how long does a dehumidifier last

How long does a dehumidifier last when used every day?

Short answer

The dehumidifier would last 3-5 Years when used and maintained appropriately.

Long Answer

Dehumidifiers are simple machines that reduce the moisture content of any atmosphere. They draw the air through a condenser to convert moisture to water droplets, then drain to an external source. The humid air is released back into the atmosphere, and after the process is repeated, the environment’s humidity level drops.

The question of how effective dehumidifiers are has been increasing over the years. If you are curious, too, we are here to answer you. The effectiveness of a dehumidifier solely depends on the type of unit in question. Still, a suitable dehumidifier in its recommended space would reduce your humidity level.

The major reason why some have complained about the ineffectiveness and short lifespan of a dehumidifiers are as a result of the wrong usage, while also considering environmental factors like temperature that comes into play.

Read further to Understand dehumidifier Lifespan.

Types of dehumidifiers and lifespan variation

  • Refrigerant dehumidifier

This unit functions with the same working principles of a refrigerator, hence the name refrigerant type, and functions by condensing moisture from the air.

Moisture-filled air goes into the unit over a cold evaporator coil, where cooling occurs below its due point, leading to condensation. The water then collects in a drain tank, pushing the dry air out.

  • Desiccant dehumidifier

This dehumidifier type uses absorbent desiccant materials (mostly silica gels), where moisture is absorbed directly from the atmosphere over time.

The more mechanical version works by drawing in the air and passing it through a rotor containing the moisture-absorbent desiccant material. Once the water is removed, the dry air will be released back into the atmosphere.

In this case, the silica gel is primarily recyclable, i.e., when saturated, it can be dried by exposure to heat, after which it becomes ready again to collect more moisture.

Generally, the refrigerant type has a relatively long lifespan, being able to last for years before finally giving up. Purchasing a good unit should get you at least a year of good performance, depending on the make and quality, as some can last over five years.

The desiccant type, on the other hand, has a considerably longer lifespan when compared to the refrigerant as a result of the fewer moving parts present in its system. The only primary replacement you would have to battle regularly is the purchase of silica gel as soon as the existing ones expire.

Also Read: Best Dehumidifier for Cold Basemen

Classification based on Size of dehumidifiers

  • Portable dehumidifier

Being a portable dehumidifier has nothing to do with how it functions but relatively its size. Therefore, a unit is mobile when you can quickly move it around, although stationary.

  • Mini dehumidifier

These dehumidifiers are smaller than the portable type, and you can carry them anywhere.

  • Whole house dehumidifier

As the name implies, unlike mini and portable types, they can serve the whole home effectively.

Factors that affect the life span of a dehumidifier

The major factor that comes into play, which affects the life span of a standard dehumidifier, is the frequency and duration of usage, as well as the level of maintenance.

When you use a unit every day all year round, you wouldn’t expect it to last for the same duration as another that works seasonally. Doing maintenance activities like cleaning and filter replacements regularly could give your unit a longer life span than not doing so.

Also Read: Best dehumidifier for dorm college

How long should a dehumidifier run per day?

Since no random two room sizes and atmospheric conditions can be precisely the same, you should know that the duration you should run a dehumidifier is not fixed.

It depends on the atmospheric condition of the environment as well as the unit’s capacity, but in all, it is best you run your dehumidifier till the humidity content drops to a safe level, which is the whole point of getting a dehumidifier in the first place.

As soon the relative humidity level is down to a safe range, then you have the liberty of tweaking the settings of your unit till you get a perfect run time.

Depending on atmospheric humidity levels, you can also purchase a dehumidifier with an auto mode feature that automatically toggles through its on and off-state. This can be energy inefficient, though, being capable of significantly raising your energy bills but ensuring you only come to the unit when the tank is full.

Also Read: Good housekeeping dehumidifier reviews

How long does it take a dehumidifier to work?

The duration necessary for a dehumidifier to effect a change in the environment is dependent on the capacity of the unit, as well as the size of the room in question.

When you use the unit in its recommended space, what comes into question is the number of pints of water it can remove per day.

Some units have a higher pint per day removing capacity than others, hence enabling them to have a faster effect on the environment.

