How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run Per Day

Your decision to buy a dehumidifier was or will be influenced by the level of humidity in your home. Humidity levels cannot be the same in different cities, homes, or even rooms.

So, how long should a dehumidifier run per day? Ideally, you should run your dehumidifier for about 10 to 12 hours if the levels of humidity in your area are relatively high. You should use a humidistat or hygrometer to assess the level of humidity in your home. If the humidity levels are slightly high, run your dehumidifier for 5 to 8 hours to attain the recommended relative humidity levels.

As such, the number of hours you might need to run your humidifier would significantly differ from the number of hours that a person in a different state or city might need to run their dehumidifier.

This article provides you with a guideline that will help you to determine the exact number of hours you will need to run your dehumidifier for maximum efficiency.

The factors affecting humidity levels discussed in this article can be used as determinants for the average time you should run your dehumidifier.

How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run Per Day

Short Answer

You should run your dehumidifier for approximately 10 to 12 hours a day. This will ensure that the humid air in your home is passed through the dehumidifier at least once within that time.

If you are working with a large-capacity dehumidifier, you can run your dehumidifier for 10 hours and get positive results.

On the other hand, if you are using a small-sized dehumidifier, you might benefit from using the dehumidifier for prolonged periods. Generally, if you live in a very humid place, you would need to run your dehumidifier for longer hours.

The main key factors affecting the number of hours you would need to run your dehumidifier are humidity levels, the unit capacity of your dehumidifier, and activities that you perform within your environment that influence the level of humidity.

This article will address:

Comprehensive Answer

Can You Run a Dehumidifier Too Much?

Yes, you can run a dehumidifier for longer than required. For instance, if the humidity level in your home is slightly beyond the recommended levels, running a dehumidifier for a long time can remove an excessive amount of humidity from the air leaving your air dry.

It is essential to understand the recommended humidity levels for indoor environments to ensure that you do not run your dehumidifier for an unnecessarily long time.

A good trick in ensuring that you do not run your dehumidifier for a long time is using a hygrometer or the humidistat on your dehumidifier to check the humidity levels in your home.

If the humidity levels are above the recommended level, allow your dehumidifier to continue working until a suitable humidity level is attained.

Factors that you can use to Determine How Long Your Dehumidifier Should Run

You should base the time your dehumidifier runs on several factors within your environment that influence the amount of humidity in your home or workspace. Below is a description of the different factors that can help you determine how long you should run your dehumidifier per day.

How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run Per Day? (Factors to consider)
1. Season
2. Size of dehumidifier
3. Purpose of the dehumidifier
4. “Age” of the dehumidifier
5. RH factor
6. Space
7. Place
8. Room ventilation
9. Cost of electricity
10. Activities
11. Leaky pipes or leaking roof

Season: Do I need to run a dehumidifier in the winter?

You are likely to run your dehumidifier for longer hours during summer than in winter. The level of humidity in the air is usually higher during warm weather and rainy seasons than during winter.

Rainy seasons can increase the dampness in your home, which might, in turn, contribute to the growth of mold and other common allergens.

You might have to run your dehumidifier longer during warmer seasons or when it is rainy to maintain low humidity levels.

A dehumidifier is likely to benefit you during spring, summer, and early fall. At the beginning of the winter season, as colder temperatures set in, you might need to unplug your dehumidifier because of low humidity levels. Aside from that, most dehumidifiers do not operate well below 15oC or 60oF.

At low temperatures, the moisture removed from the air, which accumulates in your dehumidifier can freeze on the coils and damage your dehumidifier.

You can use your dehumidifier during winter if the dehumidifier has a defrost feature. Some dehumidifiers are not designed to work under low temperatures, meaning that using them during winter can damage them.

The two dehumidifiers mentioned below have a defrost feature that will enable you to continue using your dehumidifier during winter if the humidity levels in your home are still high.


