Congratulations! You have finally gotten round to purchasing a dehumidifier unit that promises to make your humidity problems disappear. Truly, buying a dehumidifier can make your living space more comfortable by helping you get rid of excess moisture and all the troubles that come with it. However, if this is your first time purchasing a dehumidifier, you most likely have a lot of questions such as “How long does it take for a dehumidifier to work?” This is one of the most relevant questions people tend to ask about dehumidifiers.

How Long Does It Take For A Dehumidifier To Work?

Just like many other home appliances, dehumidifiers operate according to the space you are using them in. That is why you must invest in a unit that is perfectly sized for your home. As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the room, the more time it will take to dehumidify it. But that’s just one of the many factors. So how long exactly does this take. There is a short and a long answer for this. Let’s begin with the short answer.

How Much Time Does It Take For A Dehumidifier To Work?

Right out of the box, a dehumidifier can take up to 12 hours to get to work properly and get your room to an optimal humidity level. This is the time it’ll take for the unit to get all its settings and functions right to operate optimally.

But this is just a rough estimation and not a general requirement for every product. In fact, some dehumidifiers can start working instantly and may begin to remove moisture from the air within minutes of setting them up. Other units may require more time to start working.

However, whether you purchased one of those super-smart units that get to work instantly or your own dehumidifier requires more time to start working? It will still take a while before you can start feeling the impact of the dehumidifier on your indoor humidity. How much time this would take depends on several factors, notably the capacity of the dehumidifier, and the dampness level of your home.

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Factors That Determine How Long It Takes For A Dehumidifier To Start Working

Dehumidifiers help to create a safer and more comfortable indoor environment by getting rid of excess moisture in the air. How quickly and how effectively your unit can do this depends on several factors highlighted below.

1. The capacity of the dehumidifier

The capacity of the device does not refer to the physical size of the unit or how much water the tank can contain. Rather, it refers to the ability of your dehumidifier unit to extract water from a given area within a 24-hour period.

Generally, dehumidifiers come in 25, 50, and 75-pint varieties. The higher this capacity, the higher the amount of water the unit can remove from the air, and the faster it operates. This should give you an idea of how long it will take for the dehumidifier to dehumidify your home:

Say you have a room measuring 50 sq. ft. room, and you purchase a 22pint dehumidifier. It will take an average of 34 minutes for your dehumidifier to take the room from 90 to 40% relative humidity. A 35-pint unit will achieve the same result in 17 minutes, while a 50pint dehumidifier will do so in 11 minutes.

This shows that you don’t have to waste money on a large dehumidifier if a smaller unit can get the work done effectively. However, you will save cost in the long run if you buy a large capacity unit since it can cover the same area faster, so you can keep it running for less time (thereby saving cost on energy).

2. Dampness Level

But the dehumidifier capacity is only half of the picture. Another major factor that will impact dehumidification time is how much moisture the unit has to remove. You can measure how damp your space is using a hygrometer.

Obviously, the higher the dampness, the more time it will take to bring the room to optimal humidity, even when you are using a dehumidifier of the same size. Some units have inbuilt hygrometers that allow them to measure how much moisture is in the air and adjust operation accordingly. However, to appropriately size your humidifier, it makes sense to have an idea of how much humidity it will have to deal with by measuring the humidity of the space first then purchasing a dehumidifier that can keep up with it. A 10-15 pint unit will work well for a moderately damp space. But you will need a 16-44pint model to achieve the same results in an extremely wet space of the same size.

Other factors that will determine how long it’ll take your dehumidifier to work

In addition to the humidifier capacity and dampness of the space, other factors that determine how long it will take the dehumidifier to work include

  • The size of the room: this is a no-brainer! The larger the room, the harder your unit has to work to dehumidify it.
  • The temperature of the surroundings: Temperature and humidity are intricately connected. Most dehumidifiers work best at about 70 degrees F. Some units will not run at all in low temperatures.
  • Room Design: Your dehumidifier will work better in a small room with a simple design and will need more time in a room of the same size with high ceilings, closets, and hidden corners where moisture can accumulate


So, how long does it take for a dehumidifier to work? As you have probably realized, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. How effectively your dehumidifier will work depends on various factors including, the capacity of the unit, dampness of the room, size of your space, and so on. You can expect to wait for up to 12 hours for your dehumidifier to work the first time you power it on. Subsequently, you won’t need as much time. The most important thing is to ensure that your unit is properly sized for your space and has the capacity to handle the dampness level for optimal results.

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