What Should I Set My Dehumidifier To

Set your dehumidifier to a comfortable relative humidity range of 30% to 50%. This optimal relative humidity level makes breathing easier and life more comfortable. 
The moisture levels in your home can have a great impact on your indoor air quality.
You can use an air conditioner and it will help with the air temperature. An air conditioner alone will not deal with the excess moisture in your home.
To reach proper comfort levels you will need a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will help you reach the right humidity setting that is right for your home. Warmer temperatures and greater relative humidity levels make a dehumidifier most effective.
Mold or mildew can grow at relative humidity levels exceeding 60%. This results in musty odors and dangerous mold spores in the air.
Signs You Have Humidity Problems
Signs You Have Humidity Problems

6 Signs You Have Humidity Problems

1. Mold

You should check for the growth of mold in rooms with high humidity levels.
For example, check bathrooms and the kitchen. Examine the shower stall or bathtub, the sink area, and the windowsills. Examine the walls, floors, and space corners as well.
If you see small dark spots, even if they are minor, you have a mold problem.

2. Condensation

If you see drops of water or mist on your windows, it’s a sign that there’s too much moisture in the room.
When warm air comes into contact with cold surfaces, condensation occurs. Condensation is widespread in the winter.
Everyday activities like cooking, showering, and drying clothes create warm moist air. A small amount of water can seem mild, it may promote mold growth if condensation is not addressed.

3. Running leak

Water creeping in from the outside can be a problem in some homes.
Watermarks or flooding after a storm means your basement can become humid.
Mold problems may grow if excess humidity is not handled. Mold especially like to grow in basements where ventilation is lacking.

4. Musty scent

Mildew and mold growth are to blame for the musty odors. Microbial volatile organic compounds are gases produced by mold (MVOC).
If it smells musty, don’t dismiss mold. Look for mold and mildew if you don’t see clear signs of it. Mold can hide behind wallpaper, under carpets, or inside heating and ventilation ducts.
You’re inhaling mold spores if you can detect them. What you are smelling may be poisonous. Mold spores can cause breathing difficulties, sinus infections, sore throats, and migraines.
The easiest way to get rid of the mold smell is to avoid using air fresheners or scented candles. Air fresheners and scented candles only mask the odor.
The most successful approach is to remove the mold. Removing the mold will also remove the harmful air.

5. Water stains

If you find stains or water damage on your ceiling or walls, consult a professional. Water damage stains are indicators of water leakage. The source of the moisture may be challenging to detect.
When the air has excess humidity, it causes airborne allergens such as dust mites and mold.
Do you often have allergic reactions when you’re indoors? Are you sneezing? Do you have a runny nose or sore eyes?
Your allergic reactions may be due to excess humidity. Your musty air can carry allergens all around you.

6. Rotting Wood

When there is too much moisture in the air, wood will hold it. Wood will begin to rot in moist conditions. When wood rot happens, termites and other insects may begin to flock to the area. [1]
Determine Ideal Humidity Levels
Determine Ideal Humidity Levels

Determine Ideal Humidity Levels

Humidity is the amount of moisture. An ideal range of humidity is beneficial. Too much moisture can be very pleasant. We express humidity as a percentage.
Relative humidity is the grams of moisture per cubic meter of air. This is equal to the grams of water per cubic meter of air.
Saturated vapor density is a measurement of moist air at a given temperature. In other words, at that temperature, saturated vapor density is 100% humidity.
So what is a relative humidity RH level is 50%? The relative humidity is 50% when the volume of moisture in the air is half the saturated vapor density.
As mentioned before, a 30-50% humidity level is very comfortable. Humidity levels around our house often drop or rise above this threshold.
The humidity level can be too high in the summer, but it can also be too low in the winter season. Consider using a hygrometer to see if the humidity level in your home needs adjusting.
Click here to see our favorite digital hygrometers.
I’m old school so I like mechanical devices. You can see our favorite mechanical hygrometers by clicking here.
Will Installing A Dehumidifier Will Help
Will Installing A Dehumidifier Will Help

Will Installing A Dehumidifier Help?

Yes, installing a dehumidifier will help you live in comfort. Let’s keep it simple! More moisture in the air indicates higher humidity.
Contrary to common opinion, a dehumidifier isn’t an optional convenience. You might tolerate high humidity in your house. Still, humidity is also harmful to your home and property.
Mold and mildew are more likely to develop when there is more moisture in the air. Moisture will damage anything in the building. Moisture damages flooring, walls, and furniture over time.
Excessive moisture means your paint and wallpaper will not last as long as you think. Worse, moisture can cause structural damage to your home over time.
High humidity also invites pests. Moisture promotes the growth of insects and dust mites. There is a chance of bug infestation.
Bacteria flourish in humid environments, raising the risk of infections and allergies.
Low humidity is also uncomfortable and troublesome. Low humidity indicates that the air is too dry to breathe. Respiratory infections, sinus complaints, and allergy flare-ups are also potential outcomes. All will feel dry. Dryness impacts your nose, your eyes, your hair, and your skin.
A dehumidifier will help you live in a comfortable 30-50% relative humidity range.
Dehumidifiers: Do They Work?
Dehumidifiers: Do They Work?

