Great guides and instructions
Thoughtful, user-friendly settings
Tough to move around, especially down stairs
Manual mode could be improved
For the most part, our home’s humidity levels should be between 35 and 45 percent to ensure optimal indoor air quality. There are, of course, some special circumstances in which your humidity requirements may be different, say if you’re an orchid or exotic bird enthusiast. But, hobbies aside, most people’s humidity goals are the same, and for good reason. If humidity levels get too high, your home can be more susceptible to mildew and bacteria growth. On the other hand, if your humidity levels are too low, it can cause all kinds of issues ranging from static cling to more sick days (viruses spread more easily in dry environments). So, in an attempt to hit the ideal home humidity goals, we ran the hOmelabs 70-Pint Dehumidifier in our eternally damp basement. Here, everything we discovered after a couple weeks of testing it.
Performance: Perfect continuous performance
We put the HOmelabs 70-Pint Dehumidifier to the test in the dampest and mustiest place we could find—our 110-year-old partially-finished basement. To provide even more of a challenge, we tested it during the spring when we had lots of rain and a high water table. This unit is specifically designed for basements, cellars, and other large spaces that range in size from 2,500 square feet to 4,000 square feet. While our basement is smaller than the manufacturer’s recommendations, the only real issue with oversizing your dehumidifier is that it can make the surrounding air hotter. For what it’s worth, throughout the duration of this product testing, we never noticed a temperature difference in our 800-square-foot basement. Oversized or not, when we had the HOmelabs 70-Pint Dehumidifier set to continuous drainage, it drew a surprising amount of water from the air and kept our humidity levels at a comfortable 45 percent.
When we tested this unit in manual mode, however, we encountered a few issues. From the fill sensor not working (which we’ll get to in a bit), to noticeable spills while pulling the water bucket out, the experience was far from perfect. And, because the water bucket doesn’t easily go back into place once you’ve emptied it, it causes the dehumidifier to slide around a little bit. After emptying it a few times, we figured out that sliding the bucket in with one hand and holding the dehumidifier with the other resolved this minor annoyance. Still, we’d love to see a locking mechanism on the caster wheels to resolve this issue.
It drew a surprising amount of water from the air and kept our humidity levels at a comfortable 45 percent.
Design: Modern and bright
From the front, this dehumidifier is bright white with a stylish rounded top. On the back, the filter section of the unit drops down a few inches, creating a step-down that gives this appliance a unique profile. It has built-in handles on each side as well as four caster wheels on the bottom. Combined, these features make it easy to move around on level ground. However, the handles did not prove to be very useful when it came to moving the large, 40-pound appliance up or down stairs.
The bright white exterior showed smudges almost immediately, but it was also very easy to clean. The control panel has a great design interface and once you read the manual (which is well-written), its operation is simple. The continuous drainage port is located on the back of the unit, which depending on your installation, may make it easier or more difficult to run your tubing. One of the more thoughtful design features is the cap to the continuous drain port. The cap is tethered to the dehumidifier with a piece of plastic, much like the cap on a car’s gas tank, making it impossible to lose.
Setup Process: Easy, but the wait may test your patience
Setting up this dehumidifier was incredibly easy. If you’re using it in your basement, we’d recommend having a friend help you carry it downstairs while it’s still in the box. When it came time to unbox this dehumidifier, we were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtfulness of the packaging. We were able to slide the box off of the unit rather than having to pull the 40-pound dehumidifier out of the box.
Once it’s out of the box, you’ll have to practice patience as the instructions state that you must wait a full 24 hours before plugging it in. This differs from many other dehumidifiers which typically require just a two-hour wait. While you’re waiting, you can go ahead and take the cord storage bar out of the water bucket and attach it to the back of the unit.
Setting up this dehumidifier for continuous drainage was super easy.
When it comes to choosing a location for your dehumidifier, the hOmelabs 70-Pint clearance and airflow requirements may provide you with more options than you’d expect. While most dehumidifiers recommend a clearance of 12 inches on all sides for proper airflow, hOmelabs only requires 7.9 inches, so it may be a good choice for a snug space. Just be sure not to place it under a table or shelf or in a short crawl space as it needs more than 15 inches of overhead clearance.
Set Up for Manual Emptying: To set up this dehumidifier for manual emptying mode, all you need to do is place it on a level spot and turn it on. You can use the Turbo setting to pull humidity out of the air more quickly or run it on Continuous until you reach your desired humidity level. From there, you can either select your goal humidity levels in 5 percent increments or select the Comfort Setting, which will pick the best humidity level in accordance with your current ambient temperature.
