Where Does All the Water Come From in My Dehumidifier?

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Where Does Dehumidifier Water Come From?

A dehumidifier makes a great addition to a home, especially if the house has high humidity. If you’ve never thought much about how the machine works, you may want to know where all the water your dehumidifier collects is.

All the water in your dehumidifier comes from the moisture from the air — humidity or dampness in your home. A dehumidifier takes water evaporated into the air, separates them, and pushes the dried air back into your home. Water is collected in a tank to be removed later.

I’ll explain how dehumidifiers remove water from the air and address common questions asked about how dehumidifiers work. Also, I’ll recommend some options to maximize the function of your home’s dehumidifier. Keep reading.

How Much Water Does a Dehumidifier Collect in a Day?

The amount of water that a dehumidifier can collect isn’t something with a one-size-fits-all answer. However, suppose you take the most common specs of a household dehumidifier and calculate some averages of their water collection. Then you can get an approximate answer of how much water you can expect a dehumidifier to collect in a day.

A dehumidifier collects about 3 gal (11.36 L) of water, in general. Of course, if you have a small dehumidifier, it may collect less water. The daily amount of water a dehumidifier collects depends on the machine size, the strength of the fan, and the moisture in the air.

If you live in a humid climate such as Florida, then the same machine will collect a lot more water than if it was set up in a dry climate such as New Mexico. Additionally, a more powerful or larger machine will also collect more than a smaller or weaker one, even if they were in a room with the same moisture in the air.


Waykar 2000 Sq. Ft Dehumidifier for Home and Basements, with Auto or Manual Drainage, 0.66 Gallon Water Tank Capacity


If you’re trying to determine how much water your dehumidifier should be collecting in a day, be sure to take some of these differentiating factors into account. It just wouldn’t be fair to expect a tiny machine to pull the same amount of water as your neighbor’s top-of-the-line industrial dehumidifier does!

What It Means When a Dehumidifier Fills Very Quickly

Sometimes you may find that your dehumidifier is filling to the brim with water several times a day, faster than you can keep up with emptying it! While this may be inconvenient, there may not be any reason to worry.

Here are the three main reasons that a dehumidifier may fill up very quickly:

  • The air was very humid that day. When there’s high humidity, your dehumidifier has to pull out and up more water in the air.
  • The tank on your dehumidifier is a tad small. If you’re used to a dehumidifier with a larger tank, then it might seem like one with a smaller tank fills up too quickly. The dehumidifier might be pulling water at the same rate but just has less room to hold it.
  • The power of the dehumidifier might be greater. Like the size of the water tank, the power of the machine can make it, so you’re emptying the machine more often. If a previous machine were fairly weak, a more powerful one would fill much quicker.

As long as it doesn’t bother you, these reasons don’t mean you should need to replace your dehumidifier. You can opt to either empty it more often or just limit the amount of time that it’s running to a few hours if you want to keep the dehumidifier you have.

However, if the number of times you’re emptying the machine is a nuisance and you want to be able to run it throughout the whole day, then you’ll want to consider upgrading to a machine with a larger tank.

How Does a Dehumidifier Collect So Much Water?

The process that a dehumidifier goes through to remove water from the air is the same as what your refrigerator or air conditioner uses. Such a process is more complicated than I’ll be presenting here, but a simplified explanation is more than sufficient to understand the basic process of your dehumidifier!

A dehumidifier collects so much water using a fan that pulls air into the machine. The machine cools the air, drawing out moisture. Then, the (now drier) air is warmed back up to room temperature and blown back into the room. Water that was collected drips into the collection tank until full.


Waykar 2000 Sq. Ft Dehumidifier for Home and Basements, with Auto or Manual Drainage, 0.66 Gallon Water Tank Capacity


In a nutshell, moist air goes into the dehumidifier, and dry air comes out of the dehumidifier. The exact manner of water removal can differ slightly from machine to machine, but it’ll be similar to the above description.

Can a Dehumidifier Take Too Much Moisture?

Theoretically, a dehumidifier can take all of the moisture out of the air. It does this until the air in your home is left with 0% humidity. However, this isn’t where most people feel comfortable with the air in their homes.

A dehumidifier can take too much moisture for comfort. Too little humidity can leave your skin, throat, and eyes feeling dry and cracked. For your home’s maximum comfort and the health of everyone living inside, aim for a humidity level of 30–50% within the house. 

If your house’s humidity level is too low, you can experience sinus issues and breathing difficulties from the membranes becoming dry and irritated. Additionally, the low humidity can also damage your home since the wood will dry out and become bent.

Key Takeaways

Air that’s saturated with moisture can leave you feeling damp and sticky, which is a terribly uncomfortable feeling to have in your own home. Dehumidifiers are a great tool to lessen the amount of moisture in the air and keep your home at its most comfortable.

Understanding how a dehumidifier works and where the water it collects comes from will help you get the most out of your dehumidifier. Doing so will allow it to function at its best without going overboard and drying you out.


You may also be interested in… Is Water From Dehumidifiers Good For Anything? and Can a Dehumidifier Damage Walls?