How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run Per Day?

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Dehumidifiers are installed in rooms or homes that contain a high moisture level. In most cases, moisture levels between 30 percent and 50 percent are comfortable. Any levels below or above this percentage may cause problems to the home and the occupants. High moisture levels can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. If your dehumidifier is running excessively, there are few things you can do to lower the operational time.

Remove the Source of Moisture

Ensure that the outdoor environment is sealed from coming inside and kept outdoors. Close all windows and doors whenever the dehumidifier is under operation. Apply window and door seals to the openings to block the intrusion of moist outside air. Make sure the clothes dryer is vented properly outside, so the warm moist air is not vented inside the home. Install and use a bathroom vent fan to exhaust moisture laden air during hot baths and showers. If the dehumidifier is installed in a basement location, caulk and seal all pipe and vent openings even if they exit underground. Outside air can find any small open space and come inside.

Size the Unit for the Space

A small dehumidifier will have to work harder to remove the moisture if it is sized too small for a room. Larger units will pass more air across the cooling coils. The more air that can be dehumidified in a short amount of time will mean less energy usage. Larger units will also cycle less often if there is sufficient airflow across the unit.

No Strict Rules

There are no real strict rules for how long the unit must operate per day. All dehumidifiers are rated by the amount of water the unit can remove per day. In most cases the ratings are in pints or gallons. If the unit never shuts off, there may be more moisture present than the unit can remove from the air. In other words, the dehumidifier is only designed by its moisture removal capacity and can never exceed that capacity rating. Measure the amount of water removed in 24 hours to check the efficiency.

Preventive Measures

Check the settings on the control knob of the dehumidifier for the moisture percentage. Keep the coils and air vents free of any dust of debris. You may have to use the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner to keep the vents clean. Replace older dehumidifier units with newer energy efficient models. Units used in basement areas must be rated for basement use. Temperatures in underground spaces will tend to be lower. Most dehumidifiers will not operate below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Special units are manufactured that will operate in lower temperatures that reach 40 degrees F. These units will not freeze over.

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G.K. Bayne

G.K. Bayne is a freelance writer for various websites, specializing in back-to-basics instructional articles on computers and electrical equipment. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and studied history at the University of Tennessee.