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maintain your dehumidifier

General Dehumidifier Maintenance: What You Need to Know

Dehumidifiers may be among the simplest waterproofing measures to install, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t require a bit of TLC. If you want your dehumidifier to continue protecting your home, you’re going to need to take active steps to maintain it on a daily basis. 

Set Up Your Dehumidifier Carefully 

Dehumidifier care begins with where you place your dehumidifier. There are some parts of your home, for example, that are more prone to leaking than others. While you want a dehumidifier to have a direct line of access to that site, you don’t want the dehumidifier in a place that frequently floods. Similarly, you don’t want to place your dehumidifier alongside environmental obstacles that might make it more difficult for the machine to do its job. 

If you want your dehumidifier to live a long and productive life, you need to be smart when first placing it. Go through your basement, crawl space, or another part of your home to see if you can find where your excessive moisture is coming from. Then pick a spot within five feet and place your dehumidifier appropriately. Alternatively, you can reach out to one of the basement and foundation professionals in your area for a home inspection. These professionals will be able to advise you on dehumidifier placement while also quoting you on the price of additional waterproofing services, should they prove necessary. 

Think About Emptying Out Your Bucket 

You’ve got a lot of moisture in your home, but your dehumidifier probably won’t pull gallons of water out of the air per day, right? 

Not necessarily, and especially not if you live in the Charlotte, NC, area. Homeowners with typical dehumidifiers need to empty their dehumidifiers at least once every other day. If it’s been raining or if it’s been unusually humid, you may have to empty your dehumidifier more often. If you let your bucket go unattended, your dehumidifier may shut off or flood. 

That being said, don’t you want a solution you can “set and forget?” Some basement professionals – like Mount Valley Foundation Services, for example – can install powerful, energy-efficient dehumidifier units in basements and crawl spaces that also are self-draining. They can be directed to drain into an interior drainage system or sump pump system, and there are no buckets to have to worry about emptying! 

Clean Your Dehumidifier 

In addition to emptying your bucket, if you have one, you’ll need to clean out your dehumidifier. At least once a month, you’ll want to take soap and warm water not only to your bucket but also to the accessible, non-sensitive parts of your dehumidifier. Why? Because if you let your dehumidifier go, you risk it becoming a haven for the mold particles that may have otherwise settled in your basement. Note that you can also use gentle chemical cleaners to kill off any mold particles that you suspect may take root in your dehumidifier. 

It is equally important to vacuum your filters, coils, grills and vents appropriately. If you don’t, you risk dust and dirt blowing all across your home. 

Check Your Humidistat 

Your humidistat controls how much moisture your dehumidifier pulls out of the air around it. It’s always best, when trying to care for your dehumidifier, to cycle your humidistat’s levels. While you may frequently want the bulk of the moisture in your air gone, you can’t leave your dehumidifier running at full blast 24/7. When you reduce the amount of moisture your dehumidifier takes in, you keep it from overheating and ensure that it will serve your home for longer. 

Inspect Your Filters and Replace Them as Necessary 

Your dehumidifier uses filters to remove dust, dirt, and other particles from the moisture it pulls from the air. You need to clean these filters frequently if you want your dehumidifier to continue to function. If you don’t think you can vacuum away the particles that have clogged up your filter, you can just as easily replace it with a new one. 

Look at Your Coils 

The coils inside of your dehumidifier are especially sensitive to moisture. While a little bit of exposure won’t hurt them, you will want to try and keep them relatively warm. If the water in your dehumidifier starts to cool down to the point of freezing, it can damage the coils and ruin the whole machine. 

Reach Out to A Professional 

Even if you take good care of your dehumidifier, there may come a day when it no longer does its job as well as it used to. On that day, you have two options. If your dehumidifier is still under warranty, you can reach out to the manufacturer to have a part of the whole machine replaced. Alternatively, you can reach out to one of the basement and foundation repair professionals in your area for a free inspection and estimate, and to discuss alternative waterproofing measures. These professionals may even be able to come into your home and replace the dehumidifier in question, if it’s deemed applicable. 

Be sure to take care of your dehumidifier for as long as it’s in use. The more diligently you care for this waterproofing measure, the longer it will last you.