Does a dehumidifier affect room temperature?

Yes, dehumidifiers increase the temperature of the air in the room. A compressor dehumidifier causes heating of a few degrees because of heat loss when running the device. A desiccant dehumidifier has an internal heating element and therefore exhausts air of about 10 degrees F higher than room temperature.

There are two types of dehumidifiers:

  • Compressor, and
  • Desiccant

Both types use electricity to run and therefore have some heat loss. This heats the room only a few degrees fahrenheit, which is almost unnoticable. A Desiccant dehumidifier, however, has an internal heating element as part of its core functioning. This heats the air up to about 10 degrees above the temperature of the room. This air is exhausted again, heating the room.

For an in-depth explanation of how dehumidifiers work exactly, I recommend reading my article on who dehumidifiers work:

Does a compressor dehumidifier affect room temperature?

The dried air coming out of a compressor dehumidifier is relatively cold. It is cooled to cause condensation and dehumidify the air. However, the warmth removed to cool the air is released by the device. On top of that, the device uses energy which leads to heat loss. Therefore, the room is warmed by about 2 to 4 degrees F when running a compressor dehumidifier.

A compressor dehumidifier work similarly to a fridge, which releases heat at the back. A fridge only cools the air inside the machine while a dehumidifier cools the air going through the device. Therefore, a dehumidifier releases both cold air and heat into the room. The net heat output to the room is small compared to a fridge (because a fridge holds on to its cold air.Uunless you leave the door open).

Running the dehumidifier leads to:

  • heat extraction at the cooling coils. This heat is released to the air in the room
  • heat loss from running the device.

In general, using energy causes heat to form. Even if the energy is used for cooling. Cooling can only happen by extracting heat and moving it to another place. This is a net even process. However, since energy is used, heat loss occurs. Therefore, the overall temperature increases slightly.

Basically, a dehumidifier heats the room with the energy it uses. Therefore, an average dehumidifier using 200 watts heats the room the same as a 200W electrical heater.

I contacted a well-known dehumidifier manufacturer, Meaco, about this, and they said the following:

All compressor dehumidifiers will warm the air by 2C, It’s just the residue heat from the compressor.

Phil Smith, Meaco
Compressor dehumidifier mode buttons

Does a desiccant dehumidifier affect room temperature?

As part of the working process of a desiccant dehumidifier, a heating element warms air by about 10 degrees F. Industrial dehumidifiers lead the warm humid air outside. However, household dehumidifiers return this warm air back into the room after a dehumidification process. Therefore, using a desiccant dehumidifier at home increases the room’s temperature.

A household desiccant dehumidifier uses both a heating element and causes some heat loss by using electricity. Therefore, one of the two airflows that run through the device is heated by about 10 degrees F. Before entering the room again, this air is dehumidified by running along coils at about room temperature, causing some condensation.

The other airflow going in the opposite direction is dried by the desiccant and remains at the same temperature.

In the end, the heating element as well as heat loss from using energy results in an increase in room temperature.

Phil from Meaco said the following about desiccant dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers have a heating element as part of the drying process and the returned air is around 11°C (20 °F) warmer.

Phil Smith, Meaco

Why does my dehumidifier (seem to) create cold air?

The air coming out of a compressor-type dehumidifier can feel quite cold. This can have several causes:

  • air is cooled inside the device to cause condensation and is not heated back up to room temperature before leaving the device. This is the normal working process of the dehumidifier. (However, as you can read above, a dehumidifier does heat the room slightly)
  • the air feels cold because it is moving while actually having a similar temperature to the room’s temperature
  • the air is relatively cold because it has been used to defrost the device. (this happens when the device needs to run its defrosting mode when being used at temperatures below 41 degrees F/ 15 C)

For more information about the impact of dehumidifiers on your air, I recommend looking at the following article: