Dehumidifiers are safe to leave on unattended as long as with caution. Investing in dehumidifiers that have an automatic shut-off feature is safe to leave on at certain conditions.
You could practically just leave the appliance running 24/7, and just get back to it when the tank is full or best if you own a unit with continuous drainage option. However, leaving it all day may result in a higher electricity bill. Before doing so, you should learn the restrictions and consider safety above all else.
Apart from the auto shut-off quality, look for dehumidifiers that allow you to set your desired humidity level. Having both will give you peace of mind even when you are away!
I’ve listed a few important things you need to know if you are planning to keep your device running so better check it out.
Is it Safe to Leave a Dehumidifier Unattended?
Absolutely. However, there are restrictions that you need to ponder though. Running your dehumidifier all day in a week when it is not needed will only hurt its components especially the compressor. Remember that if the parts are heavily burdened, it will result in a shorter lifespan and not to mention, a costly repair.
If you notice that the dehumidifier is always running overtime, then I strongly recommended that you consider looking into the root cause of the extra humidity and fix it permanently.
Although it is safe to keep the dehumidifier running even when unattended to fix the concern with high humidity, this is not a long-term solution though.
Dehumidifiers are practical solutions only and if you have severe issues with humid air, then it’s better to look into this further. Check out your house ventilation, pipe leaks, and other possible cause of high humidity indoors.
The best way to determine if there is a need for your dehumidifier to turn on is to install a hygrometer. This way, you’ll be able to see the exact humidity level.
What are the Risks of Leaving a Dehumidifier On Unattended?
Like your freezer and the refrigerator, dehumidifiers have very minimal risks. But, you should always practice caution. There are a few reported fire risks involved with dehumidifiers and they were mostly caused by two factors:
- User Fire Risk
- Manufacturer Fire Risk
User fire risks are often triggered by poor device maintenance and improper use. While a manufacturer fire risk is very rare since all brands adhere to quality-control and if it happens, it usually affects the construction or electrical wirings.
I recommend that you read the unit’s manual first before operating it to be aware of its strengths and limitations.
Always plug the dehumidifier directly into a wall outlet and do not use an extension cord or plug the device into a breaker or multi-outlet adaptor.
What is the Best Dehumidifier to Prevent Fire Risk?
Keeping the dehumidifier running to a certain extent may cause overheating especially if your unit does not have auto-defrost features.
Dehumidifiers with Auto-Defrost feature stops the device from operating when the temperature gets too cold. Like the Santa Fe Advance90 Dehumidifier which has a low-temperature operation, a feature that runs efficiently in temperatures within 49-95℉ and has an auto defrost function which protects the unit from damaging frost buildup under 56℉.
Apart from the auto-defrost feature, proper and regular maintenance is also very important. Dehumidifiers are pretty easy to maintain especially if you already made a habit about it. Clean or replace the filter at least biweekly depending on how often you use the device.
Lastly, check if your dehumidifier is on the Recall List to ensure that your unit is not defective or has been recalled by any means.
Can You Sleep with a Dehumidifier Running?
Is it getting too humid at home even at night? Maybe you are planning to leave the dehumidifier running while sleeping, especially when it’s close to summertime.
No one likes that hot, damp feeling you get every time there is high humidity indoors. Your airconditioning unit won’t be able to perform its obligations in maintaining a cool environment when the air is too humid.
Truth is, you can actually leave your unit running while you are sleeping as long as your hygrometer reads a high humidity level. Having high moisture levels make it difficult for water on your body to evaporate, thus making you feel uncomfortable.
Some even find it more challenging to breathe particularly those suffering from cough, asthma, and other respiratory problems.
Dehumidifiers play a great role in making sure that you sleep well and comfortably by sucking in excess air moisture. Apart from maintaining a balanced indoor air humidity, dehumidifiers also make the room smell fresh and free from musty odors caused by molds and mildew.
It also helps in drying out your clothes so it doesn’t stick to your body plus helps in drying out those hanging in the racks faster.
Make sure that your dehumidifier has at least one or two of the following features:
The continuous drain feature is great if you don’t want to wake up to a flooded floor and extremely dry air, especially if you are planning to turn on the unit the whole night.
