Can a Dehumidifier Kill Mold?
Dehumidifier does not kill mold but it creates an inhabitable home for microorganisms to grow by removing room moisture. Mold thrives on dark and wet environment like basement, garage, kitchen, laundry room, and attic. A dehumidifier removes excessive moisture in the air so the humidity level will maintain lower than 50 percent. Existing mold that has already infested your home, it will slowly die off due to the lack of water source. For an optimum result, get a HEPA air purifier to remove airborne mold and other allergens like mildew, germs, and dust mites before they settled down. This will ensure you and your family are protected from mold toxicity with cleaner air to breathe.
Why Should You Get One?If you have mold and mildew problems in your home, a dehumidifier would definitely come in handy. Even if you didn't spot any mold patches but can feel the air is very damp, it is worth investing in one as well. Otherwise, consider pairing with an air purifier to effectively remove airborne mold and musty smell.
2021 Best Dehumidifier For Mold Removal
|Dehumidifier||Online Price (Amazon)||Capacity||Coverage||Score|
|Ivation IVADM35 Mini Dehumidifier|
|20 oz||2200 ft3||4|
|Tosot 30 Pint Dehumidifier|
|30 pints (22 pints DOE 2019)||1500 sq. ft. (139 m2)||4|
|Ivation 30 Pint IVALDH30PW Dehumidifier|
|30 pints (22 pints DOE 2019)||2000 sq. ft. (186 m2)||4|
|Frigidaire FAD504DWD 50-pint Dehumidifier|
|50 pints (35 pints DOE 2019)||2000 sq. ft. (186 m2)||4|
|Tosot 50 Pint Dehumidifier|
|50 pints (35 pints DOE 2019)||3000 sq. ft. (279 m2)||4.5|
|Vremi B07JMZJX4B 70 Pint Dehumidifier|
|70 pints (45 pints DOE 2019)||4500 sq. ft. (418 m2)||4|
The only mini dehumidifier in the list that is meant for bathroom mold. We chose Ivation IVADM35 Thermo-Electric because it offers double moisture capturing output than most entry-level models. Despite being a more powerful unit, you can still fit Ivation IVADM35 on the limited space bathroom vanity next to a wall socket. That way the dehumidifier can still drain the moisture in the bathroom silently without having to worry about it from getting wet. The larger capacity obviously comes with a larger water tank that in theory should hold 2-4 days of water. There's even an automatic shut off feature in case you forgot to empty the water tank. Mold and mildew in the bathroom have significantly dropped ever since we placed Ivation IVADM35 inside.
Let's talk about the downside. Other than tight spaces, Ivation IVADM35 is not great at remove moisture in an open-space area. It also can't filter airborne particles due to the lack of filter. However, Ivation IVADM35 Thermo-Electric is perfect to remove mold in a bathroom use due to its small dimension. There is a minimum price bump but it is still fairly affordable for its category. If you intend to use it elsewhere, we would highly recommend you go with a full-size dehumidifier to compensate for the weak airflow.
- Compact and lightweight mini dehumidifier.
- Whisper-quiet Peltier technology.
- 20 oz capacity with a 68 oz water tank.
- Automatically shut down when the water tank is full.
- Only suitable to stop mold and mildew in the bathroom.
Remember the Tosot name as it will be featured in many of our best lists here. A great all-rounder mold removal machine for bedroom, basement, and living hall use. Tosot 30 Pint dehumidifier has a good track record on its durability that will last you years even on continuous use. A feature that many often overlooked but critical because mold and humidity will always be around. On that note, Tosot consistent moisture capturing volume is enough to stop mold and mildew growth within a 1,500 sq. ft. area. Just place it close to the mold-infested area and the mold patches will slowly die off from the lack of dampness. Adding the low noise level output, dual drainage options, and timer, you can't go wrong with this machine.
As for the drawbacks, bulkiness is something that most talked about. Timer options are not great either with limited to 2 and 4 hours. Finally, there is the occasion condensation problem underneath the dehumidifier. None of the drawbacks will have an impact on how Tosot 30-pint dehumidifier deal with mold and mildew.
- Inexpensive (Less than 200).
- Removes mold up to 30-pint moisture a day.
