Do You Need A Dehumidifier For Every Room?

Dehumidification solutions can come in both whole-house and single-room portable appliances.

Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air, but do you need one in every room to keep the air in your home dry?

For open plan homes it may be possible to use one dehumidifier located within a central location, depending on the size of the appliance and the local climate. For more closed off homes, multiple dehumidifiers, placed in main areas of a house, may be required, or a larger whole-house HVAC system would need to be installed.

We live in a colder climate and so we don’t typically need to be dehumidifying our whole house and only do one room at a time, which works fine in our situation.

Desiccant Dehumidifier
One dehumidifier is fine for us and we just move it to the room it’s most needed in

If we lived in a hotter and more humid climate, we’d probably need more than one dehumidifier.

However, dehumidifiers aren’t the cheapest appliances on the market, so you certainly don’t want to purchase more than is absolutely necessary for your home.

To help, we’ll discuss whether or not it’s necessary for each room in your house to have its own dehumidifier, amongst other helpful tips. 

Dehumidifiers And Why They’re Important

Before we get into how you can tell if you need a dehumidifier in every room, we’ll briefly cover what these machines are and why they’re important.

The purpose of dehumidifiers is to remove dampness from the air, preventing issues such as mold, mildew, and rot.

Not only are there health hazards, but they could also damage a home’s walls, ceilings, or insulation, resulting in expensive repair fees down the road.

When you live in a humid environment, these issues are even more likely to occur as the air is constantly saturated with moisture it can’t absorb. It is also common in rooms where moisture is frequently present, such as bathrooms or basements.

It’s therefore important to have the right number of dehumidifiers in your home working to prevent these issues from occurring as regularly.

Does Your Room Need A Dehumidifier?

There’s no sense in buying a brand-new dehumidifier and wasting the electrical cost to run it in a room that honestly doesn’t need it. Some people wrongly assume that because one room in their home is humid and needs this appliance, that others must as well, which may not always be the case.

If only one room in your home truly needs a dehumidifier, your basement, for example, then you shouldn’t assume you need one in every room of your house.

Here are the key indicators that you might have a humidity issue in your home, or a particular room, that would warrant the assistance of a dehumidifier:

  • There’s a musty aroma present in a space when the weather outside is humid.
  • Features in the room, such as the walls, feel damp or clammy (this could be consistently or infrequently when external conditions are humid).
  • There are visible signs of condensation on the walls or ceiling (this could also be consistently or infrequently when external conditions are humid).
Window Condensation
Condensation that used to build up in our bedroom before buying a dehumidifier
  • Mold, mildew, or rot is visible within the room.
Window Mold
The mold that resulted from the excess moisture in our home before using a dehumidifier

These can be the telltale signs that it’s time to get a dehumidifier in that room to dry out the air.

If you don’t notice any of these signs, the room may not need a dehumidifier.

However, if you’re using a room regularly you may need a dehumidifier to make it a more comfortable environment to be in, even if there any no problems due to the higher humidity.

How To Know If One Is Enough

When making the decision on whether need a dehumidifier in multiple rooms of your home or if one humidifier can do the trick, we recommend considering these factors listed below, so you can more accurately determine what dehumidifier to purchase and how many.

What Is The Target Space?

The first step to solving this question of one or more dehumidifiers is identifying the target space or spaces you need to be dehumidified.

Obviously, if your goal is just to dehumidify one room, you likely only need one machine in this space, as long as the machine’s capabilities match or exceed the room’s needs.

Choosing the room(s) first will help you better determine which dehumidifier to buy that can best handle the space.

This will limit the likelihood of purchasing multiple dehumidifiers for one or even multiple rooms because, for example, you placed the smallest dehumidifier with the lowest capability into your giant basement.

If your goal is to dehumidify your entire house versus one room, then this will change your dehumidifier purchase drastically, as your best bet is to purchase a whole-house dehumidifier system instead.

Otherwise, it’s likely you’ll need at least a few in various rooms, especially if your home has multiple stories, but whether you’ll need one for every room will largely depend on the next two factors.

What Are Your Dehumidifier’s Capabilities?

This is probably the most crucial factor when determining if one dehumidifier can do it all. Not all dehumidifiers are made alike, so it’s important you know your home’s needs before purchasing.

These machines come in all shapes and sizes with varying capabilities, so the worst thing you can do is improperly match a dehumidifier with your target space.

Dehumidifier Plugged In
Our dehumidifier is sized to be able to work in one room efficiently

By measuring the room and ascertaining its conditions before you purchase your dehumidifier, you’ll significantly decrease the odds of needing multiple machines placed in multiple rooms.

Are There Major Obstructions Present?

Another key factor to consider is the presence of any obstruction in the room you need to dehumidify.

The more obstructions are present, the harder it is for the dehumidifier to function at its best and possibly dehumidify multiple rooms.

The most common obstructions in a home are:

  • Doors
  • Walls
  • Ceilings (if you have a home with multiple levels)
  • Large features or pieces of furniture

If you need to dehumidify various bedrooms within your home, it’s likely you’ll need one machine per room as the walls are going to prevent your dehumidifier from functioning beyond these boundaries.

Dehumidifier Drying Washing
Our dehumidifier can’t do more than one room at a time

However, if you are trying to dehumidify your entire downstairs and your home has a relatively open floor plan, you can potentially dehumidify the entire space with a larger capacity dehumidifier depending on the combined size of the rooms.

As long as the dehumidifier can handle the level of moisture and size of the room, you have a decent chance of just needing one rather than a machine in every individual space.

For those of you who have a multi-level home, you’ll definitely need at least one dehumidifier per level if your goal is to dehumidify your entire house without a whole-house system.

Do You Need A Dehumidifier In Every Room?

Ultimately, most homeowners can get away with only needing one or two dehumidifiers to keep their rooms dry and comfortable.

If you live in a humid area that makes your entire home damp, we strongly recommend you install a whole-house dehumidifier system.

Alternatively, you could purchase a portable dehumidifier and rotate it throughout rooms as needed. This might help keep all of the rooms in prime condition without having multiple machines to place in every room.

Further Reading

Does A Dehumidifier Need To Be On All The Time?

Can A Dehumidifier Run Constantly?

Can You Leave A Dehumidifier Unattended?

Can A Dehumidifier Sit On Carpet?