How long do dehumidifiers really last? Whether you just bought a dehumidifier or you have had one for a few years, here is a guide to how to take care of it and how long you can expect it to last.
Dehumidifiers may be an investment item but they are convenient and almost a necessity in some parts of the country at certain times of the year. Moreover, as long as you take care of your device, you should be able to enjoy the benefits of it for years to come.
The Role of a Dehumidifier
Individuals use dehumidifiers when they have excess moisture in their homes. A room that seems musty, damp, or muggy might be in need of a dehumidifier. This device sucks excess moisture out of the air, creating a less humid, drier, and more comfortable environment. A dehumidifier can even help to maintain the structural integrity of the walls and floor by preventing warping of the wood floorboards due to the humidity.
The cycle of a dehumidifier works by sucking in moist air and releasing that air back into the room, this time with less moisture. This process works tremendously for basements, attics, warehouses, and crawl spaces. In short, a dehumidifier makes a room feel much more comfortable.
How to Take Care of a Dehumidifier
The care and attention that you put into your unit will help to determine its overall lifespan. Fortunately, dehumidifiers are relatively low-maintenance so there isn’t too much work involved in keeping them functioning properly.
The first thing that you need to be sure of is that you are changing out the filter periodically. Depending on the make and model of your device, the filter may also serve as an air purifier. A clean filter ensures that the machine is getting excess moisture as well as dust particles and allergens out of the air.
Over time, the filter can get dirty and clogged up with residue. This can cause the device to stop functioning properly, break down, or stop working altogether. You should check out the manufacturer’s instructions on filter replacement so you know how often it’s meant to be changed out. Once or twice a year is a typical estimate but it helps to look directly at the source and see what the manufacturer recommends.
Secondly, your dehumidifier will contain a humidistat, which works to take moisture out of the surrounding air. While the humidistat will automatically do its thing, you should check the humidistat’s settings regularly. It’s not enough to assume that the device is removing the right amount of moisture.
Check on this by determining the relative humidity level in your living space. It should be between 40% and 50%. In the warmer summer months, the Energy Star program recommends setting the unit at 30% to 50% humidity. In the cooler months, you can set it to around 30% to 40%. Lots of dehumidifiers have a built-in hygrometer, which determines the humidity level in the space.
Take note that if you use your dehumidifier in the cooler months, you need to pay attention to any frost or ice buildup on the machine.
A third dehumidifier care tip to keep in mind is that you should place the unit somewhere that will optimize air intake. Dehumidifiers should sit about eight inches away from the wall or furniture and the windows and doors in the room should be closed. This helps the device conserve energy and focus on the air intake and exhaust.
As for how long you should let the dehumidifier run, it depends on the make and model as well as the size of the room and its relative humidity level. Some devices are made for smaller rooms while some are designed to suit larger living spaces. Again, pay attention to the humidity levels and be sure to purchase a unit that meets the demands of your space.
If you buy a small-capacity dehumidifier but you have a large room, the system will become overworked and this could lead to bigger problems.
Signs That a Dehumidifier Is Malfunctioning
If your dehumidifier is acting funny, it could be a sign of a malfunctioning unit. Some common issues that consumers experience include error messages, inability to turn on or stay on, and lack of suction from the unit.
If the holding bucket in your dehumidifier is empty but the unit keeps sending an error message that it’s full, you can try troubleshooting the device as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
In the case of a dehumidifier that won’t turn on or stay turned on, it could be a problem with the humidistat, the control board, or the float assembly. A dehumidifier that won’t suck in the air anymore probably needs a motor or fan replacement.
These are a few common examples of issues that people experience with their dehumidifiers. Fortunately, a bit of troubleshooting is sometimes all that they need but they could also require new parts or repair services. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean and test your unit throughout the year.
How Long Do Dehumidifiers Last?
The general consensus among experts is that dehumidifiers last for about three to five years as long as they are well taken care of. Your dehumidifier may last longer than five years, depending on how often you use it and whether or not you neglect to clean it regularly.
Those who use their dehumidifiers for only certain parts of the year are more likely to have longer-lasting units than those who use them all year round. It’s not that one device is better than the other but constant use can wear down even the best machine.
The good news is that dehumidifiers are quite easy to take care of. As long as you’re making sure that the filters are changed on a routine basis, you shouldn’t have any major problems. Given that most dehumidifiers can be investment pieces for many homeowners, it’s good to know that they will last for a few years, maybe even longer with proper care.