This article on how to use a dehumidifier to dry a room is actually about how to get the most out of your unit.
We are also going to look at 7 tips to lower humidity VERY fast.
We use dehumidifiers to lower the level of indoor humidity in summer and other seasons. The recommended RH level indoors is 30 to 50%.
Some areas such as Florida have high humidity throughout the year. If you live in Miami, you might have to use a dehumidifier every week.
You should never let humidity get too high inside your house. 55% indoor humidity is okay. However, 60% humidity indoors will lead to mold development.
If your children are sneezing, coughing, itching, running noses or eyes too much, these are symptoms of mold sickness. Mold only develops when indoor humidity is 60% or higher.
Buying a unit is the first thing to do. Knowing how to use a dehumidifier effectively to dry a room is another thing altogether.
Here are some effective tips to help you get the most out of your unit to lower the humidity level.
How to use dehumidifier effectively
Believe it or not, using a dehumidifier effectively is much more than just plugging it in, switching it on and entering the settings.
You can do all that and yet it fails to dry up a room.
In another article, we looked at how to use a dehumidifier to dry clothes. As long as it is drawing moisture from the air, the humidity will keep dropping. But will it drop in time?
There are many things to consider when running a dehumidifier to dry a room. Some of them are as follows:
1. Proper dehumidifier placement
If you want to dry the air in the bathroom, you cannot place your portable dehumidifier too far. Remember, the unit draws moist air into itself, passes it over the coils to condense it and then the fans whip the dry air out through the vents.
The water collects into the dehumidifier bucket so that you can empty it when full. It is important to place the unit right inside the room that you want to dehumidify. If not, you can place it in the doorway of that room.
The closer the unit is to the source of the humidity, the more effective it will be in its job. If you want to dry the air in the basement, take the dehumidifier there.
To dry the air in the kitchen after a steamy cooking session, take the dehumidifier inside the kitchen or in the doorway.
Another important factor to consider for dehumidifier placement is that it should not be too close to the walls or furniture. You do not want any obstacles hindering the movement of air to the unit.
We recommend you place your dehumidifying unit at least 2 feet away from the wall or from the furniture. This is enough space for good air movement.
2. Get the right size dehumidifier
Humidifiers and dehumidifiers have a space rating. It is better to get a big dehumidifier for a small space than a small unit for a big space.
To dehumidify 600 square feet of space, get a unit that has a capacity of at least 1.8 gallons. For spaces smaller than this, you can use a unit with a capacity of 1.5 gallons.
Of course, it is a good idea to know the size of the space you want to dehumidify. Also, a big unit works well when there is high humidity. If you have 70 percent humidity indoors, you need a big unit to lower it to 50 percent in a few hours.
The basement is usually a big culprit of high humidity in the house, because it hardly receives sunshine from outside.
If that is the space that you want to dehumidify, you need a dehumidifier such as the Frigidaire 70 pint unit.
This dehumidifier can work in spaces as large as 1500 square feet, or even larger than that! Considering that an average American home is 2600 square feet in size, well, you see how helpful this unit can be.
Since you can also connect it with a hose so that it dumps all the water outside, it is quite convenient. You do not have to bother about emptying the bucket.
Remember, if you let the humidity rise too much in the basement, it will cause mold to grow. When the mold matures, it starts to produce mold spores that float in the air.
They spread to other parts in your house where they start new mold colonies.
If you just need to dehumidify a small space such as your car, a small, battery powered dehumidifier will serve you just fine.
3. Close the windows and doors of your house
If you have a humidity problem in the bathroom, set the dehumidifier inside and then close the windows and the doors.
If you do not, humid air from outside will keep coming in and you will have to keep running the unit.
If your home is in Seattle, the humidity can be a bit too much in summer. If you keep the windows open, humid air will keep coming in. You might not see a change in the indoor humidity level as soon as you had hoped.
If you want to dehumidify the entire house, close the main door and windows of the house. Open the door of every room in the house and then place the dehumidifier in the hallway.
You might have to run it for many hours but the air movement in the hallway ensures you dehumidify all of your indoor air.
If you live in a place of high humidity, running a whole house dehumidifier is better than using a portable unit.
4. Keep your unit clean
Dirty appliances do not do a good job. These include air purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers or even kitchen appliances.
Clean the unit as a whole, starting with the grill because the air passes through the grill. If the grills are blocked, the unit is not going to pull in enough air. The suction fans will overwork and eventually, your unit might overheat.
Check the filters of the unit regularly to ensure they are in good working order. Check with the manufacturer to see how often you should change the filters. Most say you should clean them once every 6 months.
If the filters are dirty, you might even experience the dehumidifier blowing cold air. Other things to check include the compressor and the coils.
