How to Use a Dehumidifier

By: Evan Scoboria, Last updated: November 20, 2023

A dehumidifier is a valuable appliance that helps to remove excess moisture from the air, making your home more comfortable and healthy. It can be especially beneficial for those living in humid climates or areas prone to dampness and mold growth. However, if you've never used a dehumidifier before, getting started can be a bit intimidating. In this article, we'll provide some tips and guidelines on how to use a dehumidifier effectively.

How to use a dehumidifier

First, it's essential to understand how a dehumidifier works. It pulls in humid air, removes the moisture, and then expels the dry air back into the room. Most dehumidifiers have a reservoir or bucket that collects the water extracted from the air. Some models also have a drain hose attachment that allows you to drain the water into a sink or outside continuously. Understanding how your particular dehumidifier works is critical to using it properly.

Understanding Dehumidifiers

Understanding Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers are appliances that help reduce the humidity level in a room or space. They work by removing excess moisture from the air, which can help prevent mold growth, reduce allergens, and improve overall air quality.

There are two main types of dehumidifiers: refrigerant and desiccant. Refrigerant dehumidifiers work by cooling the air and condensing the moisture, while desiccant dehumidifiers use a drying agent to absorb moisture from the air.

When selecting a dehumidifier, it's essential to consider the size of the space you want to dehumidify. A unit that is too small may not effectively remove enough moisture, while a too large unit may be inefficient and waste energy.

It's also important to consider the humidity level in the space. A hygrometer can measure the relative humidity, and a dehumidifier should be set to maintain a 30-50% level.

Regular maintenance of a dehumidifier is also essential to ensure optimal performance. This includes regularly cleaning the filter and emptying the water collection tank.

Overall, understanding the basics of dehumidifiers can help to improve air quality and create a more comfortable living environment.

Choosing the Right Dehumidifier

Choosing the Right Dehumidifier

When selecting a dehumidifier, it is crucial to consider the size of the room or space that needs to be dehumidified. A dehumidifier that is too small will not be effective, while one that is too large may be unnecessary and costly.

A dehumidifier's capacity is measured in pints of water removed from the air in a 24-hour period. Generally, a 50-pint dehumidifier is suitable for a room up to 1000 square feet, while a 70-pint dehumidifier is appropriate for a room up to 1500 square feet.

Another factor to consider is the humidity level in the room. A larger capacity dehumidifier may be necessary if the humidity level is consistently high.

It is also essential to consider the noise level of the dehumidifier. A quieter model may be preferable if it will be used in a bedroom or other quiet space.

Finally, consider the features of the dehumidifier, such as automatic shut-off when the water tank is full, a built-in humidistat, and a washable air filter. These features can make the dehumidifier more convenient and efficient to use.

Overall, selecting the right dehumidifier requires careful consideration of the size of the room, the humidity level, the noise level, and the features of the dehumidifier.

Setting Up Your Dehumidifier

Setting Up Your Dehumidifier

Location Selection

Choosing the right location for your dehumidifier is crucial to its effectiveness. It is recommended to place it in an area with high humidity levels, such as a basement or bathroom. Avoid placing it near any heat or cold sources, such as radiators or air conditioning units, as this can affect its performance.

Additionally, place the dehumidifier on a flat, stable surface to prevent accidents or spills. It is also essential to keep it away from obstructions, such as furniture or walls, to ensure proper airflow.

Initial Setup

Before you turn on your dehumidifier, please read the manufacturer's instructions carefully. This will help you understand how to set and use it properly.

First, plug in the unit and turn it on. Set the desired humidity level and fan speed according to your preference. It is recommended to start at a higher fan speed and gradually decrease it as the humidity level drops.

Next, make sure to regularly check the water tank and empty it when it is full. Some dehumidifiers also come with a continuous drainage option, which allows you to connect a hose to the unit and drain the water directly into a sink or drain.

Following these simple steps, you can effectively set up your dehumidifier and enjoy a more comfortable and healthy living environment.

Operating Your Dehumidifier

Operating Your Dehumidifier

Using the Control Panel

To operate your dehumidifier, start by familiarizing yourself with the control panel. The control panel is usually on the top of the unit and consists of a few buttons and a display screen.

Most dehumidifiers have a power button that turns the unit on and off. To turn on the dehumidifier, press the power button. Some models may also have a fan speed button to adjust the fan speed.

