Dehumidifier Placement Guide
Put your dehumidifier in the right spot to get the best moisture control. Putting the dehumidifier in the right place and buying the right one for you will solve your mold and mildew problems.
Dehumidifiers are more specialized than you think. Picking the right spot can boost your health and prevent damage to the walls caused by water vapor.
If your home, office, garage, or any other working or living space is damp, dehumidifiers can help. They remove the humidity in the air so that mold doesn’t grow and the air quality improves.
How to Determine Dehumidifier Placement
Now that you know that high humidity is the source of your issues in the home. Narrow it down to where a dehumidifier will be most beneficial. Choose the best unit that can handle the problem.
Source of Humidity
Is the humidity coming from an open window or a water-heavy room like the kitchen or bathroom? Is the source of the mildew smell coming from the unfinished basement? Determining the source of humidity in your home is the first step.
The square footage of the space will determine the type of dehumidifier you need. Dehumidifiers come in several varieties for all the different places in your home. Places like crawl spaces, basements, and closets, as well as RVs, grow rooms, and boats.
Airflow in Room
Dehumidifiers work by moving air through the unit and taking away moisture from the room. The unit will not work correctly if you block the machine’s airflow. Ensure space around the dehumidifier and pull away from walls and furniture.
Basics of Dehumidifier Placements
Try to choose a central place for your dehumidifier for coverage and unrestricted airflow. These factors create the best situation for your dehumidifier’s moisture control.
If you must place your dehumidifier closer to the wall, leave at least one or two feet of clearance. Try to keep it away from the wall or furniture.
Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air. This means the unit’s water reservoir will gradually fill up with water. Make sure you are near a drain or other location where you can empty the reservoir filled with pints of water.
Some dehumidifiers can attach drain hoses to allow continuous draining. If you prefer not to empty the dehumidifier, placing the unit in a room with a drainage option is very convenient.
Make sure the placement of your dehumidifier allows you to access the entire unit easily. This makes cleaning the dirt and dust build-up more convenient. This is especially true if the dehumidifier is in a basement, attic, or crawl space.
Common Dehumidifier Placements
Different areas need the dehumidifier in particular places for efficiency. Placement may depend on:
- the electrical outlet,
- clearance, and
- where the unit is easy to access.
A crawl space dehumidifier is best if you have limited height under a floor. It makes that space a little more pleasant when it needs to access it.
Crawl spaces are often poorly insulated and rarely accessed. They are usually only used when there is a problem elsewhere in the structure. Crawl spaces are vulnerable to the elements, promoting mold growth and allowing air in. Wet outside air will encourage excess indoor humidity. Moisture-related damage could have progressed quite far by the time you notice a problem.
Controlling the humidity in your crawl space discourages pests. This includes insects that thrive in high humidity areas.
Dehumidifiers placed in a crawl space perform two specialized functions. Look for one with a strong fan to push air throughout the entire space. Look for one which is compact enough to fit in this cramped area but still allows airflow over the whole unit.
Bathroom dehumidifiers are one of the most common dehumidifiers. One long, steamy shower is the source of humidity collecting on the wall of the shower. It will collect on the bathroom mirror and other places that are harder to see with the naked eye.
This condensation can speed up the deterioration of surfaces in your bathroom. Condensation on ceilings causes paint to peel. Condensation on windows can cause wooden window panes to rot. Running a dehumidifier during a shower reduces condensation and mildew smells.
Bathroom dehumidifiers come in many different models. Bathroom dehumidifiers are relatively affordable, very small, and discreet. They are ideal for areas like the top of the toilet tank.
A typical bathroom dehumidifier is an integrated exhaust fan that operates from a light switch. This exhaust fan removes the source of humidity by flipping a switch before a shower.
Whether finished or unfinished, basements are often susceptible to damaging moisture levels. Being underground, water found in the ground can seep into the walls of your basement.
