How To Use A Dehumidifier


When you get ready to use you need to make sure you have the right type of dehumidifier for the place you want to use it. Make sure you measure the area, and moisture and the features of your dehumidifier will benefit you. Pick the right size and place it in the right place and correct way. 

There are 6 steps that will guide you on how to use a dehumidifier.

Let’s take a deeper look at how you can use the dehumidifier to clear the excess moisture in your home.

Consider The Place Or Type
Consider The Place Or Type

Step 1: Consider The Place Or Type

When you have decided to use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in your home, there are a few things you need to consider. You need to look at the place where you want to use the dehumidifier and the type of dehumidifier you intend to get. 

Moisture problems arise in different places due to different reasons. But there are some very common places that have moisture problems and where you can use your dehumidifier. 

Places you can use a dehumidifier:

Once you identify where your moisture problem is then you can choose the right dehumidifier that works for that particular space. This will guarantee your device will work efficiently.

The type of dehumidifier you need:

When deciding on the type of dehumidifier it helps to note where you will be placing it. There are two types of dehumidifiers, a refrigerant, and a desiccant dehumidifier. They are both good for removing moisture, but they are more effective in different ways.

When you are using a dehumidifier in a cold space, or where temperatures go below 65 degrees Fahrenheit then get a desiccant dehumidifier. This dehumidifier can work in very cold conditions compared to the refrigerant dehumidifier. 

For warmer spaces, a refrigerant dehumidifier is the most efficient.

What Features Should I Look For In A Dehumidifier
What Features Should I Look For In A Dehumidifier

Step 2: Consider Features, What Features Should You Look For?

Dehumidifiers come with different features. With the more modern devices, the features vary and some have more options than others. 

There are some standard features that you should look for that will make using your dehumidifier easier. These include;

24 Hr Operation
24 Hr Operation

Dehumidifier With 24Hr Operation

It is possible to run dehumidifiers for 24 hours with an auto-shutoff and auto-restart.
The dehumidifier will run until it reaches the relative humidity setpoint, say 60%. It can also run for 24 hours until the water bucket is full and has collected to its capacity. There is an advantage of running the device for 24 hours.
Continuous operation will leave your space comfortable and protects your property and valuables. Running the dehumidifier for 24 hours will not harm the device as it will shut -off when it finishes the work.
Air Filters
Air Filters

Dehumidifier With Air Filters

Some dehumidifiers come with an air filter. An air filter will help trap impurities, allergens, dust particles, and pet dander.
So on top of removing moisture and making the space a bit cooler, it makes the air safer. If someone suffers from allergies a dehumidifier with air filters is very helpful.
A dehumidifier air purifier combo may come with a HEPA filter for clean fresh air.
Air filters do need maintenance. Replace the air filter. Some units have a washable filter. Wash with warm water.

Dehumidifier With Alarms

Alarms are a common dehumidifier feature. An alarm alerts you when the dehumidifier needs attention.
It can go off when the water bucket is full and needs emptying. It can also go off when you reach your desired humidity level.
A dehumidifier with an alarm indicates when there is a fault that needs addressing. Alarms can be annoying if they keep going off.
When you are trying to sleep so you can set them up in a way where it will only alert you when it is necessary.

Dehumidifier With Antibacterial

Antibacterial dehumidifiers come with a washable antibacterial silver ion filter. The filters do not all have to have ionizers for them to be antibacterial. But ionizer features are an added advantage. 
Antibacterial filters remove pollutants from the air. Dehumidifiers protect your home against damp, mold, and condensation which is cost-effective.
This means it not only removes unwanted moisture from the air – but it also cleans the air that goes through the unit. These are usually found in combo dehumidifiers with air purifiers.
Auto Off
Auto Off

Dehumidifier With Auto-off

Dehumidifiers come with an auto-off control feature. This feature switches the dehumidifier off when the humidity level is low, or the water tank is full.
Mold thrives in humid conditions. A dehumidifier can prevent mold and mildew from growing in your home. It can leave the air drier and cooler. Breathing becomes easy, and there are no toxins present to cause health problems.
Exposure to mold can be harmful because mold spores are toxic to the body. These toxins can cause nasal blockages, wheezing, coughing, and skin irritations. Removing the mold from your home is the first step. Preventing it from appearing again would be the best solution. 
Auto Restart
Auto Restart

