Should a Dehumidifier Run Constantly 24/7?

Last Updated on December 22, 2023 by Justin Williams

To dehumidify or not to dehumidify?

That is the question. We know that it is difficult to suffer through any length of time with high humidity levels. If moist and warm air make you sick, then a dehumidifier is the best solution.

But should a dehumidifier run all the time? That is the question. There are differing opinions on this subject.

To get the right answers just continue to read our article. It is filled with the information you need. Some of the benefits you get from running your dehumidifier for long periods of time is a comfortable living space, a healthier room to sit in. And protection for your health and possessions.

Should a Dehumidifier Run Constantly?

The good news is that there is no strict rule on this topic. That means you can run your dehumidifier 24 hours a day without harming the device. One thing to remember is that the dehumidifier is rated by how many pints of moisture it can remove in a 24 hour period.

If the machine does not shut off at any point, then you know that the humidity levels are far too high. The vital piece of information is that once the dehumidifier hits its rated level, say 70 pints per day, then it will not remove any more than that, no matter how many hours are left in a day.

There is nothing wrong with doing this. Some experts claim that you should run the device until the RH levels go below 60 percent. When that happens you can turn the unit off for a while.

What will help you determine if you should run your dehumidifier for long periods of time is using a hygrometer. This measuring tool will help you find when you should or should not run your dehumidifier as well as how long should a dehumidifier run per day.

Knowing How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run Per Day: Using a Hygrometer

One fantastic tool to have in your toolbox when dealing with humidity levels is a hygrometer.

What's that, you ask? In simple terms, a hygrometer measures the amount of moisture or humidity in the air. It's an easy way to measure and manage your home comfort levels.

So, how can it help with your dehumidifier usage?

By using a hygrometer before and after running your dehumidifier, you get to see two crucial things — the original humidity level and just how much it has changed after running your appliance.

With this info handy, figuring out how long to run your dehumidifier becomes less of guesswork and more about precision!

Do You Need to Run a Dehumidifier All the Time?

No, it is not necessary to run your dehumidifier all the time. You should only run your unit when the humidity level is above 50 percent. The comfort levels for most homes is between 30 to 50 percent so that is a good rule of thumb to live by.

The key here is not to set your humidistat too low. That will waste energy by keeping your unit running when it should be turning off.

If you want to keep your dehumidifier running constantly, you should choose units that have the ability to drain water to a floor drain automatically.

Collecting water constantly with a dehumidifier does really help you maintain the temperature and relative humidity at an ideal level. Besides, it is important to keep the air filter clean to help the dehumidifier perform better and last longer.

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How Often to Run Dehumidifier in Basement?

You should power-on a dehumidifier in the basement when the relative humidity gets higher than 50% (the ideal basement humidity level is 30 - 50%). You may need to have a hygrometer in hand to do that measuring job.

Remember, basements generally run 10°F lower than other areas in your home and most dehumidifiers do not work properly in temperatures ranging from 42°F or lower. In that case, you may need to buy ones that has auto-defrost function to fix the problem.

Dehumidifier Running Costs - Are Dehumidifiers Expensive to Run Continuously?

The money you have to pay extra on your electricity bills will be determined by the type of dehumidifier you buy.

How Much Electricity Does a Dehumidifier Use?

If you purchase a small 500 ml unit then you are looking at using only 12 Watts per hour.

If you move up to a 12L unit then you are looking at paying for 207 watts per hour every hour it is on. When the dehumidifier reaches the set humidity level it will turn off saving you some money. The same goes for the auto shut off that kicks in when the water tank is full.

If you want to justify the expense of running your device for long periods of time, compare its cost to the amount of money you would have to pay if the humidity levels ruined your walls, floors, furniture and other important things like your health.

Mold and mildew can trigger allergies or respiratory problems. It is unhealthy and grows fast when the humidity levels reach 65% or higher.

The cost of running a dehumidifier 24/7 is cheaper than the costs we just mentioned.

How Much Does It Cost to Run a Dehumidifier 24 Hours a Day?

This is another depends question and the answer will be influenced by your location. Some cities charge higher rates than others and so on. Then the size and type of the dehumidifier you buy will determine part of how much does a dehumidifier cost to run non stop, but it isn’t that high.

A small 330 Watt Desiccant Dehumidifer may only cost about 5 to 10 cents to run every hour. Times that by 24 and you are looking at $1.20 to $2.40 per day to protect your home and family. The running cost may be cheaper if you use the most energy efficient models on the market (Energy Star rated).

650 Watt Desiccant Dehumidifier may only cost about 10 to 20 cents per hour. A lot will depend on the maker, the model, and the efficiency rating of the device.

However, when it comes to the energy factor, don't bother running a dehumidifier constantly if needed because most of the top dehumidifiers we tested are Energy Star rated.

How Long Should I Run a Dehumidifier After a Flood?

This will depend on how big the building is that you want to dry out. You should run the dehumidifier long enough for the porous surfaces or materials to dry completely. This can take anywhere from 2 days to several weeks

Items like drywall and insulation take a very long time to dry so instead of running your dehumidifier replace those items. The growth of mold will continue spreading as long as there is moisture to feed it.

Is It Cheaper to Run AC or Dehumidifier?

The answer to this question is that it is cheaper to run your dehumidifier than running air conditioners. Part of the reason for this is that the dehumidifier does not cool the indoor air down in the room like an air conditioner does. An air conditioner will use approximately 1 - 4 Kilowatt / hour.

