Are you looking for ways to make your dehumidifier more quiet?
In this guide we’ll break down easy and low cost ways to silence them.
Dehumidifiers have been around for decades, playing an important role in many households worldwide. After the COVID-19 pandemic, dehumidifiers became much more popular devices.
Excess moisture can be a nuisance in any living space. A dehumidifier is a necessary device if your house is located in a humid region, and are key in maintaining a comfortable and healthy indoor environment by reducing the level of humidity in the air and improving air quality.
A little known fact, is that dehumidifiers can help control asthma and allergies, make it easier to breathe, and minimize bacterial growth — preventing the proliferation of mold, mildew, and dust.
In turn, this can help eliminate or prevent pests like cockroaches and dust mites from appearing in your home.
Dehumidifiers are excellent appliances offering numerous benefits, but they often come with a fairly common downside: noise.
Most dehumidifier owners struggle with the level of noise they produce. The constant hum or buzz of the appliance can become a source of annoyance — getting on nerves and disrupting the serene quiet of one’s living space.
It’s no wonder that many dehumidifier owners are frequently on the hunt for methods to quiet their devices or searching for quieter models to replace their current one.
In fact, “quiet dehumidifiers” are common Google searches, right next to “silent dehumidifiers.”
Unfortunately, finding an absolutely quiet dehumidifier is next to impossible.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to decrease the noise it makes.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common reasons for loud noises emerging from your dehumidifier and explore several ways to ensure a silent operation from your appliance.
What Makes the Noise in Your Dehumidifiers?
A dehumidifier works in a similar manner to refrigerators and air conditioners. In fact, some of the critical components of these appliances are also the same, like the fan motor and compressor.
With dehumidifiers, the fan creates airflow, while the compressor generates noise as it cycles on and off to cool the coils. The fan motor also creates noise as it powers the centrifugal fan blades that draw air from the room. This air is then filtered through a mesh and blown over cold coils to extract water vapor or excess moisture.
Just like how refrigerators and air conditioners make noise while they are running, so do dehumidifiers. The reasons behind the noise for these appliances are mostly the same as well.
Below are the likely culprits behind the loud noises of dehumidifiers.
Fan Motor and Compressor
In most cases, the noise is primarily due to the fan motor and compressor working together. When the appliances are running, the noise you hear is likely the compressor, condenser fan, and/or normal cycling sounds as it goes from one mode to another.
The exhaust fan can also be a source of noise. This component is often found on either the top of the appliance or on its side. As the dry air exits the dehumidifier, it adds to the sounds made by the fan and compressor.
Dehumidifiers with higher fan speeds often produce more noise due to the increased airflow as the air moves more rapidly through the unit. While higher fan speeds can help the unit work more efficiently, they also tend to generate more noise.
Another potential source of sounds is the grill at the back of the appliance. This is where the device sucks in the moist indoor air. As the air enters or passes through the filter, it also makes some noise, further adding to the fans and motors.
Blockages or restricted airflow can produce more noise. A clogged or dirty air filter can hinder proper airflow, causing the fan to work harder and become noisier.
The movement of the air inside the dehumidifier — as well as the movements of the fans and compressor themselves — can extend to the casing of the appliance. If the components are loose, the casing can vibrate as well, adding a constant rumbling noise. Depending on how the dehumidifier is assembled, the sounds of the motors can also potentially echo through its body.
As such, hearing some noise is inevitable. While there are modern dehumidifiers that are designed with noise reduction and residential use in mind, many still generate a low rumbling noise.
Demystifying Dehumidifier Noise Levels
Now that we know what causes the sounds you hear when you turn your dehumidifier on, let’s qualify something first — what exactly counts as a “loud” dehumidifier?
Noise levels are measured in decibels or dB. A-weighted decibels, or dBA, refer to sound measured by how the human ear perceives the loudness. Even small increases in dBA can potentially affect your hearing health — especially if you are exposed to the sound over a long period of time.
Normal conversations can reach up to 60 to 70 dBA. However, any sound starting at 85 dBA can be potentially harmful to your hearing.
For quiet dehumidifiers, these can fall at around 54 dB to 57 dBA. The quietest dehumidifiers with a silent compressor can be even lower, ranging between 40 dB to 54 dB.
While these may be the quietest dehumidifiers, they are not always the most efficient to use for large spaces.
Regular dehumidifier sounds can be measured at around 57 dB to 60 dB. Even though this level of noise is at around regular conversation volume, it can still become a nuisance over time.
Loud or noisy dehumidifiers have even higher decibel measurements. Noisy ones can be around 60 dB to 65 dB, while extra loud ones are anything measured louder than 65 dB.
For comparison, the noise that a hairdryer or vacuum makes typically measures at around 70 dB.
Even a two dB difference can result in significant change in how loudly your dehumidifier is vibrating.