Dehumidifier With Auto Restart

The auto-restart feature is an ideal feature to have. Auto-restart helps in two specific ways.
One way. When there is a power outage and the device shuts down, it will restart again as soon as the power comes back.
A second way. Auto-restart turns the appliance off when the humidity drops below the set point. The restarts when the humidistat detects humidity levels rise above the set point.
Dehumidifiers protect your home against damp, mold, and condensation. Moisture can be harmful to your property and to your health. As a dehumidifier runs, the home becomes more comfortable and healthier to live in.

Dehumidifier With Bucket

Smaller and portable dehumidifiers often have a water collection bucket. This is often called a tank or a bucket, to collect the water extracted from the air.
You need to empty the bucket when it is full. These buckets are small. Reservoirs need emptying at least once a day. The collection buckets come in different capacities. This is dependent on how big the device is. Once it collects the water in the bucket it will need emptying. They usually come with a no-spill design.
If you don’t enjoy emptying consider a self-draining dehumidifier or one that has a pump & hose.

Compact Dehumidifier

Compact dehumidifiers are best for small and tight spaces. They can fit in with your furniture and not take up much room. The design works for closets and bathrooms.
The compact design is also ideal for tight spaces such as crawl spaces that do not have any room. Compact dehumidifiers may seem small, but it is effective. They can be very powerful despite their size and usually come with an energy star rating.
Dehumidifiers protect your home against damp, mold, and condensation. Humidity can be harmful to your property and to your health.
Ease Of Use
Ease Of Use

Easy to Use Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are easy to use. Easy and friendly features include:
  • an intuitive operation – plug them in and they run.
  • portable – so you can move them about
  • self-draining – worry-free water drainage
  • washable filter – easy maintenance
  • auto-restart – start and stop to keep the air ideal
Energy Efficient
Energy Efficient

Energy Efficient Dehumidifier

An energy-efficient dehumidifier uses less electricity. It has features that allow it to use energy only when it needs to.
Here are some examples.
  • the auto-off feature turns the unit off when the humidity level is low.
  • the appliance switches off when the water bucket is full, to prevent any spillages.
  • the built-in pump also uses less electricity.
Excessive moisture can be harmful to your property and to your health. Dehumidifiers protect your home against damp, mold, and condensation.
Energy efficiency appliances only work when they’re supposed to.
Defrost Ice
Defrost Ice

Dehumidifier With Defrost Ice

Ice Prevention
Ice Prevention

Dehumidifier With Ice prevention

Dehumidifiers that work at low temperatures can attract ice about their coils. To safeguard the dehumidifier and keep it working the ice on the evaporator coil has to melt.
The auto-defrost feature comes with indicator light. The light shows that the defrosting cycle has begun. Ice has to melt also to allow a dehumidifier to extract more water from the air. 
As needed, inspect the fan area of your dehumidifier. if there is little or no air coming through. Make sure that the grill area and the filter are clean.

Humidistat or Hygrostat Dehumidifier

A humidistat monitors and manages the humidity in the air near the dehumidifier. The humidistat ensures the room is never over-dehumidified or under-humidified.
Humidity levels in other areas of your home are not measured.
When the relative humidity reaches the desired level of humidity, the unit will shut off. When the humidity is too high it will kick back on the device and reduce moisture.

Dehumidifier With Humidity

The purpose of a dehumidifier is to reduce the humidity in an indoor space. Relative humidity is the amount or percentage of water vapor in the air. Excessive humidity causes discomfort, health issues, and damages property.
Humidity is not all bad, but it does need to be under control so that the space is livable. An ideal relative humidity range is about 50%. An ideal humidity means you breathe easy.
There are issues with low humidity. Air that is too dry drier out the nose and throat. Very dry air makes people susceptibile to colds and respiratory illness. Low humidity can damage woodwork and furniture.
There are also issues with high humidity. Damp air leads to condensation on walls and windows. Air that is too wet can lead to mold spore blooms and allergens like bacteria.
Low Temperature
Low Temperature

Low Temperature Dehumidifier

It is common for refrigerant dehumidifiers to develop ice. Ice builds on the appliance’s coils up when units run at low temperatures.
If you live in an area where it is cold or snows a lot consider a desiccant dehumidifier. Desiccant dehumidifiers run better at low temperatures compared to refrigerant models.

