Garages are not built like the rest of your home. They are generally more exposed, have limited insulation, and are typically not heated. Every time that the large garage door opens, the temperature and humidity can be affected. Moreover, since garages rarely have adequate ventilation or access to natural light, humidity levels can quickly rise and result in damage to the structure of your home, the contents of your garage, and your overall health.

A dehumidifier is an appliance whose sole purpose is to decrease humidity by taking moisture out of the air. This article will explain the many benefits of using a dehumidifier. It will also outline why having the right sized dehumidifier is essential for ensuring its effectiveness while showcasing our choice of top five dehumidifiers on the market.

Why you may need a dehumidifier in your garage

There are a variety of telltale indicators that your home might benefit from using a dehumidifier, including if:

  • You notice condensation often building up on your windows or walls
  • You see mildew or mold growing on any of the walls or ceilings in your home
  • Your clothes smell moldy or damp
  • Rooms feel stuffy or musty even after airing out
  • Windowsills or other wooden structures are rotting
  • Increased amounts of insects and pests in your home
  • Anyone in the house has a dust mite allergy
  • Your allergies are flaring more than usual
  • Your home has been flooded

Benefits of a dehumidifier for garage

You will likely notice several benefits once you start running your dehumidifier, including:

  1. Reduced humidity levels
  2. Reduction in mold, dust mites, or mildew
  3. Reduced musty odors
  4. Reduced dust meaning you don’t need to clean as often
  5. Reduced energy costs from cooling down your home
  6. Improvement in your air conditioner’s operation
  7. Improved breathing, especially for those prone to asthma and other respiratory illnesses

The Best Dehumidifiers for a Garage – Full Reviews

Best 500 sq. ft Garage Dehumidifier

KTPOWER Dehumidifiers for Home 3200 Cubic Feet (500 sq ft)

Sometimes humidity issues can affect small, enclosed spaces like a poorly ventilated bathroom.  In these instances, this KTPower dehumidifier is ideal.  It’s incredibly lightweight, compact, and unimposing.  It will blend with your décor as it is designed to look sleek and modern.

KTPower Dehumidifier

The 2L water tank is easy to remove and clean

Highly energy-efficient, this is a unit that you can plug it in and forget about since it also has an automatic shut off function when the unit is full.  This feature makes the KTPower dehumidifier the perfection option for second homes or tucked away places that you might otherwise forget to monitor. It also runs near silent, so it won’t disturb even light sleepers when running in an attached closet or ensuite.

KTPower dehumidifer

Automatically shuts off when full

Pros Cons
Compact and easy to moveSmall size is best limited to bathrooms, closets, or the like
Sleek design
Very quiet while operational

Our Verdict

If you have an issue with mold or condensation in a small space such as a bathroom, closet, or another enclosed area, this humidifier will be perfectly suited to the task.

It is lightweight, super easy to use, and with the automatic shut off, you can just leave it to fill up without having to monitor the unit.  If larger rooms or your whole house has humidity issues, then look to buy a larger model.

Best 1500 sq. ft

CLEVAST 1,500 Sq. Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier for Home

Sleek and modern design on wheels

This CLEVAST dehumidifier works like a charm, and some industrial engineers should be commended for the design.  This dehumidifier looks elegant enough to be in a living room or front hall without being out of place, and the fact that it is on wheels means that moving from room to room is incredibly easy.

The manufacturer claims that this dehumidifier can collect up to 22 pints of water per day, and we don’t doubt that one bit, but note that this will require emptying the water reservoir several times a day.

Consider where you can connect this machine to use the continuous drainage function if you purchase a separate drain hose.  This will make life much easier. Easy to use in spaces between 41-90 degrees Fahrenheit can get the humidity to between 30-80%.

Pros Cons
On casters so easy to move from room to roomThe water reservoir can fill up quickly, needing continuous emptying
Fairly quiet while operationalDoes not have an automatic shut off at a particular humidity level
Can connect a hose for continuous draining

Our Verdict

Ironically, the only real complaint that we have for this CLEVAST dehumidifier is that it works so well, you will need to empty the water reservoir several times a day.

Depending on the humidity, expect to empty the bucket at least 2-4 times per day; otherwise, you can set it up for draining continuously.  This is a great machine that will get the job done and look good doing it.

Best 3000 sq. ft

Ivation 3,000 Sq Ft Energy Star Dehumidifier

This Ivation dehumidifier is one of the best on the market. We are reviewing the 3000 sq. ft size, but it is also available in 1500 sq. ft and 4500 sq. ft so ensure you get the appropriate model for your needs.

The Ivation 3000 sq. ft model might be small, coming in at only 31 pounds, but it is built to be a workhorse. Not only can it quickly and efficiently get the humidity in space down to a more comfortable level, but it also comes with a load of built-in features that generally only come with models much more expensive.

Top extras include the six-foot power cord and optional continuous drainage function. 

There are two fan speeds, so you can connect the turbo function when out of the house and not need to worry since this dehumidifier will automatically turn off when the sensor notes that the water reservoir is filled.  The frost sensor prevents the unit from icing up and needing to be manually cleaned while also protecting the interior coils.  You can program this unit on a 24-hour timer to fit in with your lifestyle and save on electricity.

