I am glad that you’re ahead of 90% of the population in deciding on where to place the dehumidifier for best results. In fact, many don’t even know they have a humidity related problem in their house.
The best place for dehumidifier is the source of humidity issue – basement, laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen. But, if you want to know where exactly in a basement you want to keep, then here is the answer. Locate it centrally where it can draw air and have access to utilities.
I know it is kind of vague. Let me break it down and answer all the questions you may have.
By the end of this article, you should gain substantial knowledge in knowing where to place for maximum benefit.
This is all assuming you have sized the dehumidifier correctly.
If you don’t have the right sized dehumidifier or you don’t want to invest in one, then you could use these hacks to a construct your DIY dehumidifier.
The Usual Suspects: Common Locations (rooms) for Dehumidifier
I am pretty sure you must have noticed moisture issues in one of the below areas.
In fact, you even thought of keeping it here or have already done so.
If so, pat your back. You are awesome!
It’s the most notorious place in the house for moisture issues. Basement is the place that is exposed to ground. Ground breathes air with moisture 24/7.
Unless your builder thought about it well and planned and sealed all the spots, I am pretty sure your basement is leaking moisture.
Or, if you have filled all the cracks and sealed the floor, you will have moisture issues.
In fact, if you have a below grade basement, your walls are going to leak moisture in.
Also know that if it rains heavily, the groundwater will get to the lowest point. Which is your basement space?
Somehow through cracks and holes, moisture and vapor will get in.
So, the basement is probably your best bet to place the dehumidifier.
You must have a properly ventilated bathroom
By that I mean, you should have a vent fan and that should exhaust outside.
And… (Here is a big AND…).
Your family must use it every time they use the shower.
I have a bathroom with a flat paint. That’s a very bad idea. The contractor was an idiot.
This is what happens if you (Picture) have a moisture problem and flat paint.
Laundry has a lot of wet clothes and dryer sucks the moisture out and throws vapor in the air.
You must have done two things.
First, you must vent it outside. And second, you must seal all the joints. Use a galvanized steel vent pipe and not a corrugated flex pipe.
Always clean your lint cover every time you use. If you don’t you are potentially creating a fire hazard.
If you have a need for a dehumidifier in the laundry room, it should only be a temporary stop-gap measure.
That is, until you vent it, or seal all the gaps.
But, you can do a few things before thinking of placing your dehumidifier in the kitchen.
First, install a vent hood.
Vent fan has two settings. To circulate inside or to vent out.
Some fly-by-night contractors will place it in circulate mode and install.
Warning: Don’t set it up in circulate mode. You need this vented out.
If you have proper ventilation, the most vapor that rises of your stove will be exhausted.
But if you still have an issue, check with your hygrometer and if you find the humidity level high, then place a dehumidifier in the kitchen.
What to Consider Before Placing the Dehumidifier
Provide a Good Air Flow
Think in terms of airflow when placing the dehumidifier in a room.
Find all the obstacles that can restrict proper airflow.
What that means is this.
Keep it in a location where the dehumidifier can draw air easily and expel the hot dry air easily.
When you can achieve that, you can assure a dryer room automatically.
Mainly don’t set it next to a wall. Most manufacturers instruct at least half a foot away from wall and obstructions.
There are specific models designed to keep it next to the wall. Those are the ones that have ventilation setup on the top. If so, then it’s fine to place it by the wall.
Make sure you don’t have any furniture close by.
Avoid Near Dust, Lint and Air Particles Sources
A lot of you have a shop in the basement, which is totally fine. But you also through a lot of sawdust and other dust particles in the air when you work.
Now, if you place the dehumidifier next to the source of the issue, you are just inviting problem.
I hear what you are saying.
There is a filter to catch the lint and other dust particles. That is there to catch anything in the air that can’t be avoided.
Why do you put pressure on the filters when you can place it away from the source of dirt?
That is all I am asking, my friend.
Place it Away from Electric Source
Have you noticed the outlet you have in your kitchen or bathroom?
That’s a GFCI outlet, right? Do you know why?
Because kitchen and bathroom have water sources and can’t have your regular 20-amp circuit ending up with a regular outlet.
You need a Ground-fault circuit interrupter (GCFI), which has an in-built fast-acting circuit breaker.
One that acts within a fraction of a second.
How fast? 1/40 of a second. It’s that good.
That’s important for your safety and to be on the right side of the law (per code).
All because you have a water source close by.
Think about your dehumidifier. It will suck moisture out of thin air and gobble up a gallon of water in a couple of hours easily.
So, you need to make sure you access an electric source to run the dehumidifier. But, is at a safe distance so you don’t compromise your safety.
Find a Way to Reduce Discomfort from Heat Generated
Dehumidifier sucks in air with moisture. Strips the moisture out and collects it in the container. And in this process, the air is heated up before circulating into space.
As you may know, higher the temperature more moisture it can hold.
One reason the air is heated up before exhausting is that it can absorb more moisture. Cool air has a lower due point and higher relative humidity.
