8 Ways To Tell If Your Dehumidifier Is Working? [Easy Peasy!]

Dehumidifiers are popular these days because of their excellent performance in controlling humidity in the home.

Modern dehumidifiers are simple to use, but many people who have recently purchased new models are unsure if their units are working properly.

If you are one of them, you have come to the right place. In this post, I’ve summarized eight ways to tell if your dehumidifier is working. Each one is simple to carry out!

1. Check the water level of the bucket

If a dehumidifier is working, it will lower indoor humidity by removing excess moisture from the air. This moisture will be converted to liquid, accumulate in the condensate tray, and then get into the bucket. As a result, the water level in the bucket will rise over time.

To check the state of your machine, dump the water and then see if any water appears in the bucket after a while.

Another method is to mark the current water level on the bucket with a washable marker or duct tape and then wait a few hours to see if the water line rises.

2. Use a hygrometer

look at hygrometer

For those who don’t bother to deal with the water bucket, they can use a hygrometer.

Hygrometers are light on the pocket and can help with monitoring the humidity level at home. Therefore, even if you don’t have to run a dehumidifier often, having it at home is beneficial.

You can record the initial humidity level and then recheck it a few hours later to see if the numbers have changed. If your machine is operational, you will notice a decrease in numbers.

The more humid the air is, the larger the difference you can see in numbers. 

3. Look at the coils

check dehumidifier coil

Dehumidifiers, particularly compressor dehumidifiers, are temperature sensitive. When the temperature drops below a certain point, the coils inside will ice up.

When the coils freeze, the machine is unable to collect water. That is why there is no change in moisture level.

You can disassemble the air filter and inspect the coils to see if the coil is causing your dehumidifier to stop working. If you notice any ice on the coil, your device is most likely not working.

4. Feel the airflow

Dehumidifiers come with a built-in fan to draw air in and out of the machine. When the dehumidifier is working, you can feel the airflow on the air outlet.

Furthermore, dehumidifiers blow warm air because the air will be reheated before being returned to the room.

Your dehumidifier should be working properly if warm air continues to blow out of the outlet.

5. Check the humidistat

Nowadays, modern dehumidifiers have a built-in humidistat. The device will shut off when the moisture reaches its target level. 

To tell if your dehumidifier is working, you can investigate your settings. If you set it at a level that is higher than the current humidity level, your machine will not start to work.

6. Monitor the leakage

Manufacturers have embedded a tilt safety feature to make a dehumidifier safe to use. Once it detects any water leaking from the dehumidifier, it will shut down to prevent potential electrical shocks. 

Look at your device and check if there is any water puddle around it. If that is the case, your machine will likely stop working. You should allow it to dry and then restart it to see if it can work normally.

7. Check the indicators

dehumidifier indicators

Dehumidifiers, like any other electrical device, display their status using a variety of indicators.

While the lights of these indicators can turn off automatically after a while in some models, they will turn on when you start to run your device.

If you are unsure whether your device is working, plug it in and turn it on again to see if these lights are illuminated as expected. For example, the mode indicator or power button light may not illuminate.

Some models include a reminder to empty the water tank. If it is turned on, your machine stops working because it can no longer hold more water.

Dehumidifiers can sometimes function properly despite a faulty control panel. Other methods on this list can be combined to make the best decision.

8. Listen carefully

Sometimes, people start to doubt if their dehumidifier is functional because they can’t hear any sound coming out from it.

Because every dehumidifier requires a fan and a compressor to function (a desiccant dehumidifier uses a rotor), it will make some noise. If your machine is completely silent, it is not working.

However, if your machine is extremely loud, it may stop working. For example, when the coil is frozen and trying to condensate more moisture out, the compressor and fan can run at full power.

As a result, when determining whether or not your dehumidifier is working, you should pay close attention. Any sound that is either too loud or too soft could indicate that something is wrong with your machine.


This post has illustrated 8 ways to check if your dehumidifier is working; the majority of them are simple to use.

You can tell if your dehumidifier is working by feeling the airflow or listening to the sound. Changes in water level or hygrometer figures are also useful indicators.

When a dehumidifier isn’t working properly, the coil can ice up and make a loud noise. You can also use these indicators to determine the state of your machine.

Dehumidifiers are not simple appliances to repair. You will feel more confident about your device after trying a few of the methods on this list.

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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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