Ivation Dehumidifier at the living room

This model can be moved between the house and garage on included caster wheels

Pros Cons
Easy to move on the included caster wheelsSome claim the fan is a bit loud
Extra-long 6-foot power cord
Two fan controls – regular or turbo
Built-in humidity meter on the LCD display
Optional hose hook-up for continuous drainage

Our Verdict

If you’re on the lookout for a dehumidifier that will not look out of place in your sitting room, but is easy enough to move around your house or into your garage or camper, then look no further than this Ivation model.  It is built to last, has all of the functions (and more!) that you could ever want.

It will decrease the humidity in a space quickly and efficiently.  We were hard-pressed to find any downfalls except that some find the fan a tad loud, but I think they likely had the turbo function running.  This dehumidifier is remarkable, and I have no problem highly recommending it.

Best 4500 sq. ft

Waykar 70 Pint Dehumidifier for Home

This Waykar dehumidifier will seamlessly fit into any home or garage, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if all of your friends and family rush out to get their own after seeing yours operating.  The unique tower design allows for airflow on all four sides for quicker humidity reduction.

The screen touch panel displays the room’s humidity level and can be adjusted to maintain your preferred pre-set range.  You can choose between the manual drain option with a large 1.18-gallon water reservoir or continuous drainage with the included hose.  The machine also has an in-built air purifier, so it is the perfect appliance where a dehumidifier is being used to combat the effects of allergies and dust mites.

Waykar Dehumidifier

Pros Cons
Can be set for your ideal humidity Drain bucket can be challenging to remove and put back
24-hour timer
Includes the 6.56-foot drain hose for continuous draining
A sizeable 1.18-gallon water reservoir

Our Verdict

You might be looking for a dehumidifier for your garage, and we have no doubt that this Waykar machine will be up for the task, but likely you will find a reason to get this sleek unit into your home before too long.

It’s almost too nice to be tucked away out of sight.  It’s quiet, efficient, and easy to move around and program.  The only issue is that you’ll soon be needing to buy another one of the same to put back into your garage.

Best for Crawl Spaces

ALORAIR Duct-able Version Basement/Crawl Space Dehumidifiers

When you need a dehumidifier for an out-of-the-way area like a garage, basement, or crawlspace, you inevitably want a machine that is not only effective but designed to be used with a minimum of interference.

This ALORAIR dehumidifier is meant for just that task.  It might not be pretty, but this dehumidifier is not meant to be on display inside your home but instead constructed to run flawlessly and independently.  The condensate pump allows the unit to drain anywhere, rather than being restricted to a gravity feed.  This unit can be connected to your home’s forced-air duct system to bring down the humidity of your entire house.

If you purchase the separate remote control, you can monitor and control your home’s humidity remotely, without having to eye the machine.

AloAir dedicated HVAC supply

Can be ducted into a forced-air system or used on its own as a freestanding unit

Pros Cons
Easy to installPricy initial investment but can save a lot in maintenance in the long run
Auto defrost function
Energy efficient
Remote monitoring function so you don’t need to physically go to the machine (remote sold seperatly)

Our Verdict

The price might be a bit off-putting at first glance. Still, when you weigh up the functionality and efficiency of the Alorair dehumidifier, it is worth every penny for homes with humidity issues.

This energy-efficient unit can bring down your annual electricity costs for air conditioning or cooling expenses and save you heaps of money on cleaning, maintenance, and mold removal services.

Tops tips for using a dehumidifier

We have included below some top tips for using your dehumidifier and ensuring that you get the most benefits out of your new machine:

FAQS

How does a dehumidifier work?

You’ve seen those commercials with an icy cold Coke, with beads of condensation running down the glass on a hot, sticky day, right?  That is basically condensation and the principle behind a dehumidifier. Air loses its ability to retain moisture as it loses heat; a dehumidifier draws in hot, humid air with the internal fan and passes this air over refrigerated coils. The resulting condensation that remains on the coils is collected as it slowly drips into the water reservoir.

What size of dehumidifier you need

The size of dehumidifier that you need does not refer to the physical size of the unit but rather the:

  • Capacity
  • Power
  • Amount of water it can extract per day

The size of your room, basement, or garage and how humid or damp the area is will also need to be considered to determine what size of dehumidifier you need.

Does a dehumidifier work in a cold garage?

If you intend to use your dehumidifier in an unheated garage then you will need to do some additional research before your purchase. Choose a dehumidifier that will work in colder temperatures, which are generally:

Regular compressor dehumidifiers will generally work to about -15 degrees Celsius.  Desiccant dehumidifiers can be especially useful in a garage as they can lower the humidity to less than 40%, which is below metal’s rusting point.

If you plan to use your dehumidifier in a colder garage, then look out for specific features, including:

  • Continuous drainage so that you don’t need to remember to empty the unit
  • Automatic restart that can be used with a plug timer

How to prevent mold growth in a garage

Using a dehumidifier to lower your garage’s relative humidity is a great starting point for preventing mold growth in a garage. However, there are also other tasks which can help prevent mold growth from starting and limit the spread, including:

  • Improve the ventilation
  • Increase the amount of sunlight entering the garage (uncover blocked windows, etc.)
  • Use mildew-resistant or waterproof paint
  • Install shelves for storing items rather than having them on the floor
  • Use plastic totes rather than cardboard boxes

Conclusion

Often a dehumidifier is initially purchased due to problems associated with damp or humid conditions in the home.  Mold, condensation, and flooding can all cause severe and expensive damage to your house and your health.  After owning and operating a dehumidifier, you’ll also likely recognize the added health and cleaning benefits and its ability to keep your home’s cooling costs down.