Should you be running your dehumidifier constantly? The simple answer is “it depends”.
Dehumidifiers are designed to be used continuously so there aren’t any safety issues you should be aware of. The decision is more related to whether or not it is necessary.
We’ll help you decide by providing a few scenarios and things to consider.
Factors That Affect Dehumidifier Running Duration
There are five main points you should consider:
1. The Room
The efficiency of your dehumidifier depends on the environment you install it in.
If you place a dehumidifier in a room that has plenty of airflow and natural light, it will run efficiently.
If you install it in a room that has poor airflow (due to obstructions) it will have to work harder.
The first scenario won’t require your dehumidifier to run constantly but the second might.
Basements are a good example where dehumidifiers have to work harder. This is because of cooler air temperatures and higher levels of humidity.
You will likely have to run your basement dehumidifier constantly.
If you are using a dehumidifier inside a grow tent, it will also need to run constantly.
2. Type of Dehumidifier
There are different types of dehumidifier and each has a difference level of performance based on their moisture removal rating.
Less powerful dehumidifiers must run for longer to achieve the same level of humidity reduction.
Always buy the most powerful dehumidifier you can. This is usually a model with a 70 pint rating.
3. Dehumidifier Features
There are many advanced dehumidifiers to choose from. In the past, all dehumidification units needed water tanks. Whenever a tank would fill up and need emptying, it had to be done manually.
It is now possible to use an automatic draining feature if you a length of hose and access to a water outlet.
Other features include LCD screens, advanced control panels and a variety of different operation modes.
Another great feature is auto shut-off functionality. This will allow your dehumidifier to stop running when the required humidity level is reached.
Those who live in dry climates should be wary of running a dehumidifier all the time. This is because very low humidity can cause sore throats, chapped lips and dry skin.
In contrast, those living in more humid environments will benefit greatly. Moisture content in the air will be reduced which will assist in reducing mold growth and the allergens that come with it.
5. Power Bill
The larger and more powerful your dehumidifier, the more it will cost to run.
But bigger dehumidifiers will dehumidify a space faster and so will shut off faster.
This makes them cheaper to run in the long run.
Tips to Increase Dehumidifier Lifespan
There are steps you can take to increase the lifespan of your dehumidifier:
1. Cleaning and Maintenance
Your dehumidifier should be cleaned once every 2-3 weeks. That involves cleaning the tank and all its filters to reduce dust and dirt accumulation.
If you notice changes to sound or performance, your dehumidifier may need servicing or replacing. Components like fans can degrade over time and sometimes need to be replaced.
2. Exhaust Fan
What if you’re using a dehumidifier in the bathroom, basement, or kitchen? These areas are very humid, so its always a good idea to increase airflow and ventilation if possible.
Running an exhaust fan at the same time as your dehumidifier is a great way to achieve this.
Older dehumidifiers should be monitored when running. Not all of them have an anti shut-off feature so you need to make sure the water tank doesn’t overflow when full.
You will also need to switch it off from time to time as it probably won’t have an automatic humidistat. This will avoid it running when it doesn’t need to.
If you can, create as much ventilation as possible. This could be opening a window in some parts of the house or running a standalone fan.
Depends are designed to run all the time, but that doesn’t mean they have to.
Consider the needs of your home and decide when its best to have your dehumidifier running.
We recommend relying on the humidistat. Set it to between 30 and 50% RH and it will only run when required.