How Long Does A Dehumidifier Take To Work?

How long does a dehumidifier take to work? The answer to this depends on several factors, including the moisture level, the unit’s capacity, floor area, and more.

Overall, dehumidifiers work in removing excess moisture in the air. However, it does so at different rates.

In this post, we discuss the factors affecting how fast a dehumidifier takes effect from the moment you run it. We also provided tips on how you can speed up its performance.

How long does it take a dehumidifier to work?

When it comes to the duration on which dehumidifiers provide results, several factors are at play. These factors may speed up or slow down the drying process.

Here are the factors that you have to take into account:

1.    Moisture level

how long does a dehumidifier take to work

The main factor that will affect the drying speed of your dehumidifier is the moisture level present in the room. The higher humidity level will generally take longer to dry.

Moreover, a room that experienced water damage or flooding for long periods will be more challenging to dry. It’s because the moisture has seeped on porous surfaces.

Unlike mild dampness, such cases may take weeks to fully dry using a heavy-duty dehumidifier. And if the room is uncontained, more moisture from outdoors may add up to the mix.

2.    Floor area

Another thing you should consider is the floor area of the room that you want to dry. If it’s large and has high moisture levels, you should expect a longer drying time than usual.

Overall, a 2,000 sq. ft. room will be longer to dry than a 50 sq. ft. floor area.

In general, a 50 sq. ft. room with 90% to 40% relative humidity will take anywhere from 11 minutes to 34 minutes to dry. Another factor that will determine this period is the dehumidifier capacity, which we discussed in the next point.

3.    Dehumidifier capacity

Dehumidifiers sold commercially are rated for various capacities. This capacity dictates how much moisture it can draw from the air per day. It can be anywhere from 10 pints to 70+ pints.

It’s a no-brainer that if you want faster drying, you must invest in the largest dehumidifier available. Of course, it should be in proportion to the room size as well.

If your room has excessive moisture and a large floor area, you should consider getting the largest dehumidifier you can find. This is if you want to save time from the drying process.

For comparison, a 50 sq. ft. room with 90% to 40% relative humidity will take 11 minutes to dry using a 50-pint dehumidifier. On the other hand, it will take 30 minutes to dry in the same room conditions if you used a smaller 22-pint unit.

4.    Temperature

The temperature of the surroundings is another affecting factor in how fast your dehumidifier will work.

It’s important to note that each dehumidifier has a temperature rating to which it will work optimally. Anything too hot or too cold may start to affect the efficiency of drawing up moisture from the air.

Most of the time, dehumidifiers work well in warm conditions. However, you may want to avoid very hot conditions as the unit may overheat easily.

On the other hand, dehumidifiers tend to freeze in winter temperatures. When the coils freeze, they will not be able to condensate moisture from the air.

If you need to dehumidify a room during winter, make sure that you get a unit that can work in very low temperatures. Also, desiccant dehumidifiers work better in these conditions than the traditional refrigerant models.

5.    Dehumidifier placement

A dehumidifier placed against walls and on the ground will work slower.

Dehumidifiers work by drawing air into their inlet. If the inlet is located at the back and you lean it against the wall, the suction power of the dehumidifier will be greatly affected. Worse, the unit will compensate, which will lead to more electricity use and a higher risk of overheating.

On the same note, placing a dehumidifier barely on the ground means that it will only draw moisture within the ground level. It will take longer for the unit to suck air near the ceiling.

6.    Room design

Lastly, the design of your room will impact the drying process. If there are any blockages, the dehumidifier may find it hard to draw the moist air properly. Also, such blockages will prevent dehumidifiers from drying up the moisture on the floor underneath them.

How to make your dehumidifier work faster

Do you want to speed up the drying process? Here are some of the steps you can take:

1.    Opt for a continuous drain

First, you should get a dehumidifier with a continuous drain option. This way, you can leave the unit running without thinking about draining its tank manually.

Take note that dehumidifiers will shut down once the tank is full. This translates to wasted time and a longer drying process if you forgot to check.

2.    Use fans to keep the air moving

Next, you should use oscillating fans while the dehumidifier is running. This will keep the moist air moving, which will help the dehumidifier suck it easier.

Make sure that the fans are blowing air from the ceiling, floor, and mid-level. The air should also be touching the dehumidifier.

3.    Place it in a strategic spot

To speed up your dehumidifier’s progress, you should place it in the middle of the room you want to dry. You should also consider elevating it from the ground by at least two feet. This elevation will also help with continuous drain if the unit doesn’t have a pump.

You should also consider removing any blockages or furniture that may slow down the drying process. This way, the moist air can easily reach the dehumidifier. 

4.    Consider using multiple units

If you’re in a hurry to dry your waterlogged room, you can use multiple units at once. There are dehumidifier units that can be daisy-chained to one another to create a large dehumidifier network.

You can also cycle the units, so there’s at least one working throughout the day. Overall, you should run the dehumidifiers for at least 12 hours a day or more.

5.    Clean the filters periodically

Lastly, you should clean the dehumidifier filters regularly. Most dehumidifiers are fitted with washable filters that can get clogged with dust over time.

You can do this weekly to ensure that the filter is allowing proper airflow. If your place has higher pollution levels, washing the filter every day would be ideal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long should you run a dehumidifier each day?

A: On average, you should run a dehumidifier for at least 12 hours a day. This will remove substantial moisture. But if you want to dry up your place faster, you can use multiple units that you can run together or cycle, so a dehumidifier is running in the room all day. This is an ideal strategy for homes suffering from severe water damage.

Q:  How do I know if my dehumidifier is working?

A: To check if your dehumidifier is working, look at the tank and see if there’s any collected water. You can also use a separate hygrometer to see if the humidity levels in the room are slowly decreasing. Take note that you have to wait for a few hours to days before seeing substantial improvements, especially in highly moist areas.

Q: How much water should my dehumidifier remove per day?

A: A dehumidifier should remove anywhere between 10 to 70 pints of water per day. It all depends on the capacity to which the unit is rated. If you want one that removes large amounts of moisture daily, you should invest in an equally large dehumidifier.

Q: Why is my dehumidifier running but no water is collected?

A: If your dehumidifier is running yet not yielding collected moisture, you should check its refrigerant level. It may need a refill to enhance its condensation abilities. Also, you should consider the possibility that the air is already too dry. Make sure that you use a hygrometer to confirm this, especially if your dehumidifier doesn’t have programmable features.

Q: Can one dehumidifier dry a whole house?

A: A single dehumidifier can be enough for one house as long as it’s big enough. Always get a unit that’s rated for 4,000 sq. ft. of floor area or more. Basically, the unit should have a capacity rating for the same or bigger area as your home. This way, the unit won’t have to labor just to remove moisture in the air. However, if your home has severe water damage, one unit may not be enough.

Final words 

How long does a dehumidifier take to work? There’s no absolute duration for this since it depends on the dehumidifier capacity, moisture level, temperature, and more.

If the room has a large floor area that’s severely moisture-logged, you should consider using a large unit for faster drying. For those with the extra budget, multiple dehumidifiers are also advisable to speed up the progress.