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When it’s time to get a dehumidifier for their home, one of the main questions that people ask me is: Where the heck am I supposed to put this thing?
I’ve seen some folks just put a dehumidifier in their living room and call it a day. While it’s true that having a dehumidifier is better than not having one at all, there are some locations in a home where a dehumidifier will perform better.
So how do you narrow down the best location for your dehumidifier?
In this article, I’ll discuss the three main factors that you need to consider before placing a dehumidifier.
How to find the best place for your dehumidifier
Generally, there are three factors that you need to consider when figuring out the best place to put your dehumidifier:
1. Source of humidity
The first thing to do is to ensure that you place your portable dehumidifier near the source of the moisture.
Where is the humidity coming from? Is it coming from an internal source such as a shower, or an oven? Or is it coming from an external source such as a window or door?
Placing your dehumidifier near the source of moisture will be more efficient. Your dehumidifier will capture humidity before it has a chance to infiltrate other areas.
2. Size of the room
The size of the room also plays a factor in your dehumidifier placement.
How big is the room that you need to dehumidify? Is it a large space such as a living room or basement? Or is it a small area such as a bathroom?
If you are dehumidifying a large room, then you will need to place the dehumidifier in a central location in order to get maximum coverage.
For a small room, exact placement will not matter as much since there is less area to cover.
3. Restrictions to airflow
Are there any objects nearby that will block airflow in/out of the dehumidifier?
To function properly, dehumidifiers require clearance from nearby objects to maintain airflow.
This means that you do not want to have your dehumidifier too close to furniture, a wall, or other objects. If the airflow is restricted, the dehumidifier won’t function efficiently.
What room should you place your dehumidifier in?
Generally, places where you find moisture are the best places to put a dehumidifier. Spaces such as bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and crawl spaces are all locations where excess moisture can be present.
If you are unsure of the humidity levels inside your home, it will be helpful to use a device that can give you a reading of humidity levels– such as a hygrometer
Once you have discovered the source of humidity in your home, then it is important to isolate it. You don’t want the humidity to creep into other spaces and cause more damage.
Be sure to close all the doors to the room where the humidity is present. You want to isolate the humidity in that one room, so you can remove it using a dehumidifier.
Make sure to close all windows as well – you don’t need extra humidity coming in from outside.
Dehumidifier placement for bathrooms
Long hot showers will quickly raise the humidity inside your bathroom. If you have ever taken a hot steamy shower, then you have seen that the steam in the air is made up of small water droplets.
When the moist air interacts with cold surfaces in your bathroom, condensation forms.
Condensation provides a perfect habitat for mold and mildew to grow inside your bathroom. Worse yet, condensation causes paint to peel and wood to rot.
If you have ever noticed mold, mildew, or condensation, then placing a dehumidifier in your bathroom is a smart move to combat high humidity.
Ideally, you will want to run the dehumidifier right after you take a bath or shower. Running the dehumidifier for about 20 minutes after a shower is usually long enough to remove most excess humidity from the air.
Placement of a dehumidifier in a small room such as a bathroom is always tricky. There is not much space to put a dehumidifier on the floor.
Fortunately, since the bathroom is a small room, you also can use a small dehumidifier. Some dehumidifiers are small enough to put on a shelf or the top of the toilet bowl.
Dehumidifier placement for crawl spaces
Crawl spaces are the most unassuming places that can contain the highest amounts of humidity.
High humidity in a crawl space usually occurs during the warm months, when outside temperatures are warmer than inside temperatures.
As the warm, moist air infiltrates your cool crawl space, condensation forms. This is because cold air can not hold as much moisture as warm air, so the humidity levels rise.
Even worse, leaky pipes or inadequate insulation can contribute to far higher humidity levels in your crawl space.
Because of the cramped spaces, crawl space dehumidifiers are usually more compact than other types of dehumidifiers.
Crawl space dehumidifiers also need to have a stronger fan to ensure that dry air circulates around the tight spaces and around corners.
For these reasons, it is important to use the proper type of dehumidifier if you are going to be putting it in your crawl space.
When placing a dehumidifier in a crawl space, it is important to ensure that it is centrally located with adequate clearance. You want to make sure that the dehumidifier is allowed to exchange air with the most area possible.
