State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500324
Dehumidifiers - Operation
Place the unit at least 6 inches from the nearest wall where air can
flow freely to and from all sides. Avoid locating it in a room corner
or near a large piece of furniture. Shut all doors and windows to the
area to be dehumidified.
For the first few days of operation, turn the humidistat, if the model
has one, to drier or "extra dry." This aids moisture removal from
furnishings as well as room air. After the area has dried, adjust the
humidistat to your particular comfort level.
Before you empty the water pan or bucket, turn the machine off and also
disconnect the power cord. This eliminates any possibility of electric
shock if you spill water and there is a fault in the grounding system
of the unit or your home wiring. Be sure the area, the unit, and you
are dry before you reconnect the cord.
Dehumidifiers operate most effectively at air temperatures about 70 F.
At temperatures below 65 F., frost may form on the coils (which are
kept cold to condense as much moisture as possible). If this happens,
shut it off, and wait for it to defrost before running again. Frost
cuts down air circulation so the dehumidifying process does not work,
and may damage the coils. This problem usually occurs in cool basements
in spring or fall; check the appliance if temperature hovers near that
As water condenses out of the air, heat is given off, raising the
temperature slightly in the area around the appliance. This warmer air
results in a lower relative humidity.
Dehumidifiers need little upkeep or care. The following simple
procedures are sufficient:
Always unplug the power cord before cleaning the unit. For regular
cleaning, dust the grilles or louvers with a soft brush or the dusting
attachment of a vacuum cleaner. Either dust the cabinet or wipe it with
a damp cloth. Every few weeks, scrub the inside of the water container
with a sponge or soft cloth and a mild detergent to discourage the
growth of mold, mildew, or bacteria. At least once each season, remove
all dust and lint from the cold coils with a soft brush.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus,
with references from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
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educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
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status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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