What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At? Answer By Room & Humidity Level

Published: Last Updated on
What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At?

While some humidity is essential to avoid those painful dry lips or cracked woodwork, too much is a common cause of excessive dampness, mold growth, dust mites, allergies, etc. 

To overcome this, a dehumidifier is your best companion. 

But while using a dehumidifier, setting it at appropriate levels is crucial. If not set correctly, it won’t dehumidify your home as you’d want it to.  If you’re facing issues with the ideal dehumidifier settings or want to get the most out of it, here is the article you should read.  

As we advance, I’ll answer all your queries regarding dehumidifier settings for the living room and basement. So without further ado, let’s begin. 

Related: Best Dehumidifier for Bedroom – 6 Desiccant & Compressor Models

But before that, let’s understand what the optimal humidity level is. 

What Are Ideal Humidity Levels? 

Regarding ideal humidity levels, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends 30% to 50% indoor relative humidity.

Anything outside this range will affect your home’s indoor environment and comfort. 

Note: I highly suggest using a hygrometer or any humidity gauge to know your home’s humidity level. You can then decide what action to take based on the humidity level. 

Related: Best Space Heater for a Large Room – 10 Models to Consider in 2023

What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At? 

When you’ve measured the humidity levels if it’s higher than the recommended levels, set up a dehumidifier to pull out excess moisture from the air.

The settings may vary depending on whether it’s your living/bedroom or basement. 

Below is what you should set your dehumidifier at in the living room or basement.

  • Home/Living Room

Home/living space is most vulnerable to dust mite issues. They survive at a humidity level above 50% and cause allergies to your skin and pets. Dust mites can make spaces in fabrics, beds, and couches.

If not looked after at the earliest, these mites multiply quickly in humid places and cause house dust. They survive at 70°F or above and require a humidity of 75% to 80%. However, they die when the humidity is reduced to 50%. 

Keeping this in mind, keep your dehumidifier at no more than 50%. However, you can make adjustments based on your comfort. The ideal range for a home dehumidifier is between 30%-50%, but 45% is also preferable by many. 

  • Basement

Basements are different from the rest of the house. This area is mainly surrounded by soil rich in moisture, and because of that, the humidity level is always high. As a result, the growth of mold and odor is widespread here. This is why investing in a Basement dehumidifier makes sense. 

Apart from this, if the windows of the basement areas aren’t sealed appropriately, it can lead to increased humidity from outside. If your basement area is constantly exposed to humidity-causing sources, you must make your dehumidifier work constantly. And this will ultimately shorten the lifespan of dehumidifiers and raise your electricity bills. 

In basements, mold can create problems if the humidity level crosses 60%, so keep your dehumidifier at 60% or less. Ideally, 50% is the right setting. This has worked for me so far. 

Also, check your device during colder temperatures because a temperature drop below 65°F can cause it to freeze.  

Related: Air Purifier vs. Dehumidifier – Key Differences & Types

How To Set Humidity On A Dehumidifier? 

The primary step to setting humidity on a dehumidifier is understanding its functions. Dehumidifiers remove water vapor from the air and keep the room dry. 

Setting the humidity level is pretty basic. First of all, you need to locate the humidity control button. A “Humidity Level” or “Dryness Setting” labeled button is the one you can use to adjust your desired humidity level. You might find changes in the dial look or labeled name in the newer models, but older ones have a basic design. 

Note: Pick your machine’s user manual and check it for the exact location of the above dial if you can’t locate it yourself.

Related: Dehumidifier Not Collecting Water – Reasons and Solutions

When Should I Turn Off My Dehumidifier? 

Humidity level varies in the atmosphere throughout the year, and thus you might have to run your dehumidifier frequently. 

During the winter, the atmospheric air is already dry, so you don’t need to run the dehumidifier. Moreover, dehumidifiers function more efficiently in the summer season, and their efficiency decreases when the temperature drops. 

Dehumidifiers should not be used when the temperature is below 60°F because the moisture extracted from the inside air can freeze and damage the system. 

Related: What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need – Consider These Factors

In summary, when the temperature in the internal ambiance where you’re using the dehumidifier gets down to around 60°F, it’s the right time to switch it off.

Should I Run My Dehumidifier On Low, Medium, Or High? 

Usually, every dehumidifier has three fan speed settings: 

  • Low
  • High
  • Medium

However, these options need clarification about which one is the ideal. Every speed setting has pros and cons, but ideally, medium is the best


Here are a few advantages of keeping the fan speed at medium:

  • It brings the humidity level below 50% in the least amount of time. So, no high energy bills!
  • A medium setting gives a balance between the dehumidification rate and energy efficiency.

However, if you tend to keep the fan speed high, there are a few disadvantages. For example:

  • It can increase the wear and tear of the system’s internal mechanism, thus reducing its life span. 
  • High fan speed reduces the system’s efficiency and increases the running cost in the long run. 
  • Dehumidifiers, if used with air-conditioners, can be too much for the indoor environment as both reduce the humidity. 

Related: Best Kerosene Heater For Indoor Use – 5 Top Choices in 2023

Moreover, running the dehumidifier at low speed is also disadvantageous. Here is why:

  • It might not provide a sufficient dehumidification rate as required.
  • If your dehumidifier gives efficient functioning at low speed, it will likely consume too much energy. 

What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At FAQs

  • What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At In Summer?

Ans: You should set the humidity level of your dehumidifier somewhere between 30% to 50%. However, 45% was also an ideal relative humidity level. As a thumb rule, I recommend adjusting it according to your comfort and home needs.

  • What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At In Winter?

Ans: It’s not safe to stay in a room with extremely low humidity; thus, during winters, you can keep the humidity level at 20%-25%. 

  • What Should I Set My Dehumidifier In The Basement?

Ans: The basement is different from the other home parts; thus, you can decide the device’s setting based on the damp or hot environment. The critical thing to consider here is to set it to the level at which mold growth can be prevented. 

The best setting is between 30% to 50% because mold develops when humidity rises to 60% or above. Thus, it’s better to keep the percentage low.


So, here you go. The bottom line is that you can set your dehumidifier based on your requirement and comfort—several factors, such as humidity, and location, influence the settings. 

However, there are specific ideal settings you can consider if it’s your first time using this device. 

Sharing is caring!

You may also like