Are Dehumidifiers Safe? [Interesting Facts Revealed]

On humid and hot summer days, a dehumidifier can be a lifesaver for many people. It can improve your comfort by removing excess moisture from the air.

Some customers are concerned about the safety of a dehumidifier because it is an electrical appliance that can produce water. After all, no one wants a device to cause damage to their home.

Don’t worry too much! Dehumidifiers are generally considered safe to use. They have a variety of safety features to ensure that they are safe to leave on. They can, however, catch fire, and you should use them with caution.

Want to know more details about safety issues in dehumidifiers? This article will cover everything you need to know.

Safety features of dehumidifier

dehumidifier safety features

To serve customers better, dehumidifier manufacturers have embedded several safety features in their products to prevent potential hazards.

Water level sensor

Every portable dehumidifier includes a water tank to hold the collected water. Depending on the room’s humidity, the water tank will fill up sooner or later.

If the machine continues to operate, water will leak from the tank, resulting in leakage and electrical shock.

This is not the case with modern dehumidifiers. To detect the water level, the tank has a water level sensor. When the tank is full, the machine will be notified, and the device will shut down immediately.

As a result, even if you don’t turn off your dehumidifier manually, water will never come out.

Auto defrost

It is not recommended to use a dehumidifier in cold rooms. This is due to the fact that the incoming air can’t warm up the evaporator coil, resulting in freezing up in it.

When the coil becomes iced up, it is unable to condense moisture. To compensate, the compressor and fan will work harder, eventually becoming overheated. In the meantime, it will not thaw the ice.

Because this is a common issue with compressor dehumidifiers, the manufacturer designed an auto defrost feature to address it. When the dehumidifier detects ice on the coil, the compressor shuts down, leaving the fan to keep running to thaw the ice.

As long as the ice disappears, the machine will go back to work again. 

Compressor’s thermal protector

Not only frozen coils, but other issues can lead to overheating in compressors. When the compressor temperature goes up constantly, it can set off a fire eventually. 

The thermal protector can keep the machine from overheating and catching fire. When the compressor reaches a certain temperature, it will turn off and begin to cool.

Anti-tilt shut off

Dehumidifiers are heavy than many appliances. Therefore, it is difficult to tilt. If it happens to be tipped over, the water may spill all over the place and cause a short circuit.

To prevent it, most dehumidifiers have an anti-tilt shut off function, which will turn off the machine automatically when the machine tilts too far.


Usually, it will take a few hours for a dehumidifier to work. However, if the machine runs constantly, it can lower the humidity level too low, and your machine has no time to take a break.

Models nowadays come with a humidistat, and you can set a target humidity level beforehand. When the humidity level reaches the set point, the machine will shut down. When the humidity level rises, it will start working again.

Are dehumidifiers a fire hazard?

Dehumidifiers, you see, have a lot of features that make them safe to use. However, this does not mean that it will never pose a risk.

Dehumidifiers can catch fire, though this is extremely rare. Fire and burn hazards can occur if the safety features fail.

In 2021, two million dehumidifiers were recalled due to potential fire hazards. The brands involve AeonAir, Amana, Danby, De’Longhi, Edgestar, Friedrich, Haier, Honeywell, and so on.

In 2020, Oshkosh firefighters reported that they had dealt with two fires caused by dehumidifiers within six months. You can also find some reports about dehumidifier fires on the Internet. 

Don’t be intimidated by these numbers and facts. In comparison to the number of dehumidifiers in use in homes, the number of units that have started a fire is very small. Otherwise, these products will be prohibited from being sold on the market.

However, it is a good reminder that we should be careful while using it.

Is it safe to run a dehumidifier constantly all night?

Yes, it is generally safe to run a dehumidifier all night. The moisture will get into your house constantly, and you don’t want your sleep disturbed by clammy air.

Dust mites and mold begin to grow when the indoor humidity level exceeds 55%. It can cause respiratory problems and breathing difficulties. As a result, running a dehumidifier at night can help you sleep better.

Nothing bad will happen as long as it has a thermal protector, humidistat, and water sensor. If your room is extremely humid, you can drain the machine with the hose so that it can continuously collect water.

Another factor to consider is that many dehumidifiers are noisy. If you intend to use it in your bedroom, choose one that is quiet. Remember to try it out at your local store or read online reviews.

Is it safe to leave the dehumidifier on while on vacation?

The basement, bathroom, and crawl space are frequently affected by humidity issues. If you ignore the humidity problem in these areas for an extended period of time, mold spores and other contaminants can spread to other areas of your home, causing damage.

As a result, many customers are considering leaving their dehumidifiers on while on vacation.

While running a dehumidifier while on vacation is unlikely to cause any problems, you should exercise caution.

To begin, ensure that the machine has enough clearance from the wall and that it can automatically shut off when it becomes overheated. After that, connect it to the hose. Otherwise, when the bucket is full, it will stop working, and the stagnant water can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. (I’ll go over how to reduce risks in more detail later.)

If you have to leave for an extended period of time, you should ask a neighbor to check it on a regular basis to keep the risks at bay.

Finding the source of the humidity problem, on the other hand, is a better way to ensure your house is in good condition while you’re away.

Are dehumidifiers safe for pets?

are dehumidifiers safe for pets

Yes, dehumidifiers are safe for pets.

As previously stated, most dehumidifiers have tilt safety features. This function is ideal for pets at home because it protects them even if they knock your machine over.

Because the collected water is cool, it will not burn or scald your pets. Meanwhile, the water is not poisonous. It will not harm your pets’ health if they accidentally drink it.

Your pets, like us, want to live in a comfortable environment. By running a dehumidifier, they can avoid respiratory problems and allergic reactions.

Are dehumidifiers safe to drink?

Even though drinking a little dehumidifier water isn’t a big deal, it’s not safe to drink in general.

The collected water may contain bacteria, mold spores, and metal traces, all of which can be harmful to your health. Things can get even worse if the water tank isn’t emptied on a regular basis.

You can use dehumidifier water to water plants or flush the toilet if you want to.

How to reduce the risks of running a dehumidifier?

While dehumidifiers can cause fires in some cases, you don’t have to give up your device because of it. There are some precautions that can be taken.

Clean the machine regularly 

Dehumidifiers require upkeep. Because it cannot accept adequate airflow, the clogged machine is more prone to overheating and other problems.

Remember to clean the bucket and rinse the air filter at least once a month. Coils must also be cleaned on a regular basis.

Leave enough clearance 

Correct dehumidifier placement can also help to reduce safety concerns. You should place it on a flat surface with at least eight inches of clearance between the machine and the wall.

Keep the windows and doors closed

While fresh air is beneficial, you should keep the windows closed when using a dehumidifier.

If you open a window or door, moisture will enter the room, causing your machine to work at full power. Overheating can occur when a machine operates at a high power rate for an extended period of time.

Use it in a warm room

Even though many models have a defrost function, it is still preferable to keep your device from freezing.

When the temperature rises above 60°F, you can check the thermostat and start the machine. Desiccant models are less temperature sensitive, but the operating temperature must be above 0°F.


Safety is a top priority for everyone using a dehumidifier. Luckily, dehumidifiers are generally safe to use. 

Manufacturers have strived to improve the safeness of their products, and modern dehumidifiers can shut off automatically when they are ice up, overheated, or knocked over.

If your dehumidifier has no design flaws and has been properly maintained, you can usually leave it unattended. Some models have been recalled, and you should double-check that yours is not one of them.

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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