Are Dehumidifiers Loud & How To Fix A Noisy Dehumidifier?

Liz Yang

Our lives have become much easier as a result of technological advancement. A dehumidifier, for example, can help us combat dampness at home. However, a dehumidifier may also cause adverse effects, such as noise. 

A certain level of noise is normal for a dehumidifier. If it starts to make excess noise, it may be due to the uneven surface, loose components, dysfunctional fan, or a faulty compressor.

You’ve come to the right place if your dehumidifier is making a lot of noise and you’re looking for solutions. Continue reading to learn how to properly deal with a noisy dehumidifier.

A normal dehumidifier can be loud

If you have never used a dehumidifier before and just find your new dehumidifier noisy, there is likely nothing wrong with your machine. 

Dehumidifiers can be quite loud, and noise is one of their main drawbacks. A dehumidifier can produce noise ranging from 30 to 50 decibels, depending on the model.

This is because the compressor and fan motor will vibrate and the fan blades will rotate quickly.

On top of it, the location of the output port matters. The outlet located on the top tends to produce louder noise than the models with an outlet on the side. 

For those sensitive to loud sounds, you can choose a model that claims to be quiet. Another good way is to test them in your local store. 

However, you should exercise caution when it starts to make abnormal noise. For example, you may notice that the sound of your appliance has become significantly louder than before.

Why does the dehumidifier make noise and how to fix it?

If your dehumidifier is making excess noise, don’t be agitated. You can often fix it on your own. In this section, I will list common causes and solutions to this issue.

1. Wrong settings

dehumidifier continuous mode

Sometimes, you can turn a loud dehumidifier into a quiet dehumidifier simply by pressing the buttons on the control board. 

The machine can produce a louder sound when you set the fan speed at a high level or choose a continuous mode. 

How to fix it?

1. Reduce the fan speed to the lowest setting.

2. If available, select “sleep mode” or “auto mode.”

2. Uneven surface 

When there is insufficient clearance from the machine, the airflow is obstructed, causing the fan to work harder to draw air and produce a louder sound.

Your fan will become overloaded, reducing the lifespan of your dehumidifier.

How to fix it? 

To identify the problem, you can put your hands on top of the machine to see if the sound changes accordingly. 

If that is the case, you can move it to another place with a flat surface or adjust the leg length to ensure it stays straight. 

3. Limited clearance 

When there is not enough clearance from the machine, the airflow will be blocked, causing the fan to work harder to draw the air and make a louder sound. 

Your fan will become overloaded, shortening the lifespan of your dehumidifier eventually. 

How to fix it?

The required clearance varies from model to model. In general, you should put it 6 to 8 inches away from the walls. 

4. Loose components

The compressor and fan motor will vibrate when operating. Over time, the nuts and screws will get loose due to the constant vibration. 

The rattling sound will become more noticeable as more components become untightened.

How to fix it? 

You can try to tighten all the nuts and screws on the outer shell. If it doesn’t work, you must take apart the machine, look at the parts inside and try to tighten each component. 

However, this may void the warranty. If you find it tricky, seeking professional help is no shame. 

5. You don’t replace the water reservoir properly

stuck dehumidifier water bucket

If you do not use a drain hose, you must empty the water bucket on a regular basis.

When you don’t put it back correctly, the vibration will cause noise when the machine is running.

How to fix it?

Taking out the water tank again and then putting it back carefully will solve the problem. Sometimes, the damaged, tiny parts inside can get the bucket stuck. In this case, you need to consult your manufacturer and may need to purchase a replacement. 

6. Damaged compressor

The dehumidifier compressor makes noise naturally, but the noise is a kind of white noise. When the sound volume increases suddenly and it produces a screeching, grinding sound, your compressor may malfunction.

How to fix it?

Rather than hiring a pro to fix it, getting a new dehumidifier is often the better option. A compressor alone is usually pricey, let alone the labor cost. 

7. Faulty or loose fan motor

Another source of noise is the fan motor. When it is loose or faulty, the fan blades can rub against the housing, and the fan motor shaft can wiggle. 

How to fix it?

First, check to see if there are any loose parts inside or outside the motor. Then use your hand to rotate the blades to see if there are any damaged blades or deformed shafts. 

Don’t try to realign it on your own. You’d better get a replacement and hire a pro to do it for you. 

8. Clogged air filter and coils

dehumidifier filter

Dust and dirt can build up inside the machine, preventing normal operation. The air filter and coil are the dirtiest places. 

When they are clogged, the machine will freeze up, and the compressor can’t work as usual or even stop working. Noise can appear during this process. 

How to fix it?

Cleaning the machine can solve the problem. Take out the filter and rinse it under the water. To clean the coil, use a soft cloth or specific coil cleaners.

Recap

All dehumidifiers make noise. Some may be loud, while others may be quieter. When the sound level is less than 50 decibels, your machine should be fine.

When your machine makes excessive noise, you must identify the problem and find a solution. Most of the time, it is due to incorrect placement and settings, which can be corrected immediately.

The nuts and screws can become loose after a while of use. The operation can be hampered by a dirty filter and coil. The compressor and motor can occasionally fail.

Don’t try to fix a motor or compressor unless you have the expertise. 

Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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