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As a follow-up to our post about how a dehumidifier works, we wanted to help you, the consumer, know how to actually operate a dehumidifier. When you need to remove moisture from an interior space, choosing to use a dehumidifier to do the job is a wise choice. For a dehumidifier to operate properly, you need take a few simple steps and then sit back and let it work its magic. It’s that easy.

First, you should make sure that the dehumidifier has the proper capacity for the size of the space and the amount of moisture that needs to be absorbed. The capacity is the number of pints that the dehumidifier can collect in 24 hours. In a 2,500-square foot area, a dehumidifier can collect up to 44 pints a day. You also must judge whether the conditions of your space are slightly humid, moderately damp, or saturated.

Second, you should take great care in the placement of your unit. Most dehumidifiers are equipped with a top-mounted air discharge but if your model discharges from a side, it should be placed in an open area, away from walls and furniture. Also make sure that your unit is kept away from spots where debris like dirt, dust, and sawdust tend to accumulate. The refrigeration coils need to be kept clean in order to operate properly and efficiently. Windows and doors should remain closed during operation. All manufacturer warnings regarding electrical safety should be observed.  Water drainage equipment should never be placed near electrical appliances, cords, or outlets.

Third, you need to make sure that the temperature of the room is warm enough for the dehumidifier to function. The temperature should not drop below 65 degrees Fahrenheit or frost may accumulate on the refrigeration coils, causing the unit to malfunction. Most dehumidifiers come equipped with an anti-frost sensor that causes the unit to automatically shut down when frost begins to form. Also, specialized dehumidifiers that are designed to operate in cooler conditions are available.

It will take several cycles for the dehumidifier to give your room the desired humidity level. The unit will be most productive during its first cycle. Most of the excess moisture will be absorbed at this time. Subsequently, it will maintain the level of humidity it is set at. Decide what level of humidity is most comfortable for you and adjust the unit accordingly.

Finally, make sure that you regularly maintain and clean your dehumidifier to ensure that it continues to run smoothly.

Most models include a removable plastic water receptacle. A warning light will indicate when the container needs to be emptied and the unit will automatically shut down when it is filled. You can avoid the task of manually emptying the bucket by installing a hose that will allow the collected moisture to drain into a sump pump or drain. Make sure the hose extends only a short distance to the point of discharge to avoid a tripping hazard.


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