Dehumidifier Settings for Winter and Summer 

Wondering what are the perfect dehumidifier settings for winter and summer?

No matter what time of the year it is, the indoor humidity level that you should be aiming for is between 30% and 50%. A lot of homeowners prefer to set their dehumidifiers at 40-45% as that’s when they feel the most comfortable.

Should you even use a dehumidifier in the winter and can you run the device all the time? Here are the answers to all of your questions. 

How Should I Set My Dehumidifier in the Summer and Winter?

No matter the season, the recommended indoor humidity levels are between 30% and 50%. A higher setting can lead to mold growth, while low humidity can cause dry skin and itchy eyes.

The chances are high that you’ll be using your dehumidifier the most during summer when the humidity levels are naturally high. 

In the winter, when the outdoor temperature is low and the air is dry, you might actually need a humidifier. However, if you live in an area with warm winters or if you need to lower the humidity levels in certain spaces in your house (like the basement, for example), then a dehumidifier might come in handy.

In any case, the device should be set at 30%-50%.

Read: Do Dehumidifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Do You Use a Dehumidifier in the Summer or Winter?

Dehumidifiers are usually used in the summer. In the hotter time of the year, humidity levels are always higher as warm air is able to store more moisture.

Fun fact: the air at 68 F can store 10 times more water than the air at 32 F.

Using a dehumidifier on a hot summer day has a few important benefits:

  • You will feel a lot more comfortable (moist air can end up feeling ‘sticky’ and unpleasant)
  • The moisture won’t be able to cause damage to the structural components of your house and furniture
  • Your HVAC system wouldn’t have to work as hard – drier air feels cooler

Read: Why Dehumidifier Freezing Up?

Are You Supposed to Run a Dehumidifier in the Winter?

Usually, the air in your home during winter is quite dry, so you might not have to run your dehumidifier at all. But there are exceptions:

  • If you live in a warm climate, you might have to run a dehumidifier all year long
  • Dehumidifiers can be helpful in certain rooms in your house even during winter. For example, this device will help make sure that your laundry dries faster if you have a laundry room
  • Using a dehumidifier in a small room during winter will help it warm up faster
  • If you often see condensation on your windows during the colder months, then you can try using a dehumidifier to prevent that from happening (make sure the setting is between 30% and 40%)

Do bear in mind, however, that it is not recommended to use a lot of dehumidifier models when the temperature falls below around 65 F as the coils in the device can freeze.

How Do You Dehumidify in the Winter?

There are a few alternatives to dehumidifiers in the winter:

  • Opening the windows – cold outside air is dry, so if you need to quickly lower the humidity level in the house, then simply opening the windows can help
  • Using your HVAC system – your heating and cooling system can assist in controlling not only the temperature in your house but also the humidity level
  • Using fans – a regular oscillating fan can help reduce the amount of moisture in the air
  • Giving natural products a try – rock salt and charcoal briquettes, for example, are known for being able to absorb moisture. You can put these products in a basket and leave them in a room where you need to lower the humidity level

How to Set Up a Dehumidifier?

It doesn’t really matter whether you’re setting up your dehumidifier in the winter or summer – the process will always be the same.

  1. Choose the right location for the device – if you have a portable dehumidifier, it has to be placed in the room where you need to lower the humidity levels; try putting the device as close to the center of the room as possible and away from the walls and furniture
  2. Take note of how your dehumidifier will be draining moisture – you might have to empty the bucket every once in a while if your device doesn’t have a hose or an internal condensate pump
  3. Set the desired humidity level – anything between 30% and 50% would do, but a lot of homeowners prefer to keep the humidity at 45%
  4. Make sure the dehumidifier is running properly – in around 12 hours, check if the humidity level has changed

How to Change Settings on Your Dehumidifier?

Setting the desired humidity level on your dehumidifier should be extremely simple.

In a lot of cases, all you would have to do is locate the control buttons and adjust the humidity level. The buttons are usually labeled ‘dryness setting’ or ‘humidity level’.

The newer dehumidifier models allow you to select the exact percentage (opt for a humidity level between 30% and 50%). Older devices might have a numbered scale or a low, medium, and high setting. If you have such a dehumidifier, then you would have to experiment with the settings and find the one that works best for you (ideally, you would also want to measure the humidity level with a humidistat). 

Read: Mini Split In Dry Mode Vs. Dehumidifier: Which One Is More Efficient?

What Do the Buttons on My Dehumidifier Mean?

The best way to find out what the buttons on your dehumidifier mean is by consulting the user’s manual.

The controls usually include a power button, a timer, and buttons that allow you to change the humidity settings and the fan speed. Some devices also have a special child lock button. 

What’s the Best Setting for a Dehumidifier?

Anywhere between 30% and 50% is considered to be the optimal dehumidifier setting.

Is 55 a Good Setting for a Dehumidifier? 

A humidity level that is over 50% is a high level. Excessive moisture can cause discomfort and even health issues and lead to mold growth.

Do You Leave Windows Open When Using a Dehumidifier?

For better results, leave the windows closed, when the dehumidifier is operating in the summer. Otherwise, you’ll be letting the outside moisture in and the device would have to work harder to reach the desired humidity level. 

Opening the windows in the winter might seem like a good idea as the air becomes drier once the temperature drops. Even though letting some dry air into the house might help you decrease the humidity level, you will also be letting the warm air out. If you have been using a furnace to heat up your home, then assisting your dehumidifier in such a way will make your energy bills skyrocket. 

Read: Can You Run A Window AC In The Rain?

How Many Hours a Day Should You Run a Dehumidifier?

In general, it is recommended to run the dehumidifier for at least 12 hours per day. Of course, the target humidity level is the main thing that you should consider when deciding how long to leave the device on.

Is It Good to Run the Dehumidifier All the Time?

You won’t damage the device if you leave it on 24/7, but running the dehumidifier all the time is simply unnecessary. Once the humidity level finally drops to 30%-50% turn the device off; otherwise, you’d be spending a small fortune on the electricity bills.

Conclusion

Whether you’re trying to lower the humidity level in your house in the summer or winter, it doesn’t really matter. The moisture level that you should be aiming for would always be between 30% and 50%. 

Simply remember to switch your device off, if the indoor temperature drops below 65 F, and don’t leave the dehumidifier running for more than 12 hours per day.