If you don’t have this feature, then at least your device should have an auto shut-off capability so you can simply set when it will turn off or once the RH level is achieved.
Lastly, dehumidifiers with the quiet operation are essential particularly that you are using it inside the bedroom. You won’t get bothered by the noise and have a better sleep!
Is it Safe to Leave Dehumidifier On In The Basement?
The basement is the one area at home where high humidity resides and goes all the way up to the other parts of the house.
Running a dedicated basement dehumidifier will be great in reducing moisture plus it’s safe to leave on because it has an auto shut-off and humidity control features. You can absolutely use and leave the dehumidifier on in your basement to get rid of the extra air moisture so your entire house will be cool and comfortable.
Knowing when to run the dehumidifier in the basement is essential so it can effectively perform its job. Usually, people advise you to run the unit for at least 12 hours to remove excess moisture, however, I suggest that you stick with the hygrometer reading.
Once it shows that there is a need to switch the unit on, then do so. Humidity readings also vary on your location. If you live in New York, you can get as much as 80% humidity level in the basement during summer, so it’s a must to dehumidify the place.
Can You Leave the
Dehumidifier On when
Out on Vacation?
Maybe you’ve been itching to get away from your busy life and getaway on a vacation. You’ve booked everything and ready to go but, you’re torn between turning on your dehumidifier or not.
My answer is split between a yes and a no. But, allow me to explain each side. Let’s begin with the yes, you can leave the dehumidifier on when you are out on vacation so you’ll get back to a nice and cozy home after.
If your dehumidifier supports continuous drain option like that of Danby 50-Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier, which has multiple draining selection, then you can place the unit near the toilet and attach a hose for continuous flow of water.
And, no, you cannot leave it on while on vacation because, well, safety concerns (especially fire hazards) and not to mention the added electricity bill. Although most units are equipped with great features like the auto shut-off and humidity control, leaving it on when no one is around is also somewhat counterproductive.
Plus, a dirty filter and dehumidifier parts will only push the unit to its limit, which can result in an overly exhausted device.
Unless your vacation is within a week’s time, then most probably, you can leave the dehumidifier running but secured in a safe location and position.
Otherwise, have your home inspected for possible root causes of high humidity such as plumbing works before you leave. You are sure and confident that you’ll return to a nice and comfortable home, free from high humidity and infestations of mold and mildew.
Resolving the main cause of excess moisture at home is very rewarding plus you’ll have an added chunk on your savings.
How Long Should Your Dehumidifier Run?
Generally, you can leave the dehumidifier running for 12 hours a day, which is the assumed golden rule, to remove the extra humidity lurking inside the house. However, it’s a case to case basis.
I cannot simply agree to this 12-hour rule because each home has varying needs. It all depends on the humidity reading registered on your hygrometer, if the relative humidity is too high then you can run the dehumidifier continuously until the RH level becomes comfortable or is below the 60 percent mark.
If you want to get rid of excess humidity, then try testing it for a week. You can run the dehumidifier for 12 hours on the first day and observe if there are any changes and try to adjust the number of hours as you go along.
When the relative humidity is normal, you can explore the different settings of your unit during the different times of the day until you find out how long you should leave it running. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for complete details on how you can control your dehumidifier runtime.
Summer is just a month away and I’m sure everyone is already thinking about spending some time off but high humidity keeps you away from enjoying your free time.
Dehumidifiers are safe to leave on but with restrictions. You have to consider the type of unit you own, its features, and of course, the demand for it.
However, just because your dehumidifier is powerful enough to run all day, doesn’t mean you can turn it on and leave without considering the current humidity reading. Know which parts of the house require dehumidification or better yet install a hygrometer in each so you’ll easily know when to switch on the unit without putting it at risk for low-humidity.
Remember that low-humidity is also not good, so keeping a balanced RH level is crucial and must be maintained at all times.
Bottom line, there are no ground rules on how long a dehumidifier should run, you can leave it on 24/7 or at certain time frames only. Anytime but depending on the moisture level each room in your house demands.