How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last? What You Need to Know

If you have high humidity issues in your home, a portable dehumidifier is an effective solution to keep your home dry.

But some people might wonder how long a dehumidifier will last—especially if they’re running it all day.

In this article, I’ll discuss how long a portable dehumidifier should last. I’ll also go over a few things you can do to increase the lifespan of your portable dehumidifier.

How long does a portable dehumidifier last?

A portable dehumidifier will last for about 10 years before needing to be replaced.

If you use your portable dehumidifier continuously, it will experience more wear and will likely need to be replaced sooner than 10 years.

So how much does an average home use their dehumidifier, anyway?

An average US home with a portable dehumidifier uses it for 1,580 hours per year.

While some homes run their dehumidifiers all year long, most homes with portable dehumidifiers use them for 6.7 months each year.

How to increase the lifespan of your portable dehumidifier

Even though every dehumidifier will eventually break down, you can prolong its life by setting it up correctly and doing some routine maintenance.

Here are some things that you can do to extend the life of your dehumidifier:

Adjust your dehumidifier’s humidistat to the correct humidity level

The easiest thing you can do to increase the lifespan of your portable dehumidifier is to adjust its humidistat to the proper level.

Most portable dehumidifiers have a setpoint that is adjustable down to 30% RH. But that doesn’t mean that you should set it that low.

If you turn your dehumidifier’s humidistat down to the lowest level, it will probably run continuously.

For most homes, a humidity level of 30-50% is ideal. So you’ll be okay setting your dehumidifier to 40% or 50%.

After raising your dehumidifier’s humidity setpoint you may notice that it stays off for longer periods of time.

Raising the humidity setpoint on your dehumidifier will lengthen its lifespan because it will run less.

Make sure your dehumidifier is installed correctly

Keep your portable dehumidifier at least 12 inches away from nearby objects, such as walls, curtains, or furniture.

Some models of dehumidifiers require more space around them, so check your dehumidifier’s owner’s manual for the exact amount of clearance required.

Your dehumidifier needs sufficient space around it so air can flow freely into and out of the unit.

If your dehumidifier is pinned up close to a wall, it will work harder to suck in air—reducing its lifespan.

Also, make sure that your dehumidifier’s air discharge is pointed toward the center of your space. This ensures that the dehumidifier provides good coverage of your space.

One last thing that I should mention is that the space that your dehumidifier is in should be isolated from surrounding areas. This means that you should shut all doors and windows so humidity doesn’t move from one space to another. 

For example, if your dehumidifier is in your basement, keep the door to your basement and all your basement windows shut. That way, humid air from the outside of your home or other rooms in your home won’t get into your basement.

Clean your dehumidifier’s filters and condensate tank

One thing you can do to increase the lifespan of your portable dehumidifier is to clean it regularly.

This means that cleaning the air filters and condensate tank will help make your portable dehumidifier last longer.

By keeping its air filters clean, your portable dehumidifier will get adequate airflow and run without experiencing increased wear and tear.

Keeping your dehumidifier’s condensate drain tank clean is important as well. If you let your dehumidifier’s condensate drain system get too dirty, it will gunk up with mildew and slime. The gunk may spread to your dehumidifier’s evaporator coil, impeding the performance and lifespan of your dehumidifier.

Dehumidifier water may contain microbes

Use your dehumidifier only in ideal conditions

Another way to increase the lifespan of your portable dehumidifier is only to use it when the temperature is 41°F or higher.

Ideally, your space’s temperature should be between 70°F and 90°F for your dehumidifier to operate efficiently.

If you use your portable dehumidifier in temperatures lower than 41°F, your dehumidifier runs the risk of icing up.

Even temperatures below 60°F may cause a dehumidifier to ice up in certain circumstances.

When your dehumidifier ices up, it will experience more wear and tear than it normally does. With the increased wear and tear, your dehumidifier’s lifespan will be reduced. An iced-up dehumidifier also won’t work as well.

This is especially important if you use a dehumidifier in your basement. Basements are usually cooler than the rest of your home. So it’s not uncommon for a dehumidifier running in the basement to ice up.

Hi, my name is Trey Lewis and I’m the founder and chief editor at HVAC Training Shop. My goal for this website is to help homeowners troubleshoot and maintain their home’s HVAC systems. Whether it’s changing an air filter, troubleshooting a blower motor, or just buying a new humidifier, I want to make sure that you’re covered.

4 thoughts on “How Long Does a Dehumidifier Last? What You Need to Know”

    • Hi Dorothy,

      Unfortunately, you’ll need to figure out a way to gain access to the coil to clean it. Try removing the air filter to see if you can gain access to the coil. Then, you can clean the coil with a vacuum cleaner and coil cleaning solution if necessary.

      Best of luck,

  1. I have a 3 yr old danby ddr070eawdb dehumidifier that quit working, displays E3 error code. Owners manual doesn’t show that code, danby said it was the humidity senor, my manual said EH is the humidity sensor error code. I replaced the sensor and still get E3. Compressor kicks on, pipes start to cool, and after about 30 minutes the Compressor kicks off and E3 code appears. Danby said E3 indicates any sensor in the system could be bad, but doesn’t tell which one. The only other sensors connected to the circuit board are an evaporator coil bi metal thermistor , and a bi metal thermistor that attaches to the pipe that is hot coming from the Compressor. I don’t know if they are bad, and danby doesn’t even list the part. They both are part of one harness that plugs into the circuit board right beside the humidity sensor plug in. I hate to throw the unit away, but I don’t want to throw money at it either.

    • Hi Pete,

      Yeah, getting replacement parts is always an issue with these types of appliances. It defeinitely sounds like it could be one of those thermistors. But without knowing exactly what type of thermistor it is, you won’t be able to take a resistance reading and know for sure which one has gone bad. One thing that you can try is wait until the temperature is the same for both sensors, then take a resistance reading on each of them to see if they are reading differently. That will at least tell you if one of them is bad, but you won’t know which one (and it could be both!). Then you can try replacing one (or both). I see a few different parts on the web when i search for “danby thermistor”, do one of those look like the correct one?

      Best of luck,


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