Investing in a dehumidifier if you live in an area with high humidity is among the best decisions you can make for your home.
However, investing in a gadget that will serve you longer and provide excellent value is essential. But how long do dehumidifiers last?
Knowing how long your new dehumidifier will last helps you plan your budget for when you need a new one.
Whole-house dehumidifiers last between five and eight years, while their portable counterparts can serve you for between three and five years. The lifespan of these devices depends on environmental conditions, care and maintenance, usage frequency, and quality.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss whole-house and portable dehumidifiers, including the factors that affect their lifespan.
I’ll also discuss how to maintain your dehumidifier for maximal longevity.
Keep reading to learn more!
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 through the ducts.
These devices are larger and more powerful than portable dehumidifiers and can cover up to 4,400 square feet (408.8 square meters). The extensive coverage area makes these dehumidifiers your go-to option if you want to control the humidity in your entire house.
Due to their size, whole-house dehumidifiers are not as easy to maintain as portable ones. Nevertheless, with proper care and maintenance, these devices can last between five and eight years.
Whole-house dehumidifiers use ductwork connected to your HVAC system to circulate air throughout your house.
Air duct leakage can harm the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system. Read our article to find out how to check for this problem in your own home.
The unit pulls in humid air and passes it over a set of coils cooled by a refrigerant. As the coils cool, the water vapor in the air condenses and is collected in a pan below the coils.
The now-dehumidified air is then passed back into your home through the return duct.
You need a whole-house dehumidifier if:
- You’re experiencing high indoor humidity levels: Some signs that your house has high humidity levels include water droplets on surfaces and carpet dampness.
- You have an HVAC system: Whole-house dehumidifiers work by being integrated into your home’s HVAC system.
- You have a large home: These dehumidifiers can cover up to 4,400 square feet, making them ideal for larger homes.
- Your air conditioning system works well: If your air conditioner is sized correctly and working efficiently, adding a whole-house dehumidifier will help it work even better.
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.
It’s also worth noting that the warranties vary based on models.
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 room
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 smaller and lighter than whole-house dehumidifiers, making them easy to move around.
The compact size of portable dehumidifiers makes them easier to maintain than their whole-house counterparts. With proper care, these units can last between three and five years.
You need a portable dehumidifier if:
- You don’t have an HVAC system: Portable dehumidifiers don’t need to be integrated into your home’s ductwork to work.
- You want to control the humidity in a specific area: These units are ideal for smaller rooms or spaces.
- You’re on a budget: Portable dehumidifiers are typically more affordable than whole-house models.
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.
Despite the differences, portable and whole-house dehumidifiers play the same role, maintaining the relative humidity of a room, which should be between 50 and 60 percent.
How Long Do Dehumidifiers Last? – Factors That Affect Their Lifespan
Most dehumidifiers, whether whole-house or portable, can last between 3 and 10 years. The variation in the lifespan of these dehumidifiers occurs due to:
Like other gadgets, dehumidifiers wear depending on how often they’re used. Dehumidifiers used frequently have a shorter lifespan because their parts are subject to more wear and tear.
For example, dehumidifiers used in the basement will have a shorter lifespan than those used in the living room because basements are usually damp.
This means that dehumidifiers in the basement will have to work harder and run for longer periods to maintain the desired relative humidity level.
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.
On the other hand, 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.
The size of the room also affects how long a dehumidifier will last. A dehumidifier used in a small room will not have to work as hard as one used in a larger room.
This is because the smaller the room, the easier it is to maintain the desired relative humidity level. 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 typically more durable and have a longer lifespan than portable units.
This is because whole-house dehumidifiers are designed to be used for long periods and are usually made with higher-quality components.
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: Most dehumidifiers have an air filter that needs to be cleaned regularly. A dirty air filter restricts airflow and makes the dehumidifier work harder, which lowers its lifespan.
- Replace the air filters: You should replace them as soon as you realize they are damaged and not working properly. Malfunctioning filters make the dehumidifier work harder, which decreases its lifespan.
- Keep the coils clean: The dehumidifier’s coils should also be kept clean. Dirty coils make the unit work harder and can lead to damage, which shortens its lifespan. You should clean the coils according to the user manual to avoid damage.
- Empty and clean the water bucket regularly: The water bucket stores the water condensed from the moist air. Cleaning this bucket regularly prevents the growth of mold and mildew, which can damage the dehumidifier. You should also empty the bucket regularly to prevent it from overflowing and damaging the unit.
- Clean the exhaust grilles: Cleaning them ensures that the dehumidifier can expel the warm air it produces. If these grilles are blocked, the unit will overheat and have a shorter lifespan.
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.
Dehumidifiers should be replaced once every five to ten years. In most cases, this is the period after which dehumidifiers fail to function. If you fail to replace a worn-out dehumidifier, the air in your home will return to its normal humidity levels.
A dehumidifier can stop working due to a broken blade, dirty air filters, or a broken fan motor. These are the parts you should check first when the dehumidifier stops working. Cleaning the air filters and fan regularly will prevent your dehumidifier from stalling.
Dehumidifiers don’t last forever, but there are some things you can do to extend their lifespan.
The most important tip is to maintain them properly by cleaning and replacing air filters and coils when necessary.