Bathrooms and laundry rooms, both moisture-producing rooms, are also found in basements. There is often inadequate ventilation in basements. A basement is a magnet for excess humidity in the air.
Installing a basement dehumidifier is a simple solution for a pervasive basement issue. Basements are a great place for a powerful residential dehumidifier. They are out of sight from guests.
Basements also offer the option for a continuous drain pipe from the dehumidifier. By using the existing plumbing and drain system, you can forget to empty the dehumidifier. This happens while achieving the ideal humidity level.
As basements have moisture issues throughout the year, you may need to buy two or more dehumidifiers. Make sure to review the square footage the dehumidifier can cover. This way you know how many units you need to lower the excess moisture.
Sometimes an entire home or other building has different sources of humidity. Some rooms or areas are far wetter than others. You need dehumidifiers in these high-humidity areas to remove the moisture.
But, if the home is in a high humidity area, you don’t have to install a customized dehumidifier. Instead of getting a unit for each room, get a whole house.
These more powerful units can serve up to 3500 sq ft or more across split-level and multi-story homes. This is in comparison to smaller room dehumidifiers. Have a look at our Dehumidifier Size Chart.
Fortunately, whole-house dehumidifiers integrate well into existing systems. You can install these into the existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. They remove excess dampness from the air before heating and circulation.
A whole-house dehumidifier can help lighten the burden on the HVAC system. It removes humidity that could cause the HVAC systems to work harder.
In most situations, people are trying to reduce the moisture levels at all times in their grow rooms.
But, if you grow plants in a room, like mushrooms, cannabis, and vegetables – an ideal humidity is necessary for plants to thrive. Dehumidifiers for grow rooms serve a specific purpose. They balance humidity without sacrificing dry surfaces.
Dehumidifiers for grow rooms maintain a balanced environment so plants can grow. An ideal humidity level allows you to achieve good yields and avoid rot.
Depending on the plants you are growing, achieving the perfect balance of humidity level may be difficult. You may need a bit of trial and error.
Consider a dehumidifier and humidifier combination to find this ideal moisture level. Or combine a dehumidifier with your HVAC to control room moisture and temperature.
A living room may seem like an unlikely location for a dehumidifier. Common areas benefit from dehumidifiers.
Living room dehumidifiers are often near an entrance. Entrances are a prime source of humidity during rain showers or snowstorms.
A small dehumidifier can easily fit in a living room. Place the unit on flooring that is easy to clean in case of leaks from the collected water.
The downside of placing a large dehumidifier in a living room is the possibility of noise while it’s in operation. In most living room arrangements, the small portable dehumidifier may need emptying. This is especially without a viable drain pipe option. Avoid placing the dehumidifier on carpeting or fabric. Fabrics get wet if the dehumidifier collection tank overflows or clogs.
The attic can be a tricky place in the home to control humidity. Hot air rises, so all the humid and warm air moves to the attic. Without adequate airflow, wet air just sits there with no place to go. This results in dangerous mold, bugs, and water damage. This may go unnoticed. A
A dehumidifier designed for attics is beneficial. You can install an attic dehumidifier into the HVAC system. It is much like a whole-house dehumidifier.
Placing a dehumidifier in a converted attic space can make time in the attic more pleasant. It also prevents damage to items stored in the attic, making you more likely to return.
Insulating walls and sealing attic gable vents prevents the outdoor elements from coming. Spaces under the roof can help prevent extra moisture. Installing an extractor fan is a big help.
The winter months as a boat owner can be problematic. Areas near the waterline and near port windows allow damp air in.
After putting up the boat in winter, it’s idle. Humidity if not controlled, can encourage mold growth. Blight, mildew, and rust especially damage the interior of a boat left unwrapped. A boat dehumidifier can slow or halt moisture damage.
Regardless of the type of boat, a boat dehumidifier help. Dehumidifiers fit in different parts of the boat. You can put one in a closet or the middle of the floor in the lower decks.