Dehumidifiers: Do They Work?

Humidity is, for the most part, a natural occurrence. The level of humidity is higher in areas near the ocean and lakes than in areas further away from water bodies.
Since hot air holds more moisture, warmer places are often more humid.
A dehumidifier draws moisture, warm air in from all corners of the building. Air flows through a condenser and cools. As air cools, it loses moisture. The drier air pumps back into the room through a fan.
This explains why a dehumidifier decreases the room’s temperature and humidity.
For the best results, buy the right dehumidifier. The right dehumidifier caters to the square feet you have and the moisture in that area.
Look at how many pints per day of the excess moisture the device can remove in 24 hours. [2]
Larger Area Larger Capacity Dehumidifier
Larger Area Larger Capacity Dehumidifier
Smaller Room Less Capacity
Smaller Room Less Capacity
Room Size Vs Dehumidifier Capacity
Room Size Vs Dehumidifier Capacity
Setting A Dehumidifier
Setting A Dehumidifier
Now you have bought your dehumidifier, and you have brought it home. You need to set it up. Following instructions is always the best way to go.

Step 1. Choose the correct location.

The effectiveness of the dehumidifier lies all in where you put it. Dehumidifiers work best in the rooms where they’re required the most. So make sure you get one that’s right for your space.
The user manual informs you of the wall and furniture clearances. It is ideal to place it as close to the center of the room as you can. This isn’t always practical.
One tip I’ll give you is to try to avoid using an extension cord. Use the cord the dehumidifier came with.

Step 2. Consider drainage

Your dehumidifier is now in the proper position. If your units has a bucket make sure you have clearance and can empty it. If your appliance is self draining then connect the hose and run the hose to a drain. I elevated my dehumidifier. I put my dehumidifier on a plastic box so drainage is easier. If you have a pump, run the hose to a drain.

Step 3. Check the humidistat and controls.

Your dehumidifier is now in the proper position, and drainage has been set. It’s time to double-check or test the dehumidifier to ensure it is working.
Humidistats built into dehumidifiers ensure it maintains the levels of humidity you set. Maintain a humidity level of 30-50% in your home.
Connect the dehumidifier to a grounded wall socket. Press the “On” or “Power” button on the control panel on models that do not turn on their own when plugged in. Look at power and control lights and listen to your appliance.
Find a dial or a series of buttons labeled “Dryness Setting” or “Humidity Level” or along those lines.
Click the “Humidity Level” button. Click until the display indicates that the machine is set to your desired humidity. Turn the knob to the right to increase the dryness and to the left to increase the moisture.
Keep in mind that higher numbers show higher humidity, not more device power. Look for a “Power Level,” “Fan Speed,” or a similar button. Press the button several times to loop through the power settings, from low to high.

Step 4. How to Choose the Right Humidity Level

Trying to determine the right relative humidity is difficult due to the environment. An optimal basement dehumidifier setting, according to most HVAC engineers, is roughly 40%.
Electronic control panels on most dehumidifiers make it simple to set the dehumidifier. Set the humidity level to 40% on the electronic control panel.
Your dehumidifier will working to keep the humidity at the optimal amount.

Step 5. Track the progress

Double-check your dehumidifier’s working after you’ve placed it and turned it on. If you’re using a condensate pump or drain hose to drain water, make sure it’s draining.
Over time, there will be very little maintenance. Ensure the air filter is clean, and consult your owner’s manual for any other maintenance.

Step 6. Set speed and timer

Choose your preferred power level, if available. A higher setting dehumidifies the room more. But it’s louder and will increase your energy costs.
If your model has this function, press the “Time” or “Timer” button to set a time for the dehumidifier to turn on. When you press the button, the timer cycles through the hours of the day. For more information about how to set the timer, consult your owner’s manual. [4]
You are all set to breathe easier and live better.

Draining A Dehumidifier

Depending on your dehumidifier, there are up to three methods for draining.

Manual drainage

There’s no need for any more setup, but you must empty the bucket once it’s full of water. Please put it back in place and the dehumidifier will start up again.
It’s tedious for me to keep emptying a water bucket. That’s why I have two self-draining units.

Drainage by Gravity

Attach a hose to the unit’s back and direct the moisture to a floor drain. I elevated my dehumidifier by placing it on a plastic box. Since the unit is higher than the floor the water flows away

Condensate Pump

For the most convenient moisture removal, some dehumidifiers have an internal condensate pump. The pump extracts moisture from the unit and transports it to a floor drain or laundry sink.

