8 Disadvantages Of A Dehumidifier You Should Know

Liz Yang

Although using a dehumidifier is trendy in American households and is proven to have many benefits, it doesn’t imply that it is a perfect appliance for everyone. 

In fact, using a dehumidifier can result in many possible disadvantages and side effects, including noise, racked electricity bills, tedious upkeep, and so on. 

In the list below, I have summarized 8 disadvantages of a dehumidifier. This information will be useful to you whether you are considering purchasing a dehumidifier or have been using one for a long time.

1. Make noise

dehumidifier make noise

When I first got my Hisense dehumidifier, I was taken aback by the noise it made because I expected it to be very quiet.

In fact, most dehumidifiers produce noises ranging from 30 to 50 decibels. This is due to the fact that a dehumidifier draws and condenses air using a fan and a compressor. These components will generate some noise.

This isn’t a big deal if you plan to put it in the basement or crawlspace, but it would be a problem if you wanted to use it in the bedroom.

Personally, I find myself can’t sleep with a dehumidifier running all night. It can make me feel restless. On the contrary, my mom feels she sleeps even better when the unit is on. It acts as white noise for her. 

If you are sensitive to noise, you can purchase a model that is advertised as being quiet. A desiccant dehumidifier produces less noise than a compressor dehumidifier, but it has other drawbacks that I will discuss later.

2. Add heat to the room

Some people believe that a dehumidifier can cool the room, but this is not the case. A dehumidifier will blow hot air into the room, gradually raising the temperature.

When the humidity level drops, you will be more comfortable even if the air temperature arises at the same time since the sweat evaporates quickly under the circumstances. 

However, when the temperature continues to climb, you may not be able to withstand the hot air anymore at some point. 

The warm air would be beneficial in the winter but would be unpleasant in the summer.

It is worth mentioning that desiccant humidifiers can blow hotter air than compressor models, making them a useful device for drying clothes in winter. 

3. Only address the symptoms rather than the source of the problem

Albeit dehumidifiers are great at removing excess moisture and controlling mold growth, they can’t prevent the damage from happening again. It means that when you stop using it, the excess humidity in your house will show up in a short time. 

To completely eliminate the risk of future water damage or other hazards, you must first identify the source of the problem and repair it, such as by sealing cracks or adding insulation.

4. Increase the cost of electricity 

dehumidifier increase electricity cost

To be honest, a dehumidifier doesn’t use much electricity, and its wattage is around 400W on average, which means you’ll only need to pay around $15 per month if you run it 8 hours per day.

However, the energy cost is much higher when comparing a dehumidifier with a humidifier

It is up to you to decide whether you are willing to accept the increased electricity costs.

5. High upfront cost 

For those working on a budget, a dehumidifier may not be a good choice. A portable will cost you a few hundred dollars, whereas you may spend a few thousand dollars on a whole-house model.

Luckily, there are many other methods you can use to dehumidify your house, such as installing an exhaust fan, placing some humidity-absorbing plants, or using rock salt.

As basements are often the wettest place at home, I have written a post to teach you how to keep them dry without using a dehumidifier.

6. Tedious maintenance 

This is the biggest disadvantage of a dehumidifier for many people because committing to regular maintenance is very difficult for them. 

As a dehumidifier can collect a lot of water daily, you may need to dump the water in the water tank a few times a day. But you can combat it by connecting it to a drain hose. 

Aside from that, you should clean and replace the air filter every so often. Maintaining the coil is also essential to preventing the machine from freezing.

7. Possible dryness 

Even though most dehumidifiers come with a built-in humidistat, there are some types of dehumidifiers that don’t. 

If your model can’t shut off automatically when the humidity reaches a certain level, you should exercise caution. 

When the humidity level falls below 30%, many people are more prone to infections, congestion, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Continue to monitor the moisture level and turn off the dehumidifier as needed.

8. Bacteria and mold can thrive in a dehumidifier

A dehumidifier draws air into the machine, along with pollutants. Mold spores can also enter the water tank through other means.

If you don’t clean the machine on a regular basis, the water reservoir will become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, posing additional health risks to you.

Don’t disregard this possible side effect of using a dehumidifier. These little contaminants can wreak havoc on you. 

Recap 

This post illustrates 8 disadvantages of using a dehumidifier so that you can weigh it with the advantages you will get to decide if you should go for it. 

Dehumidifiers can improve the comfort level by removing moisture content in the room; however, they can’t address the source of the problem, which means they can’t change the humid conditions completely. 

Meanwhile, it can add to electricity bills, raise the indoor temperature, and produce noise. 

What is more important, you should keep the dehumidifier clean. Otherwise, it can lead to some side effects, including the thriving of microorganisms. 

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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