Can a dehumidifier dehydrate you?

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A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air in a room, so it’s only normal to wonder, can a dehumidifier dehydrate you? Can a dehumidifier remove enough moisture in a room that it leaves you feeling dry, thirsty and dehydrated? We explore these questions in this blog, and explain how a dehumidifier works and what this means for your health.

Can a dehumidifier dehydrate you?

A dehumidifier won’t dehydrate you. Dehydration is most likely caused by you not drinking enough water or losing a lot of fluid from sweating and other ways.

Humidity levels are high in the summer, which is when dehumidifiers are most commonly used.

Very low humidity, however, can cause dehydration. Low humidity tends to occur in winter when the outdoor temperature drops and the air becomes less humid.

When you then switch on a heater to make a room warm, the already cold, dry air becomes even more dry, which is why you often get a dry throat, coughs, allergies and other health issues when you spend a lot of time indoors in a heated room during winter.

Dehumidifiers are not used in winter because there isn’t enough moisture in the cold, dry air.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration is when your body loses a dangerous amount of fluid from sweating or illness and you’re not replacing what’s lost with more fluids. When fluid intake is lower than the fluid you’re losing, you can become dehydrated.

Illness isn’t the only thing that causes dehydration. You can become dehydrated due to heat, excessive activity (such as exercising), excessive sweating and also as a side effect from taking certain medications.

People often say that they feel dehydrated because they notice they’re thirsty. This is more common when the temperature in a room is high, leaving you feel hot and sweaty.

How does a dehumidifier help and not leave you feeling dehydrated?

When a room is hot, its humidity levels increase, meaning there is more moisture in the air. Certain rooms in your home are more prone to high humidity levels, such as your bathroom, laundry and basement.

A dehumidifier removes moisture in a room so that the humidity level drops to a comfortable range, usually between 30% and 60%. It does this by drawing in the moist air, using condensation to turn the air into water droplets, cooling the remaining air and then dispersing it. This leaves you with less moisture in the air.

As the humidity level drops, so does the room temperature, which makes a room feel more comfortable.

Before a dehumidifier is switched on, the high temperature and humidity in a room makes you hotter and your body sweats more. Your body is losing fluid and if you’re not regularly replacing it with water, you will soon start feeling dry, thirsty and dehydrated.

But once a dehumidifier starts working, the moisture in the air decreases, the room temperature decreases and you feel less thirsty and dehydrated.

Can a dehumidifier dehydrate you and make you thirsty?

Can a dehumidifier dehydrate you? No. Dehumidifiers do not make you thirsty. There is a misconception that using a dehumidifier, which removes moisture from the air in a room, will leave you feeling thirsty.

However, dehumidifiers are more commonly used in rooms with too much moisture, which leads to a hotter temperature which leaves you sweating and thirsty.

A dehumidifier removes the excess moisture, making a room more comfortable. Your body cools down and stops sweating as much, leaving you feeling less dry and thirsty.

Can a dehumidifier remove too much moisture?

Dehumidifiers usually operate until the humidity level drops to a certain level, then it automatically switches off if it has an auto shut off option (which most models do).

Even if you left your dehumidifier running all day and night despite the humidity levels, once the humidity level is very low, it is harder for a dehumidifier to remove moisture because it is lacking.

It’s also not advisable to leave a dehumidifier operating when the humidity levels are very low as this can lead to ice forming on the coils. This is because when humidity is very low it is usually at a temperature that is too cold for a dehumidifier. The cold air hits the coils of a dehumidifier and instead of just turning into water droplets, the moisture turns into ice.

Can a dehumidifier in a bedroom leave me feeling thirsty?

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a dry mouth and feeling very thirsty?

Some people worry that using a dehumidifier in their bedroom all night will cause them to wake up feeling dehydrated.

Dehumidifiers are used in a bedroom to remove the moisture from the room so that the humidity level decreases, which then drops the room temperature.

The decrease in moisture in the room isn’t enough to make a room very dry. In fact, most dehumidifiers operate until the humidity drops to around 30%, which is classified as a comfortable level.

A dehumidifier used all night in your bedroom will not leave you waking with a dry mouth and throat.

If you do wake up like this, it’s most likely due to other reasons and not a lack of moisture in the air in your bedroom.

It’s more common to wake up with a dry mouth in winter, because the air in your bedroom is cold and dry compared to in the summer. And if you’ve had the heater on all night in your  bedroom, this makes the air more dry.

One final word

Can a dehumidifier dehydrate you? A dehumidifier can’t dehydrate you. Dehydration is caused by excess fluid loss, especially in summer when the room temperature is hot and moist.

The purpose of a dehumidifier is to remove the moisture level in the air in a room. When moisture is removed, the air’s temperature decreases, which makes a room feel cooler, which leads to less sweating.

Therefore, a dehumidifier helps prevent you from feeling dry and thirsty, rather than causing dehydration.

A dehumidifier will not remove moisture to the point that a room is very dry. Most dehumidifiers have a humidistat which measures the room’s humidity level and once it drops to a certain point, the dehumidifier shuts off.

You can safely use a dehumidifier without worrying about dehydration!

By Christine Carlisle

Christine is a freelance senior writer for Home Health Living and has been writing for us for 4 years. She's a health copywriter with over 10 years experience as a writer. Christine lives alone in a cabin in Maine and was once a hand model while living in New York City. She's a dog person.