- Cover up to 1,500 sq. ft. of room size.
- Supports dual drainage options, Auto de-frost, auto-restart
- Only two 2/4 hour preset timer.
Ivation IVALDH30PW is one of the best dehumidifiers for mold in its 30-pint category. It can remove excessive moisture up to 2000 sq. ft. of room space which makes it ideal even for a garage and living room. Another thing we like about Ivation over the others is the overall usability. You have a slide-out filter which makes it super easy to wash away the trapped allergens. The contrast black control panel with LED display that allows easy humidity setup. All the standard features like auto-defrost, auto-restart, and a 24 hours timer are also available. Basically a no-frills mold dehumidifier for less than 160 dollars.
There's little fault you can find with Ivation 30-pint dehumidifier. Some might complain about the tiny drainage connector tube while others are slightly annoyed by the fan noise. If you have no beef with the faults that we mentioned, Ivation will be a good option to reduce home dampness and stop mold and mildew from thriving./
- Less than 160 with full set of features.
- Drain up to 30-pint moisture a day (for mold removal).
- Cover up to 2,000 sq. ft. of room size.
- Auto de-frost, auto-outage, auto-restart, 24-hour timer.
- Cover up to 2,000 sq. ft. of room size.
Moving on to the 50-pint category. If the humidity level in your room is way above 60 percent mark, you will need a stronger dehumidifier like Frigidaire FAD504DWD. A 50-pint model that can stop mold and mildew from prospering by draining nearby moisture. Frigidaire is also the very few models that come with an antibacterial mesh filter. An antimicrobial coat that traps allergens like mold and prevents it from growing on the filter. Apart from that, everything you would expect from a mid-range model is here from the low tempeature operation, automatic shut down when the reservoir is full, auto-restart after power outage, and filter check indicator on the filter condition.
Frigidaire 50-pint SpaceWise design body is beautiful to look at but very cumbersome. If you have very limited space in your bedroom, basement or garage, this dehumidifier will not fit in well. A shame as those places is constantly infested with mold and mildew due to poor ventilation. Then there is the price tag that is around 100 bucks more than a 30-pint model. If you can bypass the flaws, then Frigidaire 50-pint dehumidifier should be in your consideration list.
- Drain up to 50-pint moisture a day.
- Inhibit mold growth up to 2,000 sq. ft. by removing excessive moisture.
- Large 2-gallon water tank.
- Mutiple drainage options, auto de-frost, auto outage, auto restart, timer.
- Tad noisy from the large fan and body framework.
Like Tosot 30-pint but need a more powerful unit, Tosot 50-pint dehumidifier will serve you well. It is the ideal model for a large living hall, conference room, basement, and garage infested with mold. The strong moisture capturing capacity can handle room size up to 3,000 square feet. Twice as much of a 30-pint model. For the price you paid, you'll get all the usual perks like multiple drainage options, auto shut down, auto restart, timer, and digital display. Noise level is surprisingly subtle too for a dehumidifier of its caliber.
Like what we will advise people going for a 50-pint dehumidifier. If you don't need the extra moisture draining performance, save the money and opt for a 30-pint instead. Don't get me wrong, Tosot 50-pint dehumidifier is a great choice bar the limited 2 preset timer options. However, a 30-pint model is less bulky and will also do a similar job in preventing mold and mildew from spreading further.
- Reduce moisture and curb mold growth up to 3,000 sq. ft.
- Remove excessive moisture up to 4500 sq. ft.
- Mutiple drainage options, auto de-frost, auto outage, auto restart, timer.
- Bulky and heavy.
Let's move on to the 70-pint category. Vremi 70 Pint is a highly capable dehumidifier for mold that can cater to multiple rooms with open doors. At turbo speed, it can remove moisture in an area of up to a whopping 4,500 square feet. As for the captured water, Vremi 70 Pint can connect straight to a drainage hose outlet to forego the water emptying task. In any case, there is a large water tank with level indicator standing by. Other practical features are also bundled in the package that can make the whole dehumidifying process a lot easier. Suitable for those that stay on a single floor and have no intention of getting more than 1 dehumidifier.
