What Happens If Dehumidifier Is Too Big?

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Humidity is an issue that can easily be dealt with using a dehumidifier. If you’re wondering what happens if a dehumidifier is too big for the target space, you’re not alone.

Generally, professionals recommend getting a dehumidifier that’s larger than recommended. With the right unit, you can expect increased efficiency and functionality. However, with a more inefficient unit, a bigger dehumidifier size can lead to increased energy consumption and noise, excess dryness, and unnecessary bigger space requirements.

These pros and cons would vary depending on your specific unit. It’s always best to seek professional advice and consultation to ensure you’re getting the right dehumidifier size for your needs.

Why Size Matters in Dehumidifiers: What Size Dehumidifier Do I Need?

Those who live in places with extremely humid climates know the struggle of dealing with high humidity issues, even in their indoor living space.

Humidity, especially in the sanctuary of your home, can be annoying. Extremely moist air can feel sticky, hot, and gross, making you uncomfortable in your own home. Too much moisture and water in the air can make it feel heavier and hotter than the actual temperature in the room.

Extreme humidity can cause a myriad of issues in your home. When a space is too damp or wet, your home’s structural integrity may weaken and suffer. A too-damp environment is a breeding ground for molds, dust mites, mildew, and fungi. It can also damage your furniture and cause paint to peel.

Moreover, when the air feels too thick and moist, it can trigger allergies, cough, and respiratory issues like asthma.

The solution to this that many homeowners turn to is dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers pull out and remove excess moisture from the air, greatly improving indoor air quality and optimal ambient humidity levels.

And just like many other household devices and appliances, dehumidifiers come in varying sizes, depending on each home’s needs.

A dehumidifier’s size and capacity are determined by the amount of moisture and water it can remove from the air per day or in a 24-hour period. This is usually called pints (the pints of moisture it can remove from the air).

Typical dehumidifier sizes can range from around 20-pint, 30-pint, and 50-pint units to around a whopping 150-pint dehumidifiers.

Dehumidifier and pint capacity is not a one-size-fits-all situation. The right dehumidifier size for your needs should be dependent on the space you’re hoping to dehumidify and the relative humidity (RH) level in that space.

A dehumidifier can only work accurately if it’s in the correct size for the indoor space it will work on.

Can a Dehumidifier Be Too Big for a Space?

If you’re researching for the correct dehumidifier size and capacity for your home, you will find that most professionals actually recommend that you get a bigger-capacity dehumidifier than what your space requires.

However, a dehumidifier can indeed be too big for a space, and that’s where possible problems arise.

If you decide to get a bigger dehumidifier than required, it can lead to two possibilities: either increase or reduce efficiency and humidity control benefits.

What Happens if Dehumidifier Is Too Big?

As we’ve mentioned above, it’s generally recommended to get a dehumidifier that’s larger than what your indoor space requires. While it can increase efficiency, a unit that’s significantly bigger than the recommended size can pose problems.

Increased electricity consumption

A larger dehumidifier can dehumidify a space and achieve optimal humidity levels quicker. This results in far less energy consumption. That is if the unit has an auto shut-off function.

If yours doesn’t have this function, then you can expect a larger-sized unit to cause an increase in your electricity bills.

More noise during operation

A bigger unit means a bigger and more efficient fan system to distribute the now-dehumidified air back into the space. This could also mean that the bigger fan can make more noise than smaller-sized units.

If yours doesn’t have settings specifically for the fan, then you might have to endure the extra noise as it runs.

Excessive dryness in the air

A bigger unit works faster and better at dehumidifying the space. If yours doesn’t have the auto shut-off function, then it can dry out the air too much.

This can lead to other issues as well like dry skin, chapped lips, or itchy throat.

Bigger size requires more space

Lastly, a bigger dehumidifier size could take up unnecessary floor space. If you already have limited space in your home, it would be best to stick to the recommended size. But if you’ve decided to go bigger, get something that’s only slightly bigger than recommended.

Of course, this is unless you’re getting a whole-house dehumidifier which is then integrated into your home’s HVAC system.


Humid climates can also affect your indoor living space. Homeowners combat this with a dehumidifier but what happens if a dehumidifier is too big for a space?

It’s generally recommended to get a dehumidifier that’s slightly larger than what the space needs. This can increase efficiency and benefits. However, problems arise when the unit is significantly bigger. Some problems that could arise are increased electricity consumption, more noise, excessive dryness, and bigger floor space.

These effects could still vary depending on your specific unit and its functions. Always seek professional help when you aren’t sure what size to get.

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