How Does A Dehumidifier Work?

If you do not have a dehumidifier, but you live in a place that is very humid and moist, you might want to consider getting one. They are useful machines that can improve the quality of your environment and your health. They are not just for show because there are many health risks associated with living in excessive humidity, all of which can be aided by a dehumidifier.

However, do you know how a dehumidifier works and why they are beneficial? This is what we are going to cover right now.

What Is a Dehumidifier?

Simply put, a dehumidifier is a device which is used to suck moisture out of the air. The purpose of it is to help keep air fairly dry and to decrease humidity levels. It’s a pretty beneficial tool that comes with quite a few advantages for maintaining a proper living condition for you and your family.

How Does A Dehumidifier Work?  The Inner Workings

When it comes down to it, a dehumidifier is actually a really simple machine. They may seem very complicated, but the way in which they function is actually quite straightforward, for the most part. Let’s explain exactly how a dehumidifier works, just so you know a little more about them.

  • There is a fan which pulls in the moist air from its surroundings.
  • The air then passes over a very cold surface.
  • As the air is cooled down, the moisture condenses, leaves its gaseous form, and becomes liquid, or in other words, water. With all being said and done, it’s really just basic chemistry.
  • The water then falls into the collection chamber to be emptied by the owner.
  • The cool air then passes over a heat recovery system, just to ensure that the air which comes out of the dehumidifier is not freezing cold.
  • There is usually a defrosting system in place which will defrost the dehumidifier when necessary.
  • When the water collection chamber is full, the dehumidifier should shut off on its own in order to prevent it from over filling and spilling onto your floors.

There it is. That is really all there is to the function of a dehumidifier. As you can see, they are really quite simple machines with minimal moving parts.

If you're looking for more detail on how a dehumidifier works then check out the video below. The video also provides tips on maintenance which we cover further in the section below. 

The Benefits of Using a Dehumidifier

benefits of using a dehumidifier

There are quite a few benefits associated with using a dehumidifier in your home, all of which are good for human health, and for the health of your home. What are the benefits of using a dehumidifier?

For one, living in an excessively moist environment can cause respiratory distress, especially for people who already suffer from breathing conditions, such as asthma.

If the place where you live is too moist, it will cause your laundry and all fabrics to feel wet. At the very least, it is just a very uncomfortable feeling. At the worst, it can cause bacteria and mold to grow.

One of the biggest problems associated with excessive humidity is mold. A humidity level over 60% can cause mold to occur and grow, which in itself comes with a long list of health effects, some of which can be quite dangerous.

Dehumidifer & Air Purifier Combo

One thing which you can go for is a dehumidifier that has an air purifier built into it. Although basic dehumidifiers suck moisture out of the air, they will still release the same allergens and air pollutants back into the air.

If you get a dehumidifier that has an air purifier built into it, it will also remove allergens and pollutants from the air. This is very beneficial for anybody living with a respiratory illness or just has sensitive lungs.

Maintaining Your Dehumidifier

how does a dehumidifier work?

One of the things that you need to know about your dehumidifier is that it does need to be maintained on a regular basis. People may not know this, but these machines can in themselves become home to mold because they suck moisture out of the air and dump it into a collection chamber.

If you leave water sitting in the collection chamber for too long, mold and bacteria can grow in there. A good practice is to wipe down all possible parts of the dehumidifier with a vinegar or bleach solution to kill bacteria and stop mold from growing. If you do not clean your dehumidifier on a regular basis, it may also just break down due to general wear and tear.

Moreover, if you have a dehumidifier with an air purifier included with it, this will also need to be maintained. Some of them come with washable filters, which just need to be removed and washed every now and again, depending on how dirty the air is. Other dehumidifiers with air purifiers come with single-use filters that need to be regularly replaced.

If you do have an air purifier, make sure to maintain the filtration unit, because if it gets too dirty, not only will it be rendered useless, but may actually be worse than not having a purifier at all.


The bottom line is that a dehumidifier is a great tool to have in your home. Yes, they can be quite pricey, but you can find ones that are definitely within your price range. We would recommend doing some research in terms of the best brand names to go for, as they are not all built with the same quality standards.

When all is said and done, dehumidifiers in themselves are very simple tools and the way in which they work is pretty straightforward. More or less, they just cool air down to the point where gaseous moisture turns in to liquid, which is then stored in the collection chamber. The dried air is then reheated and pumped back out into the room.

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