What Humidity Should I Set My Dehumidifier To In The Basement
What Humidity Should I Set My Dehumidifier To In The Basement

What Humidity Should I Set My Dehumidifier To In The Basement?

Mold is more likely to grow at humidity levels above 60%. Keep the humidity level in your basement dehumidifier at 60% or less at all times. The best atmosphere is about 50%.
Set your dehumidifier wait for it to run for several hours before making any adjustments. It’s time to look into it further if it runs (never shuts off) or never seems to hit the desired setting.
Check for air leaks in your basement that are allowing more moisture to get in. If outside air comes into your basement, your device will work harder and longer.
Running your appliance all the time may increase your energy costs.
Keep an eye on what your dehumidifier is doing during the cold winter months. It may freeze if the temperature drops below 65°F (18.3°C).
The good news is that once your dehumidifier has had a chance to function, the humidity level has fallen. You’ll note a decrease in the usual “musty” odor found in basements.
Mold growth will also come to a stop, but this isn’t always clear. You’ll find that the air is cleaner, and you’ll be able to put your basement to better use as a result. [5]
Tips To Control Indoor Humidity
Tips To Control Indoor Humidity

Tips To Control Indoor Humidity

Proper ventilation

Keep your home well ventilated, particularly in areas where moisture is a problem. Places like the kitchen and a bathroom. If necessary, open windows and doors and leave vents or fans on for more extended periods. This ensures adequate ventilation. Indoor humidity can decrease with enough ventilation at least a few hours per day. [6]

A Thermostat

A programmable thermostat eliminates the need to set the temperature manually. You can set the thermostat to be warmer during the day and cooler at night. This is dependent on seasonal weather changes. [7]

Dehumidifiers For More Than One Room H2
Dehumidifiers For More Than One Room H2

More Than One Dehumidifier

Areas To Put A Dehumidifier

I have two dehumidifiers because one was not enough to control my basement humidity. Consider adding an appliance.
Consider the location or place your dehumidifier will work.

Dehumidifier Types

Also consider the type of dehumidifier that’s right your your situation.
Examples of dehumidifier types include:
Types Of Dehumidifiers
Types Of Dehumidifiers

Types Of Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers with Refrigerant

A refrigerant dehumidifier works like your refrigerator at home. A metal plate in which moisture condenses cools during the refrigeration process. A fan pulls room air through the dehumidifier and over the cool metal plate(s).
As moisture condenses it drips into the water tank. More moisture condenses on the plate and drips away. When the relative humidity in the room/house returns to normal, the unit will go into standby mode.
The efficiency of refrigerant dehumidifiers is best at average room temperatures. Efficiency reduces as the temperature drops. The formation of ice on the metal cooling plates is a natural cause (coils). Freezing happens at any temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
A refrigerant dehumidifier can work at lower temperatures. But it does so at the cost of higher-performing components and extra features.
If you’re looking for a dehumidifier to use in your home’s usual living areas, a refrigerant model will do. If you think you will use your dehumidifier in a room at low temperatures, consider a desiccant model.

Dehumidifiers with Desiccant

Desiccant dehumidifiers use a desiccant to trap water from the air. A desiccant is a substance that absorbs moisture. Anyone who has ever found a small pack of crystals labeled “silica gel” with a camera, would be familiar with it.
How Does It Work? The desiccant dehumidifier works as follows:
A wheel made of desiccant spins through the incoming air stream and absorbs moisture. A part of the wheel passes through a stream of warm air during the rotating period. This “reactivates” the desiccant by removing moisture.
The condensed water drips and is then stored in the dehumidifier’s water tank. It can also drain out through a tube from the back of the device. Desiccant dehumidifiers are usually smaller and lighter than refrigerant dehumidifiers.
The advantage of a desiccant dehumidifier is that it works in lower temperatures. Consider this type if you’re looking to locate or place the unit in a particularly cool place. Cold places may include a garage or workshop.
Always do your research and search for an energy-star-rated dehumidifier. This will save your electric bill.

Dehumidifiers for Whole House Ventilation

A ventilation device removes damp, mold, and condensation from the entire house. Whole-house dehumidifier is less expensive to operate and more energy-efficient than plug-in dehumidifiers. They’re also so quiet you’ll forget they’re there.
These units sit in a loft or basement, pushing air into your home through grill in the floors and ceilings. The steady inflow of fresh air from the vents drives the old, stale, humid air out. It makes air cleaner, dryer, and condensation-free.
Installation usually takes about an hour or two. Anyone with basic DIY skills can install one. Or call a HVAC technician to help you with the installation.

Final Thoughts

Read your dehumidifier manual when setting up your appliance. Different models come with different settings.
Make sure you make use of your humidistat. This way you know what the actual humidity in your home is.
Set your dehumidifier up so it works. Your efforts will allow you to breathe easier and live comfortably.