How long do dehumidifiers last?
This question does not pop into your mind when ordering a dehumidifier from Amazon.com or other online marketplace.
But once your dehumidifier starts blowing cold air instead of warm air, you start thinking about how long you have had it. Is its lifespan over?
So, what is the lifespan of your dehumidifier? Depending on maintenance and care, a residential furnace dehumidifier can last 7 to 12 years. A portable dehumidifier can last 3 to 8 years with good care.
A good basement dehumidifier with a drain hose will cost you a substantial amount of money. even the smaller, portable dehumidifiers cost considerably more money. Thus, you want yours to last the longest time possible.
A whole house dehumidifier will cost thousands of dollars. You want it to last as long as possible!
How often should you replace a dehumidifier?
Most people think that dehumidifiers don’t last as long as they should. In fact, some people say the factor of planned obsolescence plays a big role.
But even without planned obsolescence, dehumidifiers certainly do have their lifespan. Besides, when they get to a certain age, they could start losing their efficiency and start spiking your electricity bills.
1. If the dehumidifier is failing to work
The work of a dehumidifier is to lower the humidity in the room. Therefore, if it is running but it is not collecting water in the bucket, it is not working.
If this happens, check whether the dehumidifier coils are frozen over. If this is the case, once they defrost, it should start lowering humidity.
The compressor might also fail, although this is rare. If this happens, you can compare the cost of replacing the compressor or replacing the entire unit.
If the dehumidifier fails to lower humidity, the runaway humidity can cause the development of mold.
Prolonged exposure causes mold toxicity signs affecting the health of your family, including pets.
2. If it needs professional repair more than two times a year
If your unit needs repair more than two times in a year, it may end up costing you the price of buying a new one.
Actually, this applies to humidifiers and dehumidifiers, as well as other electronics such as fridges. If your unit needs professional servicing more than twice a year, kick it out.
Some dehumidifiers can be downright bad from the factory, due to factory defects. That’s why you should check it carefully after unboxing so you can return it if it has defects.
However, others might just go bad with time. If you find yourself taking the unit to the repair shop all the time, ditch it.
According to an article on homeguide.com, a whole house humidifiers and dehumidifiers cost $70 to troubleshoot.
Add the fee for repair, which could start at $50 to $200 per hour, depending on the company that comes to repair it.
A portable dehumidifier might not require a technician to repair it. With a user manual, you can do a few things like cleaning the dehumidifier coils, changing the filters and doing other simple fixes.
3. If you have used it consistently for five years
The more often you run a dehumidifier, the faster it will need to be replaced. For instance, a person living in Florida might need to run a dehumidifier a few days a week.
Compared to a person living in a dryer state, who would need to run his or hers a few times in summer, the Floridian might need to replace theirs sooner.
The lifespan for a dehumidifier is given between five and ten years. Therefore, if it is in its sixth or seventh year, well, if you bought it at $200, it would be better to replace it than pay $50 for its repair.
4. It was a cheap dehumidifier
Here, we are not talking about the furnace dehumidifier. It is about the small, portable dehumidifiers you have at home.
Honestly, if you paid $200 for the best dehumidifier for mould, there is no need to repair it if it has served you for more than five years.
Also, if it is a battery powered dehumidifier, don’t even bother. If it stops working and a casual check does not reveal the problem, just throw it in the trash.
Whole house dehumidifiers cost a whole lot more money to buy and install. Therefore, it makes sense to pay up to $200 a year for maintenance.
Even then, if you need to hire a technician more than two times a year, replace the furnace dehumidifying unit.
5. If you take poor care of your dehumidifier
Like any other appliance, even dehumidifiers need regular care and maintenance. This has its benefits.
For instance, cleaning the Frigidaire dehumidifier bucket will remove mold, bacteria and other contaminants that you don’t want in your house.
For portable units, there are some things to check if the dehumidifier keeps stopping. You should check that it is placed correctly, the power cord is okay, the condenser coils are not frozen or broken, and so on.
How long do whole house dehumidifiers last? 8 years
A furnace dehumidifier is going to last you many years, longer than a portable unit. Generally, if your furnace humidifier or dehumidifier has served you for more than eight years, it is a very good deal.
Even then, you can get a few more years of life from the unit. Just make sure it is serviced on time, and the filters are replaced as needed.
If the whole house unit is older than 8 years, start thinking of replacing it if it requires regular maintenance and replacement of parts.
Because this dehumidifier requires regular maintenance, perhaps once a year, you could ask the technician when it is possibly due for replacement.
If you notice a spike in your electricity bill, perhaps the dehumidifying unit has lost its efficiency. It could be due for replacement.
Keep an eye on the hygrometer. If the indoor humidity level seems high all the time, perhaps your furnace unit is not working.
How long do desiccant dehumidifiers last?
The desiccant dehumidifier types can last a long time, without requiring to be replaced.
But first, here is how these units work:
Desiccant dehumidifiers are usually used in swimming pools and bigger industrial settings. They have a desiccant wheel through which damp air passes and the wheel absorbs the moisture.
With time, the wheel becomes very damp. To remove the moisture, heated air is passed through the wheel. It picks the moisture, and dries the wheel in the process.
Large desiccant dehumidifiers are very effective for drying clothes. They do a much better job than compressor dehumidifiers do.
