Dehumidifiers come in handy in humid areas or damp rooms, but they need regular maintenance to ensure they are in good working condition. So if your dehumidifier doesn’t seem to be working at optimal levels, you may want to give your coils a good cleaning to remove any mold or debris that prevents the unit from pulling in water. This guide will help you understand what dehumidifier coils are, what they do, and the best ways how to clean dehumidifier coils.
What Do Dehumidifier Coils Do?
Dehumidifiers have a cold coil and a warm coil. The cold coil acts as a refrigeration device, condensing the water to remove it from the air. Then the warm coil heats up the air, so it’s warm and dry. This air is blown out into the room, lowering the humidity levels.
How to Clean Dehumidifier Coils
The first thing you need to do is unplug the dehumidifier and empty all of the water from the unit. Try to dry off the unit as much as possible. Moisture is the enemy in this situation so the dryer everything is the better.
Keep in mind these steps walk you through cleaning the coils only, but when you are doing this, it’s a good idea to go ahead and clean the entire dehumidifier. If you are doing this, the coils will probably be the last part you tackle since they are inside the unit.
Disassemble the Dehumidifier
The coils are usually located on the back of the unit behind a plastic panel that can be popped out or unscrewed.
Remove the Hose
Detach the hose from the inside of the unit and clean this as well, it pushes the air over the coils when the unit is running.
Remove Superficial Dirt
Remove the coils from the dehumidifier and scrape off surface dirt. There are special coil brushes designed for this task, and it is recommended you purchase one, but a toothbrush can also work. Scrub up and down, removing the superficial dirt and debris.
Spray Cleaning Agent
The next step is to thoroughly spray the coils with a cleaning agent, preferably a foaming solvent that will enter the nooks and crannies of the coils. The spray will loosen up the grime after a few minutes, so let it sit for a bit after spraying.
Now that the grime isn’t stuck to the coils, take the brush and scrub the coils as much as possible. Use an up and down motion but be gentle. You should see a significant amount of dirt and debris come free from the coils. If your coils have mold you should be able to scrub all of it off.
Rinse the coils under warm, clean water for a few minutes. Do this until you are sure all of the dirt and foaming solvents have washed away.
If your coils have mold, you can spray some bleach on them after rinsing to kill the bacteria. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then rinse again thoroughly in warm water.
Dry the coils with a soft cloth as much as possible, and let them air dry for about 30 minutes. Put them back in the dehumidifier, and you are all set!
How to Maintain Your Dehumidifier
Clean Water Tank Regularly
The water tank is obviously the wettest part of your dehumidifier, therefore, should be cleaned the most. Neglecting the water tank can lead to mold, mildew, and other harmful substances that can grow in damp spaces.
The best method is to use a tiny bit of bleach or a cup of white vinegar to remove any bacteria lurking in the water tank.
Inspect Coils Often
Coils can become clogged suddenly, and you may not realize until a few days go by and your space is damp and humid. To avoid this, take a look at your coils once a week to make sure they are in good shape.
Replace or Clean Filter
The filter should be cleaned or replaced once a week if you use the dehumidifier regularly. Neglecting your air filters will lead to dirty coils and an all-around less effective dehumidifier.
Empty Tank Daily
Although this is a hassle, emptying your dehumidifier’s water tank every single day is very important. If you don’t use it every day, you don’t need to empty it every day. But most people use their dehumidifiers enough that the tank should be emptied once a day, at least.
When the tank overfills, water can seep into the dehumidifier and cause coils to become dirty or clogged in addition to other malfunctions. Water and dehumidifiers are not friends, so always keep the dehumidifier as dry as possible.
You should make sure your dehumidifier is placed on a flat surface, so it is not tilted in any way. The unit needs to be at least six inches away from the walls and needs to be somewhat solitary. If you place it next to, behind, or between furniture or other items, it may overheat or become inefficient at removing moisture.
The coils are an integral part of your dehumidifier, and without them, the appliance wouldn’t be able to function. Allowing them to get dirty of grow mold is harmful to your health and comfort. Make sure to follow the steps for cleaning coils and the maintenance tips provided to keep your dehumidifier working to remove moisture.
Otherwise, you aren’t reaping the full benefits a dehumidifier can offer. Living with a dirty filter can actually worsen your air quality, so get ahead of these problems by maintaining your dehumidifier and the coils to always be squeaky clean.
Do I need to replace the coils?
Unless something unusual happens, you shouldn’t have to replace your dehumidifier’s coils. If your coils are constantly getting dirty and clogged, you should probably change your filter more.
If your coils keep icing over, it is likely an issue with the fan motor, not the coils themselves.
How often do I need to clean the coils?
Ideally, you should clean your dehumidifier coils once every three weeks to keep the dehumidifier working at its best. But definitely, don’t wait more than a month to give the coils a good scrubbing. If you neglect the coils or neglect dehumidifier maintenance entirely, the unit won’t be able to perform its job.