Should a Dehumidifier Run All the Time?

Dehumidifiers offer a neat way to deal with high relative humidity indoors. We’ve detailed their various benefits before and why they can be used not only after floodings but for the general health and wellbeing of your family year-round.

One common question new users often have, however, is for how long can you use a dehumidifier? Can it be left working for 24 straight hours? More? And even if yes – is it a good idea? Do you need to run a dehumidifier all the time?

The simple answer is that, yes, you can use a dehumidifier non-stop. As to whether that’s a good idea, the experts are a bit divided on that but the general consensus is that it depends on the model and on the circumstances.

Should a dehumidifier run all the time?

If you need to use your dehumidifier all the time then either there’s something wrong with the dehumidifier or there’s something wrong with the air in your home or office. Additionally, not every dehumidifier is suited for 24/7 use.

Here are some of the reasons why you might want to use your dehumidifier non-stop:

  • There’s been flooding and you need to dry off the walls and floors of your home. This can take anywhere from days to weeks and has to be done very well to prevent damage, mold, and other problems.
  • There’s a generally high relative humidity in your area and/or you have family members with respiratory problems. The recommended relative humidity for most households is 30%-50%.
  • Mold and mildew form very easily and you need to deal with them regularly.

The latter two problems can often be dealt with even without using your dehumidifier 24/7, however, they too can sometimes be so severe that you require a non-stop use of the device. If you have such problems, you should make sure that the dehumidifier you’re using is suitable for full-day use. These are some of the characteristics you’d need to look for in such a dehumidifier:

  • It can drain the collected water automatically in a floor drain and doesn’t just collect it in a water tank.
  • It should have a high enough capacity to operate 24/7. The capacity of a dehumidifier is typically measured in “pints of moisture per 24 hours”. If a dehumidifier reaches its pints of moisture limit before 24 hours have passed it won’t be able to work non-stop.
  • It should be economical enough to not waste too much electricity. For example, a small 330 Watt dehumidifier should cost you between 5 and 10 cents per hour or $1.20 to $2.40 per day, depending on where you live. Larger units will require more power, however, so calculate your budget carefully.
  • It should be of high enough quality to work well.

Is it safe to run a dehumidifier constantly all the time?

In a word – yes. If the device is in order and there are no issues with it, it should be able to work constantly and safely. That being said, it’s important to perform routine maintenance check-ups on your device as you would with any other electric device.

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