How To Use Dehumidifier Effectively

So you had yourself a spanking new dehumidifier and are ready to draw in all the excessive moisture. But wait a minute, what's with all the buttons in the control panel? Why is there an adjustable humidity level? How come there is a different drain access pump when the water will be drip directly to the bucket? In this how-to-use guide, I'm going to walk you through all the basics plus how to get the most out of a dehumidifier. We will cover all the common questions from you guys, plus bonus tips on extending the lifespan of the dehumidifier.


Where To Place a Dehumidifier

Once you have decided on the right one, it’s time to think about the placement of a dehumidifier. In an ideal world, you should place it at the center of the room for better coverage but that is usually not possible due to the lack of wall socket. Most owners would tend to place the dehumidifier right at the corner of a wall or next to furniture which is a very bad practice. Instead, leave 1-2 feet gaps (6-12 inches) of space at all sides of the device to prevent any disruption in air circulation. As for the best spot for a dehumidifier, always place it as close to the root source of the humidity problem. The bathroom, laundry room, and basement are the hot spots for moisture. Else, place it in a bedroom as it is the place we spend one-third of our time.

How To Operate a Dehumidifier

Believe it or now, 8 out of 10 of a dehumidifier owner would skip the product’s instructional manual. Many people would assume they know how to operate a dehumidifier that they missed out on a few key features. So below are the pointers that we are going to show you how to use a dehumidifier effectively. Even though some of the tips below might seems redundant, you will be surprised that these little changes play a significant role in improving the whole dehumidification process.

  • Adjusting the humidistat according to your surroundings – The ideal relative humidity level is between 30-50%. Setting it too low means the dehumidifier will have to work harder to remove the excessive moisture in the air. Longer operational hours will increase electricity bills and reducing product lifespan. We recommend setting the humidity not more than 45 percent just to be on the safe side.
  • Clean the reservoir from time to time – Even if you frequently empty the water in the reservoir, there is no guarantee the bucket will be free from mold and germs. Water tank is highly prone to the growth of mold and mildew due to the constant humid condition and minerals buildup. If there are any contaminants spotted, Scrub off or disinfect the moldy patches, wipe the reservoir clean and let it dry before resuming the operation. This can prevent harmful bacteria and microorganisms from being distributed to the air.
  • Wash the removable filter monthly – Many dehumidifiers come installed with a washable filter to trap dust, mold, and other allergens. As permanent filters are reusable, vacuum the filter gently with a brush attachment to remove all the trapped particles. While you’re at it, clean the ventilation grill or coil with a cloth to remove any dust and debris blockage. The fewer particles on the filter, the more air will be able to flow inside. Make sure the dehumidifier is unplugged when cleaning.
  • Connect the pipes securely and tightly – If you are relying on the gravity drain, make sure the garden hose is carefully placed in a floor drain underneath the machine. This allows proper drainage and prevents water from stagnating or reverse flow. Also, secure the hose with extra tape on the connector so the hose doesn’t fall off and water leaks all over the place.
  • Do not operate a dehumidifier below the recommended temperature – Most dehumidifier has a low-temperature operation and auto-defrost features that can operate below 65 degrees with intermittent defrost cycle. The compressor will automatically shut down when the coils turn too cold with only the fan running to melt the ice. So regularly inspect the condenser coils for any frost or ice build-up. If there is frost on the coils, either some parts have malfunctioned or you are operating way below the suggested temperature.
  • Use at the right time – Other than summer where the air is hot and humid, a dehumidifier does not always have to run 24×7 if you play smart. You can reduce energy usage while maintaining its longevity. For example, the humidity will rise after you have taken a hot steamy shower or drying your clothes indoor. If you have a heater turn on, the run time will be lesser as the heat will dry out the air. A dehumidifier is also best used when you are away from work so you will not be annoyed by the fan noise. Alternatively, you can also use it at night time for a good night sleep without any breathing difficulty.
  • Partner up with vacuum cleaner and air purifier – It is best to vacuum the place first to prevent settled dust particles from being disturbed during the whole dehumidification. A HEPA air purifier would also help capture airborne particles like dust mites, pet dander, and germs from being suck into a dehumidifier. The fewer contaminants there is lingering in the air, the better the air quality to breathe into. That itself would boost the dehumidifier overall efficiently.
  • Close all windows and doors – The larger the room space, the harder the dehumidifier will have to work. Keeping doors and windows shut to prevent any inflowing and outflowing air. The dehumidifier will now only focus on removing moisture in the room.

Before we touch base on how to use a dehumidifier, let's start with the basics introduction. Dehumidifier is a home appliance designed to remove moisture in a high dampness room. By regulating the room humidity level, it will protect our home structure from rust, rot, and decay. It will also keep mold, spore, pesticide away allowing a healthy and comfortable breathing environment. There is less likelihood of you from suffering from allergic reactions or respiratory problems like an asthma attack.

Unlike other home appliances, a dehumidifier will require regular care and maintenance to ensure it will not cause more harm than good.

What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need?

Choose the right capacity dehumidifier is as important as learning how to use one. The right model would take out less time, less energy, and less noise to achieve the ideal humidity. Dehumidifiers are typically categorized into 3 groups based on the pints of water it can extract in a 24-hour period. A 30-Pint type would cover between 500-1,500 square feet of room size. A 50-Pint would cover between 2,000-2,500 square feet of damp room. A 70-Pint type would cover between 1,500-2,500 square feet in a damp environment. To determine which model is best for you, first, you will need to consider the room size and dampness level. The bigger and higher the dampness space, the bigger the capacity dehumidifier is needed. Get a hygrometer at any DIY shop or Amazon to find out what is your room’s relative humidity level. Other determining factors are the number of people in a household as it can affect the overall performance. You can learn more about how to choose the right size dehumidifier here.



Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.