how to use a dehumidifier

How to Use a Dehumidifier: Tips for Maintaining Optimal Indoor Humidity Levels

Learning how to use a dehumidifier can be essential in improving your quality of life. If you struggle with high levels of humidity (or damp air) in your home, this excess moisture can cause several problems. A high humidity level can lead to issues with congestion and breathing and cause mould increase in your home.

When you use a dehumidifier, you essentially filter the air, remove excess moisture, and get rid of other components in the atmosphere that may negatively influence your health. A dehumidifier can essentially help you to optimise your air quality so that you can minimise common problems.

Of course, the first step in discovering the benefits of a humidifier is knowing the steps involved in using a dehumidifier to enhance your home environment. Here’s what you need to know.

When Should You Use a Dehumidifier?

Before anything else, you may need to ask yourself when to use a dehumidifier on your property. Ideally, experts say relative humidity in a room should be between 45 and 55%. During the winter months, your humidity level may need to be lower so you can avoid things like condensation causing fog on your windows and increasing your risk of mould.

When the relative humidity level in your home stays above 65% for extended periods, you increase your risk of exposure to various threats, including a higher chance of substances growing in the warm air. You can use hygrometers in a large room with windows closed to examine the humidity of your room.

If you don’t have a hygrometer, you may be able to sense whether your home has a large amount of excess humidity by feeling the moisture. You might notice a slightly damp feeling throughout your home, outside of rooms where you’d normally see moisture, like the bathroom.

A high humidity level in a home will also cause feelings of stuffiness, making it harder to breathe at night and increasing snoring. Alternatively, if the humidity level in a room is below 35%, you may experience symptoms like dry and itchy skin, flaking, and peeling paint in your house.

Common Signs That You Need a Dehumidifier

Many signs and red flags may indicate the need for a dehumidifier in your home. For instance, it’s worth keeping an eye out for mould growth or discolouration around your property.

If you notice these damp spots, there’s a good chance of condensation and other moisture causing a build-up of fungus in your home. Other things to look out for include:


A musty odour or unwanted smell is a common sign that mildew and mould is beginning to grow around your home around your home, even if you can’t find the moisture source. Water vapour can get into a lot of difficult-to-see areas around your home.

Rotting Woods

Wood retaining moisture in your home can begin to rot and attract unwanted pests into your property. You’ll need to run a dehumidifier to protect the wood and other materials in the home which might be susceptible to moisture.


If your windows are constantly covered in beads of water, this could be an indication you’re not getting enough air movement in your home.

This might be a signal that you need a dehumidifier to reduce excess water.

condensation on window

Should a Dehumidifier Run All the Time in Your Home?

Moisture on glass can also potentially freeze and lead to shattering, so it’s important to be particularly cautious during the winter months.

If you have moisture issues, your dehumidifiers may need to run through most of the day. Many people will run dehumidifiers for water extraction for at least 12 hours a day. However, how frequently you run your machine will depend on several factors, including how much energy the device will use and how much moisture is in your property.

How Do You Use a Dehumidifier for the First Time?

If you decide it’s time to tackle the humidity levels in your home, dehumidifiers can be the perfect way to get your property back on track. However, using a dehumidifier for the first time can be daunting, particularly if you choose a complex machine with many features.

Here are some quick tips for using a dehumidifier effectively.

Choose the Right Dehumidifier

The first step in learning how to use a dehumidifier correctly is making sure you choose the correct product for your needs. Dehumidifiers come in different shapes and sizes, from simple desiccant dehumidifiers to compressor dehumidifiers.

A desiccant dehumidifier will usually be more affordable, as desiccant dehumidifiers use special substances to absorb and remove moisture from the air, lowering humidity levels without the need for electricity in some cases. Alternatively, a compressor dehumidifier uses a fan to draw moist air across a series of cooling coils. The compressor dehumidifier can use a top-mounted air discharge system to expel humidity from your home and even lower temperatures at the same time.

Both products will usually come with a water tank you need to remove regularly. However, understanding how different dehumidifiers operate should help you choose something suitable for your needs.

Get the Dehumidifier Size Right

Aside from choosing the right type of dehumidifier, you’ll also need to make sure you’re choosing the right sized product. Choosing the size of your dehumidifier should ensure you don’t have to constantly empty the water tank every hour or so.

Think about how much space you need your dehumidifier to work on at once. Most dehumidifiers of average size can collect up to 15 litres of water every day, which is ideal if you have a home of up to 2,000 square feet you want to work on.

However, if you’re dealing with a particularly humid location, you might need to consider using a larger dehumidifier. A bigger size dehumidifier can collect more moisture daily. Consider shopping around to find the option that’s right for you.

Know Where to Place Your Dehumidifier

Once you choose your dehumidifier, you’ll need to figure out where you’re going to place it.

It’s not enough to decide to place your dehumidifier in your laundry room or kitchen.

a device that reduces air moisture level

Remember, the surface you place your dehumidifier on can influence its performance, so avoid a particularly cold surface, colder rooms, or warmer rooms.

