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Why Is Does My Dehumidifier Smell?

Few things are worse than an appliance giving off an odor. It's especially bad when you're dealing with a dehumidifier, which has the added function of circulating air and, unfortunately, sometimes spreading those bad smells around. The thing to remember about any appliance that starts to smell bad is that it's usually a symptom of another issue. More often than not, what you're smelling is bacteria or mold.

Bad smells can come with age when it comes to a dehumidifier, but they can also appear in newer units that are defective or damaged in some way. This smell isn't benign; it can become a serious problem for those who are part of sensitive groups or suffer from chronic health problems. And the longer it goes on, the worse it will get.

A dirty filter

You might take the filtering system in your dehumidifier for granted. Many people don't even realize the processes that go into a dehumidifier working in the first place, so a filter in need of cleaning is not exactly the first place most brains go. But it is the first and easiest place to check when you've got an odor coming out of your dehumidifier. Filters collect debris and dust that's in the air, so when the dehumidifier sends air back into the room, it's cleaner. If the filter is not regularly cleaned, the buildup will start to smell and attract bacteria, which only makes the odor worse. Stinky dehumidifier? Start with your filter.

A dirty evaporator

Another place to look for problems with debris buildup is the evaporator. This device is in constant contact with moisture, and when the dehumidifier turns off, it doesn't have its own internal drying system. So, the moisture still present when the appliance is off sits to attract bacteria and mold, which you'll eventually start to smell if you don't regularly check the evaporator. A professional can help you set a schedule for checking it and instruct you on how to keep it clean and dry when not in use.

A dirty water collection chamber

The part of the humidifier most likely to be affected by moisture buildup and standing water is going to be the bucket in the water collection chamber. This chamber's whole job is to hold the condensed water that's been pulled out of the air, and it needs to be dumped out regularly if you don't have a drainage hose hookup. If any water is allowed to sit there for an excessive amount of time, you'll start to notice mold and bacteria.

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