Kesnos 2,500 Sq. Ft Dehumidifier

Features

  • Area coverage: 2500 sq. ft.
  • Timer: 24-hour timer
  • Auto defrost feature
  • Moisture removal capacity: 34 pints
  • Manual and continuous drainage
  • Auto humidity control
  • Auto shut-off
  • Power outage restart

Pros

  • Easy operation
  • Two drainage options
  • Ultra quiet
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 1-year warranty
  • 2nd-year warranty extension and tech support for registered products

Cons

  • Can leak when using manual drainage if the hose pipe is not fixed well
  • Small water tank (0.5L)

COLZER Commercial Dehumidifier

Features

  • Area coverage: 6000 sq. ft.
  • Timer: 1-24-hour auto on and off timer
  • Auto defrost feature
  • Moisture removal capacity: 140 pints
  • Manual and continuous drainage
  • Intelligent control monitor
  • Laundry mode with adjustable wind deflector
  • 360 degrees wheels for moving the dehumidifier
  • Child lock protection
  • Temperature and humidity reading
  • Air outlet direction
  • Dual fan speed
  • Water tank capacity: 2.1 gallon

Pros

  • Dual drainage options
  • Child and pet safe
  • Can be used at home and in commercial settings
  • Can be used during winter

Con

  • A bit noisy when compared to other dehumidifiers

Size of Dehumidifier

The size of your dehumidifier greatly influences the number of hours you will be required to run your unit. If you have a small dehumidifier, you might need to run your dehumidifier for longer periods to achieve the same humidity levels as someone who runs a larger dehumidifier in the same space.

If you are using a small-sized dehumidifier, you might also need to empty its water tank regularly to ensure it runs properly.

Purpose

Your intended purpose for your dehumidifier can be used as an indicator of how long to run your unit. If you intend to use your dehumidifier to remove humidity in your home, you might need to run your dehumidifier for 10 to 12 hours to achieve a humidity level of 50 to 55%.

On the other hand, if you intend to use the unit to eliminate odors from a specific room in your house, like your kitchen, you might need to run your dehumidifier for shorter periods.

New Dehumidifiers

If you just bought your dehumidifier, you might need to run it for 12 hours before you notice a change in the level of humidity in your room. Most dehumidifiers have a light or an LED indicator that will show you that your dehumidifier is working.

After the first 12 hours, the next time you switch on your dehumidifier, you might notice a change in the humidity levels in your room within 20 minutes.

It might be difficult to notice a change in the humidity levels in your home the first time you use a dehumidifier, especially if your home had very high levels of humidity.

This also depends on the size of your dehumidifier and the “dryer setting” on the dehumidifier. If your dehumidifier has been set to remove moisture from the air at a faster rate, you will notice a reduction in the humidity levels within a short time.

RH Factor

The RH factor is the relative humidity in a place. Ideally, the RH levels should be between 40% and 50%. Mold starts growing at an RH level of 65%.

You should ensure that you maintain an RH level of below 65% to ensure that mold does not grow in your home. If you can access a hygrometer, you can use it to measure the RH levels in your home.

Most modern dehumidifiers have a built-in hygrometer and LED indicators that help you determine the current temperature and relative humidity of your room.

If you set your dehumidifier to run until it attains an RH factor of 50% and your current RH level is 65%, you can track the number of hours that your dehumidifier runs to attain an RH factor of 50%.

Averagely a house produces 15 liters of moisture daily. The moisture is generated from activities like cooking, washing, drying clothes, breathing, sweating, and taking a shower. The airflow in the house, the type of building material used, among other factors will determine the level of humidity retained in the house.

If it is your first time running your dehumidifier, it would be reasonable to run it for 10 to 12 hours or until the RH factor falls below 60%. You can start by maintaining a humidity level of 50 to 55%.

Space

The square footage of the room or rooms where you plan to use your dehumidifier will determine how long you should run the dehumidifier in a day.

For instance, if you will be using the dehumidifier in one room at home, you could settle for running it for 10 to 12 hours a day to ensure that at least 50 to 55% of the relative humidity is extracted from the room.

If you plan to use the same dehumidifier in your entire home, you might need to run it for a minimum of twelve hours to promote its effectiveness, especially if you conduct a lot of activities that increase the relative humidity in your home.

Place

The nature of the place you plan to use your dehumidifier will also influence the time you will run the dehumidifier. A dehumidifier used in a home can be run for shorter hours when compared to one meant for industrial use.

If you plan to use the dehumidifier in an industry that produces high humidity levels, you might need to run the dehumidifier for up to 24 hours for maximum humidity reduction. Note that the type of dehumidifiers used in home settings also differ from those used in industries.

Room Ventilation

The quality of ventilation in your room or house will also determine the time you will run your dehumidifier. If you live in a house that has limited windows and doors, vapor released into the air will be stuck in the room. The levels of humidity in such a house can be quite high especially when you are cooking or showering with hot water.

