When should I turn off my dehumidifier?

Say no to too much dehumidification.

 Are you suffering from dry itchy eyes, sore throat, respiratory problems, cracked skin, and mold growth despite using a dehumidifier? Don’t know how to deal with your skyrocketing power bills?

Hold on. We know what your problem is.

It’s too much dehumidification! And here’s the solution.

Turn off the dehumidifier at home. Don’t run it 24 /7.

Homeowners need to realize that dry air can cause more harm than humid air. For ideal health and well being, people must keep an eye on home humidity levels. When you find the relative humidity (RH) going below the 30% – 50% range, you need to immediately switch off the dehumidifier.

If there is too much dehumidification, say below 30%, it will result in the growth of several bacteria, mold, and dust mites that thrive in low humidity conditions. People have reported that 45% of RH provides one of the best comfort and health levels.

One good idea to restore moisture would be to switch on humidifiers or open up ventilation. Or else, stale recirculated air will damage indoor air quality and infect your loved ones at home.

Should a dehumidifier run all the time?

Want to save on energy bills and enjoy good health? Then it would be best if you did not run your home dehumidifier all the time.

Make sure you run your home or basement dehumidifier only when the relative humidity goes above 50%.

Running a dehumidifier 24 / 7 results in higher power consumption and electricity bill charges. Use a wall humidistat or buy a home dehumidifier with an in-built humidistat, digital humidity control, and auto on/off facility. These functionalities will allow you to preset a humidity threshold, and automatically detect dripping humidity levels and turn off the dehumidifier.

Make sure you set the humidity threshold to 30% or 45 %. If the moisture level rises, the compressor will automatically turn on and run until the ideal relative humidity is reached. If the humidity levels and air flow hit the preset level, the compressor will turn off immediately, giving the unit sufficient rest.
For the best dehumidification and long life, you must run your dehumidifier for 12 hours per day. These hours will provide sufficient time for the unit to remove moisture from every single square feet area.

Are dehumidifiers better in summer or winter?

Irrespective of summer or winter conditions, dehumidifiers must be used if the relative humidity is high. Excess humidity during the summer or winter damages your health and your home’s structural integrity.

In summer, the room temperature will be a bit high, so you can use the dehumidifier air conditioner combo to cool and dehumidify your home.

In winter, lower room temperature and high humidity take a greater toll on indoor air quality, especially in the basement space, attic, and crawl space.

Sounds like a contradiction?

We all know that the cold winter air carries significantly less moisture. But like most people, we tend to forget the indoor factors that add to the humidity levels at home, even during winter. Using a clothes dryer, cooking, steaming, and nurturing indoor plants increases indoor relative humidity levels above 50 percent, while outdoor temperatures are in minus degrees Fahrenheit.

The vents in basements and attics cause water and ice to seep inside, increasing the attic and basement humidity and lowering the indoor temperatures during winter.

To ensure the health and structural integrity, you need to run a dehumidifier in winter months too. But do not run your dehumidifier for too long. Take a hygrometer to every room to measure indoor temperature and humidity levels. Depending on the humidity level, you can switch on/off the dehumidifier in winter.

The cold temperatures cause the compressor coils inside the dehumidifier to freeze. This problem makes the unit malfunction or stops working altogether. So make sure you find efficient set point functionalities to run a dehumidifier in winter.

A good idea is to use a dehumidifier with Hot Gas Valve (HGV) defrosting system and auto defrost facility. These functionalities will automatically defrost your dehumidifier unit and prevent breakdowns during the winter months.

Do dehumidifiers turn off automatically?

The answer to this question is a big yes.

You can use a dehumidifier with auto on/off and auto shutoff functions to turn on and off the unit automatically depending on the humidity control and water tank levels. When the inbuilt humidistat senses that the preset humidity levels are reached, it automatically triggers the dehumidifier settings to turn off the unit. The same mechanism holds good for the water reservoir too. When the condensed water fills up the reservoir to the threshold limit, the dehumidifier switches off on its own to avoid spillage and flooding issues.

What should I set my dehumidifier to in the summer?

when to use a dehumidifier in summer

Now comes the critical question. What should my dehumidifier be set at home during hot summers?

It’s quite simple. According to iallergy.com, The relative humidity must be set between 30% and 50 % to maintain a healthy and comfortable home.

If your indoor RH is around 45 %, it is perfectly conducive to combat mold growth and dust mites that cause respiratory allergies. And to stop mold growth in basements, the RH of dehumidifiers in basement spaces can be set to 60% or less. So make sure you maintain the ideal humidity level for a comfortable space during summers.

What is the perfect dehumidifier settings in winter?

Due to the minimal exposure of sunlight and warmth, basements become more prone to mold growth during winter months. So, it is a must to set dehumidifiers around 50% in order to reduce the humidity and avoid causing many indoor problems.

FAQ Section

1. Why won’t my dehumidifier shut off when humidity level is met?

If the dehumidifier filters are dirty and the fans keep running, the device will not shut off, even if the preset humidity level is reached. Make sure you change the dehumidifier settings from the continuous mode to allow the compressor to turn off when the target humidity is hit. When the compressor stops, the dehumidifier will stop too.

Sometimes, the frost in the coils will not allow the fan to stop. Even though the compressor is off, the fan will run till the unit is completely defrosted.

Suppose after fixing all the above issues, and the dehumidifier does not auto shut still. In that case, you must refer to the user manual menu, or you can contact customer care using your name, email, and purchase details.

2. How to turn the heat off dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers tend to emit some heat and noise while getting rid of high humidity and water damages. This few degree rise in temperature is perfect for water damage restoration sites and confined spaces such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces. It dries out puddles and water vapor, making the basement space free from allergens, molds, and mildew.

But are you using a dehumidifier in your bedroom or living room, and want to reduce the temperature?

Then try ducting your dehumidifier or use an air conditioner or a high-speed fan for homes and basements.

3. How to turn off a dehumidifier?

Follow the steps below to turn off the whole house or single room dehumidifier.

1. Set the built-in humidistat to the ‘off’ position or the highest relative humidity percentage. This will help the dehumidifier shut off.
3. Close the bypass duct damper or shift it to the ‘winter’ position. If your dehumidifier does not have a damper, skip this step.
4. Unplug the dehumidifier, empty the water tank and rinse the filters.
5. Before storage, use white vinegar to wipe and dry all surfaces of the dehumidifier, water tank, filters, and drain hose to prevent mold and mildew growth.

4. Should the dehumidifier be turned off if central air is on?

Dehumidifiers can function along with air conditioners. There are several cases where air conditioners have cooled down the room, balancing out the heating of dehumidifiers. But if you feel that you do not want to use a dehumidifier, then it is perfectly fine. You can turn off the dehumidifier while the central air conditioning is on. You will still get some adequate dehumidification and cooling.

Wrapping Up

Haven’t you lost count of the number of times, we have emphasised the need to turn off dehumidifiers when the RH reaches the ideal level? Switching off dehumidifiers at the right time will help save money, energy, and health.

Check out our previous posts to find reviews on the best dehumidifiers for a great price, energy efficiency, and auto shut off functionality. All rights reserved to our judgements.

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About The Author

Olivia — a self-confessed air quality addict — is a home climate enthusiast, fresh air advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about mold extermination. Her work was mentioned in countless notable humidity publications. Previously she was an editor at Mold Remediation.