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How to Use a Dehumidifier Properly: 5 Vital Tips You Need to Know

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A dehumidifier can solve a lot of problems in your house and make it a much more comfortable environment to live in. In fact, not many people realise it but allergies and breathing problems can occur due to unfavourable humidity levels in the home which promote mould and mildew growth. 

While a dehumidifier is just the thing you need to stabilise the level of humidity in your home, particularly during warmer and damper climates, this amazing device is of little use if you don’t know how to use a dehumidifier properly. Fortunately, MaidForYou have got all the information you need on getting the most effective use out of your dehumidifier. Read on!

#1 Make Sure the Size is Right

woman wearing white shirt using hand to measure size of dehumidifier

Very often, a specific model or type of dehumidifier is deemed ineffective due to the wrong size being used for a particular space. Firstly, it should be mentioned that these units come in several different sizes which include mini models that are up to 6 inches small. These are typically used in small rooms or spaces such as bathrooms and walk-in closets. Therefore, you cannot expect a dehumidifier of this size to control the humidity levels in larger areas such as living rooms or bedrooms. 

When choosing a dehumidifier or a place to put it, make sure that the size of the device is appropriate for the room. Each model or type will specify the approximate number of square feet that it is suitable for so always check on those details to ensure that you get the best use out of your dehumidifier. 

#2 Position Away From Walls

dehumidifier illustration demonstrating how close to wall a dehumidifier should be

Many homeowners make the mistake of pushing their dehumidifier against a wall, especially large models that tend to take up more floor space than one would prefer. However, considering how a dehumidifier works to pull in moisture from the air and circulate a desired level of humidified air, it is important to allow the unit enough space around it to prevent walls or any hard surfaces from interfering with the airflow. 

For best results, we advise leaving 6 inches between your dehumidifier and walls/furniture. Another tip is to choose a spot where there is a good amount of ventilation in the room as this helps to increase the efficiency of the device. If you have purchased a dehumidifier for a large area, consider placing it somewhere in the centre of the room so that there are no blind spots. 

NOTE: If your dehumidifier has top-mounted vents, it can be pushed against a wall as long as there is nothing above it to obstruct airflow such as a cabinet or shelf.

#3 Adjust the Settings Correctly

illustration depicting humidity levels in a room

When learning how to use a dehumidifier, it is essential to know how to adjust the settings as per the recommended humidity level in a home. Failure to do so will result in inefficiency of the device which, in turn, leads to all the problems that a dehumidifier should solve. Experts advise maintaining a humidity level in your house that rests anywhere between 30% - 50%. 

Most units are equipped with humidistats which make it easy to adjust the settings and maintain the perfect humidity level in your home. If you are using your dehumidifier during a colder climate or when a heating system is being used simultaneously, humidity levels must be between 30% and 40% to eliminate condensation on mirrors and windows. Maintaining the appropriate level of humidity ensures that the air in your home does not become too dry nor is it favourable for mould or mildew to develop.

#4 Drain the Unit Periodically

woman with blue nail polish opening water chamber on white dehumidifier

Whether you have a portable unit or one that is fitted in place, there are two options when it comes to draining the water that your dehumidifier collects. The first includes the use of an external pipe or hose that can be placed in a sink to drain out or connected to a drain pipe in your plumbing system. The second involves an internal hose that fills up a water reservoir or tray that needs to be manually emptied out. 

It is important to drain out the water in your dehumidifier regularly because, if left stagnant, it can promote fungus growth and cause a foul odour. Moreover, the performance of the device will also suffer if the water is not drained out in a timely manner. To understand the proper way to empty out water from your unit, refer to the user’s manual as this process differs from model to model.

#5 Keep Your Dehumidifier Clean

Dehumidifer on a white background

One of the things homeowners neglect when learning how to use a dehumidifier is the maintenance part of it. This, of course, includes cleaning and keeping the unit clean, inside and outside. Begin with routine filter maintenance; take out the filter and clean it with water and soap. If the filter is damaged or worn, replace it with a new one. The water reservoir or tray must also be cleaned as it may develop a slimy film and/or fungus due prolonged exposure to moisture. Use water and dish soap or 1 part distilled white vinegar and 2 parts water to clean the water tray. 

Lastly, the air vents of a dehumidifier are prone to dust and debris due to the constant airflow coming in and out of them. When clogged or dirty, the airflow is restricted and therefore, reduces the performance of the unit. To prevent this from happening, use a slightly damp microfibre dust cloth to clean the air vents and the rest of the exterior as and when there is visible dust buildup.

Maintaining good air quality in your home is very important for the health and wellbeing of all household members. This includes the level of humidity which directly controls the growth of mould and other fungi that are hazardous to one’s health. Fortunately, when you learn how to use a dehumidifier properly as explained in this article, it will stabilise those fluctuations in humidity levels that are causing all sorts of health issues and problems in your home.

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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