A garage dehumidifier works on the same principle as any other dehumidifier – it is used to remove moisture from the air. The problem with storing anything in a garage, and especially vehicles, is that moisture causes damage. If you have a classic car or a vehicle with an expensive interior you will want to keep the moisture content under control. A dehumidifier for garage use is your best bet.
Here’s why you need to have a dehumidifier in your garage. Metal begins to corrode when the relative humidity (level of moisture in the air) is at 60-percent or more. Wood and leather begin to dry out when humidity levels drop below 40-percent. One solution is to heat your garage but aside from the overall expense related to this, the warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. However, this means that the amount of water in the air increases with the temperature but warmer air lowers the relative humidity.
Ventilation can help in some situations but all it really does is exchange air from inside the garage with air from the outside, which can be problematic if the air outside has a humidity of more than 60-percent. The range that best protects your vehicle is between 40 and 60-percent relative humidity and the only reliable way to ensure a constant level is with the use of a garage dehumidifier.
How to Choose the Best Dehumidifier for Garage Use
There are four key things to look for when shopping for a dehumidifier for your garage. They include:
- Adjustable humidistat
- Effectiveness in lower temperatures
- Overall power of the unit
- Continuous drainage capabilities
1. Adjustable Humidistat
This is the top feature you need to have in your dehumidifier. The adjustable humidistat operates in much the same way as a thermostat in that it controls the running of the humidifier. For example, if you set your garage dehumidifier to provide between 40 and 60-percent relative humidity as your lower and upper thresholds, the humidistat will stop the dehumidifier once it reaches that zone. If the humidity drops below 40-percent or rises above 60-percent, the humidistat kicks the dehumidifier on until the zone is reached again. This also makes the dehumidifier cost effective – running only when it needs to although it constantly monitors moisture levels.
2. Effectiveness In Lower Temperatures
This is an important factor, especially if you live in a region where winters are cold.
The way to tell dehumidifiers apart on this issue is with their defrost function. The majority of them will have an ‘auto defrost’ which operates when the unit senses ice forming on the evaporator coil. If you live in a region that is extremely cold, you may want to look at a dehumidifier with ‘hot gas defrost’. This will be able to operate down to temperatures at and just above freezing (0°C / 32°F).
Examples of dehumidifiers that have hot gas defrost function are the
These hot gas defrost function dehumidifiers are generally more expensive than the auto defrost options.
The ‘auto defrost’ style of dehumidifiers will not operate as efficiently below 16°C / 61°F and that can make a huge difference in the humidity in your garage if you experience long, cold winters.
3. Overall Power of the Unit
When it comes to garage dehumidifiers, power is king and in this case, power is measured by the amount of water a specific unit can remove over a determined period of time. Because this is so important, all related specifications on how large the space a garage dehumidifier will be able to properly service are noted in the packaging that comes with the product. It is typically rated according to floor space, or air space (measured in cubic feet or meters). If you are trying to control the moisture content in a space of 500 square feet, do not buy a unit rated for a much larger space. The rule of thumb is to find the correct size for the best fit.
4. Continuous Drainage Capabilities
Buckets or collection pans are standard in most dehumidifiers. These vessels are where the water ends up once it is drawn from the air by your garage dehumidifier. The units are sophisticated enough to shut off once the bucket is full which requires manually removing it, emptying it and replacing it. Depending on the amount of moisture in the air you are controlling the relative humidity of, the more or less you will have to empty the bucket. This is fine if you are always home. A continuous drainage option, which is a hose you can run to a drain, allows for regular operation without stoppages for bucket emptying. This is handy if you are away from home for long periods of time.
Our Picks for the Top Garage Dehumidifiers for 2018
Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier
The #1 pick on our list earned that distinction due to four main features. It is EnergyStar rated at collecting up to 70-pints per day and has a continuous drainage option. Add to this the low-temperature operation capability and that the 13.1-pint tank is a pull-out style that loads from the front, has handles and a splash guard and you have a top of the line product.