Desiccant dehumidifiers can work in extremely low temperatures, even lower than 2-degrees.

A defrost feature is ideal for refrigerant dehumidifiers. The low temperature switches from dehumidifying to defrosting when it senses ice. When the frost is gone the dehumidifier resumes operation.

Made In The USA
Made In The USA

Dehumidifier Made in The USA

Buy products that are Made In The USA. Support American independence with your buying decision. When you make a buying decision you are supporting the company that made the appliance.
There are many expert manufacturers in the United States of America. Good American dehumidifier manufacturer’s include:

Look for an appliance with a tag Made In The USA.


Portable Dehumidifier

Portable dehumidifiers are stand-alone appliances. They are not attached or mounted to the wall. They can be easily moved. Many are lightweight and easy to carry or come with a handle and wheels to move them around.
Portable dehumidifiers come in different capacities, ranging from 1-pint up to 60 pints. Larger capacity portable dehumidifiers are suitable for water damage restoration.
Portable units feature water buckets, are self-draining, and come with pumps and hoses. Continuous draining units save you the hassle of emptying the water bucket each day.

Programmable Dehumidifier

Some dehumidifiers come with the option to program them. They feature a digital display. You can program your dehumidifier to switch on / off depending on:
  • the relative humidity in the air or
  • the times of day you would like it to run.

Reliable Dehumidifier

A reliable dehumidifier is a trustworthy appliance. Consider three specific things during your review.
  • First, ensure that the appliance is quality.
  • Second, examine it’s dependable performance
  • Third, think about how long it will last
Consider the cost of ownership which is the buying price and the operating cost. The operating expense is larger. If in doubt, consider a larger appliance. Larger units are more energy efficient and cheaper to operate in the long run.
Self Draining
Self Draining

Self-Draining Dehumidifier

A self-draining dehumidifier is an appliance that allows continuous drainage. These units may drain using gravity or use a pump and hose.
The units that work using a gravity drain into a floor drain. You may want to place them on a plastic box or stand to help drainage. Gravity draining units may also be connected to an external pump and hose
Units that have an inbuilt pump and hose push collected water into a laundry wash basin or out a window. Hoses can drain up to 16 feet.

Dehumidifier With Sturdy

Sturdy appliances are of good quality that will not chip, dent, or break easily. They are durable and able to withstand rigorous conditions.
Dehumidifiers should also work spill-free. Dehumidifiers must not tip over when it is running, spilling water everywhere. Spillages are a very hazardous problem when operating. It is important the device remains sturdy and the electrical components remain dry.
Washable Filter
Washable Filter

Dehumidifier With Washable filter

Some dehumidifiers come with washable filters. These filters are there to clean the air that is coming into the device.
Washable filters are convenient because they only need a wash. Washing them helps remove debris and other trapped particles. Particles get trapped and accumulate. They will clog up the filter compromising the performance of the dehumidifier. 
It is important to wash these filters. Ongoing maintenance is manageable and cost-effective.
Washable Filter
Washable Filter

Dehumidifier With Water Pump

Dehumidifiers protect your home against damp, mold, and condensation. This can be harmful to your property and to your health. Some of the dehumidifiers come with water pumps. Water pumps in dehumidifiers help remove accumulated water automatically, with an inbuilt pump. Crawlspaces are difficult to reach to empty the water tank. So, water pump dehumidifiers are suitable for crawl spaces and basements.

Since the tanks fill up quickly, the water pump is useful.  You don’t have to keep checking on the water level and can avoid flooding.