Depending on the size of your crawl space, it may be helpful to use a fan to circulate air around the crawl space. Circulating the air in tight spaces will aid in dehumidification.
If your dehumidifier can not continuously drain, you will need to access the dehumidifier regularly to empty its tank. So make sure that your dehumidifier is easily accessible if you are using its tank to collect water.
Dehumidifier placement for kitchens
Kitchens are a constant source of humidity inside a home. While the kitchen sink can certainly bring humidity, other sources such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and cooking can bring unwanted humidity as well.
Using a dehumidifier in your kitchen is all about tracking down the source of humidity so you can target that area.
For instance, if the source of humidity is the kitchen sink, then placing a small dehumidifier next to the sink is optimal. Or if your kitchen gets humid when you cook, then using a dehumidifier near the stove will help keep your air dry.
No matter where you put the dehumidifier, remember that maintaining airflow is important. So you don’t want to place it in a corner or in a tight space.
Dehumidifier placement for basements
High humidity in basements is a common occurrence. This is because basements are underground – so they are vulnerable to water seepage through the walls.
Most basements also lack adequate ventilation. Moisture-containing appliances such as washers and water heaters are often located in basements. Humidity can build up quickly, especially when moist air is not allowed to ventilate to the outside.
Fortunately, a dehumidifier works well for most people to keep excess humidity out of their basement. Since most basements are small, enclosed spaces, it is usually not hard to manage the humidity inside the space.
Better yet, since many basements already have plumbing for their washing machines, you can drain your dehumidifier tank directly into the basement drain. This is important if you need your dehumidifier to continuously operate.
The basement is also a good place to put a dehumidifier because it is a discreet place that most visitors won’t see or hear.
If you have a large basement, make sure that your dehumidifier’s rating is enough to cover the area of your basement.
Dehumidifier placement for living rooms
Living rooms are tricky when it comes to dehumidifier placement.
The Living room is usually the biggest room in your house, so ideally you will want the dehumidifier near the center of the room. However, a large portable dehumidifier in the center of the living room takes up a lot of valuable space.
If you are using your dehumidifier in your living room, then remember to find the source of humidity and place your dehumidifier close to it.
A common source of humidity in a living room is the front door. Humid outside air leaks in from the outside and brings moisture into your living area. If this is the case, then placing the dehumidifier near the front door will be most effective.
Above all, make sure you get a dehumidifier that is large enough to work effectively in your living room. The small dehumidifier that you use in your bathroom might not be strong enough to rid your entire living room of moisture.
Dehumidifier placement for bedrooms
One of the most important reasons for maintaining the correct humidity levels in your bedroom is your health. Having proper humidity levels will help you sleep better and will reduce the amount of allergens present in the air.
Bedrooms are not usually prone to high humidity. However, leaky windows can change all that.
Cracks around windows allow moist outside air to infiltrate your bedroom, raising the humidity. Houseplants can also contribute to humidity in a bedroom.
Because of the relative small size, the most important factor for bedroom dehumidifier placement is to ensure that it gets sufficient airflow.
Where should you place your dehumidifier?
Placing your dehumidifier near the center of the room is always a good place to start– you will have wide room coverage and unobstructed airflow.
One thing to keep in mind is that dehumidifiers contain a tank that gradually fills up with water. So don’t place a dehumidifier near any electronics such as power strips, or on something that you don’t want to get wet.
It is rare that a dehumidifier leaks on the ground– but you want to make sure that nothing gets damaged in case it does.
You will also need to eventually empty the dehumidifier’s tank. So be sure that the tank is accessible.
Alternatively, some dehumidifiers allow you to connect a hose to drain the tank automatically. If you want to setup your dehumidifier for continuous draining, you’ll need to use the hose to direct condensate down the drain, our outside your home.
Remember that a dehumidifier is a piece of machinery, so you need to maintain it. Keep your dehumidifier clean and away from sources of dirt and dust. A clean dehumidifier will function properly and efficiently.
Figuring out where to place your dehumidifier is not a hard task, but it is crucial for proper dehumidification of your home.
Above all, remember to isolate the humidity sources, and get a properly sized dehumidifier for the room that you’re using it in.
When it’s finally time to start up your dehumidifier, make sure that it has unobstructed airflow for maximum room coverage. That’s all there is to it!