Reading the unit’s manual should be your first step in making sure that you are using the dehumidifier effectively. I know most of you are very much familiar with how this device works, especially to those living in high humid cities like Houston or Jacksonville.
However, not all dehumidifiers are the same, moreover, not all humidity levels are the same. Much more, each of our humidity needs also varies. So the idea on how to make the most out of your dehumidifier seems to be tailored to your specific room or house requirements.
But, there are some tips on how you can maximize this device. With this, I came up with a complete guide on how to use a dehumidifier effectively and save a lot on energy and effort.
Understanding Your Room’s Moisture Conditions
If you are like me whose allergies and rhinitis flare up during the warm season, then a dehumidifier can surely alleviate your condition. Florida’s weather is not so favorable to people with allergies, so you got to be ahead in finding ways to minimize the flares.
You can sense high humidity even if you haven’t checked on your hygrometer recently. Maybe you smell some musty, mold inside the room or you can visibly see molds crawling up the wall or your cabinets.
Understanding your room’s moisture condition is the first step that you should recognize before installing a dehumidifier.
In fact, a dehumidifier is not a long-term solution to high humidity rooms. It is just an added partner in combatting excess moisture. The best ways still are to search for the root cause and fix the issue.
Once you have acknowledged your room’s humidity, test the dampness level, and make sure that it’s between the 30-50% range.
Use a dehumidifier that can perfectly cover and remove excess water vapor based on the severity of the room. This is where you should decide on what dehumidifier size should you get.
What Dehumidifier Size Should I Use?
Perhaps this is the common question I receive when it comes to choosing the right dehumidifier, and it never gets old. And I love imparting a little knowledge to my beloved readers!
Let’s begin with a quick refresher about this genius appliance. Dehumidifiers pull excess moisture from the air and are basically categorized into 3 based on the tank capacity.
The size of the tank is based on the pints of water it can extract in 24-hour time. For example, a 30-pint unit can cover between 50-1500 sq.ft room, a 50-pint can dehumidify at least 2000-2500 sq.ft room, while 70-pint dehumidifier can cover a damp room of more than 2500 sq.ft in size.
To calculate this, simply use a measuring tape and note down your room’s length and width. After that, multiply them and you’ll get the total room area and from there you can determine what dehumidifier size you need.
Length x Width = Room Size
If you do not know what kind of dehumidifier to use at home, you can base it on the total room area or type. Take this example, a room with 10 x 10 sq. ft size will have a total area of 100 sq. ft thus, a 30-pint dehumidifier is ideal for this room size.
Dehumidifier Size and Coverage Chart
Room Size (Sq.ft)
| || |
300 sq ft
|500 sqft||700 sq. ft||1000 sq. ft|
1500 sq. ft
|50-60% ||30 pint||40-45 pint||50 pint||60 pint|
|60-70% ||30 pint||40-45 pint||50 pint||60 pint||70 pint|
|70-85% ||40 pint||50 pint||60 pint||70 pint|
|85-100%||40-45 pint||50-60 pint||60-70 pint||70 pint|
Humidity during the summer is quite challenging and so if you are experiencing a very humid condition, simply add 5-10 pints to the required room size.
Another thing you should note is that if your household has more than 3 people plus there is a washer or dryer being used, add 10 pints more to cover these things.
So considering our previous example that a 30-pint dehumidifier is good enough for 100 sq ft room, but for better dehumidification, a 50 or 70-pint is more ideal to make room for family members and home appliances. If you often hear some store representatives suggest to get a larger capacity unit, this is the reason why!
3 Essential Tips on How to Use Dehumidifier Effectively
High humidity can be expensive if taken for granted and installing a dehumidifier can greatly appease the adverse effect plus lowering the cost of your energy consumption. As I have always emphasized in my posts, always search for better ways on how you can get the most from your device; and this includes studying the right size, position, and of course, maintenance.
Now that you know what dehumidifier size you need, it’s time to go through operational tips on how to use a dehumidifier effectively.
Operating Your Dehumidifier
Did you know that there are 8 out of 10 people who do not read the user manual? This is because people tend to assume they know how it works and ends up missing on essential features.
Also, user-error or unit mishandling is often the cause of returns and replacements. Understanding how to operate a dehumidifier properly is the key to using it effectively and this begins with a simple manual reading.
If you dislike reading the manual, you can also watch video tutorials on how to install and operate your specific dehumidifier make and model.
Here are some great tips you can do when operating your dehumidifier:
- Do not use the dehumidifier below the advised temperature.
- Set the humidistat based on your environment
- Never short-cycle the unit. Give at least 10 minutes before turning it back on.
