How Often Do Dehumidifiers Need to Be Emptied?

Person removing the water reservoir from a home dehumidifier

While emptying your portable dehumidifier once a day is most common, the size of your dehumidifier and your home humidity level may increase or decrease that need.

Whole-home dehumidifiers and certain portable models with drain hoses can be set up so they don’t need to be emptied as often. However, in many cases, the portable unit’s drip pan will need to be regularly emptied by hand, or else the unit will automatically shut off. That said, every home and dehumidifier is different. So how do you know how often to empty it and how best to maintain it? We’ve answered your common questions about the everyday use of dehumidifiers.

Will a Dehumidifier Always Collect Water?

If you’re dealing with a humid home and have your dehumidifier settings correct, it will always collect a certain amount of water. But how much water should a dehumidifier collect in a day? The water volume will vary depending on the humidity level and the capacity of the collection tank. On average, a home dehumidifier collects five gallons of water per day.

When a dehumidifier fills up quickly, you may have excess humidity in your home or an issue with the dehumidifier itself. Conversely, a consistently empty dehumidifier is also a sign of system malfunction. If either of these issues persists, repair services or other humidity control options may be needed.

Related Topic:How to Use a Dehumidifier

Do Dehumidifiers Turn off When Full?

Yes, most dehumidifiers have an auto-turn-off switch that will turn the unit off either when the collection tank is full or when your space reaches the set humidity level. If your dehumidifier is overflowing, it’s likely an issue with your humidity settings or auto-shut-off function.

Should a Dehumidifier Run Constantly?

No, your dehumidifier should not have to run constantly to regulate the air humidity. An optimal humidity level to shoot for is between 30 and 50 percent. Your dehumidifier should reach this in 8 to 12 hours. However, if the unit’s capacity is more than the space requires, you may find it reaches your desired humidity in only a few hours. Similarly, if the dehumidifier’s capacity is less than the space needs, it may constantly run to try to keep up.

Related Topic:What Is the Best Humidity Setting for a Dehumidifier?

How Else Can I Control Humidity in My Home?

If high humidity is an issue in your house, you can talk to your local Aire Serv service professionals about whether to add a whole-home dehumidifier and work out a solution for the excess humidity in your home.

You can also reduce or eliminate common humidity sources by:

  • Installing fans. Your kitchen, bathroom, attic, and basement are all prime areas for humidity to collect and linger. By installing exhaust fans, ceiling fans, or whole-house fans, you can help improve air circulation and ventilation in your home.
  • Reducing hot showers. While hot showers are relaxing, the steam they produce fuels the air with excess humidity. Even if you can’t bring yourself to take cold showers, reducing the heat can make a big difference.
  • Fixing pipe leaks. Now, you may think pipes can’t leak into the air—which is correct. However, warm air will evaporate the water from a leak, increasing air humidity. 
  • Avoid hang-drying laundry indoors. The moisture from the clothes will evaporate into the air, increasing humidity levels.
  • Maintaining your HVAC system. If your HVAC system isn’t operating efficiently due to improper maintenance, it cannot properly maintain airflow and temperature in your home. Having your system regularly inspected and cleaned and your air filters routinely changed allows excess home humidity to be better controlled.

Need Help Maintaining Your Dehumidifier?

Your dehumidifier works hard to keep your home’s humidity under control. Maintaining it can mean a world of difference when it comes to the comfort of your home. If you notice that your dehumidifier fills up quickly, is constantly running, or is not collecting any water at all, contact your local Aire Serv experts for dehumidifier services. We have the experience and training to identify and correct the problem quickly. To get started, give us a calltoday or request an appointment online today!