How To Tell If Dehumidifier Is Working Properly: An Expert Explains!

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Who wants to live in a mold, musty odor, and damp room. High humidity causes these issues in a room. Besides, high humidity in a room causes rotting of wood, corrosion of metals, respiratory problems, depression. A dehumidifier is a device that reduces the humidity level in your room to make your life comfortable.

But when it comes to an empty water tank or feeling sticky air in the room, it becomes our concern that is dehumidifier working or not?

So, you should know – how to tell if dehumidifier is working or not working. You will sometimes notice that your dehumidifier motor is running, but humidity is not reducing. How do you know if a dehumidifier is working efficiently?

In this guide, I will deep dive into how a dehumidifier works, why your dehumidifier has stopped working, and what the signs are to check if the dehumidifier is working. Stay reading.

How Does A Dehumidifier Work?

Dehumidifiers have two methods of working – absorption, and refrigeration. Both ways work by removing moisture and collecting water from the air.

How Does A Dehumidifier Work

Absorption method – in this system, moisture is absorbed by dry materials and then removed the moisture from the system.

Refrigeration method – this method works how the refrigerator works. The warm, humid air sucks through the unit, and the warm air passing through condenser coils. As a result, the air turns into water and is collected in the collecting tanks.

How To Tell If Dehumidifier Is Working?

You can simply tell if your dehumidifier is working by using a hygrometer. Run your dehumidifier for over 1 hour, then see the reading of the hygrometer. If the hygrometer shows relative humidity of 35%, then you can tell your dehumidifier is working. Besides, if you feel less anxiety and your body can evaporate sweat, you can say your dehumidifier is working.

How To Tell If Dehumidifier Is Working

Who does not know what a hygrometer is? A hygrometer is a device that reads the humidity level of a room. It has a sensor that measures the air’s water vapor or moisture levels. You can place it on the table or wardrobe.

What Are The Signs To Check If The Dehumidifier Is Working?

When you find the following signs, you should check your dehumidifier immediately. Read them carefully and match them with what you are facing now –

What Are The Signs To Check If The Dehumidifier Is Working

  • The dehumidifier is not collecting water: When a dehumidifier is collecting water in a collection tank, you can tell your dehumidifier is working. You have switched on your dehumidifier, but the humidity level and temperature of a room are still growing, which means it is not working. So, you have to check the humidistat and keep it in drier mode.

Dehumidifiers collect water in a tank by condensing air. If you notice no change in water level, you can frankly say the dehumidifier is not working. You should check the air filter or change it to a new one. Again, if your dehumidifier can not collect water with a clean filter, you should hire a professional.

Note: A dehumidifier needs around 7 hours to full a 2-liter tank.

  • Full water tank: A switch that controls the running of a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will start collecting water and filling the tank if it is ON. It will automatically stop when the tank is full. However, the tank’s position accidentally turns on the switch. The solution – readjust the tank and turn off the switch.
  • Dehumidifier icing up: Running a dehumidifier below 65 degrees Fahrenheit helps with ice build-up in the coils. Ice in the coils is not good for a dehumidifier to work. So, you should turn on the defrost option.

Besides, poor airflow, cold weather, clogged air filters help with ice building up in the coils. You should follow the proper maintenance to escape higher repair costs.

  • Blowing hot air: Typically, a dehumidifier blows hot air. But when the hot air is 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit more than usual, you can say something defects in the internal part of the dehumidifier.

A dehumidifier also releases hot air when it is overloaded. An overloaded dehumidifier has to work more than its standard capacity. So, the internal parts like – the motor compressor mounting bracket become hot. Eventually, it exerts hot air to the room air.

  • Dehumidifier making loud noise: Dehumidifier may produce noise. The noise results from any defects in the motor or compressor mounting bracket or loose screws. You should tighten the screws first and rerun the dehumidifier.

If you hear the noisy sounds persistently, you should carefully see the internal parts to find out the flaws. If you can not handle it, I recommend hiring a professional.

  • Air is not coming out: When the fan can not expel air from the air over the coils, the air will not come from a dehumidifier. So, when air is not coming out of a dehumidifier, you should check the fan and replace it immediately.
  • The dehumidifier is leaking: It starts leaking when it has gotten too cold. Temperature raises higher, which melts the clogged ice. Then a dehumidifier starts leaking at the bottom.