Dehumidifier With Wheels

Some dehumidifiers come with wheels. Wheels are usually found on big industrial dehumidifiers. A dehumidifier may have big wheels or small discreet ones.
Caster wheels are durable and can withstand rough conditions. Wheels make it easy to transport or move the unit from one place to the other. Wheels make a dehumidifier portable.
Describe The Moisture In Your Area

Step 3: Describe The Moisture In Your Area

To know the right size dehumidifier that you need, you need to know what your moisture levels are. To do this you need a hygrometer to measure the humidity in your space.

Moisture Scale
Moisture Scale
Area Moisture
Area Moisture

Is the excessive humidity problem limited to one place (e.g., the basement), or does it affect the entire house? The complexity of the problem determines the type of dehumidifier.

Larger whole-house dehumidifiers connect to the HVAC system. They have a drain pipe that drains into a slop sink, sump pump, or the outdoors. These dehumidifiers aren’t affordable, and they almost always need professional installation.

A portable dehumidifier is less costly and easier to use. They plug into the wall and work with customized built-in interfaces. Some portable dehumidifiers have hoses that drain or pump out accumulated water. Others have a bucket that you must empty often.

Calculate the square footage of the area.

Even dehumidifiers of the same basic design may have capacity variations. For a 500-square-foot room, choose one that can hold ten pints of water. For every extra 500 square feet, add four pints of storage.

To dehumidify a 1,000-square-foot basement, you’ll need a 14-pint power dehumidifier. Choose a dehumidifier that carries 12 pints of water for a 500-square-foot room. And five pints for every 500 square feet for a very damp space. The amount of water per day removed is significant to your decision. [1]

Pick The Dehumidifier Size
Pick The Dehumidifier Size

Step 4: Pick The Dehumidifier Size

How big a dehumidifier do you need? You can get a sense of the capacity or size you’ll need if you know:

  • the square footage of the area you’d like to dehumidify
  • the amount of moisture in the area

The size of your dehumidifier matters.

Larger capacity dehumidifiers tend to be more efficient. Larger capacity units work fewer hours per day. Smaller capacity units work longer hours or all day.

Larger capacity dehumidifiers are more expensive to buy but cheaper to operate. Smaller capacity dehumidifiers are less expensive to buy but more expensive to operate.

Placement Tips
Placement Tips

Step 5: Placement Tips

  • Many dehumidifiers can be against a wall if they have top-mounted airflow. If your machine doesn’t have this feature, you should leave a lot of space around the machine. Not against a wall or piece of furniture. Better airflow will make your dehumidifier work better. Around the sides of your dehumidifier, you should leave about 6 to 12 inches of space for airflow.
  • You can use hoses to drain the water reservoir. Make sure to place the hose in a sink or tub so that it won’t fall out. Check to see if the hose hasn’t moved and still drains into the sink. If the hose doesn’t want to stay in place, tie it to the faucet with twine.
  • If you don’t want to get an electric shock, keep the hose away from electrical outlets and cords. It’s best to use the shortest hose you can get your hands on. Long hoses can be tedious as water has to flow a longer distance.
  • Place the dehumidifier far away from things that cause dirt and dust. Keep it away from things like woodworking tools.
  • Most of the time, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements are where there is a lot of water. These are the places where most people put a dehumidifier.
  • It is also possible to use dehumidifiers on a boat when you move it to a dock.
  • To get the most out of a dehumidifier, you should only use it in one room, with the door or window closed. You can put it up on a wall between two rooms, but this can make the machine work harder.
  • You can mount many dehumidifiers to the wall, but there are some that you can move. If you can, try to put your dehumidifier in the middle of the room, this will make the dehumidifier work better.
  • This means that in some bigger units, you can hook up to your heating and air conditioning system. These go in with a ducting kit and other installation tools.
  • Some people might want to hire someone to put a dehumidifier in their air conditioner.

Final Thoughts 

Dehumidifiers are usually easy to use. They come with a manual to help guide you, but if you follow these 5 steps, it should be easier to do. 

Let Dehumidifier Depot guide you to your ideal dehumidifier for your moisture issues.