Dehumidifiers are home appliances that work to remove moisture from the air. They’re typically used in the warmer summer months or in more tropical, humid climates. Using a dehumidifier can be beneficial for your health in muggy conditions — but do dehumidifiers work in winter?
There’s not a simple answer to that question. Sometimes a dehumidifier can be an absolute necessity in winter and other times, totally pointless. It all depends on several factors specific to your home and the room that you plan to use it in.
Why do you need a dehumidifier in winter?
Typically you won’t really need a dehumidifier in your home in the winter. Cold winter air holds less moisture than warm air and is typically quite dry. More often, you’ll see people using humidifiers in the winter to combat extremely dry air that can cause respiratory issues. However, one reason to use a dehumidifier during the winter is to prevent the growth of mold in your basement. (A less common use for humidifiers is to kill fleas, which need moisture to survive.) Your need for a dehumidifier in winter will largely depend on the climate of where you live.
What’s winter like in your region?
If you live in a very cold climate, there’s really no reason to use a dehumidifier during the winter. This is because of the way a dehumidifier works. The entire point of a dehumidifier is to pull moisture out of the air. In order to do that, they hold the moisture inside their coils and then release it into an enclosed system. If you try to use one in freezing temperatures, the coils will ultimately freeze up and the machine will stop working. Therefore, they are rather pointless to use in a severely cold climate.
However, if you live where it’s warm even during winter, you might find it necessary to use a dehumidifier. However, you still don’t need to use one unless you have a lot of moisture in a particular room, or you live in an area that experiences a lot of high relative humidity on a near-constant basis. In these cases, you should probably be using a dehumidifier almost year-round. If you live in a climate that is drier, you can probably get away with only using the dehumidifier during warmer months.
Still want to buy a dehumidifier?
Now that you’ve read our examination of the question “Do dehumidifiers work in winter?”, hopefully you’re feeling more informed. Your best course of action is to pay attention to whether or not the dehumidifier is freezing up when you try to use it. Along with that, take note of the condition of the particular area that you are using it in. Is there a lot of excess moisture in the room? Do things feel damp or do you notice mold growing anywhere? If the answer to these questions is yes, you absolutely need to be using a dehumidifier regardless of the time of year.
However, if the answer to these questions is no and you notice that the dehumidifier you are using is freezing up, you’re not achieving anything except wasting electricity. You don’t need to use a dehumidifier and you may be damaging it by running it. In that case, set it aside so that you can use it during warmer months. Once the hot, humid temperatures return, you’ll be glad you have a dehumidifier on hand. To find one that’s right for your needs, check out our Best Dehumidifier Reviews.