can get a rebate, a purchase involving a few hundred dollars is nothing to sneeze at, which is why we highly value Frigidaire’a extended sealed-system warranty.
Competition: With options like these, you can be choosy
hOmelabs 70-Pint Dehumidifier: The hOmelabs 70-Pint Dehumidifier is the stiffest head-to-head competition for the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier. It’s got great packaging which allows you to pull the box off of the dehumidifier rather than pull the dehumidifier out of the box, saving your back from unnecessary strain. And, it can be found for under $200 at some brick and mortars.
On the downside, it doesn’t have a retractable handle and the matte, textured plastic doesn’t necessarily feel high-quality. As for maintenance, the models are an even match and they’re both Energy Star rated. However, if you’re in an extreme hurry to dehumidify a space, take note that the hOmelabs dehumidifier needs to stand upright and unboxed for 24 hours before use as opposed to the Frigidaire which only requires two hours upright.
TOSOT 70-Pint with Internal Pump: The TOSOT 70-Pint is a compelling competitor because it isn’t much more expensive, but it includes an internal pump that can direct water up to 15 feet in any direction. This dehumidifier would be a good fit for someone who didn’t have a gravity-fed drainage option and didn’t want to deal with installing an additional condensate pump. Drawbacks to the TOSOT are that it’s hard to keep clean and only comes with a 1-year warranty.
Frigidaire 50-Pint Dehumidifier: If you love the look, feel, and warranty of the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier, but simply don’t need that much capacity or are worried that oversizing your dehumidifier may lead to higher temperatures in your basement, you’ve got another option. Consider Frigidaire’s mid-sized version, the Frigidaire 50-Pint with Effortless Humidity. This unit sports an identical design and is essentially the same size and weight but costs roughly $30 less.
Give it a go.
The Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier is a great choice for those looking to control the humidity levels of a very damp or large space. Its minimalist design helps it blend right in to a basement or utility space and its high-capacity makes maintaining optimal humidity levels a breeze.
- Product Name 70-Pint Dehumidifier
- Product Brand Frigidaire
- MPN FFAD7033R1
- Price $339.00
- Weight 47 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.6 x 15 x 24.4 in.
- Color White
- What’s Included Dehumidifier, drainage adapter for continuous operation, and instruction manual
- Capacity 13.1 pints or continuous
- Warranty 1-year warranty covering parts and labor, 5-year sealed system warranty