That means when it comes to the energy consumption, dehumidifier does not use as much power because there are fewer things to power in a dehumidifier than there is in an air conditioner. Running a dehumidifier can help you save money on energy bills as well.

If you need a device just to solve your excess humidity problems in the most effective way possible and improve indoor air quality, go for dehumidifier.

With that said, dehumidifier is not the best device to get rid of mold spores or dust mites in the air. Air purifier can do this job better.

Final Verdict

It is possible for you to relax. This information should set your mind at ease as it lets you know that there is nothing wrong with running your dehumidifier for long periods of time.

You can also run it for 24 hours straight if you want. Just do not be surprised that the device shuts down when it has reached its capacity for moisture removal. Certainly the benefits will outweigh the costs.

Running your unit when you need it and for as long as you need it protects your home and helps keep your family healthier. When you need to protect an allergy or asthma sufferer the cheapest device to use is your dehumidifier.

One thing to remember is that you should close all windows and doors while running to get the most out of your dehumidifiers. Set the desired humidity level in the dehumidifier control panel and you're good to go.

If your rooms have exhaust fans, keep them running may reduce the performance of dehumidifiers. Plus, a dehumidifier with pump may be the most stable and safest choice if you tend to run your unit 24/7.

The overall costs are not that much and should easily be absorbed into your budget. But those few extra dollars are worth spending when you can have peace of mind and healthier each day and night. So run your dehumidifier and be safe.

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My name is Justin Williams. I am the founder and blogger at (read more about us). I was an allergy sufferer and that is also the reason why I began my trek to finding the best dehumidifier for my own personal health issues. All of the dehumidifier top picks on the site were put through their paces by Lance Perez - our dehumidifier researcher. He put each one through a series of tests to see how well they performed. Then, our editorial team compiled the insights into articles and published them.

21 thoughts on “Should a Dehumidifier Run Constantly 24/7?”

  1. Thank you for your information has been very helpful to me to know when the run a dehumidifier and when not to and it’s calm my mind down little bit too educated me a little bit on a dehumidifier thank you very much I appreciate that

  2. I have a Medea 50-pint Energy Star Dehumidifier WDK50AE7N.
    It’s about 3 years old. The unit runs but doesn’t produce water. No heat comes out of the exhaust- just cool air.

    Humidity is about 26%.

    Is the unit bad? Can I ship it back for repairs?

    • Hi Robert,

      First, make sure the compressor is running well

      Second, I think the problem was probably due to the humidity level. It’s too low for the dehumidifier to work properly. Some dehumidifiers stop pulling out moisture from the air when the humidistat shows there is low humidity (26% is below the ideal conditions)

  3. Hello.
    Can we have an appointment for you to come and help us with a terribke humid wall full with mold?

  4. My husband insists on running the dehumidifier in our bedroom all day long as he thinks the wardrobe and wall is damp. I’ve been working in the bedroom during lockdown and feel my skin is very dry. Can this cause dry skin and eyes??

  5. The fan is running, but the motor isnt, so it isn’t collecting any water in the bucket. I run it in my basement. It was working fine for a good 6 months, then just stopped.. I checked the filter. Tried resetting, nothing seems to work. Tbis is the 3rd time buying a dehumidifier that had the motor stop. Only the fan is running. Normally it would run & I could empty the bucket daily. It is plugged right into the outlet.

  6. My dehumidifier is on 24 hours a day and I empty it every 2 days
    It has smart technology built in
    But I wonder where all the water comes from, I live alone .
    Is it ok to run it 24/7
    If I didnt run it my house would be water logged going off the amount it collects, any advise please.

    • Hi Mary,

      Where are you living? Please note that summer is the most humid season of the year so it’s understandable that your dehumidifier collects that much water

      If your dehumidifier has built in auto draining option, then let it run 24/7

  7. Hi.i have a portable dehumidifier that i use. Now, can i run my heatpump on the wall at the same time as the dehumidifier in winter in New Zealand?

    • Hi Pramila,

      You can use both the heat pump and the portable dehumidifier.

      If you are running your heat pump, please ensure that it is on a very low power setting, otherwise, the portable dehumidifier will be working hard to remove water from the air and you will waste electricity.

  8. I was having severe allergy issues, friends said house making u sick. My friend brought moisture meter reading from 20-39, I asked for Dehumidifier from Manager, they plugged it in, taped hose to sink I didn’t see anything come from hose. I inspected no water put in bucket. In some spots meter readings were down after 7 days. Does Dehumidifier need water? Does it dry carpet pad and previous mold. If there’s leak in foundation will moisture levels go up without Dehumidifier running ? They have not tested ( I bought meter), pulled up carpet ( my friend did found dry rot/ mold spots) I’m dealing with incompetence here and I have no experience with mold/ moisture/ Dehumidifiers. I bought my own Dehumidifier..should I run it 24/7. How long?

  9. Help me settle a difference of opinion between my husband and me. I want to keep our unfinished basement dehumidifier at 45. My husband want to set it at 65 or 70. He says it is not good to have it low because it takes moisture out of the walls.

    We are constantly changing to each preference. It does run almost constantly if kept at 45%. I have cleaned mold/mildew off of the walls more than once and don’t want to do it again.

  10. Hi I’ve bought a 50 pint portable dehumidifier and began running it almost a week ago and have been running for almost a full week and I have to empty the unit out at least twice a day. What is a way of calculating extraction rates and what is normal?


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