up close of settings on air purifier and dehumidifier to change humidity levels

The million dollar question: Should you constantly let your dehumidifier run, or should you give it a little break? Well…let’s give it a look.

Real quick. If you’re already here, then you are probably already familiar with what a dehumidifier is — and what it does. But! Maybe you just need a little refresher. If so, here you go. If not, scroll down just a bit.

Plain and simple: a dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the environment and reduces the surrounding area’s relative humidity. How does it do that? Well, it starts by pulling air through its vent, condenses & heats that air, and then releases the dry air out. As the dehumidifier continues this process, the room’s humidity gradually decreases.

Most dehumidifiers switch off automatically when the humidity level reaches a certain point — think of an A/C unit, but instead of regulating a certain temperature, it regulates the humidity.

About humidity: Why should you care what the humidity level is in your home?

Humidity is the amount of vaporized water in the air. You know the feeling when you step outside in the middle of July after it just rained? That’s humid air. It’s harder to breathe and can be downright uncomfortable.

The ideal humidity for most people is between 30-50%. In that range, it’s comfortable to breathe and it’s safe for your home. If the humidity levels are too high — in the 60% and up range — you run the risk of mold, mildew, and other gross stuff forming inside your home. 

Long story short, try to keep your home in the 30-50% humidity range.

Alright, so you have a dehumidifier. Now how long should you run it per day?

how long should a dehumidifier run?

Honestly, it’s going to depend on the situation. The longer the dehumidifier runs, the less humid the room is going to be. If humidity levels in your room are extremely high, then it might need to run 12+ hours. It all depends on the appliance’s specs, room size, humidity levels, and the reservoir capacity of the unit.

Some dehumidifiers have a pump connected to the reservoir, which drains the water that accumulates in the tank — allowing for continuous use for hours and hours at a time. This might be something you want to look into if you’re working with a dark, damp place like a basement or somewhere that floods often.

So, as long as your reservoir has some room and you’re still dealing with humid air — let it run. There are no set rules on how long to run a dehumidifier.

Another common question: is it safe to leave a dehumidifier running all night?

Yes! It’s totally safe to leave a dehumidifier running all night while everyone’s sleeping. Just make a note of these 3 factors before letting it run all night…

  1. Tank Capacity

You will want to make sure you have a tank with a sizable amount of room for water. The larger, the better — especially if you are going to run it overnight and for long periods of time.

  1. Auto On/Off Feature

Since you won’t be able to turn off your dehumidifier while you’re sleeping, it’s probably worth investing in a unit with a feature that will automatically turn off when your area reaches the desired level or the tank gets too full. The last thing you want is the water tank overflowing and spilling water all over the room. 

  1. Noise

Probably an obvious one, but if you’re setting a dehumidifier up nearby where someone is sleeping — it’s going to make some noise! But if your dehumidifier is set up somewhere like a basement, you’re probably going to be good to go.

Back to our main question: Should a dehumidifier run all the time? Maybe, maybe not!

It all depends on the situation. There’s no need in running a dehumidifier 24/7 if the humidity level in a certain room is below 50%. A comfortable level for most homes is in the 30-50% range, so if you’re in that sweet spot…you’re good to go!

And it’s important to note: the more you run your dehumidifier, the more electricity you’re paying for. So…why run it if you don’t have to, right?

Remember that if you continuously run your dehumidifier, you’re going to have to keep emptying the water reservoir. Most dehumidifiers have a fairly small tank, so if you do have to keep it on all the time, you should invest in a unit that can drain to a floor drain automatically. That’s going to save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Just skimmed through? Want the TL;DR? The short answer is: it doesn’t matter how long you run your dehumidifier.

If your humidity levels are higher than you desire, feel free to run your dehumidifier as long as you’d like. Just make sure your water reservoir is drained and you’re good to go.

Hopefully this article helped you out. If you want to see our list of the best dehumidifiers on the market, visit our guide! Let us know if you have any other questions.