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How to Properly Clean a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are a great appliance for your home or office - especially in areas where there is a high level of moisture in the air. High humidity can leave the air feeling heavy and damp, and can be quite unpleasant. Excessive moisture can also damage your home or office. High humidity can lead to mold and mildew, and can damage home and office furnishings. High humidity can also affect the structural integrity of the building if it goes unchecked for a long period of time. It can also lead to an increase in unwanted pests, including various bugs and insects.

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 In general, humidity refers to the ratio of water vapor in the air compared to the total amount the air can hold at the current temperature. This is called relative humidity, and is often what people mean when they complain about humidity levels.

Not only is high humidity, or excessive moisture levels in the air, detrimental to your home, but it can also disrupt your body's cooling system. In areas where the weather is warm and humidity is high, it can be difficult for your body to properly regulate your internal temperature and keep you cool. Excessive humidity can also aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms.

If you're suffering from excessive humidity, then a dehumidifier is the perfect fix. In order to run properly, though, a dehumidifier will require some regular maintenance and cleaning.

A clean dehumidifier will perform at a higher level for a longer period of time. Regular cleaning can also save you money, as a more efficient dehumidifier will be able to remove moisture from the air in a more quick and effective manner.

Over time, dust and debris can collect on different areas of the dehumidifier, including on both the heating and cooling coils housed within the unit, as well as in the water collection reservoir. This accumulation can cause damage to the unit if not cleaned properly, which can eventually prevent the unit from working.

For the most efficient dehumidifier, you should clean the unit at least once or twice every month it's in use. This will lead to the most efficient dehumidifying possible. 

Cleaning a Dehumidifier 

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  1. Detach the water reservoir or collection bucket from the unit, and wipe it clean with a soft, damp cloth. The reservoir itself should be cleaned on a regular basis because the collected moisture can be a potential target area for mold and mildew. Additionally, excess minerals and particles can also accumulate in the reservoir.
  2. Remove the air filter from the dehumidifier and check it for any blockage or damage. Based on the amount of dust and dirt collected on the filter, determine if it needs to be replaced. Your dehumidifier's included instruction manual will have detailed instructions regarding replacing the air filter - so be sure to follow it carefully. If the filter still appears usable, you can also try cleaning it. To clean it, mix a solution of warm water and bleach, and let the filter soak in it for a few minutes before drying it off completely.
  3. Remove the outer cover of the dehumidifier. This will give you access to the inner workings of the dehumidifier unit, including the coils and fan blades. Be careful when removing the screws and taking off the cover, as some units have different set ups and can be more difficult to disassemble. Be sure to read the included product manual closely before removing any part of your dehumidifier.
  4. Using a small brush, gently clean the coils located inside the dehumidifier. Dust and dirt particles can collect on both the heating and cooling coils of your unit, which can disrupt the dehumidifying process. A small brush should be able to remove any particles that have collected on the coils, and can also remove additional contaminants from the dehumidifier.
  5. Wipe down the fan blades, again using a soft, damp cloth. Be sure to wipe down each blade, as dust and dirt can collect there during normal usage. By removing excess dust and particles from the blades, you can ensure that your dehumidifier runs as efficiently as possible.  
  6. Take a few minutes to look over the rest of the dehumidifier's interior. Make sure that each part looks clean and in proper working order. Reattach the dehumidifier's outer cover and air filter, and turn the dehumidifier on. Now you're good to go and ready to properly remove moisture from the air in your home or office.

For more information on dehumidifiers, please check out these other great resources:

anw-editorsdehumid

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