"How long do dehumidifiers last?" is a logical question that must pop into the head of anyone who is intending to buy a dehumidifier or already has a dehumidifier and is worried about having to replace it.
We’re here today to discuss this dilemma in detail and give you some heads up on how to prolong the life of your dehumidifiers. That way, you’re not scouring the markets for a new one anytime soon.
The short and most general answer to the question at hand would be around 3 to 5 years. Nonetheless, the lifespan of your dehumidifier is influenced by way too many variables, such as the type of the dehumidifier, its capacity, and the amount of usage that you get out of it per day.
You cannot compare a basement dehumidifier with a living room dehumidifier, or a dehumidifier only used in specific seasons with a dehumidifier that is running all year long.
Hence, we’ll discuss these factors and how you can extend the lifespan of your dehumidifier to get the most bang for your buck.
Ways to Prolong Your Dehumidifier’s Lifespan
The factors that we’re going to discuss are entirely dependent on your own lifestyle, location, and financial capabilities. Thus, they can be different each time around and for every individual.
Dehumidifiers are big-ticket purchases, and so the only logical thing to do is to go for one that's made out of high-quality materials that will last you quite a few years.
All of the unit's components must be built from quality materials, including integral parts like the compressor, filters, tanks, and coils. You can’t choose to go with cheap alternatives, such as plastic fans, and expect many years of service from your device.
2. Humidistat or Hygrometer
A humidistat is a device that is used to measure the humidity in the atmosphere, and we can’t stress enough the importance of this device inside your dehumidifier. It allows you to know the state of the atmosphere at all times.
When you know what level the humidity is at, you’ll be able to properly adjust your dehumidifier. Hence, you won’t be overloading it or overworking it for nothing.
Another critical factor is that if the humidity levels drop below 30%, it’s considered pretty dangerous. It can cause bouts of allergy flare-ups, dry throats, and several other ailments.
The natural level for humidity is anywhere between 30% and 50%, depending on where you live, whether it’s warm or cold.
Whenever you’re placing your unit, you need to make sure that it’ll have a wide range of airflow to work properly. You don’t want to be placing it in front of a wall or any other kind of obstacle that will obstruct the air from getting to and from the dehumidifier. That will only serve to put more pressure on it and force it to work for longer than it normally should.
Auto shut-off is a great function to have on your dehumidifier. It allows you to set the humidity level to the required one, and the dehumidifier will work until that level is reached; then, it’ll either shut down or put itself in sleep mode.
That way, it’s not being overworked or consuming energy for nothing. Also, this will prevent the dehumidifier from overheating, which could end up in a disaster if left unattended.
Every dehumidifier has a capacity, which means a volume of air that it can suck the moisture out of, and that is one of the main items to look at whenever you’re purchasing a dehumidifier.
The thing is, the capacity is complementary to the size of the room, so dehumidifiers with specific capacities can only deal with a specific number of square meters. Thus, you’ll need to know your proper measurements before going in for the buy.
6. Full Tank Alarm
Most dehumidifiers come with tanks that are filled with the moisture that is removed from the air. When the water tank is full, you’ll need to empty it out, clean the tank and replace it. Yet, what if you don’t know that the tank is full? Either the unit will stop working or overheat, or the tank will spill, which is an electrical hazard. This is where full tank alarms come in handy.
A full tank alarm alerts you to the fact that the tanks are full and that you need to empty them in order for the dehumidifier to work. Some dehumidifiers even shut down completely once the tanks are full, and they don’t operate until they’re cleaned.
Note that there's another type of dehumidifier that comes with a direct drainage hose that connects to the plumbing of the house. These don't require a full tank alarm seeing as the tank is drained automatically.
7. Know Your Seasons
In some parts of the world, the weather doesn’t really change; it can be winter all year or summer all year. In others, you have to account for four seasons, and you don’t need a dehumidifier in all four of these seasons.
A dehumidifier is only needed when the humidity is high, which is mostly in summer. Hence, when it’s winter and humidity is already low, you don’t need to keep your dehumidifier out or turn it on. You can easily uninstall it and store it safely until it’s needed again. That will, undoubtedly, give a massive boost to the longevity of your appliance.
8. Regular Cleaning
When you’re constantly using your dehumidifier, you need to be taking care of it regularly. Cleaning your dehumidifier every few weeks is one of the most important tasks that you ought to be doing.
Cleaning dehumidifiers is pretty easy. You’ll need to:
- Uninstall it and unplug it from any electric current
- Wipe it clean on the outside
- Empty the tanks and wash them quite well
- Wash every air filter and let them dry completely
- Check all of the wires and coils for any signs of dust, debris, ice buildup, or any sort of condensation happening on them.
9. Proper Maintenance
If you find that your dehumidifier is acting funny in any way; it’s not turning on, it’s making a loud noise, or the sensors aren’t on point, then don’t hesitate to take it to your manufacturer or any repair shop that you trust.
That way, you won’t have to deal with a bigger problem later on. Plus, dehumidifier replacement parts are widely available, so you won’t face any trouble at all.
10. Avoid Short-Cycling/ Auto-Delay Function
Don’t forget that a dehumidifier is considered a major appliance; thus, it needs to be treated with respect. So, when you turn it on, you have to leave it on for sometime before you decide to turn it off.
Otherwise, you’ll be subjecting it to short cycling, which can easily kill your compressor and/or motor. One option that prevents short cycling is the auto-delay function, which prevents you from turning off the dehumidifier before it has had a chance to properly equalize the pressure inside of it.
11. Anti-Surge Devices
Another way through which you can protect the inner workings of the dehumidifier is using anti-surge devices. If the power went out for any reason, you don’t want it coming back, full force, suddenly hitting your dehumidifier.
That is where anti-surge devices come in rather handy, as they regulate the electric current and allow it to enter the devices smoothly and without damaging the circuits.
Types of Dehumidifiers and Their Lifespans
As we have mentioned before, the types of dehumidifiers have a great impact on their lifespan. We have two major types of dehumidifiers on the market today; refrigerant dehumidifiers and desiccant dehumidifiers.
Refrigerant dehumidifiers work like a refrigerator, which is surmisable from the name. They absorb the air from the atmosphere and then pass it along a cold evaporator coil so that all of the water in the air condenses and falls down into the tank.
Then, the rest of the air, minus the moisture, is circulated outwards, and so on. This type of dehumidifier lasts around 3 to 5 years according to use and maintenance.
Desiccant dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are more or less like giant silica gel packs. They operate using absorbent desiccant materials, which directly take the moisture out of the atmosphere.
The thing is, although they do need frequent desiccant material replacement, they’re much simpler in their mechanism, which is why they tend to live much longer than the refrigerant type.
How long do dehumidifiers last? It all boils down to how you use them. If you do things right from the start, such as choosing the suitable capacity, opting for a high-quality dehumidifier, and placing it in the right spot, in addition to consistent cleaning and maintenance, then you might very well have more than five years of excellent usage.
If you decide to take a shortcut and go for a cheap dehumidifier and not even pay it its due attention, then don’t be surprised if it doesn’t last you a year.