We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Dehumidifier?

By Stefanie Spikell
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A dehumidifier takes moisture out of the air by condensing it onto a cold surface. Have you ever poured a cold glass of water on a hot, humid summer day? If you have, you have seen the moisture condense on the glass. This is because when air cools, it can't hold its moisture. If you leave the glass on a table long enough, and if the air is humid enough, a big puddle of water will form. The same thing happens in an air conditioner when the moisture in the room condenses on the air conditioner's cold coils. You will notice, if this is a window unit, that water drips out the back of the unit onto the ground. So, a dehumidifier is just an air conditioner that has both its hot and cold coils in the same box. First, a fan draws the room's air over the cold coil of the air conditioner to condense the moisture. Next, the dry air passes through the hot coil to heat it back up to its original temperature.

If you have a room that is air conditioned, it should not need a dehumidifier -- the air conditioner should be doing the dehumidifying for you. But if you don't have an air conditioner, a dehumidifier is at least some help in the heat.

Here are some tips to remember for maintaining your dehumidifier in tip top shape:

  • Don't forget to change the filter once a year so that your machine will run at optimum performance.
  • Clean the water container from time to time to avoid mineral build up in the pan.
  • Inspect the cooling coils for frost or ice build-up, as this can destroy the machine.
  • Don't short-cycle the cooling system — this means not to turn it off and then on again right away. Wait at least ten minutes to let the pressure in the system equalize.
  • Don't set the humidistat higher than necessary or it will run constantly.
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By louiei114 — On Nov 24, 2008

is that the same effect as when inside a closed car, w/o the aircon turned on, and raining outside? Moist forms on the glass windows on the car?

By anon21888 — On Nov 24, 2008

Why would there be minerals in the water in the pan? As far as I know water that comes out of the air should not contain any minerals.

By somerset — On Jul 02, 2008

Since dehumidifier is not a food appliance, I would not think of using that water that collects in the container for anything else, but watering plants possibly.

By garyc — On Jul 02, 2008

what is the difference between tempered glass and low-e annealed glass argon filled?

By SwampTank — On Jul 01, 2008

Is the water from a dehumidifier (distilled water) safe to drink or use?

By somerset — On Mar 09, 2008

One of my rooms (it is an addition, probably without insulation) gets so humid, especially during winter month, that without a dehumidifier, the floor and walls feel wet to the touch. The moisture in the air gives a feeling of coldness too.

The dehumidifier unit, that I bought a few years ago, is doing an excellent job, keeping the humidity at the desirable level, and also keeping the room warmer. I set the level at a certain percentage, usually 45 or 50,and the unit does the rest.

Every now and then, the container collecting water needs to be emptied, but that is about it. One disadvantage though is that the sound, when the unit is on, is a little too loud. It would be more desirable if the sound could be muted in some way.

By anon1394 — On May 28, 2007

How do you build one? Preferably one that can be manually operated when electricity cuts out.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.