Informational Guide

Is It Safe To Drink Water From a Dehumidifier?

With plenty of water accumulating in the base of a dehumidifier, it’s commonly asked if one can drink this water? We don’t recommend this, here is why.

by Josh M

Many of us use a dehumidifier during the more humid months to help remove the added moisture from the air. Depending on your model, you may have to manually empty the water tank once it has reached capacity.

So, it’s only natural to wonder, “can you drink water from a dehumidifier?” Check out our guide as we determine whether or not dehumidifier water is safe to drink.

Glass of Water

Some people will argue that dehumidifier water and distilled water are the same, but we can tell you with confidence that dehumidifier water is not distilled. To fully understand this, you need to understand both how a dehumidifier works and how distillation occurs.

Refrigerant style dehumidifiers pull in moisture through a fan and pass that air over refrigerant-cooled coiled. The process causes condensation to occur, and the water from that process is then collected inside the dehumidifier.

How a Dehumidifier Works

On the other hand, distillation happens when boiled water becomes water vapor, and then the vapor condenses (to a water form once again). The process removes minerals and toxins from the water, which is one of the reasons distilled water is recommended for humidifiers.

Though the two processes are similar, dehumidifiers never boil the collected moisture, and therefore the water is not as pure as distilled water.

Can You Drink Water From A Dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers have a lot of great uses. Not only do they reduce the humidity of the home, but they can also help with allergies by preventing mold growth, improve our overall comfort, and even reduce our energy costs by stabilizing the humidity and temperature of a room. But one thing that dehumidifiers do not do is provide us with clean drinking water.

Please, do not drink the water from your dehumidifier!

Using common sense, think about the reason that you have a dehumidifier in the first place—because your home has too much moisture. Increased humidity is the leading cause of mold spores in your home. These mold spores can then cause allergies and provoke asthma attacks. Dehumidifiers help remove this moisture, but the water is often filled with microorganisms and, yep, mold spores.

What Makes Dehumidifier Water Unsafe?

1. Dehumidifier Water does not Go through a Boiling Process

I’m sure at some point or another, you’ve heard about a “boil water advisory” taking place on the news. This is because if there is something contaminating a public water supply, the safest way to eradicate the issue is to boil your water.

According to the CDC, “Boiling is the surest method to kill disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites.”

Dehumidifiers never reach a boiling point, so if there are bacteria present in the moist air, they will not be removed through the dehumidification process.

2. Air Pollutants and Allergen Comes from High Humidity Droplets

Does a dehumidifier help relieve allergies? Yes, the humidity in the air can directly impact your health. Too much humidity allows mold and mildew to grow and actually attracts dust mites because they thrive in this moist environment.

Dehumidifiers thankfully help us control the humidity in our homes to prevent mold and mildew, and in the process, they also destroy dust mites.

3. Dehumidifier Water is Largely Stagnant

For water to be stagnant, most of us think of a murky pond. But, in reality, any water having no current or flow is stagnant. And because the tank of your dehumidifier is confined and without ventilation, if you don’t empty it and clean it often, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

4. Dehumidifier Water Poses a Threat of Legionella

Legionella is a bacteria that is naturally found in freshwater environments like lakes. It becomes a concern within your home when this bacteria is allowed to grow and spread in places like your hot water heater, decorative water features, showerheads, and dehumidifiers/humidifiers.

This is one of the reasons that you should empty and change the water in your machines daily and make sure that you are keeping them clean. Being exposed to too much Legionella can lead to Legionnaires’ Disease or Pontiac Fever.

50 Pint Dehumidifier Feature

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Do you need to use distilled water in a humidifier?

You can use several types of water in your humidifier; however, we recommend reading our guide on what water to use for humidifier to better understand why distilled water is our top choice.

Is dehumidifier water safe for plants?

Dehumidifier water is considered gray water – water that you wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) drink. However, it’s largely believed that dehumidifier water is perfectly safe to use to water plants that you do not intend to eat, such as houseplants.

However, it should be noted that you shouldn’t use dehumidifier water as your only source of houseplant water because it lacks the minerals and nutrients that will keep your plant healthy.

Can you use dehumidifier water in the washing machine?

Many people empty their dehumidifier tanks directly into their top-loading washing machine, and there is generally no harm in this unless the water sits there for a long time before use and becomes stagnant.

Can you use dehumidifier water in cleaning?

Yes, as long as you keep your dehumidifier clean, you can use the collected water and the detergent of your choice to help with the household cleaning.

Conclusion

Dehumidifiers are an extraordinarily useful household tool that can help you reach optimum moisture levels and comfort. And while the water they collect can be helpful for some things such as watering houseplants and flushing your toilet, we never recommend that you or your pets drink dehumidifier water.

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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