Investing in a dehumidifier if you live in an area with high humidity is among the best decisions you can make for the health of your home.
But, just how long do these units last?
If you’re interested in dehumidifying your home without using a dehumidifier, read our article, “Lower Humidity in 14 Ways (With No Dehumidifier Required)” for some advice around that topic.
Whole-house dehumidifiers are, as the name suggests, designed to dehumidify your entire home. They connect to the HVAC system with the ductwork.
These devices are larger and more powerful than portable dehumidifiers and can cover up to 4,400 square feet (408.8 square meters). Because they are connected to your ductwork, they can reach all areas of your home, while portable systems only service a single area.
Whole-house dehumidifiers last an average of eight years. It is not unheard of for them to last up to 15 years, but that is often in areas with less humidity where the system is not as strained.
A whole-house dehumidifier is a good choice if:
- You’re experiencing high indoor humidity levels throughout your entire home
- You have a central HVAC system
- You live in a climate with high humidity most of the year
- You are experiencing negative health effects from high humidity levels
- You keep antique wooden furniture or musical instruments in your home
Although these units are expensive, they generally come with warranties as follows:
- 5-year warranty: Units bought from heating and cooling professionals.
- 1-year warranty: Units purchased from retail locations.
Note: Warranties vary based on manufacturer and model.
Portable dehumidifiers are smaller, standalone units you can move from one room to another. These devices are ideal if you want to control the humidity in a specific area of your house, such as:
- Living rooms
Portable dehumidifiers typically have a capacity of 30 to 50 pints (14.2 to 23.66 liters) per day and can cover areas up to 1,500 square feet (139.4 square meters).
These units are best if you have one or two areas that suffer from high humidity. The most common spaces they are needed are basements and bathrooms.
Portable dehumidifiers have an average lifespan of three years. And some don’t even last that long.
Again, it depends on how often the unit is used and the climate it is used in. While portable dehumidifiers will take care of your humidity issues, they are not built to last.
These units can be pretty cheap (you can easily find models under $100) but keep in mind that you are likely to need a replacement in around 3 years.
A portable dehumidifier is a good choice if:
- You don’t have a central HVAC system/ductwork
- You want to control the humidity in a specific area
- You’re on a budget
Most portable dehumidifiers come with a 1-year warranty. The warranty means that the company will replace or repair the unit if it incurs any manufacturing defects one year from the original purchase date.
Factors That Can Affect Dehumidifier Lifespan
Like other appliances, dehumidifiers wear depending on how often they’re used. Climates with high year-round humidity will experience more frequent repair and equipment failures simply because the unit has to work harder and more often.
Portable dehumidifiers used in basements and bathrooms will have a shorter lifespan than those used elsewhere in the home because moisture collects in those areas.
The dehumidifier brand is another factor that affects how long the equipment will last. Some brands are known for their durability and quality, while others are not.
Whole-house dehumidifiers from Aprilaire, for example, are some of the most durable and longest-lasting units on the market. These units come with a five-year warranty, indicating the manufacturer’s confidence in their product.
Portable dehumidifiers from Frigidaire and Honeywell are also known for their durability and quality. These units usually have a lifespan of three to five years.
A dehumidifier used in a small room will not have to work as hard as one used in a larger room.
It is easier to maintain the desired relative humidity level in smaller spaces. As a result, dehumidifiers used in small rooms have a longer lifespan than those used in larger rooms.
The type of dehumidifier you buy will also affect how long it lasts. Whole-house dehumidifiers are more durable and have a longer lifespan than portable units.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science and Technical Information, using a dehumidifier in areas with extreme air moisture levels lowers its lifespan. With consistently high humidity levels, the system has to work harder.
On a flip side, a dehumidifier used in extremely cold conditions (below 60°F) can suffer from damage as the moisture removed from the air can freeze after condensing onto the cooling coil. If this happens, these units will have a shorter lifespan than those used in moderate climates.
There are a few things you can do to extend the lifespan of your dehumidifier:
- Clean the filter regularly
- Keep the coils clean
- Empty and clean the water bucket regularly
- Clean the exhaust grilles
Using a dehumidifier has the following benefits:
- Preventing mold growth: Dehumidifiers remove indoor dampness, the optimal condition for mold growth. Mold spores expose your family to allergens that lead to sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin irritation.
- Eliminating dust mites: According to Mayo Clinic, dust mites thrive in areas with high humidity. Therefore, using a dehumidifier removes excess humidity from the air, making it challenging for dust mites to survive.
- Removing foul odors: Dehumidifiers eliminate bad smells from your home by ensuring the indoor environment is free of dampness.
- Making the home safer for all: Dehumidifiers help reduce static electricity and create a comfortable environment for people with asthma and allergies.
- Keeping the house clean: Dehumidifiers reduce the dust and debris concentration in the air.
- Preventing water damage: Excess moisture in the air leads to water damage on surfaces such as walls and ceilings. Dehumidifiers help by reducing indoor humidity, thereby preventing water damage.