Do Dehumidifiers Work In The Winter? (Explained!)

  • Author: Irene Mills
  • Date: September 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Dehumidifiers are commonly used during summer when the humidity levels in your house are above 50%.

But you might question, do dehumidifiers work in the winter?

This article will discuss how to run a dehumidifier during winter. You will learn the appropriate running time for the dehumidifier.

You will also get to know most appropriate season is for you to keep a dehumidifier running. 

Let’s jump in….

Do Dehumidifiers Work In The Winter?

Dehumidifiers work more efficiently during summer. When the temperatures are warm, more humid air settles in your home, and that is where dehumidifiers come in handy. The Department of Energy (DOE) recommendations state that dehumidifiers should be completely turned off throughout the cold winter

During winter, the outside air is dry, and very little moisture is within your house.

The temperatures fall below 60 0F making it unconducive for some dehumidifiers to operate.

When using dehumidifiers during winter, the moisture extracted from inside air can damage the unit by freezing the cooling coils.

Therefore, many dehumidifiers cannot operate below 65 0F, while a few will work below that.

It is best to go through the owner’s manual to identify the lowest temperature you can operate your unit. 

In some cases, you might need to run a dehumidifier in your basement where moisture might settle, and humidity levels might be slightly high even on cold winter days.  

However, the use of special defrost function dehumidifiers or desiccant dehumidifiers gives you the advantage of operating below 60 0F.

If your home has varying indoor humidity of above 60 0F you might need to turn on your dehumidifier to counteract any adverse effects of bacteria, mildew or mold growing. 

What Should I Set My Dehumidifier To In The Winter? 

The humidity levels during winter are usually low, which means you do not need a dehumidifier running.

The most appropriate home humidity ranges between 30-50 0F. 

Dehumidifiers work to prevent mildew, bacteria, and mold growth that can later cause musty odor and unhealthy airborne mold spores.

Therefore, it would be appropriate to set your dehumidifier at the range of 30-50 0F when there is a need. 

Should the dehumidifier run all the time?

Higher humidity levels put you at a health risk, but the same case applies when humidity levels are too low. You can safely run your dehumidifier for 12 hours a day.

Repeat the sessions after an interval of 10-12 hours until humidity gets to your desired levels. That adds to the unit’s life and gives your home humidity change with outside humidity. 

At What Temperature Do Dehumidifiers Work?

The most important tool in combating humidity in your home is by discovering its ambient air temperatures. However, the operation of the dehumidifier works in high or low temperatures.

So, what are the low operating temperatures of a dehumidifier?

There are the minimum temperatures for residential or small refrigerants and condensers in extracting humidity. The majority of them will perform best at temperatures above 60 0F.

However, a few selections of refrigerants will work from low temperatures of 41 0F. They might not be so effective as the temperatures decrease. 

The ideal operating temperatures for dehumidifiers range from 70-90 0F. With the refrigerant dehumidifiers, you can use them in the basement, crawl surfaces, and laundry rooms. 

Meanwhile, the desiccant dehumidifiers use fans to turn and pull moisture from indoor air. You can use the desiccant dehumidifiers in temperatures below 60 0F consistently.

Despite the continuous use of low temperatures dropping, the desiccants do not compromise on performance.

What Months Should You Use A Dehumidifier?

Whether it is summer or winter, dehumidifiers can operate to lower humidity levels in your house.

Therefore, the month you are in does not matter when you should use the dehumidifier.

Whenever you feel your house feels damp and filled with a musty smell, you can turn on the dehumidifier to restore the appropriate home humidity. Where the walls are filled with moldy patches, it is okay to use your dehumidifier frequently.

During cold weather months, it is necessary to use the humidifiers unless otherwise.

When To Use A Dehumidifier, Winter Or Summer?

When should you use a dehumidifier, winter or summer?

It is the dilemma most homeowners are facing. Whether the answer is summer, winter, or both, you have the authority to run your dehumidifier whenever you feel like it.

All you need is to switch it on to perform its duty, and when you are comfortable, switch it off for another day’s usage. But there are some benefits and drawbacks that define the use of dehumidifiers in summer and winter.

Here is where you get the most appropriate time of using dehumidifiers. So, let’s have a look at each of them. 

Winter

It is not amazing to find out that only a few people associate running dehumidifiers during cold months of winter. But there are benefits for people who experience dumpy houses during wet days.

Using dehumidifying helps keep away molds and bacteria that infect humid rooms. 

Dehumidifiers are also important in keeping the humidity at constant levels. It is good for your health because it prevents the spread of germs from one point to another.

During cold winter months, the spread of flu is pontent, but you can easily mitigate the spread when using dehumidifiers.  However, running the dehumidifier during winter puts your unit at risk of failing due to freezing temperatures that might break down the system. 

Summer

During summer, the high temperature and high humidity levels can destruct the comfort of your house. Well, the use of dehumidifiers is the ideal option in keeping your house comfortable again. 

However, you need to select a moderate humidity level to avoid minor skin irritation when humidity levels are too low. The use of the unit is more during summer and will therefore require draining off the condensed moisture into water. 

Final ThoughtsDo Dehumidifiers Work In Cold Rooms?

As explained earlier in this article, some dehumidifiers cannot work under cold conditions.

In contrast, others that work in cold conditions do not give the ultimate result.

You need to know the humidity and temperature levels of the room before putting a dehumidifier in operation. That will give you the correct type of dehumidifier to use, as some do not operate under temperatures below 65 0F.

Some have a special defrost function and can work in cold temperatures. 

I hope this post was helpful and answered all your questions.

Looking For Dehumidifer Guides?

If you’re looking for more dehumidifier resources, consider checking out our other posts on dehumidifiers.

References:

irene mills author of freshairdevices

(writer & chief editor)

Irene Mills is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.