So what's bad about a 70-pint dehumidifier that is less than 300 dollars? Vremi 70 Pint is not a one size fits all model. If you have mold and mildew problems in a room and garage, it is better to get 2 smaller dehumidifiers that can cover more ground. Vremi 70 Pint is also very loud and big which makes it unsuitable for a small bedroom.
- Drain up to 70-pint moisture a day.
- Remove excessive moisture up to 4500 sq. ft.
- Direct-drainage, auto de-ice, outage, restart, timer.
- Large 1.6-gallon resevoir.
- Bulky unit that is not suitable for limited spaces like studio.
How Do You Know If Mold Or Mildew Is Making You Sick?
Living with mold and mildew can make you sick and can be dangerous to one's health. As there are many types of mold in a home, the level of exposure and toxicity will vary from every family member. Through inhaling, ingesting, or touching, a person might experience allergic reactions such as:
- Stuffy nose, Sinusitis
- Cough, Postnasal drip coughing
- Bloodshot eyes, Watery eyes
- Sore throat
- Rashness, Blister, Eczema
- Itchy skin, throat, and nose
- Muscle ache, Joint pain, Abdominal cramps
- Night sweats, Abnormal body temperature
- Static shocks
- Dehydration, Frequent urination
- Loss of appetite, Bloated, Diarrhea
- Nausea, Vomit
- Bad metallic taste, Burning sensation in the mouth
The symptoms might be gone within hours to even days depending on how sensitive a person is with mold or mildew. If you have mold allergies, you might even endure breathing problems such as:
- Chest tightness
- Breathing Difficulty
Mold can also affect your brain and state of mind such as:
- Migraine, Vertigo
- Mood swings
- Loss of interest
- Forgetfulness, Poor memory
- Fatigue, Tiredness
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prolonged exposure to mold especially black mold can cause mold poisoning. Black mold releases harmful mycotoxins substances that when inhaled, it can lead to respiratory and other issues such as:
- Conjunctivitis, Uveitis, Blurry vision
- Hemorrhage, Low blood pressure, Blood clotting, Bone marrow disruption
- Weaken immune system, Autoimmune disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart inflammation, Irregular heartbeat
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Epilepsy, Stroke
- Parkinson's disease
- Infertility, Impotence, Fetal development problems, Miscarriage, SIDS
- Weight loss including Anorexia, Hair loss, Hearing loss
- Respiratory tract damage
- Aggravate asthma
- Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Pulmonary edema, COPD, Lung cancer
- Abnormal liver, Liver cancer
How to Choose Dehumidifier Size
To choose the right dehumidifier, you will need to measure your room size and the dampness level. The right size dehumidifier is very important as it ensures the entire room dampness can be reduced to prevent mold growth. The higher capacity a dehumidifier is, the more room space a dehumidifier can cover. As such, a 70-pint dehumidifier will always be a safer choice because it covers more ground than a 50-pint dehumidifier. Below is the table to help you decide what dehumidifier is needed based on the room size and humidity level.
|Room Conditions||Square Footage|
|300 sq. ft.||500 sq. ft.||700 sq. ft.||1000 sq. ft.||1,500 sq. ft.|
|Moderately Damp||30 pint||40-45 pint||50 pint||60 pint||70 pint|
|Very Damp||30 pint||40-45 pint||50 pint||60 pint||70 pint|
|Wet||40 pint||50 pint||60 pint||70 pint||90 pint|
|Extremely Wet||40-45 pint||50-60 pint||60-70 pint||70 pint||90+ pint|
What Is the Ideal Relative Humidity To Prevent Mold And Mildew?
50% would be the ideal relative humidity level to prevent mold and mildew growth while maintaining good quality air. But do not be too fixated with the numbers as anything between the range of 30% to 50% would also stop the fungus. Mold and mildew thrive best in a very damp environment with at least 60% relative humidity. We highly recommend you to get a hygrometer or dehumidifier with a humidity reader to constantly monitor and maintain the room dampness level.
Should I Run a Dehumidifier in The Winter?
There is no harm running a dehumidifier in the winter or on cold temperatures as long as it is above the recommended 65 °F degrees. Most dehumidifiers will have a defrost mechanism that prevents ice buildup on the coil. The device will automatically shut down when the room temperature drops below 65 °F degrees. Keep in mind that the humidity level during the winter is usually on the lower side so there is no need for a dehumidifier.
