For those living in a home where there’s condensation, mould and mildew, or a musty smell is a problem, they’ll be looking for something that can help improve things – like a dehumidifier. 

A dehumidifier is designed to remove excess moisture or water from the air. This in turn results in drier air and a better, healthier environment to live in. 

It helps to fight mould and mildew, reduces the instance of dust mites in carpets and fabrics, fights high humidity and can even help to dry laundry.

Compressor dehumidifiers are the most common choice for homes. When you switch them on, they draw air into the unit. The air passes through a filter and over cold coils. The coils make the water condense, and the drips are collected in an integrated water tank. A fan then sends the drier air back into the room.

However, when using this appliance there are a few common mistakes that can be made – some can even be wasting energy and adding to your bills.

Dehumidifier experts at Honeywell have shared some common mistakes to avoid when using a dehumidifier.

They said: “Dehumidifiers are valuable appliances that help maintain a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment. They work wonders in reducing excess moisture, preventing mould and mildew growth, and alleviating allergies. 

“However, like any other appliance, using a dehumidifier correctly is crucial to ensure it does its job effectively.”

Choosing the wrong size

According to the pros, “one of the most common mistakes” people make when using a dehumidifier is selecting the wrong size for their space. 

It’s important to choose a unit that is appropriately sized for the room you intend to dehumidify. The experts explained: “A dehumidifier’s capacity is measured in pints of water removed per day. If you pick a unit that’s too small for your room, it won’t effectively reduce condensation and humidity levels fast enough. 

“Conversely, an oversized unit might turn on and off frequently, wasting energy.” 

To avoid this, measure the room’s square footage and choose a dehumidifier with the appropriate capacity. 

Poor placement 

Where a dehumidifier is placed can “significantly impact its performance. Placing it in a corner or near walls and obstructions can restrict airflow, “reducing its efficiency”. 

Instead, it is recommended to position it in the centre of the room to allow for better circulation. Most dehumidifiers have wheels and handles, making it easy to move them around for optimal placement.

Neglecting maintenance 

Like any other appliance, dehumidifiers require regular maintenance. Neglecting to clean or replace the filter, empty the water bucket, or maintain the coils can lead to “decreased performance and potential breakdowns”. 

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. Typically, dehumidifiers have washable filters and clear indicators for water levels, making maintenance a breeze.

Setting incorrect humidity levels 

Setting the dehumidifier to the wrong humidity level can be “counterproductive”, warned the experts. 

If a dehumidifier is placed on a too low a setting, it can make the air “excessively dry and uncomfortable”, while too high a setting “won’t effectively combat humidity-related issues”.