Relative humidity is the percentage of moisture in the air compared to how much there could be at a specific temperature. The higher the percentage, the more water vapor there is in the air. The RH level would be between 30 to 55 percent. Anything above that will result in air being stale, humid and uncomfortable to breathe in. The warm plus high dampness environment would also encourage the growth of mold. Having mold, mildew and other microbes present in your air can also be dangerous to your health. To check what is your humidity level in your home, get a hygrometer/ moisture meter which is around $10-20 in Amazon.
What Is a Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is a simple device that draws moisture in the surrounding air through heating and condensation. The built-in fan will first draw moisture in through a series of coils. The refrigerated coil will then cools the moist air into water drips and transfer it to the bucket or drain hose. The drained air will now have to go through a series of heated coils and then dispersed as dry air. The whole dehumidifying cycle will repeat itself until the desired humidity level is reached.
How To Set Up a Dehumidifier?
Before we begin any of the steps below, make sure to go through the manual at least once to familiarize yourself with the dehumidifier. There may be some cool tricks or hidden features you missed out.
- First, use a portable hydrometer/ moisture meter to measure the relative humidity level in the room you want to dehumidify. If you already have a dehumidifier at home, you can use the built-in humidistat sensor to measure the room humidity level instead.
- Try to plug the dehumidifier only to a grounded wall socket, not plug extension. This is because some models can get short circuit and burn if there are too many appliances plugged in. This can be hazardous and causes fires especially most people will leave the dehumidifier unattended.
- Once the dehumidifier is plugged on, turn it on by pressing the on/ power button and start setting your desired humidity level. Remember, the ideal level is between 30-55 percent. There should be a digital display indicating all the important information.
- There are 2 ways of clearing out the collected water from the dehumidifier. Once the bucket is full. you could either manually remove the bucket and empty it on a sink and reinsert back the bucket. On a hot sunny day, you may have to empty the bucket more frequency as there is more moisture in the air. The better way would be relying on a built-in pump or drain hose that removes the collected water vapor straight to a floor drain or sump pump. You will never have to worry about the reservoir overflowing as water is pump straight to the drain continuously.
- There are usually 2 speeds available in a dehumidifier. The low/ normal speed is best used if you plan to leave the dehumidifier for at least 8 hours. If you want faster dehumidifying results, choose high/ turbo/power speed. Keep in mind the higher the fan speed, the more power consumption and noise level it will be.
- 24-hour timer function is standard in the most full-sized dehumidifier. Press the button repeatedly to cycle between the preset hours. Once the countdown time is reached, the device will automatically shut-down. Very useful if you decided to operate the dehumidifier within a short period of time.
What Size Dehumidifier Size Do You Need?
Every dehumidifier has a pint recommendation that is usually based on AHAM guidelines. Most manufacturers will have 3 different sizes dehumidifiers. For instance, a 30-Pint dehumidifier can cover between 500-1,500 square feet. A 50-Pint dehumidifier can cover 2,000-2,500 square feet. A 70-Pint dehumidifier can cover up to 2,500 square feet. The higher the pint figures, the more moisture it can pull in per day. If you have a large room size with very wet dampness, it makes more sense to go with a 70-pint unit. Vice versa, if you have a small room size, you will only need a 30-Pint unit as it will be sufficient without wasting too much energy. Visit our dehumidifier room size guide to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
How Much Electricity Does a Dehumidifier Use?
Dehumidifiers are expensive to run. On average, a 70-pint dehumidifier running more than 8 hours per day will cost you $10 a month. If you are planning to run a dehumidifier on a daily basis, make sure to choose the right capacity capable of covering the entire room. If you pick a less capable unit i.e. 30-pints, it will take a longer period of time to dehumidify a larger room. This can significantly drive up electricity costs. Also, do consider the many Energy Star Rated models in the market that are more energy-efficient. Learn more about dehumidifier power consumption here.
What To Set Dehumidifier Humidity In Summer
The ideal humidity range would be 50-55 percent as it is still within healthy, comfortable breathing. The reason for this is because the summer weather is hot and humid. If you set the humidity level too low, the dehumidifier would have to constantly keep up in order to achieve the targeted humidity. That would result in longer running time and a higher electricity bill.
What To Set Dehumidifier Humidity In Winter
Ideally, the humidity level should be set between 50-55 percent for a dehumidifier. This is because the humidity level in winter is typically on the lower end. Running a dehumidifier would actually have a negative outcome as it drains out moisture that is already lacking.