A dehumidifier is an excellent way to keep your home dry. If you have one, you must love how warm and humidity-free your house has been. But is it safe to run a dehumidifier constantly all the time?
The answer is No, a dehumidifier does not need to be on all of the time. When the humidity level is 50% or above, it’s usually enough to run the unit. In most homes, a moderate humidity level of 30-40% is considered decent in the winter, while in the summer, it should be between 35 and 50 percent but no higher than 60 percent.
If you live in a humid area, this might be a constant temptation you might have to deal with. The only thing that might stop you are the ramifications, if any. That’s precisely what we are going to discuss here. Read on to find out more.
Is it Safe to Run a Dehumidifier Constantly all the time?
It isn’t a good idea to let your dehumidifier run constantly. You should only have it on if your home’s humidity levels are higher than you want them to be. That’s why most dehumidifiers come with internal control mechanisms.
The internal controls make them turn themselves off whenever the room achieves the right level of humidity. Although there aren’t any safety issues, you are better off only using the dehumidifier when needed. So, what is the ideal length of time to run a dehumidifier?
You can run it for anything between ten and twelve hours. After that, the humidity situation should have improved, and you can turn it off.
Reasons not to Run a Dehumidifier 24/7
You don’t need to run a dehumidifier all of the time. If you do, aside from too low relative humidity, you will run into a few issues. These issues include:
- Stressing the dehumidifier
- Raising your electric bill
- Increasing dehumidifier maintenance
- Humidity levels can drop too low
Wears down the dehumidifier faster
Having your dehumidifier running in continuous mode will put a strain on some parts. For instance, you might overwork the compressor when you run your dehumidifier for a long time.
Also, running the dehumidifier for long will cause it to overheat. Depending on the brand, this could have repercussions for the machine. That’s why it’s a good idea to only have the dehumidifier on for the time you need it to.
This will mean a shorter lifespan for your dehumidifier.
High energy costs
Even if your house isn’t humid, running a dehumidifier all day will increase your energy bill. Appliances that run all the time are a huge energy sink in your house. Running a dehumidifier day after day will add up.
More frequent emptying
The dehumidifier has a tank that fills up with moisture from the house. It will automatically turn off once this tank fills up. This only interferes with the dehumidifying process.
That’s why you need to ensure you have emptied the water tank before deciding to run it constantly.
You don’t want too low humidity
When humidity gets below 30%, it can cause dry skin and nosebleeds. In addition, too low humidity can cause wood to warp, paint to chip, and encourage certain germs.
While reducing humidity can be good in many cases, it is possible to get too low.
When Is The Best Time of Day to Run a Dehumidifier
The best time for you to use your dehumidifier is between 10 pm and 7 am. Depending on where you live, humidity levels will most likely rise during those times.
In case you are wondering whether that would be safe, it is. You can use a dehumidifier in the same room you are sleeping in with no health or safety issues.
You could also run the dehumidifier for 6 hours during the day and another 6 hours at night. Of course, all this depends on how you see your home dealing with the humidity.
These times are subject to change depending on the season, though. For instance, you shouldn’t run the dehumidifier for as long in the winter. That’s because there are usually lower humidity levels during winter.
In summer, you might have to run the dehumidifier for over 12 hours. Remember to always check the humidity level before powering it up. If above 50%, then it is okay to switch on the dehumidifier.
The dehumidifier will then switch itself off when it senses the proper humidity levels.
Factors to Consider when Deciding how long to run a dehumidifier
Before deciding on how long you run your dehumidifier, there are some things you will need to consider.
First, you will need to consider the potential costs of running the machine for a specific time. That could mean you manually calculate the energy costs of running the machine for 24 hours or 12 hours.
If you want to keep your energy bills low, you will have to go for a shorter timeframe.
Second, you will need to consider how humid your place is. If you live in some of those damp areas all year round, you will need to have it on for longer. That could mean running the dehumidifier for anything from 12 to 24 hours.
Third, you will need to consider your machine’s extraction rate. The extraction rate refers to the time the machine takes to remove all the humidity in your house. This rate could vary for different machines.
It could take you a long time to understand this rate, and we, therefore, advise you to be patient when determining it. For the average humidity areas, the extraction rate should be a maximum of 12 hours.
Still, some areas would need you to have the dehumidifier on for a longer time.
How to make your dehumidifier more efficient
To reduce the length of time you run your dehumidifier, you can do a few things to make it more efficient.
- Ensure proper airflow
- Clean the filter periodically
- Empty the water tank before starting
- Prevent additional moisture intake
By ensuring the air can circulate around the dehumidifier, you will promote peak efficiency. Simple maintenance, such as cleaning the filter and emptying the tank, will make sure that nothing detracts from that.
Finally, closing any doors or windows that might be contributing to the humidity levels will allow the dehumidifier to make progress.
Why is Your Dehumidifier Running Constantly Despite You Not Setting It?
The most obvious reason for this is that your dehumidifier lacks the automatic shut-off feature. You will thus have to be turning the machine off whenever you aren’t home. The dehumidifier will also run constantly if you place it in too cold an environment. The cold will freeze the machine’s coils and prevent them from moving and thus not working. When that happens, transfer the machine to a warmer and more central place.
Still, sometimes the dehumidifier seems to be working correctly but still won’t automatically shut off. If it has an auto shut-off feature but still runs constantly, it might have a problem. Consult an HVAC specialist to help you with this problem.
the Importance of Having a Dehumidifier
Apart from drying out your home, dehumidifiers can be integral in the fight against mold. Mold thrives in cold or wet conditions. Therefore, depriving them of wet conditions in your house will most likely prevent them from ever showing up in your home.
Dehumidifiers will also significantly boost the quality of indoor air in your house. That’s because they also remove any impurities present in the air. By purifying the air, dehumidifiers will also reduce odors in your house. That’s in addition to the removal of allergens in the air when cleaning it.
With a dehumidifier, you will also have a lesser energy cost to worry about. That’s because it will make your air conditioner run more efficiently. Air conditioners will have less to do since they won’t have to deal with dirt in the air. That means they will run efficiently and thus lower energy costs.
Popular dehumidifier options
We’ve made a list of some of the most popular and practical dehumidifiers for you. We ranked them by popularity, safety, efficacy, and other factors. However, we always recommend consulting with professionals before making a purchase.
If you already have a portable AC and don’t want to buy a dehumidifier, you can use your portable AC as a dehumidifier!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to have the dehumidifier on while you sleep?
Yes, it is. The dehumidifier will run, then turn itself off when the room is at the appropriate humidity level.
Are dehumidifiers energy efficient?
Yes, dehumidifiers are energy efficient. However, that will vary depending on how you use them.
How long should I run a dehumidifier after a flood?
Several things will determine how long to run a dehumidifier after flooding, the key among them being the size of the room. However, the typical time will range from two days to several weeks, depending on how severe the flooding was.
What is relative humidity?
This measurement takes into account both the humidity and the current temperature. RH is a percentage of the total water vapor that the air can retain at said temperature.
Summary of running a dehumidifier constantly
Now you know that you don’t need to run your dehumidifier constantly. If you leave a dehumidifier on, know that it can cause the humidity to drop too low, cause dry skin, and damage wood furniture.
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