Getting your dehumidifier to perform at peak levels doesn’t take much work, just a little bit of consideration and elbow grease. The five tips below will help you ensure your unit is operating with maximum efficiency. From ideal placement to sprucing up, you can read on for specific hints for how to best improve your home dehumidifier’s performance. Above all, always remember that the most important advice is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper upkeep.
1. Leave some distance between your dehumidifier and any walls, furniture, or other potential blockages.
The first thing you should consider when figuring out where to put your portable dehumidifier is how much space there is between the air vents and any other objects. It’s generally recommended to place your dehumidifier at least 12 inches away from walls, furniture, or other objects that could obstruct airflow. Any interference could severely impact your unit’s performance. You’ll want to position it in an area where there is good air circulation so it has plenty of room for the intake and exhaust vents to draw in damp air and discharge refreshed air.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to be able to access the reservoir in order to dump out accumulated water. Likewise, remember there must be a reachable drain nearby if you’re going to use the dehumidifier with a drain hose.
2. Close any doors or windows leading into the area where your dehumidifier is located.
The larger the space, the harder your room dehumidifier will have to work, so make sure you seal off the area your unit is in. That way, it isn’t unnecessarily expending extra energy. Not only will operating near doors and windows visibly affect your dehumidifier’s efficiency, but it can negatively impact its lifespan as well. Taking the simple step to close doors and windows will drastically improve performance.
3. Clean the filter and coils regularly.
When your home dehumidifier is running, its filter collects dust, mold, mildew, and other particles from the air. Most manuals recommend cleaning filters once every six months or at least once per year and replacing them as necessary to avoid any buildup that might hamper your unit’s performance. When your filter is dirty, your dehumidifier’s efficiency decreases. Many models have a helpful indicator light that lets you know when it’s time to clean your filter. Make sure you wash and dry filters according to your manual’s instructions.
Like filters, coils are always working to catch any harmful particles and spores. To clean them, first turn off your dehumidifier and make sure you unplug it from any power source. Then, you can use a small vacuum to clear the coils of buildup and clean them gently with a soft cloth. It is recommended to clean dehumidifier coils about once per year. You can also dust the outside of the unit near the intake and exhaust vents to make sure they are free of accumulated dust.
4. Empty your water tank frequently.
Too often, dehumidifier owners will neglect the water tank at the expense of their unit’s performance. You don’t want to leave stagnant water in the reservoir for long lengths of time as it can become moldy and stale, negatively impacting dehumidifier efficiency. Luckily, just by emptying the tank every so often, you can breathe refreshed air more easily. You should also wipe down the reservoir periodically. Make sure you empty the tank if you plan to have your dehumidifier running for a long time. Otherwise, you run the risk of the tank filling up and your unit shutting off prematurely. Alternatively, some portable units, like Honeywell Dehumidifiers, allow you to connect a hose to the unit to divert water to a nearby drain for unattended usage.
5. Examine your dehumidifier for frost.
This point is especially important for anyone who lives in a colder climate. Changes in the temperatures surrounding your dehumidifier can negatively affect its functionality. Remember that dehumidifiers attract moisture, so if they get too cold, the water collected in the reservoir could freeze, damaging the unit. If frost does build up on your dehumidifier, the filter, or the coils, turn off your unit, unplug it from any power source, and move it to an area with a high enough temperature for the frost to melt. If you leave your dehumidifier in icy conditions, it will operate less efficiently and could stop working entirely.
We hope these user tips will help you get the most out of your dehumidifier. Just remember to place your unit in an enclosed area free of blockages; to clean the filters, coils, and water tank; and to check that it isn’t developing any frost in cold temperatures. Most importantly, always consult your owner’s manual for the best practices to properly maintain your unit.
If you’re currently looking to purchase a dehumidifier, you have plenty of great options. There are many brands out there, but some of the top recommended models from consumer product testing houses like Consumer Reports include Honeywell, Frigidaire, and GE. You can find some of these best-rated dehumidifiers at My Home Climate.