Informational Guide

How Long Does It Take For a Dehumidifier To Work?

Keep in mind that it takes a few hours after start-up to show results. Learn more by reading our complete guide.

by Josh M

Humidity in the air is necessary, but an overly humid environment can lead to allergens, mites, molds, and bacteria in your home. Therefore, a dehumidifier will be a worthwhile investment for you.

And if you’re one of those asking, “how long does it take for a dehumidifier to work,” keep in mind that it takes a few hours after start-up to show results.

So if you’ve recently bought one and want to know how to use it, this guide will help you get the best out of it while prioritizing efficiency.

How Long Does It Take For A Dehumidifier To Work?

Dehumidifier on Asphalt

It takes 11-12 hours minimum to function with complete efficiency. In this time, it regulates the air in a room and removes the excess moisture from it.

The ideal humidity level is 30-60%. This amount is considered safe, healthy, and comfortable for humans. Also, you can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level of the room.

Furthermore, a new, out-of-the-box dehumidifier may take more time to work correctly. But once it starts, you can set it at 60% humidity to achieve the ideal level. Remember, the rate of dehumidification also depends on the size of the room.

And if you’re asking yourself, “what is the minimum temperature for a dehumidifier to work?” The answer is below 60° F.

In addition, a lot of people ask about the best time to run a dehumidifier; here is what to consider:

When the temperature starts to exceed, or the humidity level starts rising above 60%, that is when you should contemplate running your unit.

Additionally, if you are concerned about energy consumption, you must know that buying a larger capacity air dehumidifier may increase your energy bill.

This is why you can consider running your dehumidifier between 10:00 PM and 7:00 AM — when electricity consumption is comparatively low.

Factors That Affect How Long A Dehumidifier Work

Numerous factors impact how long a dehumidifier takes to work. Here are the most important ones:

Dehumidifier Capacity

Dehumidifiers come in varying capacities; some are measured in pints while others are in liters. And according to the capacity, the dehumidifying time will alter.

A dehumidifier with the capacity of 12L may take around 34 mins to maintain 90-40% humidity and about 15 minutes to maintain 80-50% humidity. In contrast, a 20L model would run for 17 mins to get the same percentage.

Moreover, consumers often enquire how quickly should a dehumidifier fill up. It fills up according to the moisture that it captures while dehumidifying the room.

Dampness Level

The dampness level of a room or your home is a significant factor influencing a dehumidifier’s efficacy. Thus, it would help if you first ascertained whether your space could be considered:

  • Moderately damp
  • Highly damp
  • Wet
  • Extremely wet

After doing so, you are fit to choose a humidifier. Remember, the higher the dampness, the more capacity you would require.

Room Size

The size of the room is arguably one of the more pressing indicators of how long your room will take to dehumidify. Hence, it is the primary aspect to consider before investing in the device.

Therefore, before you go shopping, don’t forget to measure the room by square feet to find the best model for your living space.

Room Design

Apart from the size, the design of the room also influences the efficiency of a dehumidifier. If your space is open and airy and with good ventilation, it will require a medium-capacity dehumidifier.

In contrast, if it’s dark and attracts dampness easily, it would need a larger piece of equipment.

Dehumidifier Placement

It is essential to place the dehumidifier appropriately and without facing or flushed to a wall. Notice the areas of the room that serve as walkways, and do not place them there. Likewise, try to position it away from seating areas too.

It would help if you placed it sideways. This will ensure the maximum performance that the dehumidifier can provide.

Humidifier Height

It is a well-known fact that hot air rises, and given that you need to remove hot, humid air from the room, the height makes a huge difference here.

Therefore, the higher the dehumidifier is placed, the better and quicker it works. Using a table to elevate the device may also help maximize performance.

What Causes A Dehumidifier To Stop Working: 9 Common Problems

Regardless of the efforts you put in to maximize performance, there are numerous reasons why a dehumidifier may stop working:

Tank Is Full

Most dehumidifiers often switch off once their water tank is full. However, if your unit has its own drain line, it may also be clogged. To solve it, you can:

  • Remove the tank
  • Dump the water
  • Clean the drain
Dehumidifier Ready for Draining

Humidity Level Is Set Too High

There is an ideal humidity level for each environment, and you can adjust the dehumidifier to achieve that level. But, if exceeded, it may stop working.

