Most homeowners understand the importance of having a dehumidifier in their homes. A dehumidifier regulates the relative humidity levels indoors. This protects both the structural integrity of the house and all household items and appliance form any moisture-related damage.
Damp caused by increased moisture can make our home very uncomfortable because of the odor in the air. Damp can greatly devalue your home too. Research has proven that people who live in a home with increased moisture are more likely to suffer from respiratory problems like allergies and asthma.
Increased humidity levels in the house will also cause:
- Dry and itchy skin among other skin allergies.
- Wood warp, causing wooden doors, windows and drawers not to close with ease.
- Mold growth on walls, ceiling and on items in the house.
- Wallpaper will peel off the walls, paint too will peel off furniture and walls.
- Rotting wood.
It is important to understand any dehumidifier requires to be set up in a specific way to increase and guarantee its effectiveness and efficiency. Many homeowners often complain of still having moisture issues while their dehumidifier remains operation 24/7.
Here are some of the reasons why the moisture levels in the house while there is a functional dehumidifier :
- The dehumidifier operations, installation, and placement.
- Dehumidifier maintenance.
- The dehumidifier capacity is not powerful enough to significantly reduce the humidity levels. (that is: the moisture levels are too high for the dehumidifier regulate.)
The dehumidifier installation and placement :
- Dehumidifier placement - Most people assume that the dehumidifier should be placed just adjust to the walls, this is the reason why most dehumidifier will fail to achieve the required effect. The dehumidifier should be placed at the center of the room if possible. This allows the dehumidifier to generate equal room air circulation to guarantee most of the air in the room is cycled severally in the unit for better results.
- Air circulation -When the dehumidifier is operationally the doors and windows should remain closed as often as possible. This creates the sealed effect – which ensures moist air from the other rooms or outdoors does not keep adding moisture into the air in the room. This allows the dehumidifier to achieve the dehumidification effect easily.
- Dehumidifier installation –The dehumidifier should always be positioned upright on a flat surface. The unit should never be tilted to one side or laid down sideways. This can cause damage to the dehumidifier and cause it to produce unusual sounds.
Dehumidifier Operations :
- Dehumidifier setting - Immediately you start your dehumidifier, always check the room relative humidity levels. the dehumidifier setting should always be set to achieve a relative humidity level below the room humidity level.
If the dehumidifier’s humidity setting above or too close to the room humidity levels, the dehumidifier will automatically shut down when it achieves the set humidity levels. This will allow the humidity levels to remain high.
(the ideal relative humidity level should be between 40% – 50%)
- The temperature of the air from the dehumidifier –Once the dehumidifier is fully operational the air from the outlet should feel warmer. Most dehumidifiers are designed to warm up the air before it leaves the unit. If the air from the outlet is cold, your unit might have a compressor problem.
- Avoid short cycle – Avoid turning the dehumidifier off and then back on immediately. Let the unit settle for at least 10 minutes before turning it back on. This time allows the dehumidifier’s pressure to equalize and prevent damage to the compressor. The short cycle can make the dehumidifier ineffective at moisture extraction. The Easiest way to prevent the short cycle problem for occurring is to choose a dehumidifier with the automatic delayed start function.
Room temperature :
- Low temperatures - Most conventional compressor dehumidifiers will struggle to extract any moisture from the air if the room temperature is well below 10˚. Mainly because ice forms on the cooling coils making them ineffective.
This is why recommend that all homeowners living in extremely cold areas should always ensure you invest in a dehumidifier with de-icing and defrosting features. These features allow the dehumidifier to continue extracting moisture from the air even at extremely low temperatures.
- High temperatures– High temperatures increase pressure in the dehumidifier, which in turn overloads the compressor. The high temperature is not just caused by external factors, overheating of the unit is one of the major reasons for increased temperatures in the unit.
The ideal temperatures for operating a dehumidifier range from 15˚ - 40˚
By cleaning and maintaining the dehumidifier often – 2 or 3 times a year will guarantee your dehumidifier remains effective and efficient. Here is an easy guide on how to carry out maintenance on your unit from water damage and restoration experts :
Initial guidelines :
- Before moving or opening the dehumidifier cover always ensure you first unplug the unit from power.
- Check if there is any water in the tank if any please pour it out to avoid the water flowing back into the unit causing more problems.
- The dehumidifier should remain upright as often as possible during the entire maintenance procedure.
- Unscrew and remove the dehumidifier’s outer cover.
- Clean or replace the air-filters – most dehumidifiers are fitted with air filters that trap dust particle and other impurities in the air like mold. After an extended period of using the dehumidifier the air filters be cloaked, this can greatly reduce the amount of air the dehumidifier is able to pull from the room making the dehumidifier ineffective. It is therefore important to ensure the filters remain clean. Some dehumidifier is equipped with washable filters – if so please clean the filter gently to avoid damaging them, if not please replace your air filters with new clean ones.
- Clean the grilles on both the intake and exhaust ducts – dust particles on the grilles can contribute to the poor air intake and exhaust in a dehumidifier. All the dust and debris should be cleaned out to increase the unit efficiency.
- Inspect the condenser coils – in the cooler months ice and frost may form in the dehumidifier, this can greatly affect its effectiveness in extracting moisture from the air. Also, dust can be trapped on the coils if the air filters are compromised. The coils are highly fragile and should be cleaned gently to avoid damaging them.
- Clean the condenser – The condenser ensures that the air is sucked and pushed out of the dehumidifier, hence its importance can't be understated. Check and clean any debris hindering the dehumidifiers operations.
- Clean the outer cover, both on the inside and outer sides.
- Check the humidistat to ensure it is properly working.
- Clean the water collection tray or for a dehumidifier with a continuous drainage system – clean the pipe to ensure there is no obstruction and the water flows freely, also check the pump to ensure its effectively pumping water.
What to avoid?
- Avoid spraying water, petroleum spirit or any other cleaning solvent directly onto the dehumidifier’s main board to avoid any electrical damage once the unit is turned back on. All the dehumidifier parts should be cleaned gently using a moderate damp cloth and easy pressure should be exerted on the parts been cleaned.
- Avoid at all cost using wires to clean dust on the mainboard, as this can cause damage to the board circuits hence the whole unit will malfunction.
- After you have finished cleaning the dehumidifier, please position the dehumidifier in the right spot and wait at least 4 hours before turning the unit back on. This is because the compressor in the dehumidifier contains cold coal that shifts around when the dehumidifier is moved or turned from side to side. The cold coal takes a minimum of 4 hours to settle down into its original position.