If you’ve survived a typical Northeast Ohio summer, you’re probably familiar with the saying, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Our bodies – and our home cooling systems – are equipped to tolerate high temperatures. However, excessive humidity can be uncomfortable at best and a health hazard at worst (think mold spores and other yucky airborne allergens). In addition, it can cost you financially by decreasing your A/C’s efficiency and causing substantial damage to your home. Luckily, a whole-home dehumidifier can put an end to humidity-related problems like mold stains, water damage and rotting wood, as well as help combat those pesky allergens. That’s why you want to make sure yours is in tip-top shape. Check out these helpful hints for some of your common dehumidifier issues.
My Dehumidifier Smells Bad
A whole-home dehumidifier is built to improve your indoor air quality, so if you notice a sulfuric smell, you’ve definitely got a problem. Foul smells could be due to mold and mildew growth inside your dehumidifier’s basin. Try cleaning the basin with warm, soapy water or soaking it in a vinegar/water mix. There’s a chance your unit’s fan blades are accumulating mold, too. If the unpleasant smell persists, unplug your dehumidifier and remove the fan cage. Clean the blades with soapy water and vacuum the motor.
The Light Is On, but It’s Not Working
Most units have a safety valve that turns off the dehumidifier when the water basin is full. If the tank is empty, the switch may just be sensitive. Try removing the basin and firmly pushing it back in to jog the switch.
The Bucket Fills Too Fast or Too Slowly
If your dehumidifier’s water basin is filling up too quickly, you probably have extra water in the air due to an issue like a cracked pipe, water leak or open crawl space. If you’re hardly getting any water in the basin, you may need to simply turn the control to a drier setting. Next, you could try replacing the unit’s air filter. If it’s still not filling with water, you may have a refrigeration issue, and you’ll need to call a professional.
The Coils Look Frosty
Your dehumidifier’s fan pulls moist air over the evaporator coils, which then condenses. If the air is too cool, the condensation can freeze, giving the coils that frosty layer. Is the temperature in the room 65º or lower? If so, turn your thermostat up a couple of degrees. You can also try switching the unit off for a couple of hours or storing it above ground level where the air is warmer.
My Dehumidifier Is Leaking
Your water bucket is probably the culprit here. First simply double check that it’s positioned correctly. Next, inspect it for any cracks or imperfections. If everything looks OK, take a look at your drain hose. Is it fitted with a gasket? Is the gasket properly sealed? If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to call an expert for assistance.