It is a simple process really, but we shall cover it in more detail in future. So, how long does a desiccant dehumidifier last?
Desiccant dehumidifiers can come in industrial size, and they can also come in smaller, portable varieties. The most common brand name for desiccant dehumidifiers is Eva-Dry.
Desiccant actually means the material inside the dehumidifier, which absorbs moisture. Since the material is dried again to absorb more moisture, this type of dehumidifier can last longer than most others.
How long do disposable dehumidifiers last?
Disposable dehumidifiers are non-electric and they contain a material that absorbs moisture. They are not designed to last a long time.
Most of these dehumidifiers will only work for a short time, say a few weeks and then you have to dump them. As soon as the material absorbing the moisture reaches its capacity, the dehumidifier is done.
Some disposable units can last between 3 to 6 weeks. Of course, this depends on the level of humidity in the air.
If you use it in a high humidity place such as Seattle, the disposable unit can last for just a few days.
Not to be confused with a mini dehumidifier such as Pro Breeze, disposable units can work without requiring electricity or batteries.
How long do basement dehumidifiers last?
A basement dehumidifier such as the 70-Pint Frigidaire can last up to 5 years. This is the general guideline, so with poor care and maintenance, some can last a shorter time than this.
With proper maintenance, some basement dehumidifiers can last longer than five years. Some people have even had them for several years.
When choosing a dehumidifier for the basement, for instance, one with accessories such as a pump and drain hose, don’t choose the cheapest one in the market.
If something is not working correctly with your basement dehumidifier, check the user manual. Do not write off first because it could be a small problem.
The basement is the source of damp air for the entire home. Therefore, you have to purchase a high quality dehumidifier for it.
If you do not lower the humidity in the basement, you can have a serious mold problem in your home.
You can start experiencing symptoms of black mold exposure if you let this sinister allergen thrive in your house.
Why don’t dehumidifiers last?
Apart from the disposable dehumidifiers that last a short time, other portable dehumidifiers can last for years.
Residential dehumidifiers can last many years on end, say, up to 12 years. However, these are furnace dehumidifiers. The portable ones can last 5 to 8 years and some can even go to 10 years.
By the time a portable unit is 5 years, perhaps newer and better technology will have come up. It is best to start arranging for a replacement.
Some of the areas where air purifiers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers get constant improvement is energy efficiency. This is why you might not want to keep yours for more than 10 years.
Why don’t dehumidifiers last? Common causes
Improper care for dehumidifiers can prevent them from lasting the desired time. Here are some things that can shorten the lifespan of the dehumidifier:
1. Poor maintenance of ducts and vents
A whole house dehumidifier is connected to the ducts. The whole airflow system of the house depends on the ducts. If the ducts are blocked, your dehumidifier unit is not going to get proper airflow.
Remember, a HVAC technician should maintain your whole house units for humidification or dehumidification. They will check the air ducts and vents too.
2. Overusing the dehumidifier
Overworking a dehumidifier affects its lifespan. Depending on where you live, some weeks, you might have to use the unit daily. For such, please buy a big unit that can do the job fast.
If you find out that a unit is not lowering the humidity level as desired, find out whether it is rated for the space. If it is too small, it will not work properly. You will be overworking it.
If the humidity is too high because of flooding or other water problems, do not overwork your unit. It would be better to have two of them working concurrently to dry a damp room.
When they work too hard, dehumidifiers do overheat. Therefore, if you realize the dehumidifier is making the room hot, check whether you have been running it too long.
3. Insufficient or too much power
For a dehumidifier to work properly, there is a need for proper power. Insufficient power can damage the circuitry of the dehumidifier, especially if it’s off and on all the time.
Electronics do not do very well when they are plugged into sockets with insufficient power.
4. Poor installation
Whether portable or whole house type, dehumidifiers require proper installation. For portable ones, ensure yours is rated for the space where you are using it.
If you run a small unit in a big space, you will be overworking it and it is not going to last long.
5. Where you are operating the unit
If the air that you are dehumidifying has many chemicals, they could affect the working life of the unit. For instance, if you are using it to lower humidity in the grow room, the chemicals used to grow your plants might affect how it works.
Also, using a dehumidifier in the swimming pool room might cause the chlorine from the pool to react with some parts. This will affect the lifespan of your unit.
6. Cleaning the dehumidifier with chemicals
Of course, you can use vinegar and bleach (NEVER TOGETHER!) to clean the dehumidifier bucket, kill mold and other pathogens.
However, if you use harsh soaps, the chemicals in them might affect the structural integrity of the dehumidifier.
Also, ensure things such as acid do not get into contact with your dehumidifier.
7. Poor storage
If you want to use the dehumidifier for just a short time, you should store it in the right way when it is not in use.
Tossing it in the garage and piling a ton of heavy things on top of it can crush it. It might also pile pressure on delicate parts such as the compressor.
Final thoughts: How long do dehumidifiers last?
Dehumidifiers can last a long or a short time depending on the care and maintenance you give them.
Other things that affect the lifespan of these appliances include the area of operation, and the workload they are handling.
Be cautious to only use the unit as advised by the manufacturer. Refer to the user manual any time you are in doubt.
When transporting or storing the unit, handle it with care. If the manufacturer says to transport it in the upright position, please do not transport it on its side.
And so on!