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Dehumidifier In Basement: What To Set It At (Summer & Winter)

High humidity levels are common in many homes in America, especially in unkempt basements. Over the last decade, the negative consequences of high humidity and low air quality have led people to invest in dehumidifiers. These amazing devices alleviate high humidity; however, most are incorrectly set up. So, what is the correct setting for your dehumidifier?

The correct setting for basement dehumidifiers differs depending on the local climate. However, experts recommend that it should always be set at between 30% and 50%. Dehumidifiers should never be set at more than 60%, as this will lead to toxic mold growth in your basement. 

While dehumidifiers are widely accessible and enormously popular, they can be challenging to set correctly. It is crucial to obtain the optimal mix between the humidity percentage and the dehumidifier fan speed. Despite the various challenges in setting up your dehumidifier, this article will easily assist you in correctly regulating moisture and humidity levels in your basement. 

What Should I Set My Dehumidifier At?

While the optimal temperature and humidity setting for your dehumidifier will differ depending on the climate you are exposed to; the best setting is usually between 30% and 50%.

By setting your dehumidifier between 30% and 50%, you will drastically decrease the likelihood of any harmful bacteria developing in your basement. Modern dehumidifiers are not all the same; however, most possess a critical device known as a humidistat. The humidistat will enable you to change the temperature setting on your dehumidifier to any desired level. 

It is important to remember that the combination of the humidity and temperature settings should work together to prevent mold or bacteria from building up in your basement. Some dehumidifiers do not have built-in humidistats, meaning you must manually keep the temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In an ideal world, your dehumidifier should always maintain a temperature of between 60- and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the humidity levels of your basement dehumidifier should always remain between 30% and 50%, preventing harmful substances from developing and maintaining your family’s health. 

The Best Setting For Basement Dehumidifiers In Summer

It is known that moisture and humidity levels increase during warmer summer climates. The heightened temperature and humidity levels are additionally conducive to mold development.

High moisture, temperature, and humidity levels during the summer mean that correctly utilizing your dehumidifier is enormously important. While the optimal setting for general usage of dehumidifiers is between 30% and 50%, experts recommend setting it to lower than 50% in basements during summer months. 

By setting your dehumidifier at below 50% humidity, you will greatly decrease the chances of harmful substances such as mold and mildew developing to the point where your basement may be permanently damaged. 

Furthermore, basements throughout the United States that have any opening or window should be shut. Shutting your basement off from any exposure to the outside elements will enable your dehumidifier to work optimally by successfully decreasing the moisture and humidity in the dark room. 

However, closing the windows or openings in the basement during the summer months will increase the likelihood of condensation build-up. The condensation build-up is not desirable or healthy for you or your family, meaning that the dehumidifier in your basement should be set at between 30% and 40% to maintain optimal humidity levels. 

The Best Setting For Basement Dehumidifiers In Summer

Despite the general climate being cooler and less humid in the winter months, it is still essential to maintain optimal humidity levels in your basement. 

Usually, you do not have to run your dehumidifier as much during the winter months compared to the summer months. The air is drier during the winter and less humid, so it is easier to maintain the most favorable humidity levels in your basement. 

While it is not always necessary to constantly run your dehumidifier during the winter months, experts recommend that when you operate your device, you should ensure that it is set to always maintain a humidity of between 30% and 50%. 

Moreover, you should ensure you do not operate your dehumidifier when the outside temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Operating your device when the temperatures are nearly freezing will result in the dehumidifier being irreparably damaged. If it is colder than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, your basement dehumidifier’s coils will freeze.

It is just as important to maintain the optimal temperature and humidity in your basement during the winter months as it is throughout the additionally challenging summer months; however, it is not recommended to overuse your device during this period as it will lead you to incur costly damage. 

Should Your Basement Dehumidifier Run Permanently?

No, your dehumidifier should never be permanently operated as this will lead to excessive electricity costs, while your device is not always useful if the humidity is lower than 55%. 

Experts recommend that you run your dehumidifier when the relative humidity exceeds 55%. The general rule applies during the winter and summer, even though you will not need to use your dehumidifier as much during the colder and drier winter months. 

Always check if the outside or basement humidity exceeds 55%. The main reason for the relative humidity is that occasionally, especially during the winter months, the moisture in the air could suddenly decrease due to the drier and colder climate. 

It would help if you kept your dehumidifier to prevent any harmful bacteria or mold from building up in your basement at any time during the year. During the winter months, many people in the United States choose to store their dehumidifiers outside the basement for various purposes. 

While the device is usually not necessary during the colder winter months, maintaining an optimal temperature and humidity percentage is critical for the longevity of your family and your home’s basement. To conclusively determine your basement’s dehumidifier requirement during the winter months, you must gain an accurate indication of the average relative humidity.

It is known that the humidity and temperature levels in American basements widely vary throughout the year depending on the weather conditions, the general climate, and other various factors. By making slight alterations to your device throughout the entire year, especially in the winter months, it is possible to constantly maintain an optimal setting for your basement’s dehumidifier.

Where Is The Best Place To Put My Basement Dehumidifier?

The best location for your basement dehumidifier will vary between households. Usually, the optimal place to put your dehumidifier is near the corner or any window. 

Basement dehumidifiers operate most effectively when placed in an area within your basement that allows optimal airflow to and from your device. In addition, the basement’s dehumidifier should always be located in an area with the highest humidity and moisture collection levels. 

Furthermore, it is recommended that you put your basement dehumidifier in an area of the room that allows air to flow freely to and from it. If your dehumidifier’s ventilation system is slightly blocked, the device’s efficiency will greatly diminish and can lead to harmful bacteria or mold development. 

Modern dehumidifiers usually have air intakes and outlets at the top of the device. Dehumidifiers are designed with air intakes at the top to release and absorb a constant flow of air, which is essential for it to function optimally. Other dehumidifiers are designed with air intakes and outlets on the side of the device, which serves a similar purpose to those at the top. 

While placing your dehumidifier in an area of your basement that allows for optimal airflow is essential, some people choose to put them in the room’s doorway. Users can utilize their dehumidifiers for multiple rooms by placing them in the doorway. 

Is Having A Dehumidifier In Your Basement Important? 

It is well known that basements are prone to condensation, mold, and mildew build-up. This is because they are usually dark and damp, severely lacking constant optimal airflow. 

Utilizing an appropriate dehumidifier can significantly decrease the likelihood of your basement incurring unnecessary development of harmful and damaging substances. Dehumidifiers, when used correctly, are an enormously powerful device to prevent the build-up of harmful water vapor. 

Moreover, basement dehumidifiers lower the humidity of the room. Lowering your basement’s humidity content will reduce the likelihood of odor and dampness, thereby preventing the need to refurbish your basement over the coming years. In addition, the device will result in your basement being additionally hospitable. 

However, you should constantly monitor the average humidity levels in your basement, as utilizing a dehumidifier in the winter months is not always necessary. While dehumidifiers were designed to maintain a required humidity and temperature level, they are also helpful regarding seasonal allergies, dust mites, and the prevention of harmful substances building up.


Modern dehumidifiers are enormously helpful devices. They assist in maintaining the optimal humidity and temperature throughout the year, especially in basements where airflow is often severely lacking. While setting up dehumidifiers is a straightforward process, most people do not know the optimal settings required for their devices. 

While dehumidifiers are more useful during the summer, they are important throughout the year. The correct setting for basement dehumidifiers differs depending on the local climate; however, it is usually recommended that they be set at between 30% and 50% humidity, with the temperature never dropping below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.