Set Up for Continuous Drainage: Setting up this dehumidifier for continuous drainage was super easy. The drainage port is a plastic female threaded end located on the back of the unit. It’s in an accessible spot making it a cinch to attach a standard ¾-inch garden hose. From there, all we had to do was place the other end of the hose in a hole located on our sump pump cover and the water will drain continuously, all thanks to gravity. An improvement on this product might be to have a removable female threaded end adapter rather than one that’s permanently affixed to the appliance. The way it’s currently designed means that if the plastic were to break, you’d have to replace the entire unit instead of just ordering another adapter.
Maintenance: Standard and simple
To keep the HOmelabs 70-Pint dehumidifier properly maintained, the manufacturer suggests wiping out the water bucket every two weeks and cleaning the filter once a month. Just in case you forget to clean your filter, there’s a notification light that will turn on after 250 hours of use to remind you. The filter is washable and reusable, you’ll just want to make sure that it’s totally dry before you place it back into the dehumidifier. When we washed and replaced the filter, we had to use more force than expected and worried we were going to break off the little plastic pieces that lock it into place.
When we washed and replaced the filter, we had to use more force than expected and worried we were going to break off the little plastic pieces that lock it into place.
Noise: Unobtrusive, but not for common living areas
hOmelabs’ dehumidifier has been praised by many reviewers for its quiet operation. And, in comparison to the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier, it is definitely less noisy. We would not, however, that while there is technically less noise, the noise is also different. With the Frigidaire, we noticed a louder blowing noise from the fan whereas the hOmelabs is quieter, but made more of a humming or rattling noise.
User-Friendly Features: The comfort setting makes it simple
We really like the Comfort feature which takes all the guesswork out of setting your humidity levels. By using this function, the dehumidifier will automatically find a healthy humidity level based on your room’s ambient temperature. For example, in a room that’s cooler than 65 degrees, the goal humidity level will be set to 55 percent. For a room hotter than 77 degrees, the goal humidity level will be set to 45 percent. This feature makes hOmelabs stand out as a top choice for locations with wide temperature ranges.
Customer Service: Accessible and helpful
When we were using this dehumidifier in manual emptying mode, we encountered an issue where the fan would still run and the Bucket Full light wouldn’t turn on even when the bucket was full. We reached out to hOmelabs’ customer service (via live chat) and they provided simple instructions to check the sensor and make sure it was fully extended. After troubleshooting the issue with their customer service rep, we were able to resolve the problem.
Sizing: Which dehumidifier is best for your space?
The two most important things to think about when you’re selecting the size of your dehumidifier are the size of your room and the average unmitigated humidity level. hOmelabs makes this process easier than most by providing a simple guide for which product is best suited for your space. Their 70-pint dehumidifier performs best when it is used in a space between 2,500 and 4,000 square feet and their 50-pint is best for 1,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet. For more information about how to select the perfect dehumidifier for your space, take a look at our definitive dehumidifier sizing guide.
The hOmelabs 70-Pint Dehumidifier retails for $249.99, but you can often find it for less online. Given its size, features, and performance, the unit is well-priced when compared to similar models which can go for up to $100 more.
Competition: Lots of choices, but none are cheaper
TOSOT 70-Pint Dehumidifier: For about the same price, you could get the TOSOT 70-Pint Dehumidifier. That said, unless you prefer the TOSOT’s look over hOmelabs’, there aren’t any other stand-out reasons to get it instead. However, if you don’t have an easy set up for gravity-fed draining, we would recommend the TOSOT 70-Pint with Internal Pump. It’s slightly more expensive up front, but negates the need for a condensate pump so your costs would likely equal out and it would be easier to set up. The biggest drawback to the TOSOT line is that they only offer a 1-year warranty.
Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier: For a better warranty (1-year full and 5-year sealed system) and a higher-quality user experience, the Frigidaire 70-Pint is great option. It’s slightly more expensive at $299.99, but is very well-reviewed and easy to use.
Assess your needs first.
The hOmelabs 70-Pint Dehumidifier is a wallet-friendly choice for people looking to control their home’s humidity levels, especially if it’s going to be used for continuous drainage. But, if you’re intending to empty your dehumidifier manually or if you need to move it from one location to another, there are better options out there.
- Product Name 70-Pint Dehumidifier
- Product Brand hOmelabs
- MPN HME020031N
- Price $249.99
- Weight 40 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11 x 15.4 x 24.3 in.
- Color White
- Coverage Area 2500 to 4000 sq. ft.
- Warranty 2-year limited warranty plus 6 additional months if you register your product
- Capacity 6 liter water tank / 70 pints per day