How to clean, maintain, and troubleshoot your basement dehumidifier at home

businessA dehumidifier removes all the extra moisture from the air of your home and keeps mildew and mold from emerging and ruining your home’s worth and integrity. Purchasing your own will make things a lot more comfortable in multiple ways, including reducing allergies and symptoms of asthma, and getting rid of musty smells. Typically, dehumidifiers don’t really need a lot of maintenance, but just like any household tool they do need some upkeep, so they function efficiently and properly. Here are some great tips for taking care of your dehumidifier so it can help out your home for years to come.

Cleaning

There are many, small parts to a dehumidifier that can collect build-up over time. You’ll need to clean each of these regularly to prevent overall problems. The parts include:

  • The tank for water collection. You should be emptying this frequently anyways, but you should also clean it with warm water and soap or a type of disinfectant in order to prevent mold from developing and getting into the air.
  • The air intake and exhaust grilles. At least once a year, use the brush attachment from a vacuum to clean these to get rid of debris and dust build-up that leads to blockage.

Maintenance

Replacing parts as they get old and using your dehumidifier properly will extend its longevity.  

  • Where to place the dehumidifier: keep it away from walls or furniture so it’s not blocked, and it should be in the middle of the room as much as possible.
  • Adjust the humidistat: the humidistat is a device that controls the level of humidity in the room, and the ideal level is 40%-50% for health and comfort.
  • Replace the filter: the air filter of your dehumidifier clears allergens and dust, so the appliance is protected and the quality of your indoor air is improved. You should replace it frequently, so your dehumidifier continues to perform well.

Troubleshooting

While some problems will require you to seek professional help, a lot of issues with your dehumidifier are ones you can fix yourself quickly and easily.

  • If it stops running: check how much water is in the tank. Usually, there’s a switch that will turn the unit off if the tank is full, and if the tank’s full anyways, this switch could have been activated accidentally. Simply readjust the tank or push the switch.
  • No air is coming out: there’s a fan within the unit that pulls air over coils. If no air’s blowing outward, it’s likely the fan motor has burned out and you’ll need to replace it.
  • There’s frost on the coils: the evaporator that’s located on the back of your appliance contains coils that become quite cold during use. The fan draws moist air across these coils, which creates condensation, and this can potentially freeze. Make sure the temperature is warm enough, put a heat source in the room, or move the appliance to a higher location, as heat rises.

If you follow these tips for basic cleaning and maintenance, your dehumidifier is sure to operate for a long time.

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