Can You Run a Dehumidifier in the Winter

Can You Run A Dehumidifier In The Winter

Did you know that unwanted moisture indoors can cause mold and mildew build-up? During the winter, most parts of the house receive less heat and sunlight exposure. It makes these parts trap excess moisture providing an excellent ground for the growth of mold and mildew.

The balance of humidity and temperature is also crucial during the months of winter. If you care about comfort in your home, you will more than likely look for a solution.

Luckily, you can have a dehumidifier that undoubtedly works best to keep your house free from unwanted moisture. However, some groups argue about their effectiveness in winter. Read on to know more about using a dehumidifier in winter.

Can You Run a Dehumidifier in the Winter?

With different perceptions of a dehumidifier need, you might get confused in making your winter choices. However, knowing the purpose of the device and how it works is all you need. Since indoor surfaces trap more moisture in low temperatures, running a dehumidifier is highly recommended in winter.

Indicators for Using a Dehumidifier

1. Temperature

As much as a dehumidifier is essential in the winter, the shallow temperature can render it useless. It means you should keep your room temperature in check.

When the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the dehumidifier coils might freeze. To keep your device functional, run it when the room temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you find the need to dehumidify your space, you can alternatively increase your room temperature. That is by using a heater. Some dehumidifiers work well up to a minimum temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If your device does not indicate so, heat your room to temperatures over 60 degrees Fahrenheit before running it.

2. Humidity

Humidity is another factor you should observe before running your dehumidifier. Safe relative humidity of a room lies between 30 percent and 55 percent. Mold growth mostly begins around a relative humidity of 45 percent.

It means you should run your dehumidifier when the indoor relative humidity is 35 percent and above. Temperature below 30% can encourage the spread of viruses.  So below these levels of relative humidity, use your humidifier instead.

Tips for Running a Dehumidifier in the Winter

1. Measure the Room Temperature

It is one of the ‘must-do’ techniques before you run your device. Low temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit can freeze the coil. It affects and can damage dehumidifiers, especially the ones with electric motors.

2. Measure the Indoor Relative Humidity

As earlier mentioned, the right humidity level to use your dehumidifier is above 35 percent. The best way to tell the level of your indoor relative humidity is by using a hygrometer. Remember to use it to measure humidity in your house before turning on that switch.

If you lack a hygrometer at hand, you can use alternative means to tell that you need to switch on your dehumidifier. It includes observing your windows. If they appear condensed, it might be a good indicator that your home might be having high humidity.

3. Check on the Dehumidifier When It Is Running

Change of temperature or humidity might occur when your device is running. It can lead to significant damages that can cost you a dehumidifier. To keep it in good condition, monitor its operation.  If you notice a fall of temperature or humidity below the minimum levels, turn it off.

4. Observe Hotpoint Areas of Mold Growth

Some parts of the house are prone to mold growth during the winter. These surfaces include those that are less exposed to direct sunlight or experience low heat during the day. The most evident surfaces are the basement walls and structures.

If you notice some signs of mold growth, eliminate them immediately using vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. After doing so, you can now run your dehumidifier to keep them at per.

5. Do Not Make the Room Too Dry

You might get your room too dry when you drop relative humidity to extreme lows. It happens when you continuously run your dehumidifier for more than 8 hours.

Too low humidity may irritate your throat, severe dry skin, rashes, and sinus trouble. It mostly happens when you leave your dehumidifier running overnight. Remember to check on your room relative humidity whenever the device is running.

Maintenance Measure of a Dehumidifier

You will always need your dehumidifier every winter. Most of these products will last for 5 to 10 years. Despite their definitive lifetime, some people may use them for just a season before it gets damaged.

To maintain its condition, ensure you change the air filter as you approach winter. It is the time when you most need the device. In some cases, you might need to change the air filters more often.

Also, ensure that the condensing coils and exhaust grilles are clean. You can routinely clean these parts to be sure that they are always in good condition.

Another measure to take to keep your machine new is, emptying and cleaning the water tray regularly. Sometimes you might need to drain the water tray more than once a day.

Remember to switch off the dehumidifier when you go out. The unit may heat up when you are away, causing a possibility of a fire outbreak.

Besides all, you might need to repair or upgrade your device if it stops pulling moisture from the atmosphere when it is running. Nevertheless, always ensure you consider these measures to let your investment serve you longer.

What Is the Ideal Time Range to Run Your Dehumidifier in Winter?

The duration of running a dehumidifier in winter depends on various factors. Fast of all; determine the type of dehumidifier you are using. There are two major types: electric dehumidifiers and desiccant dehumidifiers. Secondly, determine the average relative humidity of your home or where you intend to use it.

You should empty an electric dehumidifier tray before getting full. When used 24/7, you can expect it to last for around six months. It means you should only turn it on when there is a need.

Desiccant dehumidifiers, on the other hand, can run as much as you want. Most of them are rechargeable. Check on the beads and plug your device when they get wet. When they dry out, unplug your dehumidifier and watch it dehumidify your room.

Humidity levels also determine how long you should run your machine.  As a rule of thumb, run your dehumidifier as long as the relative humidity is above 35 percent. The humidity usually falls to less than 15 percent when you continuously run the dehumidifier for 8 hours or more.

Can Dehumidifier Affect Your Health?

Despite the good tidings that this unit comes with, they may sometimes cause health havoc. Just like most electric devices we use at home, you should be cautious when using a dehumidifier. To stay safe when using this unit, consider the following factors.

Clear out any existing mold before on the surfaces before running a dehumidifier. While a dehumidifier can remove odors, it does not remove already developed mold. Instead, it may increase the problem since its fans can push the mold spreading it to other areas. Consider cleaning any parts of your house showing signs of mold growth using a fungicide to be safe. Then you can install your unit.

What Should Be the Size of My Dehumidifier?

Too small dehumidifiers may not be effective in larger houses. If you get a too-small unit for the job, it might wear out in months trying to keep the humidity of your home in check. If generally used as the larger units, it might also not be sufficient, resulting in mold growth in winter.

Should You Change the Dehumidifier Settings in Winter?

When we get to the winter season, you might not need the same settings like those you used in the summer. The change in season should initiate the change of dehumidifier settings to avoid the problems that come with dry winter air. With thorough consideration of above factors, you will have no health issues with using your dehumidifier. Also, remember to read the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines of use.

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