Informational Guide

Are Dehumidifiers Safe To Use?

Safe appliances in the home are essential. We explore if dehumidifiers are completely safe to use with children, pets and plants around the house.

by Josh M

Dehumidifiers are safe appliances for people, babies, and beloved pets, but not always for plants. Dehumidifiers work to draw moisture out of your air and create condensation that lowers relative humidity levels in your home.

Our guide will help you learn if dehumidifiers are suitable for babies, pets, plants & aquariums.

Quiet and Easily Maintenance Dehumidifier
Helps Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Dehumidifiers can help reduce allergy symptoms, such as wheezing, sneezing, eye irritation, and itching. The most common indoor allergy triggers include dust mites, animal dander, mold, and pollen. These triggers are more active in a room with high humidity, so by drying out the room’s air, you can better protect yourself from allergy symptoms.

Helps Control Asthma

Excess humidity can create difficulty breathing and make asthma problems worse. If you have asthma, you might benefit from a dehumidifier. Dust mites and mold are also common asthma triggers, and they cannot thrive in low humidity homes.

Installing a dehumidifier can lower your relative humidity and make your home more comfortable as an asthma sufferer.

Healthier Home Environment

A healthier home environment can be had by adding a dehumidifier to your home. To create a comfortable and healthy home environment, you want to keep your relative humidity level between 30-45%.

If you have higher humidity levels, you are more likely to experience asthma and allergy symptoms. You are also more likely to have mold, which can destroy your home from the inside out.

Are Dehumidifiers Safe for Babies?

Dehumidifiers are safe for babies, and babies can sleep in a room with a dehumidifier. However, there are safety precautions that need to be taken if you are going to be using a dehumidifier in a room with a baby.

Keeps Your Baby More Comfortable

If your baby has trouble sleeping, the dehumidifier may make your baby more comfortable. Dehumidifiers help prevent dust, which can cause coughing, and also provide soothing white noise for your baby. Some babies fall asleep much faster and stay asleep when they have a little bit of white noise (the hum of your dehumidifier).

Helps Stop Asthma and Allergy Attacks

A dehumidifier can help a baby who suffers from asthma and allergy attacks in the same way that it can help adults who suffer from those conditions. The reason behind this is that babies are often more susceptible to those triggers (mold, dust mites), and a dehumidifier will help eliminate them in the baby’s room.

Helps To Keep Heat Away From Your Child

Higher humidity levels tend to correlate with higher temperatures. If you keep your humidity levels at a minimum, the room will remain cooler but only slightly. Dehumidifiers can make your baby feel more comfortable and create a cooler temperature environment.

Are Dehumidifiers Safe for Pets?

Are dehumidifiers safe for pets? Can pets sleep in a room with a dehumidifier? Dehumidifiers are safe for pets as long as precautions are taken.

Both cats and dogs can be curious, so we recommend taking precautions and being careful when placing a dehumidifier in your home. Make sure that the dehumidifier’s cords are out of the way and that the dehumidifier is out of reach for your pet.

Helps Prevents Pet Allergies

Animals have allergies just like humans do, and a dehumidifier can take care of your pet’s allergy triggers too. Higher humidity tends to result in excess allergies because it makes the perfect environment for mold and dust mites to grow.

Reduces Pet Odor and Dander

Your pet’s dander can create allergies for you, and your pet’s odor can be frustrating to smell. If you lower the humidity in your home, you will reduce your pet’s odor and dander. This will trigger your allergies less (if you are allergic to pet dander) and create a more comfortable home (less pet odor). Using a dual-purpose dehumidifier such as these combo models is be best.

Helps To Keep Heat Away from Your Pets

Most pets do not like excess heat, particularly dogs. If your home is high in humidity, though, then your pet is going to feel hot. A dehumidifier will draw out the excess moisture and help keep the room a little cooler overall.

Brown and White Dog Peeking from Sofa

Are Dehumidifiers Safe for Plants?

Can you run a dehumidifier in a room with plants on it? The short answer is yes and no. It really depends on the type of plants that you have. Most plants thrive in 60-80% relative humidity. However, most people do best in 30-50% relative humidity. You can see the dilemma.

