It’s the dehumidifier season already and I bet you are making things ready at home to make it comfortable throughout spring and summertime.
Any unexpected issues with such appliances can cause inconvenience and can have considerable negative effects. However, you are left with two options either to repair it or totally replace it.
Knowing when to replace and repair your dehumidifier depends on the extent of the issue it is experiencing. If the issue is minor and can be fixed by a technician or via Do It Yourself or DIY, then it may be worth repairing your dehumidifier. Plus, the cost varies depending on the unit type.
The average repair cost of dehumidifiers ranges from $50-$200, again, depending on the issue. Of course, the more complex the troubleshooting is, the more expensive it will be. And before you decide whether you’ll repair it, allow me to further expand your options.
How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last?
Regardless of the device type, dehumidifiers typically last from 3-5 years if well maintained and taken care of. Usually, people would complain about faulty units as a result of wrong usage, manufacturer glitch, or other contributing factors like temperature that lead to shorter lifespans.
Portable or tabletop units are more popular than whole-house since they can be easily transported anywhere in the house where dehumidification is needed.
The lifespan of your dehumidifier depends on its type, classification, frequency and duration of use, and of course, maintenance.
How to Fix a Dehumidifier
If you are on a mission on trying to fix your dehumidifier because, for some reason, it stopped working, then better diagnose the issue first before jumping into troubleshooting or calling a technician.
Common dehumidifier problems include not turning on, can’t collect water, frost on coils, clogs in the drain lines, humidity stuck at 60, dirty coils, compressor not working, and other parts failure.
Now, these common issues can be fixed via DIY or you can call an expert, it’s all up to you. But, of course, make sure that you are no longer on warranty or else it might be void.
Nevertheless, if you are trying to fix the unit yourself, here’s what you need to highly consider:
Expenses when troubleshooting. Do your research regarding the cost of parts repair and replacement.
Amount of time consumed on the repair. The lesser time consumed in fixing the issue, the better.
The extent of issue or damage on the device. Make sure you properly diagnose and assess the overall condition of the unit.
Troubleshooting can be categorized into easy and hard depending on the severity of the problem. Easy issues usually do not require sophisticated tools and skillset and can be done via DIY by anyone who’s willing to dedicate time and effort.
Easy to Fix Issues
Here are a few easy to fix dehumidifier issues:
Complicated dehumidifier issues normally involve tweaking internal parts or disassembling the unit to repair or replace.
These issues, on the other hand, need special tools and knowledge especially to certain parts like the electricals and motors.
A DIY for complicated issues is possible if you are armed with facts and tools otherwise, you may call for help.
When to Repair or Replace Dehumidifier
Remember that in DIY troubleshooting if you are unable to fix it in 3 hours’ time which is the rule of thumb, then it’s time to call an expert or bring it to a technician. Even so, if they are unable to fix the issue then most probably they’ll advise you to replace the parts involved or the entire unit.
If your assessment concludes that the unit is repairable, then do so, regardless if it is DIY or hiring a Pro. When it shows no signs of improvement and the repair cost is too expensive then consider replacing your dehumidifier.
DIY vs. Hiring a Pro(To Fix)
Identifying the issue at an early stage can definitely save you from hiring an expert. Most of the dehumidifier issues are simple and can be handled via DIY.
However, technical experts know what to do and how to fix your unit without spending too much time diagnosing.
DIY or hiring a Pro is the usual dilemma of many homeowners when it comes to saving their appliances. I suggest breaking down the cost and advantages of each to better help you decide.
Then again, I’d like to stress out that if your unit is still under warranty, better to call your manufacturer and deal with them.
There are two things you have to keep in mind when deciding:
- The type of issue and its level of complexity
- Your available skillset and time to dedicate on troubleshooting
Hmm.. So Should I DIY?
I’ve always been fond of DIYs especially when it comes to home maintenance. In fact, there are thousands of video tutorials out there that can help you through. Dehumidifiers are one of the devices that are easy to fix especially when you have the user manual.
What’s great with DIYs is that you get to fix not only the given issue but you can take closer observations on other essential parts or even cleaning the entire unit. Your time dedicated to troubleshooting is not limited to one or certain issues only but you handle the overall device.
There is what we call TLC or tender loving care to our devices when we are handling them ourselves. This is because we know how much it costs, or perhaps, the value it has.
Lastly, don’t forget to mention saving a lot if you do the troubleshooting yourself. Hiring an expert will cost you more.
How About Hiring a Pro?
Technicians are trained to fix any kinds of issues, whether an easy or a difficult one. Usually, you hire a Pro or a technician when everything is out of hand, meaning if the issue is more complex than what you can handle.