To know that your unit is working just right, it should blow warm air into the room.
5. Empty the tank when it is full
Dehumidifiers draw water from the air and store it in the tank, especially many of the portable varieties.
If your unit is not connected to a hose for drainage, you should empty the tank on time. The reason for this is that the dehumidifier just shuts down when the tank is full.
Therefore, if you have been at work, you will find your indoor air still too humid when you come back in the evening.
Summer is the high humidity season. During this time, just empty the tank in the morning. You can even use the dehumidifier water to water your plants.
Start each day afresh on an empty tank. When you come home from work, you will find the unit still working.
Don’t worry about the dehumidifier running longer than necessary. Modern units run until they achieve the set humidity level, and then they shut down automatically.
If the humidity in the room rises again, the unit switches on automatically to lower the moisture content to the desired level.
6. Set the right humidity level
The right humidity level is 30 to 50% during summer. However, during winter, you will be running heating.
This warms the air inside the house. We know there is a relationship between temperature and humidity.
Warm air holds more water vapor than cold air. Thus, during summer, you might have to run the dehumidifier longer than you would in winter.
We recommend setting the humidity level for winter at 30 to 40%. This is still good because it falls within the recommended humidity range in the house of 30 to 50.
7. Run the dehumidifier for as long as necessary
Let’s assume that you have water damage in the house. Your walls and floors could have absorbed water.
In such cases, you might want to run your unit longer than a person who just wants to lower humidity in the bathroom.
If there has been flooding, you might have to run your unit for several days, everyday. To dry a flooded room completely, your unit will be drawing moisture from the walls.
Running the dehumidifier for a few days only will lower the humidity alright. However, later, the moisture content in the air rises again.
The reason for this is that the walls will contribute to the rise in humidity. Therefore, until the walls, ceiling and floor of the room that was flooded are completely dry, you will have a humidity problem.
Unless you have a consistent low humidity level for two or more days in the room, keep running that unit. You can use a hygrometer to measure the level of humidity in the room all the time.
How To Use A Dehumidifier To Dry A Room FAQ
Humidity is a complicated subject. Therefore, even after reading this write up, you still might have some questions. Here, these frequently asked questions and answers might help you:
How long does it take for a dehumidifier to dry out a room?
It can take anywhere from a few hours to several days depending on a few things. If this is regular humidity in summer, a few hours of using a dehumidifier to dry a room will be fine. When the basement or any other room was flooded, a dehumidifier can take several days to dry the room. It has to remove moisture from the walls, the floor and everything else that is soaked in water during the flooding.
To dry a flooded room faster, you can run a high capacity exhaust fan.
Will a dehumidifier dry out a room?
Dehumidifiers dry the air, so yes, it will dry out a room. If the room is big and the humidity really high, get a high capacity dehumidifier. Since most units come with auto on/off functions, it will shut off when it achieves the set humidity level.
Will dehumidifiers dry out damp walls?
To dry out damp walls in your room, you might need to run your dehumidifiers for several days. Keep checking with a hygrometer to find out the humidity level all the time. You can remove baseboards and molding first so that the wall dries up faster.
Where is the best place to put a dehumidifier in a room?
The best position for your portable dehumidifier is at least 2 feet from the wall for proper air movement. Place it facing the open space in the front to do it faster. Another important factor is to place the dehumidifier close to the source of humidity.
Should I close the door when using a dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers work faster when you run them in an enclosed room where no air from outside finds its way inside. If there is moist air coming from outside, you might need to run the unit non-stop, which overworks it and might cause it to sustain damage.
Will a dehumidifier get rid of damp?
A dehumidifier is going to remove dampness from the air. It can even extract dampness from the walls although you might have to run it for several days. Remember to set the right humidity level so that the unit switches off automatically when the level is reached. It will also switch on automatically when the humidity exceeds the set level.
Does a dehumidifier need to be in the center of a room?
You need to place a dehumidifier close to the source of the moisture rather than the center of the room. If the humidity comes from a damp wall, it is best to place the unit about 2 feet from the wall. It will do a better job of lowering humidity when it is closer than when it is in the center of the room.
Can one dehumidifier do a whole house?
If your house is 3000 square feet, buy a dehumidifier that has a space rating of at least 3500 square feet. This will enable the unit to work without feeling overwhelmed and lower the water content to between 30 and 50%.
Now you know how to use a dehumidifier to dry a room.
The most important thing is to place it in the best position, close to the source of the humidity. It will be more effective when it is close than when it is placed in the center of the room.
Remember to keep your unit clean and close the windows and the doors. You do not want to overwork your unit by making it draw moisture from all the air outside your unit.
Buy the right-sized unit, or bigger!