This garage dehumidifier also has a 24-hour on/off timer, digital humidity read out, ready-select electronic controls, a control lock plus full tank alert and auto shut-off. This is truly a one-of-a-kind, well-designed dehumidifier with a pump that will keep moisture levels in the air of your garage where you want it to be with little effort.
Click here for more information on the Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier.
This mid-sized garage dehumidifier utilizes what is known as Peltier Technology. This is defined as simply, “medium in size, big on power” but what makes this particular form of technology stand out is that it functions completely without a single moving part. This model can collect up to 25-ounces of water daily and has a 2-litre removable reservoir tank which will take approximately two-and-a-half days to fill.
It is also compact measuring only 13.75-inches by 8.58-inches by 7-inches. It sounds small, but produces where it counts with an automatic humidistat where you can adjust it to the relative humidity levels you require. The unit has an indicator light to signal when the water tank is full and it will also shut off. For spaces up to 2,200 cubic feet, this is the perfect garage dehumidifier.
Click here for more information on the Ivation IVADM45.
ProBreeze Electric Dehumidifier
Lightweight and portable, this garage dehumidifier scores high on our list because it also uses the Peltier Technology that relies on functioning efficiently with no moving parts. As it employs the use of a thermo-cooling system, there is no need for a compressor which makes it one quiet dehumidifier for garage use.
The removable water tank can hold up to 16-ounces and the unit is rated at removing up to 9-ounces of moisture from the air per day. It has an auto shut off when the tank is full as well as an indicator light telling you it is time to empty it.
This dehumidifier is designed for use in areas up to 1,100 cubic feet in size so it will be great in the kitchen, basement, closet, bathroom, boat, RV or garage.
Click here for more information on the ProBreeze Electric Dehumidifier.
Avalon Mid-Sized Dehumidifier
They call this mid-size but the features that are contained in this garage dehumidifier are anything but less than large. It is quiet due to the implementation of the Peltier Technology which is built upon a “no moving parts” construction.
This model has two different settings (auto and manual) which put you in control depending on how and where you intend to use it. The timer settings that work with either the auto or manual control are 6, 8 or 12 hours and then there’s an auto shut off once the timer runs out.
Because it is compact, measuring 9.8-inches by 6-inches by 13.8-inches, this unit is lightweight and easy to move to anywhere it is needed. The manufacturer suggests it works best in areas up to 20-square meters so you are looking at smaller spaces like rooms, closets, the garage or vehicle.
The water reservoir is easy to clean and empty, which includes a built-in filter, and when it is full the dehumidifier has a red indicator light to tell you this and will automatically shut off at that time. It’s a great little product that can silently do its job without interfering with anything around it.
Click here for more information on the Avalon Mid-Sized Dehumidifier.
AlorAir 55 Pint Dehumidifier
This garage dehumidifier can collect up to 55 pints per day. It is rated for use in areas measuring up to 1300 square feet and is ideal for garages, basements, crawlspaces, or other locations where dampness and mold are a problem.
This unit has a hot gas defrosting system and is designed to operate between 1°C / 34°F to 40°C / 104°F. It is designed to operate between a humidity range of 35-95%.
The AlorAir dehumidifier comes in different models for different applications, including the 55 pint, 90 pint, and 90 pint with pump option.
Click here for more information on the AlorAir 55 Pint Dehumidifier.
Final Words on Garage Dehumidifier Products
Protecting your property from the elements not only increases the value of those items, it reduces the cost associated with unnecessary repairs and replacement parts. Corrosion can destroy vehicles when left unchecked. Corrosion is created by too much moisture in the air and in confined spaces, such as garages, this is a recipe for disaster.
Fortunately, there is an answer and it comes from the simple technology behind dehumidifiers. They remove excess moisture from the air preventing issues caused by excess dampness. To protect your vehicle and other precious items from corrosion, mold, and mildew, we recommend you invest in a garage dehumidifier to do the job properly and efficiently.