Finding the Best Cheap Dehumidifier for my Basement

I’ve spent a fair amount of time the last couple of weeks trying to find the best dehumidifier for my basement. When we purchased the house there was an old 70 pint Soleus Air dehumidifier down there. It felt like it wasn’t doing a great job, but it was running and figured we might get one more humid summer out of it.

About two weeks ago I put an Airthings View Plus monitor down in the basement to monitor radon levels. The monitor also picks up on humidity—our basement has been averaging about 75% humidity two weeks. So this old dehumidifier is running, using electricity, but not actually reducing humidity.

So it’s time for a replacement.

Comments on The Wirecutter, reddit and a few other forums made it clear that most of the dehumidifiers you’d purchase from Amazon or big box stores will fail in 2 to 4 years. The compressors are not particularly great. I guess they can’t really be on a machine that costs between $300 to $400.

On the other hand you can buy an Aprilaire dehumidifier for three times as much, but it should last about 15 years. Plus is would do a much better job than a cheap dehumidifier. I figured that maybe with $500 in labor that would be a worthwhile purchase.

Unfortunatly, the Aprilaire dehumidifiers need their own circuit. I was quoted $3,000 to $4,000 for parts and labor to install an Aprilaire system—so that’s no longer an option. A cheap option it is.

Currently, I’m evaluating two dehumidifiers—the GE APEL50LZ and the Frigidaire FFAP5033W1.

Personally, I am leaning towards the GE model right now. The Wirecutter’s main complaint about the GE models was the difficulty in connecting a drain hose. However, as a commenter points out—it’s difficult because the connection is over the water bin, which is nice in case of a leak.

The Frigidaire has a significant amount of comments citing failures around 1 year. Considering there is a 1 year warranty, there shouldn’t be so many failures around that time. It’s a bit of dice rolling.

Consumer Reports gave decent scores to some older GE models. Not the same ones, but I assume they are largely the same quality. It seems the models have an almost identical design.

The GE models are on sale and significantly cheaper than the Frigidaire.

I’ve ordered the GE Dehumidifier.

There’s some tinkering I’ll need to do to run the pump line to my sump pit. But I think I’m looking at about $300 to get this thing working.