- Empty the tank on a daily basis or secure pipes and hose connections when using the drain option
- Better to shut all windows and doors when operating a dehumidifier
Choose a dehumidifier with a larger tank capacity that can surely manage your humidity needs. Getting a small, affordable unit can cost you big time if used for long hours and it can also exhaust the appliance resulting in a lower lifespan.
For low-energy operation, look for dehumidifiers with Energy Star Ratings to have that peace of mind that operating your unit for long periods won’t hurt your wallet!
Maintaining Your Dehumidifier
Proper dehumidifier maintenance is another important factor that’s often overlooked. Remember, it doesn’t just end in washing the unit, you need to secure that each part is working and well-maintained.
- Drain the water from the tank regularly; daily if used every day. Apart from that, cleaning it with soap and water is great to ensure that no bacteria is left that can cause further health risks.
- Brush exhaust grilles to remove dust and dirt.
- Clean or replace the filter. Damaged filters should be changed immediately otherwise, you need to change the filters annually or as recommended in the manual
- Tidy up the room and vacuum the floors before turning the unit on
Dehumidifier maintenance does not just mean, washing and cleaning the removable parts, such as the water tank and the filter. Most homeowners now invest in dehumidifiers with continuous drain especially those who are leaving their units on the whole day.
With this, choosing the right kind of dehumidifier with continuous drain feature matters. There are dehumidifiers that come with a hose and pump for smooth and easy draining.
Placing Your Dehumidifier
Place your dehumidifier in troubled spaces such as the laundry room, shower, kitchen, basement, and even attics. There are also models that can work in areas with a variety of moisture problems where you can place it anywhere in the house.
Ideally, you can place the dehumidifier at the center of the room that you want to dehumidify, but, if you are using a top-mounted air unit, then you need to put it against the wall.
Otherwise, follow the general rules:
- Keep the dehumidifier away from any furniture, windows, and walls. Ensure a safe distance of at least 6 to 12 inches for better air circulation.
- If using the continuous drain option, settle the unit near the toilet or place the hose in the tub or in a larger bucket. When used in the kitchen, place the hose securely in the sink to avoid it from falling.
- Make sure that your hose drain is far from any electrical wirings.
- Plug the dehumidifier directly into a power source and not on extension cords.
- Maintain a safe distance from your pets
What’s great with most single-room dehumidifiers nowadays is that they got some great portability features like adding handles and caster wheels. Moving and placing the unit in different parts of the house where most needed is no longer a big deal since dehumidifiers have become more user-friendly.
Additional Tips To Make the Most of Your Dehumidifier
High humidity does not only cause inconvenience to your health but also lowers the value of your house if taken for granted. Molds and bacteria love it when there’s too much dampness and it can only be possible when condensation is untreated over time.
Apart from the three major tips on how to use dehumidifier effectively, I also considered other factors that can greatly affect its efficiency if not recognized.
Use Dehumidifiers at the Correct Times
Coming home to a fresh and comfortable home is everyone’s expectations, however, humidity can get in the way and ruin it. So we turn to dehumidifiers to fight off the extra ai moisture and ensure that we breathe in pleasantly.
Using the dehumidifier on 24/7 isn’t that effective, you got to play smart and learn more about how and when high humidity seeps in your house. For example, you can turn the heater on when taking a shower so that the heat will help dry out the air quickly.
You can also leave the dehumidifier on all night so you can have a better sleep or you can turn it on the whole day so you’ll come home to a more relaxed environment plus, you won’t be bothered with the noise since you were out the entire day.
Maintain a Clean House at All Times
Superheroes won’t be super without their sidekicks just like the dehumidifier; it won’t be an excellent appliance in fighting with high humidity unless you partner it with a vacuum cleaner or a clean surrounding.
Make it a habit to clean the room especially the floors when turning on the dehumidifier. This will lessen the dust and dirt that can go through the filter and released back to the air. If you want, you can also partner it with an air purifier to combat impurities.
Determine the Source of High Humidity
Dehumidifiers are not lifetime solutions to high humidity. In fact, they can only be temporary, and still, you need to source out the cause of high humidity. It could be in your walls, roof, and floors hiding some leaks and needed repairs.
If you have extremely high humidity, it is better to contact with professionals to inspect your entire house for leaking pipes, roofs, foundations, attic, and basement condensations.
Apart from getting into the source, you can also invest in natural ways to dehumidify your house for a more cost-effective option.
Understanding how your dehumidifier works, its size, and type is the key to using it effectively. Of course, reading the unit’s manual should be your first step in making sure you have thoroughly gone over its specifications and limitations.
After this, you have to consider how to operate the dehumidifier including the best position, and maintenance. These three major tips can already help you overcome high humidity issues while making sure that you get the most from your unit, without the headache on the bill.
I have also added more hacks on how to maximize your unit’s potential in a cost-effective manner. I hope you can apply all these tips given above and for sure, you will be able to say that you got the best investment this summer!