Boat dehumidifiers often have low-maintenance options. They have continuous drainage hoses. They have auto-off functions that will shut the unit off when they reach desired humidity. You can leave it running over the winter months in the boat. Leave the water hose to drain outside.
Small utility closets and larger walk-in closets, can be susceptible to higher humidity. A closet can trap moisture. Closets in areas with high humidity, like the basement and laundry room are susceptible. You need a closet dehumidifier to save your clothes and personal items.
Place the dehumidifier inside the closet. Closing the closet door may speed up the drying process. Small and portable dehumidifiers work well in small spaces. They can fit into the area and need less electricity to power them.
Larger closets such as pantries and filing rooms will need a larger dehumidifier. Here is our Dehumidifier Size Chart. Smaller dehumidifiers need to have their water collection reservoir emptied more often. Choose a hassle-free self-draining dehumidifier.
In areas with high humidity, like an unfinished closet in the basement, use a more powerful dehumidifier. Place your dehumidifier in the center of the closet.
Have a look at our easy Dehumidifier Size Calculator.
A garage is closer to a cave than it is a house. A garage often has few to no windows and only large doors to allow in vehicles. Garages often lack a cross-breeze. A garage offers a good place for mold to grow.
Using a garage dehumidifier, either wall-mounted or portable, can help reduce humidity. This appliance reduces the amount of water that pools on the walls and floor and helps to regulate the air within the space.
Choose a spot away from where you regularly park. Choose a spot with access to an electrical socket and a drain if possible. A continuous drainage hose will make maintenance much easier.
Your car or truck can bring in water during rain or snow. If water is left to stand, humidity in the garage increase. A dehumidifier can help quicken the drying of standing water. A dehumidifier needs 1 to 2 feet of free space around it to maintain good, steady airflow.
In a gun safe, dehumidifier placement is as important. Only specific dehumidifiers for safes work without regular maintenance. You won’t need to empty water or install a drainage hose.
These small and locked areas often lack direct access to electrical outlets. Gun safes suffer from issues like rust & mold. When water and oxygen settle on metals rust or corrosion results.
A renewable or rechargeable dehumidifier and desiccant bag for a gun-safe are good options for your safe. Paperwork and precious jewelry are often stored with firearms. You don’t have to worry about water damage with calcium chloride or damprid dehumidifier.
Rechargeable silica gel dehumidifiers are safe to be next to electronics and firearms. They can remove the humidity from the air and prevent water spots or corrosion. When they have dried out the area as much as possible, remove the gels and replace them. You can also leave silica gels out to dry out and reuse them.
Of all the spaces in the home, the indoor pool or jacuzzi room will have the highest humidity. This is due to the presence of a large body of water and plenty of excess moisture in the air. The air at swimming pools feels thicker. Installing a pool dehumidifier can help prevent damage to the room. These appliances reduce mildew, rot, and mold growth.
Place the dehumidifier at the narrow end of the pool to ensure the best airflow. Ensure there is plenty of room around the machine to exchange the air. As pool rooms have so much humidity, you’ll need to install a large dehumidifier. Look for one with a capacity of 90 pints or larger.
Portable dehumidifiers will work in the pool room. Still, there are two other options for installation. These include installing the air conditioner dehumidifier in another room and ducting the exchange. Hence, humid air goes in one way, and it returns dry air. Wall-mounting a dehumidifier keeps it away from people.
Recreational Vehicles; RVs don’t always have the best air circulation as they’re small and enclosed. The windows can’t stay open all the time because of weather and security issues. Moisture and water droplets are caused by activities in the kitchen and bathroom. Activities like cooking and showering in a Recreational Vehicle.
When the vapor lands on the walls or floor, it causes condensation and surface damage. Paint will peel and metals will rust. An RV dehumidifier can take care of the humidity. An RV dehumidifier safeguards your pleasure and recreation.
Position the RV dehumidifier in a common comfort area. Place it in the living room and bedroom to have comfortable humidity levels. Pick a quiet dehumidifier model that will help with running noise.
