How Long Does it Take For a Dehumidifier to Work? +FAQ

You may be wondering how long does it takes for a dehumidifier to work and other common questions like does a dehumidifier start working right away?

Most dehumidifiers start working anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on the capacity of your dehumidifier unit. Larger, humid rooms will take longer to service.

Below you’ll find more answers to commonly asked questions about dehumidifiers.

Let’s get started.

How long does it take for a dehumidifier to work

How long it takes for a dehumidifier to work depends on the capacity of your dehumidifier and the size of the room.

Small rooms can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours while a large room can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days or even a week.

As long as your dehumidifier is collecting water and is rated for your room size, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Remember that a higher capacity dehumidifier will take much longer to service a large room than a smaller dehumidifier servicing a small room.

Be patient and monitor the humidity levels until you’re satisfied with the moisture levels.

Does a Dehumidifier Start Working Right Away?

A dehumidifier can take up to 12 hours for it to get your room to the humidity level you’re looking for.

Most dehumidifiers are rated to capture a certain amount of pints per day, so as soon as you turn it on it should start working.

The bigger the room size, the longer it will take to dehumidify.

The smaller the room, the faster it will start working.

A whole home dehumidifier can take up to a few days for it to work, so keep an eye on your humidity levels to see if it’s working.

How Do I Know if My Dehumidifier is Working?

The best way to check if a dehumidifier is working is by checking the humidity level in your room before and after you let your dehumidifier run for an hour.

If you see the humidity level drop significantly, that means your dehumidifier is working.

Another way to know if your dehumidifier is working is by checking the water tank or drain hose.

If you see water collecting, that means that it’s working.

If you feel like the humidity levels aren’t going down, then your dehumidifier capacity may be too small for your room.

How Long Should You Leave Your Dehumidifier On?

Nowadays with modern dehumidifiers, you don’t have to leave your dehumidifier on as most units have intelligent humidity control.

It senses the humidity levels in the room and turns the unit on and off.

If your dehumidifier doesn’t have intelligent controls, then the best way to know when to turn your dehumidifier off is by checking the humidity level with a hygrometer.

If you’re satisfied that it’s in the optimal range of 30-50%, then feel free to save on energy costs and turn off your dehumidifier.

Best Time of Day to Use a Dehumidifier?

The best time of the day to use your dehumidifier is when the humidity level reaches over 50%. You want to maintain a level of 30-50% for optimal conditions.

You can keep your dehumidifier running if it has intelligent controls as it will continue to turn itself on and off throughout the day.

If you’re concerned about energy costs, you can use your dehumidifier from 10pm to 7am to reduce the energy bills.

It’s recommended to run your dehumidifier for 12 hours per day so that you can maintain your humidity levels and enjoy dryer air.

How Much Water Should a Dehumidifier Collect in a Day?

How much water your dehumidifier collects in a day is relative to the humidity level and the capacity of your dehumidifier.

Average sized dehumidifiers are rated for around 20 pints per day.

Commercial dehumidifiers can reach over 200 pints of excess moisture collection per day.

If you are dehumidifying a very humid environment, then you can expect your dehumidifier to be working at max capacity.

How Quickly Should a Dehumidifier Fill Up?

Let’s take for example a 50 pint dehumidifier with a water tank of 20 pints.

It’ll take anywhere from 10-12 hours for the tank to fill up.

Depending on the size of your unit and the humidity level in the room, you may find that your dehumidifier is collecting more or less water than expected.

As long as your dehumidifier is reducing the humidity level to your desired level, then there is no need to worry.

Consider using the continuous drain option if you find emptying the water tank inconvenient.

How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?

Dehumidifiers lose effectiveness as their lifespan goes on.

You should expect that your dehumidifier should last anywhere from 5 to 10 years as long as you maintain your unit.

Clean the coils, air filter, and exhaust grills as well as the water tank regularly to extend the lifespan of your dehumidifier.

If you find that your dehumidifier is not working like it used to, it may make sense to get it serviced.

If it’s an older unit, it may simply be on its last legs and you’re due for an upgrade.

Before you throw out your dehumidifier, give it a deep clean and see if that helps any. If not, then you can check out our guide for the best 30-pint dehumidifiers.

Keep in mind though that when disposing of a dehumidifier, you want to do it properly as they can contain greenhouse gases that can harm the air.

Check with your local waste services and see if they offer any sort of turn-ins for dehumidifiers or similar products.

Should I run my dehumidifier during the winter?

Running your dehumidifier during the winter will be unnecessary as the winter air is normally dry.

If you live in a tropical climate, then the outside humidity levels may be high enough to warrant dehumidifier use in the winter.

If you find that the humidity levels are above 50%, then it’s ok to use a dehumidifier in the winter.

Dry air can cause sore throats, nosebleeds, dry eyes, skin problems, and even respiratory conditions.

You mustn’t bring your humidity levels below 30%, otherwise, you may suffer from the negative effects of dry air.

Where Does the Water Come From in a Dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers work like an air conditioner, taking in warm air and then passing that air through cold coils, then turning that water vapor from gas to liquid water.

The condensate is collected in a bucket or drained through a hose.

Be careful to not drink the water, as it isn’t safe to drink.

You do have ways to distill the dehumidifier water, but you can use it for plants that you don’t consume or even as cleaning water.

Final Thoughts

Depending on the dampness level of your environment, your dehumidifier can take a while for it to start working.

The best way to know if it’s working is to measure the humidity in the room before and after you let your dehumidifier run.

Portable dehumidifiers will fill up fast, so keep an eye on their water tank so they continue to extract moisture from the air.

A high-capacity dehumidifier can also take a while to service a large area, so be patient.

Residential dehumidifiers will work faster, but also won’t be able to control excess moisture in larger rooms.

About Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen has a burning passion for heating, cooling, and ventilation. He aims to help you save money on expensive repairs and bring you the best HVAC products. He has years of experience behind him in HVAC repair and garage maintenance.

You can find Roy at his LinkedIn or his email: [email protected]

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