Set the level between 40-60% to avoid this scenario.

Humidistat Is Broken

Humidistat automatically adjusts air moisture to achieve the desired level, and it can be found underneath the device.

If it’s broken, your humidity levels will be all over the place.

Room Temperature Is Too Cool

If the room temperature is lower than 65 degrees, the dehumidifier coils can freeze over. In this case, it would be best to turn off the appliance and let it warm up.

Refrigerant Fluid Is Too Low

Dehumidifier coils come filled with refrigerant fluid, which helps the appliance turn moisture into dry air. If there is insufficient fluid, it may hinder functionality.

Therefore, you can seek help from a technician to maintain refrigerant fluid levels.

Fan Stopped Working

The fan contributes to the regulation of air, which is why it plays a significant role in the dehumidification process. Therefore, if the fan stops working, the dehumidifier stops working too.

Something Is Blocking Airflow

There might be lint, dust, or fur building up on the grill of the fan. To fix this:

  • Unplug the unit
  • Remove the cover of the grill
  • Clean the grills using compressed air

Electrical Parts Or Connections Have Gone Bad

Given that all appliances have electrical components, it is vital to ensure proper upkeep. Checking the wiring may help in solving the problem. However, seeking a technician’s assistance is best in this regard.

Dehumidifier’s Compressor Is Overloaded

The compressor is the core unit of the dehumidifier; it regulates the coils, fans, and refrigerant liquid. If the coils freeze, the appliance may overheat and stop working.

Remember, most units come with an overload switch that shuts off the appliance unless it’s manual.

Popular Dehumidifiers & Their Expected Lifespan

Here are two of the most popular dehumidifiers you can find on the market:

Danby Dehumidifiers

Danby dehumidifiers are reasonably small in size and can be used for individual rooms or large spaces alike. Alongside being highly efficient, it saves money by consuming less energy. They offer:

  • 50 PPD of moisture reduction
  • 1.6-gallon tank
  • Manual handling
  • Hose connection for gravity draining
  • Touch-sensitive control panel
Draining a Dehumidifier with a Hose

Above all, you get a 2-years extended warranty which protects you against faults and repairs.

Delonghi Dehumidifiers

Delonghi dehumidifiers allow you to collect water the way you want — whether through a tank or a drain hose. They come with:

  • A patented pump for moisture drainage
  • Energy-star certification
  • Transparent water tank
  • LED control display
  • 24-hr timer
  • Two fan settings

This appliance is designed for 50 Pint capacity and provides long-lasting service.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

How many years does a dehumidifier last?

The life span of a dehumidifier ranges from 5 to 10 years but varies for each brand. Also, regular upkeep can maximize the lifespan of your chosen unit alongside helping it work better.

Is it safe to run a dehumidifier constantly all the time?

The rule of thumb is to run a dehumidifier for at least 12 hours and only until the desired humidity level is maintained. Anything more or less than that is not ideal. Learn about safety when using these devices here.

What is the minimum temperature for a dehumidifier to work?

The minimum temperature for a dehumidifier to work is at least 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Most brands vary with their requirements, but this is the standard temperature to run a dehumidifier.

How do I know if the dehumidifier is working?

There are several methods of checking if your dehumidifier is working efficiently. The first one is to notice results, and the other is to scan using a hygrometer. Tally the reading of your dehumidifier with the ones shown on the hygrometer.


Since many people are unfamiliar with the use of dehumidifiers, they often ask questions like:

  • How long does a dehumidifier take to work?
  • How quickly should a dehumidifier fill up?
  • How to know if the dehumidifier is working correctly?

Hence, we have curated this guide to help you with all the aspects of using a dehumidifier. And if there is something you’re still having troubles with, call a technician!

Last Updated on January 13, 2023

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.