Informational Guide

What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At?

Making sure you are using the proper dehumidifier settings can have long-term effects. Learn how to optimize your home humidity and get comfortable!

by Josh M

Get yourself a dehumidifier that can keep your house dry and your basement mold-free. In addition, it saves your walls and fittings from rotting and rusting.

However, to function adequately, the dehumidifier settings need to be perfect. This includes the humidity settings and location.

A dehumidifier does this by sucking in air, condensing its moisture, and then blowing out the dry air back into the room.

If you live by the sea, you will probably feel the air getting heavy. There will be times when you feel like everything around you is sticky and uncomfortable to the touch. What causes this? Humidity.

Humidity is when the air is heavy with water vapor. These vapors tend to suffocate our skin, hampering breathability.

To combat this problem, most people install dehumidifiers in their homes. These machines suck out excess moisture from the air and make sure it stays maintained.

Dehumidifier Setting Options

Since different places have different climates, there isn’t precisely a one-size-fits-all best setting for a dehumidifier.

For example, basements have very little ventilation but also a lot of humidity. To fix this ratio, you need to ensure that the humidity hovers around 35-55%. This level can help prevent mold growth.

Making sure you are using the proper dehumidifier settings can have long-term effects. For instance, let’s assume the basement is built in a way where running a dehumidifier at 40% would do the job.

However, if you think the best dehumidifier setting to tackle mold is 50%, the energy used to maintain that extra 10% is wasted.

Here is a rundown of how the most common settings fare in areas that lack ventilation:

  • 30%: Unnecessarily minimal, waste of energy
  • 40%: Ideal setting
  • 50%: Unsafe for areas with less ventilation; can promote mold growth in hard-to-reach spots
  • 60%: Unnecessarily high, will lead to eventual pest infection or mold-growth
Dehumidifier by the Post Beside a Window

What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At

When aiming to achieve the best setting for a dehumidifier, you need to consider several variables. These include:

  • Where it is installed
  • What sorts of materials are used around it
  • What the present levels of humidity are
  • How different weather conditions might impact your settings

Hence, without further ado, let’s look at the preferred dehumidifier settings for different situations/places:

Ideal Dehumidifier Setting For Basement

Mold is a menace that rears its nasty green head when humidity rises beyond 60%. Therefore, your dehumidifier should be set around 40-45% to prevent any buildup.

Mold will often start to grow in nooks that are out of sight. But then, it silently spreads, decaying everything in its path, and by the time you see it, the damage is already done.

However, in case it spreads across a basement, there is a genuine risk of it chewing through the foundations of your home.

Ideal Dehumidifier Setting For Living Spaces

In living spaces, humidity does just as much harm as it would in a basement. Where basements are susceptible to mold and mildew, living rooms are vulnerable to mites.

Dust mites are known to flourish when humidity is high. Add to the mix sofas, cushions, beds, clothes, or any other type of fabric, and you have an infestation waiting to happen.

By bringing the humidity down to 40-50%, dust mites suffocate, preventing harm to you or your property.

Ideal Dehumidifier Setting To Prevent Mold

When talking about the best dehumidifier setting for mold, it comes down to how hot the climate is where you live and how damp that area can get.

Tropical countries have it worst. For them, whether it’s a basement or living room, there is always a dire need for dehumidifiers.

Therefore, keeping it at 30-50% is the answer. Maintaining it at that level improves the overall quality of air and also prevents mold from returning.

Ideal Dehumidifier Setting For Winter

With cold weather comes dry skin, sinus infections, and the flu. And since cold air cannot hold moisture as well as warm air, a dehumidifier becomes a luxury, albeit an important one.

In some cases, if your indoor humidity levels go below 30%, you may just need a humidifier instead of a device that sucks water out of the air!

Therefore, the best level for your dehumidifier in winters would be between 50-60%. This brings it to normal humidity levels while also making sure there is no mold buildup.

Mobile Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier with Open Ventilation

Dehumidifier Settings Chart

To provide clarity to the ideal dehumidifying conditions in these scenarios; here is a brief yet insightful rundown:

Type of Location/Purpose Ideal humidity (%) Indications
Basement 40% Less ventilation keeps the air stagnant. 40% humidity emulates natural conditions
Living Spaces 45% Even favorable airflow can cause dust mites. Keeping humidity levels a bit higher can avoid that.
Mold Prevention 35% The more moisture in the air, the more mold will grow, especially in a tropical or wet region. Hence, humidity levels should be kept very low.
Winter Season 50% Winters are already dry; however, to prevent dust mites and avoid mold, a higher level may be required.

How to Set the Dehumidifier Correctly?

Once you have decided to get a humidifier, you need to make sure you install it properly. Here is a step-by-step process of how you can achieve that:

  • 1: Choose The Right Location – Dehumidifiers need to be placed somewhere with a lot of ventilation. Air should be able to enter and also leave seamlessly. Perfecting the placement can impact its effectiveness immensely.
  • 2: Set Up The Draining System – Your dehumidifier can either have an internal reservoir that needs emptying or a water drainage system facilitated with pipes. Whichever one you have – portable or fixed –  set it up so that it doesn’t impede the room’s functionality.
  • 3: Set Your Ideal Level – Once all is set up, you need to tinker with the dehumidifier to see what humidity level fits you best.
  • 4: Keep Track Of How It’s Working – A dehumidifier requires you to keep an eye on it. For example, if it has a removable reservoir, it needs to be emptied, or else the dehumidifier will stop working.
Dehumidifier Water Reservoir Plug

Best Setting For Different Dehumidifier Brands

Chances are, you will probably find yourself a unit from one of the following brands; hence, we’ve curated the ideal settings according to each one:

Arctic King Dehumidifier Setting

Arctic King offers fixed dehumidifiers that provide continuous functionality when set to a drainage hose. Hence, even if they are set to function at 40% for the entire day, they will thrive.

And if you want to program them to shut off at a pre-decided time, they come with an efficient 24-hour timer.

Hisense Dehumidifier Settings

Most Hisense units come with an ‘Auto Dry’ setting. This mode lets the dehumidifier decide the desired fan speed according to the room while setting the humidity level at 50%.

Customize the level according to our guide, and you’re good to go!

Haier Dehumidifier Settings

Haier units boast an efficient ‘Smart Dry’ mode that automatically detects the current humidity level in the room and calibrates the settings accordingly.

This mode works efficiently; however, the level will mainly fluctuate between 35-60%. Hence, you can customize the level according to your requirements.

Trane Dehumidifier Settings

Most brands – including Haier – limit fan speeds to 2 options (high and low); conversely, Trane units run at multiple speeds.

This allows them to function longer and enables the air to eject more water into the coil. Therefore, running it at a standard of 40% can do the job.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Should you leave a dehumidifier on all the time?

No, you should not. A dehumidifier only needs to be on for as long as it reaches the required levels of humidity. Once it does that, it can be turned off.

When should you turn off your dehumidifier?

When you no longer feel the need for the humidity to be tampered with, you can turn the dehumidifier off. However, leaving it on for longer can be counter-productive for the cause.

Should I run my dehumidifier on low, medium, or high?

Depending on the humidity level in the dehumidifier area and what level you want to achieve, you can decide on a setting that works for you. Keep in mind that some brands only offer two speeds.

What is the best temperature for a dehumidifier?

The ideal operating temperature for a dehumidifier is around 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it also depends on the external and internal conditions of the house.

Conclusion

Mold and mites can make your house uncomfortable and harmful to your health. The best way to make sure you are comfortable and your home doesn’t rot away because of humidity is to get a dehumidifier. It will save you time, money, and a lot of stress.

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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