Dehumidifier Condensate — Best Practices for a Clean Water Supply
The last article focused on how dehumidifiers can provide a steady, renewable water supply for “free” even in drought conditions. There’s very little to do to keep that water supply clean. It only requires following a few general “best practices.”
“best practices” in drought to ensure condensate is clean and safe to use
- Run your dehumidifier if it’s been idle first
If your dehumidifier has been sitting idle, run it for three days before you try to use the condensate water from it. (Dehumidifiers that are allowed to sit for more than a couple of days should be dried out as completely as possible, to discourage mold growth.)
- Test the condensate to make sure it’s free of contaminates
The Environmental Protection Agency defined safe contaminant levels in drinking water through the Safe Drinking Water Act, established in 1974. Individual states can establish their own standards if they are at least as strict as the EPA’s.
Contaminate levels should be well within acceptable limits as long as your dehumidifier is in good working order and has proper filtration. However, it’s a good idea to test condensate water for heavy metals, nitrates, and bacteria – and state law may require you to if you are a commercial grower.
- Keep your dehumidifier and filter clean
Your dehumidifier will produce condensate water that can be used as-is, as long as you keep the filter in place and clean regularly. Dust, bacteria, and other pollutants can contaminate condensate water if the dehumidifier’s filter is absent or not maintained properly.
Keep the filter in place, and follow the filter guidelines for it; clean or replace the filter as directed.
- Keep your dehumidifier running continuously and recycling water
Why? Because just using and reusing condensate water over and over again keeps it clean. As long as you always use a high-quality, clean air filter during operation, the constant recycling of the dehumidifier’s condensate water discourages mold growth.
Don’t overlook a ready, renewable, “free” water supply for your plants, especially if you’re dealing with drought conditions. The condensate water from your dehumidifier is always available. Best of all, it’s free, clean, and safe – as long as you keep just a few best practices in mind.