Windows Open When Using a Dehumidifier? Read this First

dehumidifier window lg

There is a considerable amount of conversation revolving around how to get the most out of your dehumidifier lately. As you might have guessed, one topic involves keeping your windows open while utilizing your dehumidifier. 

There is certainly some merit to opening your window to get stagnant air out of the house. After all, dehumidifiers weren’t always around. Before their existence, there wasn’t much else to do but crack a window and hope for the best.

In these modern times, though, just how beneficial can it possibly be, and can it still hold a candle to our miraculous little friend, the dehumidifier? 

It is not wise to keep a window open while your dehumidifier is running. You must use a dehumidifier to work in an indoor space rather than share it with the outdoors. 

It will create an unstable living environment, with the home or room being too humid or not muggy at all. 

This article dives deep into many similar subjects. We’ll discuss whether you should leave a window open or use a dehumidifier and if you should close a door while the device is running. To have the best success with the machine, you’ll want to have these questions answered. 

Can You Leave Windows Open When Using a Dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers are an excellent benefit to stabilizing humidity levels automatically because it is a machine. However, it does not change that cracking a window open is a perfect choice while alleviate some stagnant air. 

Still, leaving your window open while running a dehumidifier can be more harmful than anything else. 

Why is that? There are a few reasons: 

  • Reason 1: Your dehumidifier functions on your home’s inner working and has a limited amount of space to work on reducing the humidity levels. The device can also turn itself off, defeating the purpose. 
  • Reason 2: The issue with opening a window while the unit does its job systematically creates an unstable, never-ending entry for air to come in. It will be too humid or not humid enough. 

Overall, your dehumidifier cannot reduce the humidity level of the neighborhood or earth, for that matter. 

As such, it’s wasting your precious time and money in the effort, so you should not have a window open while your dehumidifier is on.

Should You Close the Door While a Dehumidifier is On?

Whether or not your doors are open has a few quick qualifiers that will dramatically change the importance of keeping them closed or not. We will provide a couple of examples below:

  • Example 1: If your doors are available, but all of the windows in the house are closed, it does not matter either way. Your dehumidifier will still be able to regulate the humidity in your home. Perhaps it will be slower than if they were open, but you will accomplish the same job.
  • Example 2: If your windows are open simultaneously, we run into the same problem above. You are creating an infinite loop for your dehumidifier to try and control, and you will also meet the same disastrous result. So, ultimately, if the windows are closed, then doors can be opened or closed with minor consequences.
dehumidifier vs window lg

What is Better: Dehumidifier or Open Window?

Ah yes, the battle between mother nature versus evolving power of technology. In this instance, the fight is one-sided if you have the unit in your home. 

If you already own a unit, then the dehumidifier wins by a landslide. Manufacturers specifically made the device to combat humidity in your home and get things to a stable level that can combat mold and stimulate a healthy lifestyle in record time.

However, let us dive deeper into the subject.

Open Windows

An open window, however, can hypothetically achieve the same result. Still, it will take a much longer amount of time. You cannot truly control the exact level of humidity that your home will rest at. 

If you live near the desert or somewhere similar, your home will have a low moisture level. However, you’ll have a considerable amount of dryness affecting your eyes, skin, and throat.


Humanity’s pursuit of making an environment dictates the rules of reigns supreme in this contest. 

Modern dehumidifiers can allow you to select how humid you want your house to be to the nearest percentage. Changing the humidity level is done by utilizing the unit’s built-in humidistat. 

As such, it’s no wonder it is the better choice for controlling humidity in your home. However, it will cost you the unit’s price and a certain amount in the form of its usage on your electricity bill.

When Should I Use a Dehumidifier?

Choosing when to use a dehumidifier can be challenging at times. Still, most guesswork removes when you purchase a unit with auto-off functionality built into the unit itself. 

The auto-off feature turns the machine off or on, depending on your preference based on the humidity level. Hence, your unit will immediately get things back in order the second it deviates from that range. 

That being said, certain circumstances are perfect for using a dehumidifier. While they range greatly, they can be broken down mainly into four primary situations.

1. Right After a Flood

As much as we would like to say we control the ebb and flow of our lives, the unexpected happens. When it does, it’s best to have a good follow-up plan ready, assuming it is something you can prepare for. 

Floods are one such instance. If you live where you’ll expect more floods or take heavy financial losses if one occurs, you may want to have a dehumidifier handy.

After you’ve managed to suction and dry-vac your way back into being unable to swim in the area, placing a dehumidifier in the area will combat the onset of mold. 

You are attempting to stabilize the room, prevent further water damage, and mitigate any additional long-term damage.

2. Live in Humid Climates

Excessive humidity isn’t always something random, unfortunately. Suppose you live in a humid climate like Florida, for example. In that case, you can wage this war on a hot, sweaty, and overall muggy existence year-round.

In places like this, it’s almost essential to have a dehumidifier. Without one, you are prone to adverse side effects like mold or becoming a breeding ground for unwanted creatures, like the centipede or some spider breeds. 

3. If You Have Respiratory Issues

Worldly goods aren’t the only things that can be heavily affected by humid areas. If you or someone you love has respiratory issues, the weight and thickness of a humid area can be highly taxing on your lungs. 

While it is not scientifically proven, several well-documented cases suggest a dehumidifier controls specific ailments like Asthma more easily with a dehumidifier.

4. If There is a Musty-smelling Room

Assuming you aren’t an immense fan of smelling onsetting mold, must, or anything else obscure, a dehumidifier can help eliminate the odor from the air throughout its native process. 

This is due in no small part, thanks to dehumidifiers functioning very similarly to air purifiers. So you won’t only benefit from removing humidity, but the air will also smell better and be cleaner.


There is a myriad of unique circumstances where someone might want to make use of a dehumidifier. Still, the benefits you gain from having one in your daily life are extraordinary. 

Assuming you do so in a way that isn’t impeding your lifestyle or using a dehumidifier when you don’t need one, your quality of life will only increase.


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.