What To Look for In a Mold Dehumidifier?
All dehumidifiers can remove moisture that is critically needed for mold to survive. Some offer the convenience of use but will have to sacrifice on the flexibility. Some will do a better job with its high moisture capturing capacity but at a trade-off in cost. After countless of hours reviewing hundreds of dehumidifier, these are the key features that would matter to you the most. Go through the list carefully to ensure you get the best out of a dehumidifier for mold.
- Dimension and weight - An important factor that is often overlooked. In theory, a single big bulky dehumidifier can cover multiple rooms but in reality, it is ineffective. A smaller unit would be better if you have limited room space like a bedroom, basement, or crawlspace. Moving a small dehumidifier from room to room is also much easier due to the lighter weight. That said, a 30-pint dehumidifier is normally our threshold between performance and portability. You will only need to sacrifice minimal capacity and water tank size while still retaining most of the functionality.
- Capacity (coverage) - The higher the capacity, the more moisture the dehumidifier can capture a day in a much wider area. Measure the room size that you need it to humidify and go with a unit that can support that. If you are unsure that is the overall room size, always go with a higher pint unit i.e. 70-pint unit rather than a smaller one i.e. 30-pint.
- Water tank capacity - The higher the dehumidifier capacity, the bigger the water tank it will be. This is to accommodate the higher volume of water that will be collected in the reservoir. The frequency of you needed to empty the water will be way less if the dehumidifier is running at a slower fan speed.
- Continuous drain option - A convenience mode that will save you a lot of time and effort in emptying the water tank. Continuous drain mode will pump the water straight to a drain or sink via a garden hose. This will also prevent the dehumidifier from shutting down when the water tank is full. For models that do not have a built-in pump, you will need to position the dehumidifier at a higher ground to allow the water to flow out via gravity.
- Noise level - Dehumidifiers can generate a fair bit of noise through the fan and the compressor especially at a higher speed. Some models are more suitable for night use as it produces slightly lower decibels output. If you want a completely silent operation, go with a thermoelectric dehumidifier that uses Peltier technology to dehumidify the air.
- Power consumption - The lower the dehumidifier capacity, the lower power output it will use. Statistically, you can save up to $120 electricity bills annually. Ideal for long hours of operation. If you need an energy conservative model, look for Energy Star certified dehumidifier.
- Auto shut-off - Automatically stop the dehumidifier from functioning when the water tank is full to prevent overflow.
- Auto-restart - Automatically restart the dehumidifier after a power outage so there is no disruption on the operation. All but mini dehumidifiers have this feature.
- Auto-defrost - Built-in sensors that prevent ice build-up thus allows the dehumidifier to operate at a low temperature. Not available in mini dehumidifiers.
- Humidistat - Displays the current humidity level and allows you to program your desire humidity settings.
- Permanent filter - A washable filter that blocks airborne impurities like dust and debris from damaging the dehumidifier. As the filter is washable, you can reuse it over and over again without having to worry about the replacement cost. Just remember to clean the filter when the Filter clean LED indicator lights up.
- Timer - Most dehumidifiers come with a pre-set timer that you can set to limit the runtime. Perfect for night use or before you leave work.
- Fan speeds - Most dehumidifiers come with 2 to 3 speeds that you can select to manage the airflow output and noise generated.
- Pricing - A mini thermoelectric dehumidifier should not cost more than $100. A 30-pint dehumidifier should be below the $200 price point while a 50-pint dehumidifier should not be more than $300. Our limit for a 70-pint dehumidifier is below $400 mark depending on the brand reputation and track record.
- Warranty and durability - Never underestimate the importance of a warranty. Most dehumidifiers have a decent lifespan even with continuous hours of operation. A warranty will protect you from receiving a lemon unit that malfunction after a couple of months. Study what does the warranty cover such as the moving parts, labors, and does it comes with a 1-to-1 exchange policy. Make sure the brand has a service center nearby for you to send for fixing in case the dehumidifier broke down. Also, never attempt to repair the machine by yourself as it will void the warranty.