Solutions to Noisy Dehumidifiers
Having a silent dehumidifier is highly beneficial, especially for residential use. A quiet dehumidifier enhances comfort by reducing the distracting and disruptive noise often associated with these appliances.
This is particularly advantageous for people who work from home, study, or simply value a peaceful ambiance, and can also be a boon for light sleepers, as a quieter dehumidifier will not interfere with a good night’s rest.
Since some devices run on set schedules or times, you will not have to worry about suddenly waking up in the middle of the night when it turns on.
Let’s dive into a list of ways that help you reduce the noise produced by dehumidifiers.
While these solutions might not turn your unit into one of the best quiet dehumidifiers, it can still significantly improve your overall experience with yours.
Adjust the Fan Speed
We’ll start with one of the easiest solutions: the fan speed. Many modern dehumidifiers come with adjustable fan speed settings. In most cases, higher fan speeds result in louder noises.
By reducing the fan speed, you are reducing the noise output and saving energy while maintaining effective moisture removal. This way, even if you did not specifically purchase an energy-efficient dehumidifier, you can still see greater energy efficiency.
Quieter fan settings are especially useful for overnight operation when you’re seeking a peaceful sleep environment.
Turn On the Energy-Efficient Mode
Many modern dehumidifiers come equipped with an energy-efficient mode. Making your dehumidifier more energy efficient basically involves adjusting the fan speed and compressor operation based on humidity levels.
This feature can conserve energy and promote quieter operation during periods of lower humidity demand. Energy-efficient modes are designed to work smarter, not harder, resulting in less noise output.
Place the Dehumidifier on an Even Surface
Uneven floor surfaces can exacerbate dehumidifier noises. Aside from the fan or compressor sounds, the entire unit itself can rattle or vibrate more due to the unequal footing. Ensuring that the unit is placed on an even surface can significantly improve its noise levels and turn it into a more quiet dehumidifier.
Use Carpets, Rugs, and Rubber Isolation Pads
In addition, if you have wooden floors, it also helps to place a carpet, rug, mat, or similar item under the dehumidifier. This will help absorb and dampen the sound of the unit’s vibrations, which is usually amplified by wooden flooring.
Carpets or rugs can possibly help prevent the dehumidifier from moving incrementally due to the vibrations, ensuring it stays on the even surface.
To further dampen vibrations and prevent them from resonating throughout the room, consider placing rubber isolation or specialized anti-vibration pads underneath your dehumidifier. These pads act as shock absorbers, reducing both vibrations and subsequent noise.
They isolate the appliance from the floor, absorbing the shock and vibrations, resulting in quiet dehumidifiers. This strategy is highly recommended for wooden surfaces, but may also be necessary even for tile flooring depending on how much your unit vibrates.
Perform Regular Internal Cleaning and Maintenance
Proper maintenance is key to keeping your dehumidifier running smoothly and quietly. Since dehumidifiers filter the impurities from the air, the dust or debris left behind can build up and clog the flow of air.
If the air is blocked fully or too much, the fan motor and compressor is more likely to overexert itself. This not only leads to poorer air quality but also to louder noises. In some cases, even a quiet dehumidifier can become noisy due to this issue.
As such, make sure to regularly clean or replace air filters to prevent airflow restrictions, which can lead to increased fan noise.
Vacuum the internals as necessary. Lubricating moving parts can also minimize friction-induced noise and ensure that your unit functions optimally. take out the air filter and wash it with detergent. A clean air filter will keep your dehumidifier quiet, extend the machine’s service life, and make it more energy-efficient.
Additionally, inspect and clean other components, such as the evaporator and condenser coils, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Ensure Optimal Airflow Externally
The internals are not the only thing that can affect air flow. If your dehumidifier is placed too close to a wall or any other furniture that can serve as an obstacle to the flow of air, it will likely be noisier.
A dehumidifier can make noise when it has to work hard to pull in the air. Try to make sure it is placed in an optimal position to suck in air. Placing the dehumidifier away from walls and large furniture items also serves to prevent sound reflections and obstructions that might amplify noise.
Consult your dehumidifier manual to get the recommended distance between the device and walls or large furniture.
Position the Water Reservoir Properly
The water reservoir in your dehumidifier can also generate loud rattling noises if it’s not placed properly. In some cases, the vibration of the device can cause the water reservoir to rattle even if it is in the right place.
If this happens, try shifting the bucket little by little and to find a position where the vibration dies out. Alternatively, you can try moving the whole dehumidifier unit to a more stable position to decrease the rattling. If the vibration noises stop when pressure is applied on the reservoir, you can simply take it out first and reinstall it more firmly.
Use With Air Purifiers and Air Conditioners
Use your dehumidifier with an air purifier or air conditioner — or both — to take advantage of its synergy with both appliances.
Doing so gives you a comprehensive indoor air quality system. The purifier reduces the impurities in the air that the dehumidifier needs to filter out while the AC contributes to dry air indoors.
This collaborative approach helps maintain a comfortable and healthy environment while potentially masking some of the device’s noise, giving you a quiet dehumidifier.
