Should/could a dehumidifier run constantly? The short answer to this question is entirely related to the first word. If that word is should, then the answer would be "it depends." And if the first word is could, then the answer would be definitely yes!
You can run your dehumidifier 24/7, but should you do it? Only if there's a need to do that. We'll dissect when that need might arise and how you can deal with it efficiently so that you're able to achieve your ideal humidity without damaging your device.
Factors That Affect Dehumidifier Runtime
The following is a summary of the variables you'll need to keep in mind and adjust constantly to achieve the longest runtime possible without any risk of damage.
1. Room Situation
The circumstances surrounding the room or space where you want to place the dehumidifier will play a vital role in its efficiency. If it's an upper room, meaning it's exposed to a lot of airflow and sunshine, then it'll be easier to run a dehumidifier there.
On the other hand, if you wish to employ your dehumidifier in a basement with more limited access to fresh air, then you'll need a stronger dehumidifier and constant maintenance so that the coils and hoses are not clogged or filled with dust due to the excess work.
Moreover, don't forget that basements are normally around 10°F below the rest of the house. Subsequently, the setting of your device will change, and you must look out for frosting on the cables and wires.
2. Type of Dehumidifier
We have just mentioned basements and their temperatures, and how the dehumidifiers placed in them will have extra work to do. There are new dehumidifiers designed for basements. Some of them even come with in-built fans to help circulate the air better.
Another thing that you need to look out for is the dehumidifiers' capacity that you're going to purchase. Meaning that you could find dehumidifiers starting at 500 mL all the way up to 12L and even more.
That will determine its capabilities, how long it can run, how much humidity it can extract from the atmosphere, and the final look of your energy bill, which we'll discuss later on.
3. Dehumidifier Features
Nowadays, dehumidifiers are incredibly advanced. Before, all humidifiers depended on tanks to collect the water. Whenever the tanks would fill up, they had to be emptied.
After that, came dehumidifiers equipped with LCDs or other types of control panels. Said panels help tell the user when it's time to drain the water tank so that it doesn't overfill.
The most efficient option is dehumidifiers that have a drain hose. Such units don't need a tank or an alarm; the dehumidifier can run on and on, through the floor drain, without overfilling at any time.
Another great feature will be the auto shut-off, or sleep mode, which can be regulated to the set level of humidity. With respect to climates' variance, the optimal level of humidity normally stands between 30% and 50%.
The environments that we live in can either be dry or humid. Thus, you must keep in mind that if you already live in a dry place, such as Nevada, running a humidifier on any setting at all times will not contribute to your comfort. Alas, it'll cause sore throats, flare-ups of allergies, dry skin, chapped lips, and a bunch of other uncomfortable situations.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you live in a humid climate, such as Florida, running a dehumidifier constantly will definitely improve the quality of your life by taking down the moisture level and, consequently, the air temperature.
5. Power Bill
The steepness of your power bill will depend on the type of dehumidifier that you have and its energy usage. As you go up with the capacity, the dehumidifier will use up a certain number of watts, costing you more in the process in terms of money. That will be explained in your user's manual, and you can ask your salesperson about it.
Nevertheless, a wise thing you can do is ask your power company about their hours, as there are some hours during the day when the electricity usage is down in most places. This leads to the price of watts decreasing parallelly.
You can choose to operate your dehumidifier during these periods of time more frequently than the rest of the day. As a matter of fact, these hours are primarily during the night. For some places, it can be from 7 PM to 10 PM or after that period.
Tips to Ensure Dehumidifier Longevity
No matter how sturdy and efficient your dehumidifier is, you must always keep in mind that it's an electrical appliance that can easily break down due to over-taxing.
1. Constant Cleaning and Maintenance
If you use your dehumidifier constantly, it should be cleaned once every 2-3 weeks. That means cleaning the tanks, every filter, hoses, making sure that it's not clogged by any dust anywhere.
Moreover, if your dehumidifier starts to show any signs of damage, makes louder sounds, or isn't working as it once did, take it to the shop or your supplier to nip the problem in the bud as early on as possible.
2. Exhaust Fan
Suppose you're placing your dehumidifier in a place with high humidity levels, such as bathrooms, basements, or kitchens. In that case, it might need a little bit of extra help with all of the excess moisture. A simple exhaust fan is an excellent solution that will help improve indoor air quality.
This is especially crucial if you have an older dehumidifier without an auto shut-off feature or a full-tank alarm. You'll need to empty the tank of water constantly and shut the dehumidifier down the moment the humidity level reaches 30-50% so that it's not burning its coils for nothing.
Although this point is difficult to manipulate, as it's related to your house's location and blueprint, doing whatever you can, no matter how small, can create a mountain of difference.
If there is any chance that you can create some sort of an opening for extra ventilation, that won't just help your dehumidifier, but will also improve the overall health of your family as well.
As you can see, the answer to the question of whether or not a dehumidifier should run constantly depends on a lot of variables that are, in the end, up to you to manipulate.
You can either keep your old dehumidifier and vigilantly keep an eye on it to make sure that it doesn't overfill or overwork itself, or you can opt for a new one equipped with more advanced features and functionalities for extra longevity.