A mini RV dehumidifier can work for roughly 200 sq ft with a 1-4 pint capacity. A larger RV will need either a larger dehumidifier or two placed on either end.
Small spaces dehumidifiers are suitable in areas like the kitchen, laundry room, and closets. Place it on the floor in the area to remove the moisture from the air and encourage better airflow.
A battery-operated dehumidifier facing the open side can remove dampness. It protects objects inside. This setup works well in small craft or children’s rooms. Small spaces that may not be as highly trafficked as other areas of the home to help protect supplies.
You can place a larger and higher capacity small spaces dehumidifier on low. Wet, warm air rises in places like a laundry room. Your small space dehumidifier will keep your walls dryer.
Reducing condensation in laundry rooms can help prolong the life of the washer and dryer. A dehumidifier helps your dryer work more energy efficiently lowering your electric bill.
Storage areas are usually high humidity environments. No one is living inside and these areas are visited infrequently.
Airflow is usually poor. Storage areas don’t usually have windows. The airflow keeps dampness down. Moisture damages paper products and all your stored valuables. A storage dehumidifier ensures continuous airflow. A storage dehumidifier controls humidity.
As far as practical, ensure the dehumidifier is in an open area. Keep your storage dehumidifier away from the wall, and close to a drain. Attach a continuous drain hose so collected water flows away into a drain.
A storage dehumidifier will cycle on and then off when it reaches the desired humidity level program.
Choose a lower spot on the ground, ensuring the unit has an auto-on and off function, and select a self-draining or pump and hose option.
Camping in a tent can be a relaxing and entertaining way to spend a weekend. It can also be a miserable time if you wake up covered in condensed water vapor. This is thanks to your breathing overnight.
Tents get humid. It’s an unfortunate fact, but that’s the design. They trap heat and moisture. They protect against air and the elements entering them. Tents can benefit greatly from a tent dehumidifier.
These types of dehumidifiers come in different styles. They include electric, battery-powered and absorbent. They all work well when you put them in the tent’s center whenever possible and far away from the walls.
Choose a stable and firm surface. Place it on the ground or on a slightly elevated platform and away from direct water sources. You can run a quiet or ultra-quiet dehumidifier at night. This can help prevent water condensing on the tent’s inside.
Silica-based dehumidifiers should dry out during the day to ensure they’re ready to use at night.
Wall-mounted dehumidifiers can be very convenient options for many different areas. They work in the home or workspace that lacks the floor space for a large unit. They work when you store objects on shelving and they need direct airflow.
Wall-mounted dehumidifiers are installed in two ways. First, on the wall using brackets or connectors depending on the type of wall. Second, you can install the inside the wall. The intake and exhaust are open to the room to remove humid air and replace it with dried air.
Whether in-wall or on-wall, these dehumidifiers are ideal for any number of situations. They work for industries, including commercial, residential, and agricultural. They come in various sizes and capacities with many different features.
A wall-mounted dehumidifier will often be much quieter. It makes it an excellent choice for bedrooms and living areas of the home.
You can expect your dehumidifier to last between three and eight years. Dehumidifiers are often a “set it and forget it” situation. But these machines do not last forever, especially since they usually run continuously. Because dehumidifiers vary widely, their life span does too.
Proper maintenance can help stretch the machine’s lifespan. This includes regular cleaning of filters, correct placement, and selecting the right dehumidifier. See a detailed article on how long do dehumidifiers last.
While these units are very different, a few standard features stand apart. These are must-have features for a new dehumidifier.
For earth-conscious and cost-conscious consumers, an EnergyStar rating ensures higher efficiency machines.
A comprehensive list of dehumidifier features can be found here.
A digital humidistat calibrates and adjusts the dehumidifier as the moisture level changes. It happens automatically. This humidity control feature allows owners to set the unit once. You can let the machine operate in the background.