Or, you asked for help if you think you don’t have enough time to spend learning and discovering how to fix your dehumidifier, then why not let someone else do it for you?
One of the biggest downsides of hiring a technician is the expensive labor cost, apart from the parts needed. But, these experts know better than DIYs since they have dedicated their skills, time, and knowledge in fixing dehumidifiers.
Take a closer look at this breakdown when you hire a technician:
Are Warranties Worth It?
Manufacturers usually include a 1-year warranty of the unit, and it’s always a hit or miss scenario.
Warranties cover repair and replacement of the units in case it will get damaged inside the given period, but with restrictions. This is the best time for you to maximize the usage while still covered with the warranty.
If you want to have peace of mind throughout the lifespan of your dehumidifier, you can also purchase a 3-year warranty which is as good as having a free dehumidifier in case it breaks.
Extended warranties sometimes cost more than the price of a basic dehumidifier, unless you have purchased a sophisticated unit that's worthy of the warranty.
Got Your Dehumidifier Through Refinancing? Here’s What You Need to Know!
While many enjoy the idea of getting home appliances through credit cards and bank loans, it is such a headache when one or two of these devices fail and needed troubleshooting.
Good thing dehumidifiers are easy to manage and fix as long as you follow the unit’s manual. The only real concern here is when the issue is electrical and other internal parts. But, if you took the unit through refinancing, all the more you should protect it from possible damages.
Maintain a neat dehumidifier at all times by practicing regular cleaning.
Is it Worth Repairing a Dehumidifier?
In the end, it all boils down to how you want the issues to be resolved. If you are into DIYs then you have to consider the cost of materials, the length of time it will take to complete the troubleshooting, and of course, the skill level it demands.
Never let your overconfidence rule over when considering DIY troubleshooting. If you are unsure about your ability and knowledge to fix the dehumidifier, then it’s better to side with caution over cost.
However, if you think that hiring an expert can do the job effectively, be sure to get the complete breakdown of the repair, the total cost of materials and the labor. Most especially if we are talking about a whole-house dehumidifier.
Portable dehumidifiers are more affordable and easier to fix in the case and the idea of choosing DIY repair is more appropriate than a whole-house unit.
If the total cost of repair is more than the price of a brand new dehumidifier, then it’s high time you consider purchasing a new one than getting stuck with a broken unit and wallet.
3 Practical Tips on How to Avoid Expensive Repairs
Sometimes, we’re all guilty of overlooking and overusing home appliances and we only learn their value when we experience issues or worse, damages.
Dehumidifiers are among the most overlooked devices at home, so here are some practical tips on how you can avoid expensive repairs:
Do Not Short-cycle Dehumidifier Compressor
Sudden turning on and off of the unit within a short time frame will cause short-cycle on the dehumidifier’s compressor. A damaged compressor is one of the things you want to avoid since the repair can be costly.
It is best that you at least wait 10 minutes before restarting the unit to allow the pressure to equalize and avert breakage to the compressor since short-cycling causes overheating.
Inspect Frost on Coils
Some areas in the US still have high humidity even during the wintertime so they end up turning on the dehumidifier. Turning on your unit during the cold weather is very tricky and will end up in frozen coils that could lead to malfunctioning.
If you notice any frost on coils, it’s best to let the ice completely melt before using the dehumidifier. There are some models that have auto defrost settings, this is a pretty good feature is you live in colder areas.
Again, this is where your hygrometer plays an essential role in giving you accurate readings before you can turn on your dehumidifier.
Use at Safe Levels Only
Avoid using the dehumidifier at a very low-moisture level since it can cause device exhaustion.
45% is the most ideal comfort for an indoor humidity level so it’s practically recommended to run the unit when the humidistat reads 60 and above.
You can also opt for dehumidifiers with automatic controls so you don’t have to make necessary adjustments from time to time. Choosing a larger unit, say 70-pint is great in dealing with high humidity in small to large rooms.
After reading all these, you might end up asking yourself if it is worth repairing your dehumidifier or a replacement is a better option. The answer lies in the unit type and the extent of the damage, plus your dedication to fixing it.
If you are talking about a whole-house unit, make sure that you perfectly understand how the device works before you decide to go DIY. I recommend that you handle basic or easy issues only if you are unfamiliar with it.
Portable units are pretty simple and easy to manage and most of the time, a replacement is a good choice rather than spending too much time, money, and effort in troubleshooting.
It’s all up to your personal assessment. To make the most of your dehumidifier, stick with a good maintenance routine. It’s all you need to prolong its lifespan and avoid damages.