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How to Recharge a Dehumidifier
Do you need to recharge your dehumidifier? Here's what you need to know.
Dehumidifiers use cooling coils, similar to air conditioners. Those cooling coils use refrigerants, the same as air conditioners do.
If your dehumidifier stops removing moisture from the air but the motor and fan seem to be working fine, your dehumidifier may need to be recharged.
Let's repeat that a different way.
- Is your dehumidifier's motor running?
- Is the fan also working?
- Is your air still too damp?
If so, you may need to recharge your dehumidifier.
That's where this gets interesting.Legal, illegal and obsolete coolants
Older dehumidifiers use a coolant called R-22. That's being phased out and its use is strictly regulated, around the world.
In the old days, you could by an air conditioner recharging kit. Hook the hoses to the air conditioner or dehumidifier (or refrigerator) and follow the instructions. Easy!
Today, your dehumidifier may still use R-22. If so, due to strict environmental regulations, you'll need to check with an air conditioner repair service.
They may be able to help you, but they may not. It depends on whether they have any R-22, and whether they're authorized to recharge dehumidifiers with it. (Yes, they need a permit for this. Be sure they have one.)Check your dehumidifier
A panel or sticker on it may tell you which coolant your dehumidifier uses. Or, the manufacturer's date may give you an idea. If the dehumidifier was made before 1995, it's likely to require R-22.
If you own a newer dehumidifier, it may use a more environmentally-friendly coolant. (If you bought your dehumidifier after January 2010, it's almost certain to use something other than R-22.)
New dehumidifiers usually run on R-410A. That's often called Puron.
Puron is one of the best alternatives to R-22. It's inexpensive. So far, it has fewer problems that some other "green" coolants. Puron still causes some ozone problems, because it's methane base. However, it's better than anything else you can buy now.
Puron (or R-410A) runs at a much higher pressure than R-22 did.
You can't just replace your R-22 coolant with R-410A. The valves and gaskets may not hold, and - if your coolant leaks out - you're back to square one.
Generally, it's safer and cheaper to replace your dehumidifier with a new one that's already set up to use R-410A (Puron).
Frigidaire 70-Pint Dehumidifier.
I recommend only one dehumidifier, no matter what your needs. It can handle damp basements. It runs economically. You can set the humidity level you want, and it'll turn itself off when it reaches that level... no wasted electricity!
It's also one of the quietest dehumidifiers and it has top ratings and customer reviews at Amazon. (It's regularly on Amazon's "best sellers" list.)