What to Set your Dehumidifier at in a Basement

The basements today serve many vital purposes like storage or workspace. Some even use theirs for taking alone time away from others. However, all basements have a common issue: poor indoor air quality and humidity. It is common knowledge that a dehumidifier is the best solution for dealing with insufficient humidity. However, what to set your dehumidifier in a basement could be a challenge.

A basement is one place where moisture quickly accumulates. If the dehumidifier does not run at an adequate speed, it will not impact humidity. There are several things to consider when choosing the right level to set your dehumidifier, which would be our focus in this article.

Basement Humidity and Accurate Setting

To effectively tackle humidity in a basement, you must set the humidifier at the right level. Running it at extremely high speeds risks you over-humidifying, causing cracks to wood; on the other hand, running the unit at insufficient speed would mean that the dehumidifier never gets to reduce moisture to a safe level, defeating the whole purpose of running one.

Therefore, finding a balance speed for running the dehumidifier is essential, along with a hygrometer to monitor relative humidity. Some products come with one that helps them work smart. However, these units are for home usage rather than the basement. Therefore, we recommend purchasing a hygrometer to help accurately measure the relative humidity in the basement.

Dehumidifier in Basement: Winter & Summer?

Regardless of the season, if the relative humidity is higher than the recommended level of 60%, you should run a dehumidifier. Nevertheless, some seasons have more dry air than others, and humidity might be lower than some other seasons.

In a better perspective, winter generally has colder and drier air than summer. As a result, there will come a time when you do not need to run a dehumidifier during winter. However, this does not mean that humidity cannot be higher than recommended during winter, so keep watch.

On the other hand, summer seasons have high humidity, and you would need to run the dehumidifier more often to compensate for this.

Read Also: Do humidifiers use a lot of electricity?

Accurate Dehumidifier Settings for Basement

The humidity level in a basement should perform just enough to keep humidity at a safe level. Basements are more exposed to a constant source of moisture from the external environment; therefore, your dehumidifier should run very frequently.

Molds become a problem at a relative humidity of 60% and above. Therefore, we recommend that you keep your basement dehumidifier within a range of 40% to 60%. More accurately, set your dehumidifier to maintain an exact 50% humidity.

This can be quickly done with units with a humidistat, which allows you to set precise relative humidity levels that it should maintain, after which it turns off. The humidifier starts to run as soon as there is a spike in humidity again.

Also, there is a chance that the dehumidifier never shuts off, and if you encounter this, it means that there is possibly air leakage that allows more moisture into the basement. When this happens, your dehumidifier has to run much longer and harder than it usually would, and as a result, it costs you more in electric bills. Ensure you find and seal such leakages.

Where in the Basement Should you Place a Dehumidifier?

Where in the basement should you place a dehumidifier?

If you use a portable dehumidifier in your basement with moderate moisture issues, then the correct position is to place it is on the floor. If placed on an elevated surface, it could reduce the convection circulation of air. Putting it on the floor would see the dehumidifier release warmer air than it takes in.

Also, do not place the dehumidifier too close to any surface. This is because items directly close to the dehumidifier tend to dry more quickly and, like wood or concrete, could develop cracks or become too dry. It can happen even when the whole basement is not properly dehumidified.

Another thing to note is that the dehumidifier should be placed in a centralized basement location, where it would draw air from all sides. If it does not have a 360-degree air inlet, face the side where air enters the atmosphere with the most humidity. However, trying to centralize the unit in the best position possible to achieve maximum air circulation would be best.

Will a Dehumidifier in the Basement Help the Whole House?

There is a good chance that it would not. However, this also depends on the capacity of the dehumidifier. A basement is mainly secluded from the rest of the home and located in odd locations like underground or does not have direct accessibility to the rest of the house. As a result, air would not circulate appropriately between the basement and the rest of the home.

A dehumidifier works across multiple because they all circulate the same air, and when they don’t, there is no way the humidifier is effective across both. This is why leaving doors and outlets to other rooms open when dehumidifying the whole house with a single unit is recommended.

Wrapping things up, a power dehumidifier would probably be able to draw moisture from the closest room to it if it is left open, but that’s all. It cannot do much outside that. Also, you might have to humidify your basement before the humidity drop is felt across the other rooms since the dehumidifier is stationed in the basement.

Our recommendation is to purchase a separate dehumidifier for your basement, whole house, and upstairs if you really want to get the humidity out.


Although some are more than others, a basement accumulates much moisture. Aside from the bathroom, it holds the highest moisture content in the home and sometimes can even exceed the toilet’s. Running a dehumidifier just right is the best way to remove that moisture that could quickly become a problem. The dehumidifier must run at the proper speed and conditions to be effective.

Read Also: Does humidifier increase oxygen – According to science