Similarly, if you live in a house where the windows and doors have cracks or where there are spaces between the windows or doors and the adjacent wall, excess humidity can also seep in from the external environment.

Assessing the state of ventilation in your room will help you determine if you should run your dehumidifier for longer than 12 hours or less than 12 hours. If the house has limited windows and doors, you might have to run your dehumidifier for up to 24 hours.

Cost

The cost of electricity in your area might affect your decision on how long you should run your dehumidifier. If you are worried that running your dehumidifier for 12 to 24 hours a day will significantly increase your electricity bill, you should consider running it during off-peak hours.

In most cities, off-peak hours are usually between 10 pm and 7 am because these are the times that most people are asleep and consume less energy. The rate of electricity used per hour during off-peak hours is usually lower than that used during the day.

If you work outside your home, you could choose to run your dehumidifier from 7 pm to 7 am, this will ensure only run your dehumidifier for a few hours during the “normal rate hours” and maximize your usage of the “off-peak rates.”

You can buy a dehumidifier that has a timer to ensure that it turns on at the right time and runs for the number of hours you wish to use it to reduce your general electricity bill.

If you live in a house that has high humidity levels, you can opt to run your dehumidifier for four to six hours during the day and six to ten hours during the night.

Activities

The activities you perform in your home will also influence the number of hours you will need to run your dehumidifier.

If you are using your dehumidifier to dry wet paint walls or when drying your laundry indoors, you will notice that you need to run the dehumidifier for longer hours to ensure that you effectively reduce the humidity levels in the home.

Similarly, if you are constantly cooking or have a large number of people living in your home, you might need to run your dehumidifier for prolonged periods when compared to someone who lives alone.

The kind of activities you perform in your home that contributes to the level of humidity in the home will help you determine if you should run your dehumidifier for longer periods.

Leaky Pipes or Roofs

If you live in a place that has leaky pipes or roofs, you might notice excessive dampness caused by water leakage.

Water leaks from leaky pipes can cause structural damage to your home and contribute to the growth of mold, which can also affect your health status negatively. Leaks from pipes or damaged roofs can also lead to flooding, especially during rainy seasons.

If you notice, a patch of dampness on a wall, you can consult a professional plumber to check out and fix leaky pipes before they cause serious structural damage.

When moving into a new house, you should consult a professional plumber, who can help you assess the home for any water pipe problems.

Some of the common causes of leaky pipes in homes include advanced levels of corrosion, incorrect laying of pipes, use of loose water connectors, excess water pressure, clogging due to dirt or effects of hard water, wear and tear of pipe connectors, and use of low-quality pipes.

Fixing leaky pipes and roofs can save you lots of money that you would have ended up spending on electricity bills after running your dehumidifier for a few extra hours.

Should a Dehumidifier Run Constantly?

You can run your dehumidifier for longer than 10 to 12 hours if the humidity level in your home is still high than the recommended levels after you have run your dehumidifier for 10 to 12 hours.

Alternatively, you can switch your dehumidifier off for a few hours and then turn it back on to avoid overheating.

The question of whether you can run your dehumidifier constantly relies on the performance of your dehumidifier, its effectiveness in eliminating excess humidity in the air within a short period, and whether or not the dehumidifier gets overheated when used for a long time.

If it is the first time you are using your dehumidifier, run the dehumidifier for approximately ten hours then assess the amount of humidity that the dehumidifier has absorbed within that time. You can check the humidistat on your dehumidifier before and after running the dehumidifier to get the difference.

If the recommended humidity level has been achieved, you do not need to continue running your dehumidifier.

If you notice that your dehumidifier is slightly overheated after the ten hours yet the humidity level in your home is still high, you can turn off the dehumidifier for an hour then turn the dehumidifier on again to allow it to absorb more water.

Check Out: Time Taken By Dehumidifier to Lower Humidity Levels

In Summary

You should also remember that while dehumidifiers are useful in reducing humidity levels in homes, running your dehumidifier for prolonged periods could “over-dry” the air in your home.

If your dehumidifier has been designed to stop working after achieving the recommended humidity levels, it might turn off after reducing the humidity levels to a certain level.

If the air in your home is too dry, you will be at risk of health issues like pneumonia and skin irritation conditions linked to skin dryness. Whenever you adjust your dehumidifier settings or choose to turn it on or off, you should monitor the quality of air in your home to keep these health implications at bay.