Newer dehumidifiers have begun to integrate smart technology. They allow you to set and adjust the level of humidity allowable in the home without having to be at home. This is great for storage lockers or houses only occupied for part of the year, such as rental units. Landlords can ensure humidity is at a safe level without intruding into the tenant’s space.
Directs Water Out Instead of Collecting
Dehumidifiers with an internal condensate pump remove the chore of emptying it. Machines without a pump mean you must empty the water yourself. The location of the dehumidifier must be near a floor drain. You may want to slightly elevate your self-draining dehumidifier so gravity prompts water to easily flow to the floor drain.
An internal condensate pump forces the collected water up and out of the machine. This means dehumidifiers with a pump can direct water out of a window or into a nearby sink. Units with this feature are often a little more expensive to account for this convenient and powerful feature.
Dehumidifiers are helpful tools for managing humidity. They work in homes, offices, recreational equipment, and more.
You must research the type of dehumidifier ideal for spaces in your home. There are dehumidifiers that specialize to serve bathrooms, crawl spaces, basements, whole-house, grow rooms, and other damp rooms. Make sure the dehumidifiers purchased can cover the entire square footage.
Removing excess moisture, reduces the risk for airborne mold and associated diseases. It reduces the potential for gradual property damage from too much moisture. Purchasing a dehumidifier is a wise investment for long-term health and property value.
Placing a dehumidifier correctly ensures that moisture is effectively controlled. One of the most important parts of choosing a location is ensuring optimal airflow.
If the unit is too close to the wall, it will not run efficiently. Dehumidifiers may have a shorter lifespan if you overwork the motor.
Different rooms in the home will need other specialized dehumidifiers. Generally set dehumidifiers on the floor away from the wall or furniture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about the placement of dehumidifiers in the home.
Should dehumidifiers be high or low?
Unless the manufacturer recommends it, a dehumidifier shouldn’t be on a platform. it’s unnecessary. It will operate better if it’s beneath the warmest and most humid air.
Place dehumidifiers on the floor with plenty of clearance. Set it on the lowest and coolest level of the home. Unless it must be wall-mounted because of a lack of floor space. Being low to the ground allows the dehumidifier to work efficiently. This will not overwhelm it.
Will one dehumidifier do the whole house?
Yes, one dehumidifier can remove the moisture from an entire home. It can even cover one 3500+ square feet. This requires a powerful motor and a machine capable of handling airflow. This unit is a whole-house dehumidifier.
A whole-house dehumidifier can remove the extra moisture in the air from the entire home. It can cover both upstairs and downstairs. If it is powerful enough when placed appropriately in with the HVAC in the house.
Owning multiple dehumidifiers is common. Depending on the home’s layout, you may wish to use one, two, or more dehumidifiers to maximize efficiency.
How long does it take for a dehumidifier to dry out a room?
There are plenty of factors that come into play when determining how long it will take to dry out a room. Provided you chose the correct dehumidifier for the area. Put in the right spot, it can dry out a room in a few days up to a week.
What should my dehumidifier be set at?
For most areas, 30 to 50% is the optimal humidity level for a home. In colder areas where you need heating, the humidity level goes to 30 to 40%. This makes up for the heated air going into the home.
Aside from being uncomfortable, higher humidity can cause health problems. It exacerbates allergies and encourages dust mites.
Can you put a dehumidifier near a furnace?
Dehumidifiers work by pulling air in. The appliances then return air with moisture removed to the desired level. This requires good airflow in the area around the appliance.
Try to avoid putting a unit in a corner, near large pieces of furniture. Avoid placing it near an appliance like a water heater, boiler, or furnace.
Dehumidifiers are sometimes added to the furnace and HVAC system. Adding a dehumidifier to the HVAC setup can treat the air. It removes the moisture and cleans it before it ever enters the home. A dehumidifier helps the rest of the HVAC system work better. Air Purifier Dehumidifiers and Air Conditioning Dehumidifiers filter the air and remove extra particulates before heating.