Four steps to make your dehumidifier as ‘efficient’ as possible

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Dehumidifiers help to keep the overall humidity in the home at an optimal level, ideal when drying washing indoors, and when the windows are closed. They can also help to prevent damp and mould issues, another common problem during the winter months. However, it is important to know how to use them correctly, in order not to waste electricity and time.

1. Set the correct humidity level

Sarah Dempsey, cleaning expert at, told “The optimal relative humidity is between 30 percent and 50 percent.

“If the humidity is higher than that, this can cause mould, mildew and dust mites to breed. Anything over 30 percent to 50 percent can also lead to triggering allergies.”

There are various different ways to check the humidity level in your home, some without even needing a thermometer.

According to Philips, Britons can do a “simple” ice cube test which involves popping two to three cubes of ice in a glass of water.

After leaving it for four to five minutes, check the results. If the glass is dripping with condensation, that’s an indicator that humidity levels are too high.

If there is no condensation at all, this indicates the air could be too dry. The experts recommended avoiding doing this test in the kitchen as cooking vapours can cause unreliable results.

2. Keep windows and doors closed

Sarah said: “Enclosing the area where your dehumidifier sits will allow it to work more efficiently.”

While it is good and recommended to allow fresh air into the home throughout the day, open windows let in moisture from the outside.

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This means they can work against the dehumidifier and keep the room from drying out because of the continuous fresh air in through the windows.

This can also lead to an increase in energy bills as the device may need to be left on for longer than it would have with the windows closed.

It is also important not to set the target humidity too low on the device if it allows, as this could result in the air becoming too dry. This can lead to dry skin, chapped lips as well as scratchy throats and itchy skin.

If the dehumidifier has a laundry setting on it however, it may set the target humidity quite low to try and dry the clothing as quickly as possible.

3. Regularly empty the water tank

The cleaning pro continued: “When the water tank is full, a light will appear on the machine and it will shut off to prevent overflowing. To keep your dehumidifier running, be sure to empty the tank regularly.”

This is especially important if planning to run the device overnight. If the tank becomes full, it will stop working and excess moisture will be left in the air.

As well as this, emptying the water tank regularly, preferably every day or after every use, it prevents the device from becoming a habitat for harmful microorganisms.

They also need to be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap or detergent to keep them running smoothly.

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4. Keep on top of maintenance

Sarah explained: “The filter in the machine cleans the air as it flows through the dehumidifier. When the filter is dirty, this will have a negative effect on how efficient the dehumidifier is.

“Many modern dehumidifier models will have an indicator light which informs you when it is time to clean the tiler.

“When the grill on the machine is dirty, this slows the movement of air and can prevent your machine from working as efficiently as it could.

“This is why it is important to keep on top of cleaning and maintaining your dehumidifier as it helps to ensure the machine runs as efficiently as possible.”

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