How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?

Here, we answer this question based on dehumidifier type and give some essential maintenance tips to make it last longer.
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Last updatedLast updated: September 05, 2021

A dehumidifier is an appliance that is designed to eliminate excess humidity from an environment, be it at home, in the office, gym, or wherever. Excessive humidity in a building, in fact, in addition to being harmful to the health of the occupants, leads to the formation of condensation and mold causing deterioration. In a domestic environment, the rooms most subject to the problem are those where heating and condensation are most concentrated (i.e., the bathroom and the kitchen) and those where the ventilation is not adequate.

Dehumidifiers are the best devices for extracting moisture from the air. However, for those who are thinking about acquiring one, one of the most frequently asked questions is: how long does a dehumidifier last?

How long your dehumidifier lasts depends on several factors, including your climate and local weather conditions, the type of dehumidifier, the size of the device, and the size of the room to be dehumidified. In this article, we’ll tell you the average lifespan and the actual lifespan of specific models.

Average Lifespan of a Dehumidifier Based on Its Type

The lifespan of dehumidifiers is not easy to evaluate as there are different types of these appliances. The broad types of dehumidifiers are desiccant dehumidifiers and refrigerator-styled dehumidifiers.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?Desiccant dehumidifiers are an excellent alternative for those who don’t want a dehumidifier that uses a compressor. Desiccant dehumidifiers can work for as long as possible. The desiccant material doesn’t wear out, expire, or need to be replaced.

The desiccant dehumidifiers work with silica gel. Silica, also called silica gel or silicic acid, is silicon dioxide because it is often used as a desiccant due to its ability to absorb water. The small globules can absorb up to 20 to 30 percent of their weight in the amount of water. Because of this ability, silica beads are particularly added to products that are sensitive to moisture and need to be protected from moisture.

Whether in clothing, electronic goods, or in handbags and shoes, even in the packaging of various foods such as nori paper (algae) or medicines, silica bags can be found everywhere.

The dynamics of the desiccant dehumidification process are controlled by a rotor or wheel installed inside the dehumidifier and for whose construction a desiccant material such as the aforementioned silica gel has been used.

The desiccant rotor has also been built with a multitude of channels and layers, through which the ambient air absorbed by the dehumidifier passes.

To understand the desiccant dehumidification process, we can imagine the rotor as a honeycomb (although cylindrical) impregnated with honey. Honey would be our desiccant substance and the air passing through the cells of the honeycomb would come into contact with this substance. Due to the affinity of the desiccant substance (in our example honey) with humidity, it would absorb the humidity from the air as it passes through its cells.

When you start your desiccant dehumidifier, the rotor rotates slowly making the process of absorbing moisture from the air uniform and continuous.

Since silica not only absorbs moisture but can also release it, it is possible to freshen up the sachets. Simply place them in the sun for a few hours on a warm day or in a lukewarm oven after cooking. So they secrete the moisture again and can be used again and again.

Refrigerator-Style Dehumidifiers

How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?Refrigerator-style dehumidifiers are commercial dehumidifiers which are also called condensate dehumidifiers or refrigerant dehumidifiers. They remove moisture from the air using a refrigerant compressor.

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) estimates the average lifespan of a condensate dehumidifier at 8 years, provided they are routinely used under normal conditions. The Association’s study established the estimate on surveys of manufacturers, trade associations, and researchers.

The principle according to which it works is quite simple. Moist air is sucked in by a fan, passed through a cooled evaporator, and cooled and “dehumidified” in the process. The cold of the evaporator removes the moisture: The air is cooled below the dew point so that the water contained condenses on the cold cooling fins of the dehumidifier. The condensed water is then either directed into a collecting container or a drain. The air is then heated up again and directed into the room. The heated air in the room can absorb moisture again and is then transported back into the dehumidifier by the fan. This process repeats itself until the desired level of humidity is reached in the air.

Average Lifespan of Dehumidifiers Based on Their Size

Ensure you select a dehumidifier sized according to the space you want to treat. The size not just determines the price of the device, but the dehumidification efficiency and lifetime.

Whole-House Dehumidifiers

How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?The whole-house dehumidifiers are powerful devices that can last up to a decade. The least they last is around 5 years. However, they can exceed 10 years if properly maintained.

Portable Dehumidifiers

How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?Portable dehumidifiers last for 5 to 10 years. They are the most common dehumidifiers. They come in a range of wattages. Medium units, that is the portable models remove up to 45 pints and perform well in the following areas: kitchens and large units remove 50 to 75 pints. These make them good for areas with humid conditions, such as garages. One of the most effective portable dehumidifiers is the ALORAIR 120 PPD. This is a 55-pint commercial dehumidifier that is Energy Star listed and designed to dehumidify the basement, living room, or crawlspace.

Another reliable and smaller-sized portable dehumidifier is the Frigidaire 35-Pint Dehumidifier. It has effortless humidity control and has three fan speeds.

Mini Dehumidifiers

How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?Small unit dehumidifiers remove 25 to 30 pints of water from the air per 24-hour period. They have a lifetime of 3 to 5 years.

