Crawl Space Dehumidifiers vs Portable Dehumidifiers

When you compare the prices of crawl space dehumidifiers and portable dehumidifiers, you may be a little surprised how wide of a range there is between units. With prices from $250 to $2500, it can be confusing to know what the best dehumidifier option for you is. Do you really need a crawl space dehumidifier or can you spend less on a single room portable dehumidifier?

Believe it or not, investing in a crawl space dehumidifier, is worth the extra money. While many of the features may look similar between low and high end crawl space dehumidifiers, a product page doesn't tell the whole story. Here are a couple of reasons to think twice before simply opting for the cheaper model of dehumidifier.


Portable dehumidifiers (not to be confused with smaller crawl space dehumidifiers) often range between 35-75 pints per day with some larger models even stretching to 95 pints. Those numbers sounds quite similar to a crawl space dehumidifier that will cover between 55 and 90 pints per day. This can be deceptive, however, if the ratings level aren’t specified. It is standard for crawl space dehumidifiers to list their capacity at AHAM standards (80°F, 60% relative humidity) but, often single room dehumidifiers use the saturation rating. The saturation rating is what the dehumidifier can remove at 100% saturation, regardless of the temperature. This is more of an unrealistic situation, although it does illustrate the maximum pints per day a dehumidifier (whether it is a crawl space dehumidifier or a portable dehumidifier) can remove. For instance, a WatchDog 550 is rated to remove 55 pints per day at AHAM, however, at saturation it can remove 130 pints per day. Both ratings can give you useful insight into your dehumidifier, just be sure that when comparing two separate units, you are comparing them on the same scale.

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CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute)

Another common difference between single room dehumidifiers and crawl space dehumidifiers is the cubic feet per minute (CFM). CFM describes the amount of air your dehumidifier draws in and pulls across the coils of the dehumidifier. Ideally, you want a higher CFM, so more air can be run through the machine and dehumidified.