It can be difficult to tell when a dehumidifier is working if you don’t know what to watch out for.
To tell if your dehumidifier is working, the best way is to use a hygrometer before and after you use your dehumidifier. If the humidity has dropped after an hour, then your dehumidifier is working properly.
Below you’ll find out how to troubleshoot your dehumidifier and signs that it’s failing.
Let’s get started.
How to Tell if Your Dehumidifier is Working?
The best way to tell if your dehumidifier is working is by using a hygrometer.
Test the humidity level of your room before you turn on your dehumidifier and an hour after. If the humidity level has fallen, your dehumidifier is working.
Another way to check if your dehumidifier is working is by checking the water tank or drain hose.
If you see that water is being collected, then your dehumidifier is functioning properly.
If it isn’t, you can take your unit to an appliance repair shop to get it serviced.
You can also read our guide on how long it takes for a dehumidifier to work.
If the water tank indicator light is lit, then your dehumidifier is not going to continue working.
You can dump out the water (but be sure not to drink it) and your dehumidifier will operate again.
What Causes a Dehumidifier to Stop Working?
1. Blocked air filter
If your dehumidifier was working properly but suddenly has stopped working, something could be blocking the airflow within.
Over time as your dehumidifier draws in warm air like an air conditioner, bringing in dust mites, lint, and even hair which can lead to your dehumidifier to stop working.
If you find that the air filter is dirty, give it a rinse and let it dry before placing it back into your dehumidifier.
Check the grill and if it’s dirty, unplug your dehumidifier and remove the grill cover.
You can spray down the grill outdoors with compressed air. Once inside, you can check your unit further to see if there is anything on the evaporator coils as well.
If you find anything, you can use a vacuum cleaner to pick up any link/dust you find inside.
2. Electrical components have worn out
It can be difficult to troubleshoot if the electrical components have worn out in your dehumidifier.
Only a licensed technician should take your dehumidifier apart and check the electronic control board if anything is shorted or faulty.
You may have loose connections that are causing your dehumidifier unit to malfunction.
If you’ve tried everything else but you’re finding nothing is working, you should bring your dehumidifier to a repair technician to see if they can repair it.
3. Compressor is overloaded
If the air temperature is below your dehumidifier’s threshold, then it can lead to frozen coils which will lead to your compressor overheating.
Most dehumidifiers these days have overload protection, but not all dehumidifiers have auto defrost to take care of frost buildup.
If this has happened to you and your dehumidifier doesn’t turn on, try to see if you can find the overload switch.
You’ll have to check your dehumidifier’s manual to see if you can try resetting the overload switch.
You should verify that your dehumidifier is working in the optimal conditions, otherwise, you may continue to have issues with frozen coils.
You may not need humidity control at lower temperatures. Make sure you test the air before you use your dehumidifier in low temperatures.
Signs Your Dehumidifier is Failing
1. Makes loud noises
If your dehumidifier is making loud noises that you don’t recognize, it could be a sign that you have loose components.
Check if you have any loose screws and tighten them. Be sure to unplug your dehumidifier before you attempt to do any services.
2. Coils are freezing up
Frozen dehumidifier coils are a sign that you may be using your dehumidifier in lower temperatures than it’s meant for.
As a reference, most dehumidifiers will operate at around 65F ambient temperature and above.
Some units can work down to 40F but you should double-check if that’s the case.
It could also be an issue with the blower wheel or fan motor which you’ll need to have checked.
3. You don’t see any water being collected
Water not being collected is a tell-tale sign that your dehumidifier is malfunctioning.
It’s possible that the humidity level in the room is at your desired setting.
Check the control panel of your dehumidifier to see what you’ve set the desired humidity level to.
If you’ve tried to change the humidity settings but still don’t notice a change in the humid air, then you should consider taking your dehumidifier to a technician.
4. Dehumidifier is blowing hotter air than usual
A dehumidifier blowing hot air is a normal part of the process.
The air coming out of your dehumidifier should only be more than 10-15F than the ambient room temperature.
What isn’t normal is if the air is hotter than usual, which should be a cause for concern.
If you notice that it’s blowing hot air but not removing any moisture, then this is a sign that something is wrong.
5. Power issues
If your dehumidifier does not turn on, then first make sure that’s plugged in.
If the indicator light doesn’t come on and the dehumidifier is plugged in, that’s a sign you have an issue with the electrical components within.
You can also check the water collection tank, if it’s full, most dehumidifiers will shut themselves off.
If you’ve emptied the water tank and it still does not turn on, then it might be time to look for a new dehumidifier.
Your dehumidifier may be working properly if it is collecting water and the humidity levels are being controlled.
If you’re finding that it no longer is working properly, checking the owner’s manual for troubleshooting tips specific to your model would be beneficial.
Check if you have a blocked filter, move your dehumidifier away from any walls or furniture and give it a good cleaning.
Empty the water tank and make sure your dehumidifier is on.
If you’ve tried all of this and it still doesn’t work, then you should look into hiring an HVAC technician to take a look.
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