The display screen will show the current humidity level in the room and the desired humidity level. Some models may also display the room temperature.

Setting the Humidity Level

Use the arrow buttons on the control panel to set the desired humidity level. The ideal humidity level for most homes is between 30% and 50%.

Once you have set the desired humidity level, the dehumidifier will automatically turn on and off to maintain the desired humidity level. The unit will continue to run until the desired humidity level is reached, and then it will turn off until the humidity level rises again.

It is important to note that the dehumidifier will only work effectively if the room is sealed correctly. Ensure that all doors and windows are closed and that there are no leaks or drafts.

In summary, operating your dehumidifier is a simple process. Familiarize yourself with the control panel, set the desired humidity level, and let the unit do the rest. Proper use of your dehumidifier can help create a comfortable and healthy living environment.

Maintaining Your Dehumidifier

Maintaining Your Dehumidifier

Cleaning the Filter

Regularly cleaning the filter of your dehumidifier is essential to ensure it functions properly and efficiently. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, reducing performance and increasing energy consumption. To clean the filter, follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn off the dehumidifier and unplug it from the power source.
  2. Locate the filter and remove it from the unit.
  3. Use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to remove dust or debris from the filter.
  4. If the filter is washable, gently wash it with warm water and mild soap. Allow it to dry completely before replacing it.
  5. If the filter is not washable, replace it with a new one.

Cleaning the filter at least once a month is recommended for optimal performance.

Emptying the Water Bucket

The water bucket in your dehumidifier collects the moisture removed from the air. It is vital to empty the bucket regularly to prevent overflowing and potential water damage. To empty the water bucket, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the dehumidifier and unplug it from the power source.
  2. Locate the water bucket and remove it from the unit.
  3. Pour the collected water into a sink or drain.
  4. If the bucket has a float switch, please ensure it is correctly positioned before replacing it.
  5. Replace the water bucket in the unit.

It is recommended to empty the water bucket at least once a day, depending on the humidity level and the size of the bucket. Some dehumidifiers also come with a continuous drainage option, allowing you to connect a hose to drain the water directly into a sink or drain.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Dehumidifier Not Working

If the dehumidifier is not working, there are a few things to check before calling for repair. First, ensure the outlet is properly plugged in and functioning. Then, check the water tank to ensure it is not full and has been properly inserted. If the tank is full, the dehumidifier will only operate once it is emptied.

Another common issue is a dirty air filter. If the filter is clogged with dust and debris, the dehumidifier cannot effectively remove moisture from the air. Check the filter and clean or replace it as necessary. If the dehumidifier still does not work, it may be a more serious issue, and professional repair may be required.

Excessive Noise

If the dehumidifier makes excessive noise, there are a few things to check. First, ensure it is on a level surface and not vibrating against anything. If it is shaking, move it to a different location or use padding to absorb the vibrations.

Another common cause of noise is a dirty fan blade. Check the fan blade and clean it if necessary. If the noise persists, it may be a more severe issue, and professional repair may be required.

Overall, troubleshooting common issues with a dehumidifier can be done with a few simple checks. However, if the problem persists, it may be best to seek professional repair to ensure the dehumidifier functions appropriately.

Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Dehumidifier

Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Dehumidifier

To get the most out of your dehumidifier and ensure its efficiency, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Choose the right size: Make sure you select a dehumidifier that is appropriate for the room you want to dehumidify. If the dehumidifier is too small, it won't be able to remove moisture from the air effectively. If it's smaller, it will cycle on and off too frequently, saving energy and shortening the unit's life. Use our dehumidifier size calculator to identify the right size unit for your home. 

  2. Position it correctly: Place your dehumidifier in the center of the room, away from walls and furniture. This will allow for optimal air circulation and ensure that the unit can effectively remove moisture from all areas of the room.

  3. Keep the air filter clean: A dirty air filter can reduce the efficiency of your dehumidifier. Clean or replace the air filter regularly to ensure the unit can effectively remove moisture from the air.

  4. Empty the water tank regularly: Be sure to empty it regularly to prevent it from overflowing. Most dehumidifiers have an automatic shut-off feature that will turn off the unit when the tank is full. However, it's still important to empty it regularly to ensure that the unit can continue effectively removing moisture from the air.

By following these simple tips, you can maximize the efficiency of your dehumidifier and ensure that it effectively removes excess moisture from the air, keeping your home comfortable and healthy.