We recommend lowering your humidity level slowly if you have indoor plants. Start at 49% and slowly lower to 48% and then 47%. Take this as close to 35% as you can. We do not recommend setting your dehumidifier level for less than 35% if you have indoor plants.

It will also help your plants if you mist them frequently throughout the day so that they are able to get excess moisture from the air and avoid becoming dehydrated.

Check out some grow room dehumidifiers here

Plants at Home

Signs a Dehumidifier Is Affecting Plants Badly?

Dehumidifiers can negatively affect your plants. There are a few telltale signs that low humidity is negatively affecting your plants. If you see any of these signs, you need to limit your dehumidifier use and raise the relative humidity level in your home.

Most plants require humidity levels around 60%. Most plants cannot thrive at or below 40% humidity. It depends on the particular type of plants that you have in your home.

One way around this is to keep your dehumidifier in the basement and keep your plants on the first level. Another possibility is to only purchase plants that can survive well in the 40-50% range. Tropical houseplants, for example, must have 80-90% humidity levels.

We recommend researching the appropriate humidity levels for your plants and adjusting accordingly.

Signs That You Need to Raise Your Humidity Level
  • The Leaves Edges And Tips Turn Brown
  • Buds Stop Growing, Wither And Die
  • Flowers Wilt And Die Far Too Soon
  • Stunted Growth
  • The Lowest Or The Oldest Leaves Fall Off
  • Premature Yellowing

Are Dehumidifiers Safe for Aquariums?

Can you run a dehumidifier in a room with an aquarium in it? Yes, you can absolutely run a dehumidifier in a room with an aquarium. However, you cannot use water from your dehumidifier to fill your aquarium.

This water is dangerous and will hurt your fish and possibly kill them. Dehumidifier water has time to grow bacteria and may also include smoke, oil, or other air contaminants.

We recommend placing your dehumidifier on the opposite side of the room and always emptying the water into the sink (never emptying it into your aquarium).

When to NOT Use a Dehumidifier at Home

There are a couple of reasons why you might not want to use a dehumidifier in your home. Humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air purifiers are all different types of appliances and are not a fit for every home. The main purpose of a dehumidifier is to draw out the excess moisture in your home and remove it.

Dehumidifiers are poor choices for people who live in low humidity areas. If the relative humidity of your home is less than 30%, then you do not need to remove moisture from the air.

Instead, you need to add it (think humidifier). If the relative humidity level of your home falls too low, then you are likely to experience irritated skin and uncomfortable itching in your nose or throat. You might also be more likely to get a cold or the flu.

Another reason to not use a dehumidifier is if you live in a cold environment. Most people keep a heater on in colder months, but if you let your temperature fall below 65 degrees, then it is best not to use a dehumidifier.

Many people are unaware of how low the temperature falls in their basement, attic, or crawl spaces and attempt to use a dehumidifier when it’s cold outside and the dehumidifier breaks.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Is water from a dehumidifier safe for plants?

Yes, you can absolutely use water from a dehumidifier for your plants. The water from a dehumidifier is safe for plants though it is not safe for humans to drink (it can attract/collect bacteria from sitting in the open tank).

Is water from a dehumidifier safe inside aquariums?

No, we do not recommend using water from a dehumidifier for your aquarium. Dehumidifier water may contain chemicals, smoke, bacteria, and oil.

Is it safe to leave a dehumidifier unattended?

Yes, it is safe to leave dehumidifiers unattended. Make sure that the dehumidifier is placed on the floor or on a sturdy piece of furniture. We also recommend making sure that the area can circulate air well before leaving the appliance unattended.

How much heat does a dehumidifier put out?

Dehumidifiers do not generate much heat. Heat tends to be raised by no more than 1-2 degrees in the room where the dehumidifier is placed. If you want to heat a room, you will need to purchase a heater.

Conclusion

Dehumidifiers are safe for people of all ages as well as pets. However, plants are not always safe with a dehumidifier. Make sure that you place your dehumidifier in a spot where it is out of reach of young children and pets, as well as make sure that any plants in your home can tolerate a lower humidity level.

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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