Once you choose your dehumidifier, you’ll need to figure out where you’re going to place it. It’s not enough to decide to place your dehumidifier in your laundry room or kitchen. Remember, the surface you place your dehumidifier on can influence its performance, so avoid a particularly cold surface, colder rooms, or warmer rooms.

If you’re going to be using an exhaust fan with your dehumidifier to get rid of excess water droplets, you’ll need to locate the hose carefully so that it can angle out of your window or a vent. Make sure you follow the instructions provided by your manufacturer to make your dehumidifier work.

Never place your dehumidifier against a wall, as this makes it impossible for air to escape. You should also avoid placing a dehumidifier around furniture unless it has a top-mounted system for air discharge. There needs to be space around the dehumidifier so the air can circulate properly.

Learning How to Operate Your Dehumidifier

Once you get the placement of your dehumidifier right, read the owner’s manual on how to use the machine. When learning how to use a dehumidifier, your owner’s manual should give you a good insight into how the system works to get your home to the ideal relative humidity level.

You can also use a dehumidifier manual for insights into how often you need to remove the air filter in a compressor dehumidifier or how often you need to replace your desiccant dehumidifier filter. If you’re using an electric dehumidifier, you’ll usually need to plug the system into an electrical outlet in your wall. Be careful the system is totally dry to avoid an electric shock.

Next, you can switch the machine on and adjust the setting to suit your air and room size. If your system has a continuous drainage feature built-in, you’ll need help from a plumber to make sure you can drain the water tank of the dehumidifier effectively. Most dehumidifiers will allow you to empty the water tank frequently on your own.

How Do You Dry a Room With a Dehumidifier?

The instructions included in your dehumidifier product manual should provide you with some basic information on how to remove moisture from your home using a compressor or desiccant dehumidifier. This will include tips on when to empty the water tank and how to check the dehumidifier’s coils are working as they should be.

Keep an eye out for any indicator lights on your dehumidifier which indicate a problem with your device. When you’re using a dehumidifier to avoid condensation, damp areas, and damage to your woodworking equipment, follow these tips:

Keep the Windows and Doors Closed

If you want to dry out a room with your dehumidifier, it’s important to focus the humidity setting on one specific area.

Closing the windows and doors will make it easier for your dehumidifier to get to the perfect level in your home without needing several cycles.

Place the Dehumidifier in an Open Space

A dehumidifier works best when it’s in an open space. Placing your dehumidifier in the middle of the room after you automatically shut all windows or doors will allow the air to circulate in the unit. It also ensures strange differences in heat and cold don’t make a difference to the dehumidifier operation.

Go Close to the Damp Areas

If you’re using dehumidifiers in a large area, it might be helpful to reduce the square feet distance of your dehumidifier to the moisture sources. Try to stay away from any furniture. Avoid allowing the water reservoir to sit too close to any electrical outlets in your home.

Pay Attention to Dust Sources

Dirt and dust in the room and the air when you’re running your dehumidifier can make it difficult for certain dehumidifiers to work properly. It might be a good idea to clean your room before you start running your dehumidifier.

Empty the Water Tank

Unless you have a continuous drainage system in place, you’ll need to regularly empty the water tank of your dehumidifier to ensure it can continue to work correctly. Keep an eye on the water tank and remove moisture whenever it builds up.

If you notice an issue that stops you from running your dehumidifier effectively, consider checking the instructions in the user manual. Different dehumidifiers work differently, and some devices will come with error codes to help you troubleshoot problems.

Learning how to use a dehumidifier correctly to ensure the right relative humidity in your home is an incredible way to improve your quality of life in no time. Dehumidifiers work wonders when reducing the mould and mildew in your home. If you choose the right size dehumidifier and use it properly, you can enhance your air quality in no time.

Can You Run a Dehumidifier All Year?

The air in your home is likely to change at different times of the year. Sometimes, humidity can be more of an issue in summer or winter. Knowing how to use a dehumidifier throughout different months of the year can be important for getting the most out of the seasons.

Pay attention to the instructions provided by your manufacturer on how you might need to change the way you use your device at different times of the year. During the winter months, be extra cautious removing excess moisture from your device to ensure it doesn’t freeze.

You may need to double-check whether the manufacturer deems the system ‘suitable’ for use during the winter months. Some machines are not designed to operate in harsh temperatures.

Making the Most of Your Dehumidifier

Remember to pay attention to the airflow through your dehumidifiers, and make sure you change the filters frequently. It’s also worth watching how heat and cold influence your dehumidifier to determine whether you might need to change your dehumidifier settings.

Regularly checking your dehumidifier coils and other components to ensure they’re working correctly could be crucial. Plus, some experts say it’s helpful to give your dehumidifier a break now and again if you do run it continuously. The motor can work harder in some months of the year, which can cause wear and tear on the internal components.

Be careful leaving your settings too high for too long, as this could cause excessive strain on your dehumidifier, forcing you to seek out the assistance of a technical professional or get a replacement much sooner than you’d like.

If you have any technical problems with your dehumidifier, reaching out for specialised assistance could be your best bet. Good luck learning how to use a dehumidifier effectively to enhance relative humidity and improve your home’s indoor air quality.

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