How Long Should I Run a Dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers can come in handy when dealing with a mold problem. However, it can be difficult to know how long to leave the machine running.

You should run a dehumidifier for 12 hours on average to keep your room’s humidity levels between 40 and 50 percent. Avoid keeping the machine turned on for too long, as this can contribute to the growth of dangerous viruses in your home.

How Long Should I Run A Dehumidifier

This article will explain the proper amount of time to run a dehumidifier in your home. Keep reading to learn about a few topics related to running a dehumidifier and measuring relative humidity.

Calculating How Long You Should Run a Dehumidifier

Generally, running a dehumidifier for 12 hours will keep your room sufficiently dry.

However, since there’s a lot of variation in everyone’s house size, I can’t give you an exact figure.

You should run your dehumidifier for however long it takes to keep your home’s relative humidity (RH) levels in the ideal range.

The ideal humidity range for most homes is between 40 and 50 percent.

Higher humidity can lead to mold, blistering paint, allergic reactions, and musty odors.

On the other hand, lower humidity can facilitate the growth of viruses and infections like the flu.

What Is the Best Way To Measure the Humidity in a Room?

Digital devices called hygrometers are the best way to measure the relative humidity in a room. If you don’t have one of these machines or can’t afford to purchase one, use the ice cube method.

Testing Humidity With Ice Cubes

Place two ice cubes in a glass of water and put the container on a counter for 5 minutes.

Use a timer to keep track of this time. This step is extremely important to the process.

Once 5 minutes pass, look at the water droplets on the outside surface of the glass.

If there are more than a few droplets of water, your room has a higher level of humidity.

However, if there are no droplets, the humidity level is low.

Dehumidifiers can only help fix the first scenario. You’ll need a humidifier for the second.

Avoid doing this experiment in a kitchen because the temperature and humidity levels in that room are usually different from the rest of a house.

Since you cook there, fumes from your pots can taint this test’s results.

Doing this test in a bathroom also isn’t a good idea because this room has higher humidity levels than the rest of the house, especially when it has been used recently.

Use Relative Humidity Levels To Get a Time Range

Once you’ve figured out how to tell what the relative humidity level is in your room, you can figure out the ideal time to run your dehumidifier.

This process is simpler when you’re working with a hygrometer.

The process for determining a dehumidifying time range with a hygrometer is as follows:

  1. Turn on the dehumidifier.
  2. Make a note of the value on your hygrometer and the time on a clock.
  3. Check the machine every hour.
  4. Turn off the dehumidifier as soon as the value on the hygrometer reaches around 45 percent.
  5. Make a note of the time and calculate out how long the machine was turned on.
  6. Repeat this process once every day for three days.
  7. Calculate an average value from your experiments.

Assuming you get 8, 10, and 13 hours as the results of your experiments, you should run the machine for around 10 hours every day.

If you’re working with the ice cube method, it will likely be more challenging to determine the ideal length of time to run the dehumidifier.

This is because instead of checking a machine for a value every hour, you’ll have to repeat the entire technique.

If this is the route you plan to take, it’s best to plan this exercise for a day you’ll be at home all day.

Other than having to do the ice cube method every hour or so, the process for figuring out the time period is the same as that for when you’re using a hygrometer.

Do I Need To Run a Dehumidifier Constantly?

How Long Should I Run A Dehumidifier

You don’t need to run a dehumidifier constantly. Only run it until you’ve reached your target humidity level, then turn it off. Keeping the machine on consistently will lower your home’s humidity to unsafe levels.

Using a Dehumidifier That Turns Off Automatically

Some dehumidifiers come with inbuilt systems that turn the machine off when the desired humidity level has been reached.

This feature is common in products made by well-known and relatively costly brands, and it’s very simple to operate.

If you have the option to invest in it, you should definitely consider one of these machines.

All you have to do is input the desired humidity level.

As soon as the machine detects that it has been reached, the dehumidifier will turn off.

Turn Your Dehumidifier off Manually if Needed

If your machine doesn’t have this feature, you need to make sure you turn your dehumidifier off when humidity reaches between 40 and 50 percent.

Moreover, running the machine for very long periods will use up a lot of electricity.

Unless you want a huge bill every month, avoid running your dehumidifier constantly.

Should I Run My Dehumidifier During the Night or Day?

How Long Should I Run A Dehumidifier

You can run your dehumidifier in the daytime or at night. Run it during the day if you want to achieve maximum comfort levels while you’re awake. Alternatively, use it during 10 PM and 7 AM if you want to cut down on your electricity bill, because general usage is low during this period.

Ideally, you should only run your dehumidifier when humidity levels rise above 50%.

However, if your home is in a humid region and needs to be dehumidified at least once a day, you may consider running the machine more often.

Final Thoughts

You should run your dehumidifier for however long it takes to reduce humidity levels below 50%.

Typically, this takes around 12 hours. It may be more or less for you.

If you keep the dehumidifier on for too long, you’ll have harmfully low levels of humidity that may facilitate the growth of viruses and infections in your home.

Therefore, always avoid keeping a dehumidifier running constantly.

You’ll rack up a huge electricity bill and create a whole bunch of new health related issues.

Cheers, tools owners!

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Hi there! My name is Jack and I write for ToolsOwner. I have a passion for everything related to tools and DIY projects around the house. You often find me in my workshop working on new projects.