If this is all too much – don’t worry.
All you need to know is that the air that comes out is hot (at least warmer).
Now, this is going to discomfort some. Especially in a warmer climate.
So, finding a location that is easy to let the hot air flow is important. So, you need to leave enough space for that outlet air to flow and hence your family doesn’t complain.
Find an Easy Drainage to Empty
The simpler one has a water collecting bin. That you must empty as and when it becomes full.
The other type has a bin and a continuous drain line.
Now, if you have the simpler model, it doesn’t matter where you keep, but you must remove the bin and dump the water.
However, it is easy to keep it closer to a sink.
If you have a continuous drain line, you should find a spot closer to a floor drain.
Well, if you have the dehumidifier in your basement, you will be able to locate the floor drain. But if it is in one of the upper floors then you’re out of luck.
Keep it on an elevated spot and drain it into the nearest sink.
Should I Keep Dehumidifier on The Floor or Up High?
As long as the dehumidifier has a proper airflow, it doesn’t matter where you keep.
In any case, it depends on the model of the dehumidifier that you have.
Like I said earlier if you’ve got a simple model then it doesn’t matter where you keep. Because you are going to dump the water yourself.
However, if you have a continuous drain line, then find a spot that is higher than your sink and keep it. Then run the hose to the sink.
You can set it and forget.
Unless you have an advanced dehumidifier with built-in pump. Then you can keep it on the floor, closer to a sink and just run the hose. Or find an automatic condensate removal pump and set it.
I had to keep it in the kitchen and didn’t want to use up countertop space. I kept it over my refrigerator and ran a hose to the kitchen sink. That took no space and is a set-it-and-forget install.
Does a finished basement need a dehumidifier?
If you have a humidity related issue in your house then you must investigate the source.
Unless it is self-created, you probably have an issue in the basement.
Finished basement is going to control some moisture because of all the layers you have. Nevertheless, it is an issue and sooner or later ends up causing mold and mildew.
To protect your finishes and investment, I think it is a wise idea to place a dehumidifier in your finished basement.
Where to place the dehumidifier in a basement (Finished or Not)
Couple of things to think about when placing a dehumidifier in a basement.
It totally depends on the below
- How big of a basement you have
- The capacity of the dehumidifier and
- The average level of humidity in your basement
However, if you have a very big basement and in a humid climate, one dehumidifier might not be enough.
Anyhow, keeping it centrally such that the dehumidifier has enough room to draw and circulate air is important.
Dehumidifier Placement – Upstairs or Downstairs
Most definitely you must keep it downstairs. Because the basement is the most humid place in your house.
If you have any other vapor issue upstairs, you must try to resolve the source of it, rather than placing a dehumidifier.
Where to Place Dehumidifier in Grow room or Grow Tent
This is a topic in and of itself and will only do justice if I write a separate post.
However, I am going to cover a few key points here (without talking about the green stuff 😉).
You need a closed loop air handle system.
Where do you keep, then?
Well, it should be away from the stuff that you want to protect, right? And closer to the A/C unit (or duct) that can cool the air immediately before circulating.
Now, the most important is that you need to circulate the air in the room. So, a fan to move the air is a great idea.
Here’s the setup you need for grow room or tent:
- Dehumidifier to handle the humidity – continuously drained
- A/C to cool the hot air
- Fan to move the air around (humid air to Dehumidifier and cold air around)
Permanent Basement Dehumidifier for Damp Crawlspace
Now, you might have a crawlspace that is slightly below grade or at least exposed dirt.
And I am assuming you probably tried using a moisture barrier sheet and still have humidity.
Try this to permanently solve the issue:
First, you must seal the crawlspace. Anyone who says you need to ventilate is probably wrong. Especially, if you are in a humid climate condition.
If you vent, you are only letting the humid air come in. You are not helping to solve the problem.
The best course then is to seal the crawlspace tight, so no outside air can get in.
Put thick moisture barrier sheet so the ground is not letting vapor come into the crawlspace. And then, set up a permanent dehumidifier. These are on the pricier side.
These are heavy duty ones, unlike what you use indoors. It probably has an industrial type straight box design.
It has a big vent to pull the air from one side and vent the hot air the other side? This has an inbuilt fan to circulate the air.
Again, depending on the size of the crawlspace and how humid it gets, you might be ok with just one or might need two dehumidifiers in two different locations.
Once you set this up, you probably need an annual inspection and maintenance. That’s it.
If you don’t get anything from this post, just remember this.
You need to place the dehumidifier in a central place so that it is effective in removing moisture.
There are a few usual suspect rooms (kitchen, bathroom, laundry) that add humidity to the house. Find ways to reduce dumping vapor in or vent it out, first.
Place where there are no obstacles, so the air flows freely.
Think about comfort as the dehumidifier will generate some heat.
Finally, find a spot that is away from electricity but closer to an outlet to run it. And a drainage where you can dump the water.