What Else Affects Dehumidifier Lifespan?

The length of use your appliance sees is one of the major determining factors affecting how long your dehumidifier will last. Units in constant use and when these are mismatched with the size of the area you are trying to treat will experience greater wear and tear, potentially shortening their lifetime.

Besides mechanical faults and failures, the reasons that you may choose to replace your appliance include the desire for a quieter, more efficient model, or a dehumidifier upgrade with more or better functionality.

How to Make Your Dehumidifier Last Longer: Usage and Maintenance Tips

In the case of water damage restoration or building drying, dehumidifiers are mainly used due to their economic efficiency. However, extremely high humidity and very high room temperatures often put the actual service life of these devices to an early end.

Why these two factors lead to an extremely shortened service life of the dehumidifier has nothing to do with the quality of the components, but affects all refrigeration dehumidifiers on the market, regardless of manufacturer.

This is because a very high level of humidity combined with a high room temperature means that the moist room air is supplied with significantly more energy. This now has to be compensated for by the refrigerant of the dehumidifier. This causes the pressure of this refrigerant to rise immensely, which in turn leads to a destructive load on the compressor and thus to the premature ‘shutdown’ of the dehumidifier.

Our maintenance tips should help you to extend the service life of your dehumidifier, regardless of the manufacturer – and thus protect your investment.

The Correct Use and Maintenance of a Dehumidifier

How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?The correct use and periodic maintenance are necessary to ensure long and efficient operation of the dehumidifier. One thing not to be overlooked is the periodic cleaning of the filters (follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to the letter).

Once washed, the filters should only be reinserted when they are completely dry. Any cleaning and maintenance operation must be carried out with the appliance switched off and with the plug unplugged.

In case of a prolonged period of non-use (more than 4 months), it is advisable to clean the filters and the water collector and then cover everything with a nylon cloth to protect the appliance from dust. It is also important to empty the water container; modern appliances are now all equipped with a light signal and therefore from this point of view there are no problems whatsoever.

Normally a tank is filled in a period that varies from 8 to 12 hours. With some models, it is possible to install an external tube that allows the water to be continuously drained; this exempts from periodic and somewhat tedious emptying operations.

As in the case of various household appliances, the water produced by the condensation of the dehumidifier can be used in various ways; it can be used for ironing, but also for watering plants. However, it is not drinkable.

A final tip to optimize the work of your dehumidifier to the maximum is to close the doors and windows of the room that is being dehumidified.

More Practical Tips

1. Follow the ‘rule of 35’

This very simple rule is often disregarded. If you dehumidify at over 35 degrees celsius, you reduce the service life of your dehumidifier to less than 35 percent!

Conversely, this means when drying the building or when excess humidity dries out, make sure that the room temperature remains well below 35 °C and you will extend the service life of your refrigeration dehumidifier by years! The ideal dehumidification degrees are between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius.

By the way, regardless of whether the building is drying out or water damage restoration is taking place, moisture is only transported in building materials at excessively high temperatures by diffusion instead of capillary. This means that at temperatures above 45°C, effective drying no longer takes place at all.

2. Discharge the warm process air

If possible, always remove the convection air or process air from the insulation dehumidifier used, because this is largely responsible for heating the room temperature.

In the case of technical dehydration after water damage, the warm process air is discharged directly from the room via the connecting piece using a hose.

Some dehumidification systems can also be installed outside the room to be dried and hoses are connected using a nozzle.

3. Reduce humidity alternatively

Take some of the load off the machine by reducing indoor humidity in other ways. Use fans in areas where the raining water causes humidity to build up in the air, such as laundry rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. Keep the windows open in good weather. Consider installing a heating or air conditioning unit, which will treat the air in the entire living space. Attending to all plumbing and drainage problems can reduce leakage of moisture in and around your home.

How Long Is the Warranty on Dehumidifiers?

Knowing that on average, dehumidifiers last between 3 to 10 years, most dehumidifiers come with 1 to 5 years of warranty. Some brands don’t cover their products at all but it’s advisable to choose one that has a manufacturer warranty.

What Is Usually Covered?

The manufacturer’s warranty usually covers the replacement of the parts, the repair of machines caused by factory faults, and labor. However, most brands are not responsible for machine problems caused by alterations, negligence, misuse, “acts of God,” or accidents.

Final Thoughts

We’ve answered in the article the question of how long does a dehumidifier last? Generally, a dehumidifier lasts for 3 to 10 years, depending on the size, type, and nature of use.

To extend the life of your machine, we recommend that you wait at least 10 minutes before turning on your dehumidifier again after turning it off to let the pressure in the refrigeration system drop to equalize. Situate the dehumidifier in a location that allows good air circulation around the unit.

Understand and maintain the correct relative humidity indoors for temperature and conditions. Trying to remove all moisture from the air can damage the wood, make people and pets uncomfortable, and lead to excessive wear and tear on your dehumidifier. Units that run constantly may have a fault, need maintenance, or be easily damaged, needing replacement.

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