A dehumidifier is one of the many appliances that you don’t really need to invest in often especially considering that some can be big ticket purchases. That said, many potential consumers wonder how long do dehumidifiers last, and the answer according to the National Association of Home Builders is that the average service life of a portable dehumidifiers is between three to five years under normal use.
For the most part, the longevity of a dehumidifier depends on how often you use it and how you care for it. For example, your dehumidifier will encounter more problems if you use it all year round compared to someone that uses it seasonally. Dehumidifiers however are low maintenance appliances, where you generally just need to change the filter once every one or two years (depending on use), and remove any dirt and debris that may have accumulated.
Tips on Maintaining a Dehumidifier
Although dehumidifiers are low maintenance appliances, they are not maintenance free. Here are a few tips to keep your dehumidifier in good working order and consequently increase its service life.
Adjust the humidistat
A humidistat is a device that’s present in all dehumidifiers big and small, and is engineered to control the amount of moisture they remove from the surrounding air. The relative humidity level in your space should ideally be between 45 and 50 percent, so it is important that you adjust the humidity settings appropriately. According to Energy Star, a dehumidifier should be set for 30 percent to 50 percent humidity in warm weather and 30 percent to 40 percent humidity when a heater is running in the backdrop.
You can hang a hygrometer (humidity measuring device) near the dehumidifier to determine the humidity in the room if you don’t have one built into the unit itself. Failure to adjust the settings to the right numbers can not only result in a surge in energy bills, but also cause damage to the components of the unit over time.
Replacing the filter
Most of the best basement dehumidifiers double down as air purifiers, and come with an air filter to remove harmful airborne particles such as dust and allergens from your room. The filter does two things—protects the internal components of the appliance, and also ensures that it runs efficiently to generate cleaner and healthier dehumidified air. Given that manufacturer’s instructions can vary across models, it is important that you refer to the user guide that came with your dehumidifier for instructions on when and how to change the air filter.
Don’t short-cycle the compressor
The compressor is one of the main components of a dehumidifier, and you should wait at least 10 minutes between turning it off and back on. This off-duty time will allow the pressure in the unit to equalize, and as a result prevent damage to the compressor. There are several dehumidifiers that come with an automatic delayed start function, which when engaged protects your dehumidifier compressor from short cycle damage.
Place your dehumidifier in the right spot
Experts recommend that you place your dehumidifier at least 6-8 inches away from the walls for optimal air intake and exhaust. Further, ensure that all the doors and windows in your space are closed tightly, otherwise your dehumidifier will go into overtime mode, resulting in an extra burden on the compressor.
Inspect the condenser coils for frost or ice build-up
If you operate the dehumidifier in cooler temperatures, the inbuilt cooling or condenser coils may accumulate frost resulting in interference with its overall operation. If you notice any frost buildup or malfunctioning due to it, consult your user manual for the best solution.
Running your Dehumidifier
In terms of how long you should run a dehumidifier for, the answer depends on several factors, mostly on the size of your space and the humidity level in it. This is yet another reason you should measure your space in order to buy a dehumidifier that effectively removes moisture from it, because buying one with a small capacity for a bigger area will most definitely burden the unit to extract more moisture than it is designed for.
Checking Dehumidifier Lifespan
There are several other factors that can affect your dehumidifier’s service life such as its build quality. Reading dehumidifier reviews will help you gain insight on a respective dehumidifier to determine if it is cheaply made and its durability.
Some dehumidifiers may also be made from inferior quality components such as a thin plastic fan, which may result in breakdown of the unit much faster than its anticipated service life. Most of the best dehumidifiers do come with some level of warranty, which speaks volumes about the lifespan you can expect from a particular unit.
Just like any other appliance, your dehumidifier will provide you with several years of comfort as long as you take care of it properly. Before making any adjustments such as to the settings or when changing the filters, it is important that you refer to the manufacturer instructions included in the box.
Most dehumidifier warranties protect the appliance against manufacturer defects only, so be sure to read the coverage terms diligently in order to know if and when it can be returned in case it doesn’t function as expected.