The simple fix when the dehumidifier is leaking – turn off the device and see the air filter. If the air filter is clogged, you should clean it. Then turn on the dehumidifier. Again, if the problem persists, you should call a dehumidifier fixer.

Why Has My Dehumidifier Stopped Working?

You may have faced that your dehumidifier stops working quickly (after running 1 or 2 minutes). I have listed some common that may cause your dehumidifier to stop working quickly –

Why Has My Dehumidifier Stopped Working

  • Clogged air filter: Dust mites and dirt can clog the air filter. It can deter dehumidifiers from working. You can notice this problem by observing the water level of a dehumidifier tank. Clog in air filter causes either humid or drier air. So, you should clean the air filter once a year.
  • Overload: Many dehumidifiers features an overload protection sensor. When the sensor does not work, the dehumidifier will not start working.

Using an extension cord may also stop the dehumidifier from working. You can use a multitester to find out the origin of the problem, whether the dehumidifier is not working due to extension cord or other internal parts defects.

  • Motor and fan: The dehumidifier employs a fan to expel air. If there have any defects in the motor or fan, you will hear the noise while running. You should come up with either repairing or replacing the motor. You should hire a professional to replace it efficiently.
  • Broken sensor: The dehumidifier tank has a sensor, which cuts the power when the tank is full. A broken sensor helps with running a dehumidifier constantly. The water spills out and causes damage to the floor.
  • Frosted coils: The cool water condensed in the coils and stopped dehumidifier functioning. You should use a defrost featured dehumidifier if you live in a cold environment.
  • Control board: Any problem in control may stop running a dehumidifier. You can consult with an expert when there has any damage to the control board.

How To Tell If A Dehumidifier Is Not Working?

If your body can not get rid of sweat, you feel anxiety due to moist warm air; you can tell your dehumidifier is not working efficiently. If you do not see any change in moisture level on the hygrometer or the tank’s water level, you can tell your dehumidifier is not functioning correctly.

How To Tell If A Dehumidifier Is Not Working

GE Dehumidifier Is Not Working (Troubleshoot)

According to the Repairclinic, the common problems cause GE dehumidifier not working –

GE Dehumidifier Is Not Working

1. Bucket switch does not open

When a dehumidifier tank is full, a bucket switch opens to stop the dehumidifier from running (I have mentioned earlier). If the bucket switch fails to open, the GE dehumidifier stops working.

2. Defects in the control board, humidity sensor, and humidistat

These three parts monitor the humidity level of a room. When the humidity level is too high, they manipulate dehumidifiers to start working. Any defects in any of them stop a dehumidifier from performing efficiently. You can use a multimeter test to determine the continuity of the humidistat.

3. The compressor is not working

A pump (compressor) circulates the refrigerant through the evaporator and condenser coils. If it does not work, the dehumidifier will be hotter.

4. The outlet has no power supply

If the outlet gets no power supply or less power, the GE dehumidifier will not run.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Would Cause A Dehumidifier Is Not Collecting Water?

Clog in the air filter and a stopped bucket switch cause a dehumidifier not collecting water. Besides, when a dehumidifier starts leaking, it will not collect water.

Who Repairs Dehumidifiers?

At first, you should contact the brand or dealer where you have bought it. They will send a technician to repair your dehumidifier. Those who do not have warranty cards should hire experts from their locality.

How Much It Costs To Service A Dehumidifier?

It will cost around 70 dollars to 675 dollars to service a dehumidifier. However, it varies from state to state according to the lifestyle of that state’s people.

How To Make Dehumidifier Work Efficiently?

Here are a few tips to make your dehumidifier work efficiently –

  • Keep enough power supply to the dehumidifier.
  • Maintain a proper temperature in the room. Above 60 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature to work best.
  • Replace the faulty parts and buy a suitable dehumidifier according to room size.
  • Takes service when needed.
  • Keep it in the proper place and always maintain it following the user manual.

What Should You Suggest Me For My Garage?

In a garage, you have a single or many vehicles and other exposed metal parts. You need a dehumidifier urgently to prevent corrosion from high humidity. You need a heavy-duty garage dehumidifier because it has to work longer and for broader space. This dehumidifier will decrease the humidity level to normal.


I wanted to cover everything you must know about how to tell if a dehumidifier is working. To extend the lifespan of a dehumidifier, you should maintain it regularly. You should replace the air filter once a year and run the dehumidifier above 16 degrees Celsius or 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top