Informational Guide

How Much Water Should a Dehumidifier Collect In a Day?

Dehumidifiers collect water from the air then bring in extra moisture and lower humidity levels. Learn how much water you should expect to take in each day.

by Josh M

Dehumidifiers work by taking excess moisture from the air and condensing it into water that can then be drained down your sink. How much water should a dehumidifier collect in a day?

In our guide, we will walk you through the mechanics of the dehumidifier and how much water the dehumidifier will collect each day.

Dehumidifiers work to collect water from the air by bringing in extra moisture and lowering humidity levels. Dehumidifiers work in different ways depending on the type of dehumidifier (desiccant or refrigerant/compressor).

The desiccant type of humidifier works by taking an absorbent material, and that material heats up so that moisture will form. As moisture forms, it slides down the absorbent material and falls into the water tank.

Refrigerant/compressor dehumidifiers work by bringing in moisture through the air by sending the air through a filter and then over cold coils. These cold coils lead to condensation that creates water and falls into the water tank.

Desiccant dehumidifiers work best in lower temperature areas, while refrigerant/compressor dehumidifiers work well in any temperature. Refrigerant/compressor dehumidifiers tend to use less energy over time.

The higher the humidity level, the more water your dehumidifier will collect because the longer it will need to run to lower the overall humidity level. The efficiency of your dehumidifier can be measured by the amount of water it is able to drain over one hour.

Water for Dehumidifier

Factors Affecting the Amount of Water the Dehumidifier Can Collect

Dehumidifiers Capacity

The dehumidifier’s capacity is one of the primary factors affecting the amount of water inside the dehumidifier. The capacity determines how much water the dehumidifier can create from the air as it draws moisture in. The greater the capacity of the model, the more water the dehumidifier can bring in.

Average Humidity

The average humidity level also affects how much water the dehumidifier can collect. The greater the level of humidity in your home and environment, the more water the dehumidifier will collect. This is simply because you have more water to collect in your environment.

Areas that are lower in humidity will not need to have as much water collected in order to lower the relative humidity level in your home.

Air Temperature

The air temperature also plays a role in the amount of water collected by your dehumidifier. At warmer temperatures, dehumidifiers tend to work better because it helps contribute to the condensation.

If you live in a warmer environment, you are more likely to collect higher volumes of water each day. This also means that you will need to empty your dehumidifier more often than someone who lives in a cooler climate.

Room Space

The amount of water collected also depends on the room space in your home. If you are using a whole-house dehumidifier, for example, then a large amount of water will be collected.

Portable dehumidifiers are smaller, and although they work well, they cannot collect as much water or collect it as quickly. The size of your dehumidifier will affect how much water is collected daily.

How Much Water Does a Dehumidifier Collect per Day?

Haier Dehumidifier SampleThe amount of water that a dehumidifier should collect throughout the day depends on several factors.

The tank capacity of a dehumidifier is the amount of water the dehumidifier can hold before it auto shuts off. The average rate of dehumidifier collection is approximately 12 to 13 hours for a 4-liter container.

Depending on the size of your dehumidifier’s tank and the capacity at which water is created from condensation, this may vary from 8 to 18 hours.

The temperature in your home, as well as the existing humidity level, plays a role in the amount of water collected.

When it comes to running your dehumidifier effectively, we recommend setting a relative humidity level around 35-50% depending on your comfort level.

Then, letting your dehumidifier run throughout the day to collect as much water as it can and lower the relative humidity level in your home.

When you first purchase your dehumidifier, make sure that you monitor how quickly the tank is filling up. Once you know how long it takes to fill up, you can easily check on your dehumidifier and empty it accordingly.

It is important to stay on top of emptying your dehumidifier’s tank so that the unit can continue to run; otherwise, your humidity levels can creep up again.

How Long Does It Take for a Dehumidifier to Fill Up?

Keystone Dehumidifier SampleDehumidifiers have different capacity levels. The capacity refers to the amount of water that the unit can remove from the air.

When we look at a 50 square foot room at 82°F, we can see that the higher capacity the model is, the more water that is extracted and the quicker the dehumidifier can reach the lower relative humidity level.

For example, a dehumidifier at the 35-pint capacity that takes the room from 90% relative humidity to 40% relative humidity would take 17 minutes. A 50-pint capacity model could do the same thing in 11 minutes.

Most people choose to let their dehumidifier run 24/7 in order to maintain the relative humidity level that they would like (35-50% is recommended).

It takes approximately 2-18 hours to fill up a dehumidifier tank depending on the size of the tank as well as the capacity of the unit to pull moisture from the air.

Capacity Amount (Pints) 90 to 40% Relative Humidity 80 to 50% Relative Humidity
22 Pints 34 Mins 15 Mins
35 Pint 17 Mins 8 Mins
50 Pint 11 Mins 6 Mins

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Why is my dehumidifier running but not collecting water?

If your dehumidifier is running but not collecting water, the most likely problem is with the fan motor or internal coils.

Depending on the type of dehumidifier that you have, cold coils are needed to create the condensation (if the coils are not getting cold, water will not form), and a fan is needed to draw air in (very little air blowing in will not result in much condensation if any).

Make sure both your coils and fan are operating normally.

How to fix a dehumidifier that is not collecting water?

The best way to fix a dehumidifier that is not collecting water is first to try to identify the reason why no water has been collected. We recommend emptying the tank, unplugging the dehumidifier, and then replugging it back in.

If it still does not work, try to determine whether or not the interior coils are getting cold and determine whether or not the fan is working. If you cannot identify the problem, it is time to bring in a professional or purchase a new unit.

Is water collected from a dehumidifier safe to drink?

Your dehumidifier will collect clean water, however, the water sits in a tank where bacteria is likely to grow. If you were to drink the water immediately after it was collected, you would be drinking clean water, but this process takes time, and the water accumulated can easily grow bacteria and other contaminants.

We recommend not drinking the water from your dehumidifier.

Do you have to drain a dehumidifier?

Yes, you do have to drain a dehumidifier. Most units come with a removable tank, so you can simply remove the tank and drain the water outside or in your sink. Depending on the size of the tank and the level of humidity in your home, you may need to do this 1-2 times per day or 1-2 times per week.


Understanding how much water your dehumidifier should collect in a day can help you prepare to empty it and clean it each day. It can also help you make sure that your dehumidifier is working correctly. Once you set the humidity level on your appliance, make sure that it stays that way with daily water removal.

Last Updated on July 25, 2021

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.