But to give an exact value, it might take 12-15 hours for a dehumidifier to work effectively

12L34 minutes15 minutes
20L17 minutes8 minutes
30L11 minutes6 minutes
The table below shows how long it typically takes to dehumidify a 50 square foot room at 27°C for each capacity between (a) 90% and 40% relative humidity and (b) 80% to 50% relative humidity.

When should I turn off my dehumidifier?

Although a dehumidifier removes moisture from the environment, hence dropping moisture levels to an acceptable range, it can pull down moisture content further to a dangerously low percentage when left to run further.

Low moisture content too isn’t healthy to live in, and you should carry out all monitoring possible in order to keep the levels from falling too low.

Though a dehumidifier helps drop humidity levels, you should also use it with efficient monitoring to avoid arid air problems.

We would encourage you to go for the best dehumidifier with Humidistat, whose function is to sense the amount of water in the air. Once the air is getting abnormally dry, it stopped the dehumidification process without you having to do anything.

Can you repair dehumidifiers once they are faulty?

If your dehumidifier ceases to function for any reason, you should know that it is possible to repair it depending on what type of fault occurred. Some can be quickly sorted out using simple DIY, while others could require more technicality, hence professional hire. There is also a chance that the unit is spoilt beyond repair; in such case, you should prepare to purchase a new one. Some of the problems you could encounter are;

The unit claims the bucket is full when it isn’t: in this case, though the bucket is empty, the full bucket light is on. Most times, the problem is around the float assembly, sensor assembly or directly with the float switch.

Dehumidifier doesn’t pull water from the air; when a unit comes on but fails to pull out any form of moisture from the environment (evident by no water accumulating in the tank), most times, it is as a result of a nonfunctional fan motor.

Unit won’t start; there are a whole lot of reasons why a dehumidifier could fail to start, which can be a fault from any of the float assembly, control board or the humidistat.

How do I know if my dehumidifier is working?

After following all the manufacturer’s instructions for unpacking and installations, when powered on, most dehumidifiers have an indicator light on the body to show that it has received power.

Another visible sign is the sound of the fan which generally circulates air, which for really quiet units is noticeable by putting your ears really close. You should be able to feel the air going in and coming out of the device too.

Although a device might tick all the boxes of the checks listed above, it is still possible that it comes on but doesn’t work. This kind of situation is easily noticeable by the fact that after quite a period of time, there would still be no water in the tank due to a lack of condensation.

If the device is on and working properly, then it should not only lit up its indicator light, or start its fan, but it should have a telling impact on the environment while filling up its tank.

Tips on maintaining a dehumidifier

  • Set your dehumidifier to reduce moisture to a safe level only:

A humidistat is one of the most critical components in a dehumidifier, and it is used to control the amount of moisture the unit is supposed to remove from the atmosphere. When a dehumidifier’s humidistat works at a very low moisture level, it can cause the device to overwork; hence, it could reduce the life span while creating a dry and uncomfortable environment with higher energy bills.

  • Proper filter replacements:

For optimal performance, replace filters in the dehumidifier as at when due. This avoids contaminations getting back into the air and reduces clogs that could make the unit work harder to do its job, reducing its efficiency and life span.

  • Regular cleaning:

Without frequent cleaning, your water tank can quickly become a breeding habitat for contaminants. If they find their way into the atmosphere of your home, it could quickly lead to illness and respiratory problems.

  • Avoid short-cycling the compressor:

In this case, a short cycle is simply an act of immediately turning on and off the unit within a short time frame. You must wait at least 10 minutes after turning off before starting the unit again, as this allows the pressure to equalize and prevent damage to the compressor. Short cycling could lead to overheating and eventual damage to the compressor.

  • Inspect the condenser coils for frost:

Cool temperatures interfere with the normal functioning of a dehumidifier, especially during winter. If you discover a malfunction, you should shut off the unit until the ice melts completely.

  • The clean air inlet and outlet channels: 

This is part of regular maintenance, as you must clean frequently with a brush that can access even the smallest areas to clear blockages caused by dust and debris.

Tips on maintaining a dehumidifier

Final Thoughts: Dehumidifier lifespan

Dehumidifiers are essential components in the home today, though you need to maintain them accordingly to achieve maximum performance.

Every single act counts when making use of a dehumidifier, from the running duration to the period between start-up and short down as well as the humidistat settings, and if you want to enjoy one of these units, do well to stick to a maintenance routine. There is also a tough choice to make in the choice between that of a desiccant or refrigerant type.

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