Tips on How to Maintain a Dehumidifier
Buildings and houses built in areas with high humidity levels are often prone to excessive dampness all year round. These apartments typically have a stuffy indoor atmosphere because of the excessive moisture that can sometimes be the root cause of many respiratory issues, such as asthma and allergies. Dehumidifiers are a must in such situations since they remove all the unwanted moisture from the atmosphere, thereby helping you maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor environment.
Contrary to popular belief, dehumidifiers are low-maintenance appliances that work effectively for years. Below given is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide on how to maintain a dehumidifier:
1. Close All Doors and Windows:
If any door or window in the unit is open, it is only logical to assume that the outside air will influence the moisture level inside the house even if your dehumidifier is on. Always keep all doors and windows of the unit or room closed to maximize the impact of your dehumidifier. You can also make use of weather strips to seal your windows perfectly and ensure there is no air penetrating from some unattended gap. If it is not possible to close any air inlet, simply shift your dehumidifier away from the inlet.
2. Strategic Placement of Your Dehumidifier:
It is important to place your dehumidifier in an area where air will circulate efficiently through the appliance. Keep it at least 6 inches away from any wall so that its exhaust and air intake are not blocked. Dehumidifiers work best with room temperature of at least 65°F; extreme temperatures can burn up or freeze the motor unless it is a dehumidifier designed specifically for an extremely high or low temperature.
3. Adjust the Humidity Level of Your Room:
Not just the room temperature but the humidity level inside a room also determines the efficiency and lifespan of a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers work best with a humidity range of 40-50 or higher. You can control the indoor humidity level by adjusting the humidistat – a device that helps in monitoring and maintaining a preferred humidity level of a room.
4. Replace or Clean the Filter:
Dehumidifiers usually come with an air-filter that works by eliminating allergens, dust and other harmful particles from the indoor atmosphere. The filter protects the appliance and its internal components from unwanted elements from the outside and also creates a healthier, cleaner, comfortable indoor environment. Every dehumidifier guide comes with a recommended time-period following which its air-filter will need to be replaced. Some filters are washable and can be cleaned regularly. Follow these recommendations religiously so everyone will come to you to know how to maintain a dehumidifier.
5. Clean the Dehumidifier Coils:
Dehumidifier coils tend to cause freezes whenever they collect a lot of dust. Clean and vacuum them regularly.
6. Check the Dehumidifier Coils for Frost:
It is possible for your dehumidifier to have ice build-up or frost if it has been functioning in a cool temperature. This will affect its efficiency on a day-to-day basis and may damage the appliance permanently. If you feel there is an ice build-up in the internal coils of the dehumidifier, then tr y checking the coils once you have turned the appliance off and unplugged it. In some models, it is not possible to inspect the internal coils and you will be required to contact the manufacturer to get these checked. Follow the troubleshooting tips and instructions given in the company manual. Some dehumidifiers come with automatic defrost technology. The machine detects frost on its own and turns off its compressor while letting the fan run so it can melt the ice build-up. Within no time, the dehumidifier is back to operating normally.
7. Clean the Water Container as Often as Needed:
Simply emptying the water container of your dehumidifier or using soap does not guarantee a spotless container. In fact, resorting to a disinfectant to clean the container can actually result in a layer of germ and yeast deposit at its base. What’s worse is that this debris is likely to infect the indoor air and cause certain respiratory problems. In order to avoid such a potential health hazard, monitor the water tank as often as needed to ensure it is germ-free. Again, follow the suggestions given in your dehumidifier manual to understand the best possible technique to clean its container.
8. Avoid Turning the Dehumidifier on Immediately after Turning It Off:
Just like any other electronic appliance, wait for at least 10 minutes to turn your dehumidifier back on after you have turned it off. Maintaining this time gap gives the system some time to equalize the pressure that was created when the system was running. Turning your dehumidifier on immediately after putting it off can damage its compressor and also gives lesser time to the appliance to remove moisture effectively. Precisely for this reason, some dehumidifiers have a delayed-start function that protects the machine by preventing short-cycling from happening.
How to Maintain A Dehumidifier: Some Additional Tips
Set the Humidistat Properly:
The humidistat in your dehumidifier, as mentioned earlier, will help you to control the humidity level inside the room. Make sure you don’t set it too high since this will leave you with lot of moisture inside the room thereby failing to resolve the primary issue of excess moisture; avoid setting the humidistat too low either because this will place lot of pressure on the dehumidifier system by making it work excessively and removing all the moisture from the atmosphere. If you wish to know the accurate humidity level inside a unit, you can make use of a hygrometer.
Do Not Short-cycle the Machine:
It cannot be emphasized enough that short-cycling the compressor of your dehumidifier can damage the appliance forever. Please remember this all times to increase the lifespan of the machine.
Clean the Exhaust and Air Intake Grills:
Use a vacuum brush to periodically clean the grill that sucks the moist air as well as the grill that releases the clean, dehumidified air. Dirty grills can block proper suction and release of air, affect the performance of your dehumidifier both in the short-term and the long-run and also infect the indoor atmosphere.
Position Your Dehumidifier Correctly:
Proper placement of your dehumidifier is necessary to ensure optimum performance. Remember to place it at least 6 inches away from the walls and shut all windows and doors in the unit tightly before putting it on. This prevents the appliance from working overtime and saves you from high energy billing.
Always Check the Manual for Anything and Everything:
Every dehumidifier model is different and it is advisable to check the company manual before undertaking any maintenance or cleaning task on your own. The guidelines given in the manual are extremely easy to understand and follow and ensure a lengthy lifespan of your dehumidifier.
Getting a good dehumidifier is one of the first steps you take to create a more comfortable and healthier atmosphere inside your home or office. However, this cannot be achieved by simply getting one. Keeping the excess inside moisture under check is only possible if the dehumidifier is maintained properly. By following these simple tips regarding how to maintain a dehumidifier, it is possible to ensure effective performance of your dehumidifier for years to come.
- Dehumidifier Maintenance
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