Check for Loose Parts and Adjust as Necessary
Conduct routine inspections of your dehumidifier’s components to identify if there are any loose parts, making sure the appliance is turned off or unplugged. Always make sure to address such issues as soon as possible. If not, it will likely cause additional rattling or other loud noises.
Moreover, there is a chance that leaving the components loose may lead to other issues that may need repairs in the future. Timely maintenance and prompt action will prevent noise-related issues from getting worse and ensure a smooth, quiet operation.
Schedule Defrosting Maintenance
Just like dirt and debris buildup on the dehumidifier’s removable filters and pipes, ice buildup on the evaporator coils can lead to noisy operation. Make sure that you regularly defrost the dehumidifier according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent ice-related noise issues.
If the evaporator coils accumulate ice quickly, you may need to take it in for servicing. There may be an issue with the coils itself or other components.
Check the Fan Blade and Housing
If you hear grinding sounds, the source might be in the fan blade or housing. This can happen if the fan blade does not turn smoothly or scrapes against the fan housing. Open the dehumidifier body to properly check if this is the case.
The grinding sound may also be caused by insufficient lubrication. This applies to the fan blade, wheel, and other rotating parts of the dehumidifier. If the sound is due to poor lubrication, simply apply products like light machine oil to the rotors or bearings to help reduce grinding or buzzing noises.
In some cases, you may need to have a professional resolve the issue. If you are handy with tools and electronics, you may be able to adjust the fan wheel or blade yourself to ensure it clears the fan housing and rotates smoothly.
The fan motor may also cause the grinding sounds if it doesn’t have enough power to spin the fan blade. If that’s the case, you’ll need to replace the motor itself.
Soundproof the Room for Comprehensive Noise Reduction
For an all-encompassing approach to noise reduction, soundproofing the room itself can also yield significant results. Adding soft furnishings like rugs or curtains can help.
For maximum sound absorption, you can also consider adding acoustic panels around the room. This will help minimize noise reverberation, even if your humidifier makes noise.
Insulate Ducts and Pipes To Reduce Noise Travel
In addition to soundproofing the room where you keep the dehumidifier, you can also soundproof some of the internal components.
By insulating the ducts and pipes connected to your dehumidifier, you can prevent noise from traveling through the ventilation system. This helps minimize noise that can echo through the inside of the device.
Replace Faulty or Worn-Out Compressors
A leaky dehumidifier compressor can be a major source of noise. If the vibration continues to persist even after attempts to resolve or repair it, you may have to change the compressor.
Before doing so, make sure to exhaust your resources first. This means contacting a licensed handyman or repair technician to take a look at your dehumidifier. The most ideal option is to take your dehumidifier to certified service centers for the brand.
Depending on the model, if you are looking to replace your worn-out compressor, buying a new, more quiet dehumidifier may be a more cost-effective option.
Consider Professional Servicing
While there is nothing wrong with doing some DIY cleaning and repairs — especially to save money — this is not always a successful endeavor. If your skills are not up to par, or if you make a mistake while putting the dehumidifier back together, it may cause more noise.
Engage the services of a professional technician for regular dehumidifier maintenance and servicing. Experienced technicians can resolve any DIY repair mistakes, fine-tune the unit, addressing any potential sources of noise, and ensuring optimal performance.
Invest in a Newer, More Quiet Dehumidifier
If you have tried all of the above suggestions and still end up unable to achieve your desired quiet noise levels, consider upgrading to a newer model. Older dehumidifiers might be noisier due to outdated technology and worn down parts.
Most dehumidifiers today are specifically designed to operate with minimal or low noise levels. These units incorporate advanced technology, soundproofing materials, and specialized components that work in harmony to deliver a quieter experience while efficiently tackling excess humidity.
There is also the option of getting a small humidifier. However, a small dehumidifier will only work well if your space or room is also small — and it’s not used to dehumidify your whole house.
To make your search easier, look for units specifically labeled as “quiet dehumidifiers” or those with noise ratings indicated in decibels on the packaging.
Final Advice: How To Make a Dehumidifier Quiet
Experiencing the benefits of a dehumidifier shouldn’t mean sacrificing peace and quiet. With these effective solutions at your disposal, you can enjoy dry air, better air quality, and a comfortable living space — all without the nuisance of excessive noise.
Simple solutions like adjusting fan speeds, oiling rotating parts, and placing the unit on a stable and insulated surface can work wonders. If that isn’t enough, reaching out to professionals is always an option.
Of course, if budget permits, investing in modern quiet dehumidifiers is the easiest and likely best solution to your dilemma. This way, you’ll be able to enhance your air quality and create a serene environment that promotes relaxation and well-being.
In the end, going the extra mile to achieve a super quiet dehumidifier is an investment in both your comfort and your overall quality of life.
Be sure to check out our guide to soundproofing for more ideas on how to make your room and apartment quieter.
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