So let's briefly go through what is a dehumidifier. It is a household appliance used to remove the excess moisture and lower the relative humidity (RH) in its surroundings. The device will pull air into its inlet, perform condensation and heating, and release dry air out. Humidity in a room will gradually drop as the moisture in the air is sucked out. The dehumidifier will automatically shut down when the desired humidity level is reached. Usually between 30 to 50 percent.
What is Relative Humidity (RH)?
Relative humidity (RH) is the percentage of water vapor in the air at a given temperature. More explicitly, it is the ratio of how much humidity is present and the maximum amount needed to achieve saturation at the same temperature. Another point to note that humidity is not the same with relative humidity. Humidity is the amount of vaporized water in the atmosphere. So the ideal extraction rate would be between 30 to 50 percent relative humidity. You will breathe more comfortably and there are fewer microorganisms like mold and mildew to deal with.
How Long Should a Dehumidifier Stay On
We recommend running the dehumidifier for at least 12 hours a day. This is highly dependant on the room dampness condition, the unit’s capacity, and in-built features. If the room condition is extremely wet, you might need to leave the dehumidifier on the whole-day. To do that, make sure the dehumidifier has auto shut-off feature that will turn off when the reservoir is full or a specific humidity level is reached. Better yet, if the dehumidifier supports continuous pump, connect it to a floor drain and you will not have to worry about emptying the water tank. If the above two features are not available in the appliances, you will have to manually to check on the unit. Incidentally, this would also surge up the energy bills as the dehumidifier will be running around the clock.
How To Reduce Dehumidifier Runtime?
Every dehumidifier has a lifespan and will usually last a couple of years. In an ideal situation, we do not let the dehumidifier run 24 hours a day as it will put extra burden on the compressor. While there are no ground rules on how long a dehumidifier should run, it is advisable to find out the root cause of the excess humidity. Here are some great preventive measures you could do to improve the unit service life.
- Improve on room ventilation – Lack of windows and doors will force the released vapor to be stuck in a room. On the other end of the spectrum, cracks on windows and doors will allow external moisture to leak in.
- Fix leaky pipes, roofs or tiles – Water leakage can cause flooding, structural damage, and mold problems that are detrimental to our health. Restore the damaged part a.s.a.p or hire plumber or roof repair specialist.
- Avoid using heating appliances – Unvented natural gas, kerosene models, heaters will contribute to moisture in a room. Avoid using it or replace it with alternate electrical appliances.
- Install an exhaust fan in the bathroom and kitchen – This is especially true on bathrooms as more moisture is generated after a hot bath and shower. An exhaust fan will suck out most of the moisture in the air.
- Make sure the reservoir is empty – If the water tank is full, the dehumidifier will not function properly and it could even damage the circuit board.
- Keep the coils and air vents free from dust – Use a brush and gently stroke out the debris to avoid clogging and damaging the internal components. The lesser dust there is, the more efficient the dehumidifier would be operating.