If you live in an area with high humidity, then you might have a dehumidifier to keep the air inside your home healthy and fresh. While dehumidifiers can be a lifesaver, they can also develop issues like any other appliance. One of the problems that may arise is a bad compressor, which is the heart of the dehumidifier. A damaged compressor can lead to a range of problems, including poor performance, excess noise, and increased energy bills. But how do you know if your dehumidifier compressor is bad? In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the signs and symptoms that can help you determine if your compressor needs to be repaired or replaced.

1. Understanding the Role of a Dehumidifier Compressor in Your Home

Dehumidifiers have become an essential appliance in every household, especially in humid regions where excess moisture is a common issue. A dehumidifier helps in maintaining the ideal level of humidity in your home by extracting moisture from the air. But have you ever wondered, what makes dehumidifiers different from other household appliances, and how do they work?

Well, the answer lies in the dehumidifier compressor, which is the heart of the appliance. Similar to other air conditioning and refrigeration systems, the compressor in a dehumidifier compresses the refrigerant gas to increase its temperature and pressure. This causes the refrigerant to circulate through the evaporator coil, where it absorbs moisture, and then through the condenser coil, where it releases the heat and moisture outside. Finally, the refrigerant returns to the compressor, and the cycle repeats.

The dehumidifier compressor plays a vital role in maintaining the right humidity level in your home. Without it, the appliance would not operate, and humidity in your home would increase, leading to moisture-related issues like mold growth, musty odors, and damage to your furniture and home structure.

2. Signs That Your Dehumidifier Compressor May Be Malfunctioning

Now that you understand the importance of a dehumidifier compressor let’s discuss the signs that indicate a malfunctioning compressor. Some of the most common signs include:

  • Your dehumidifier is not extracting moisture effectively
  • Your dehumidifier is blowing warm air instead of cold air
  • Your dehumidifier is making loud or unusual noises
  • There is visible frost or ice buildup on the coils
  • Your dehumidifier frequently turns on and off, indicating a short cycling issue

If you experience any of these issues, it’s crucial to diagnose the problem right away and address it to avoid further damage to the appliance.

3. Troubleshooting Steps to Determine if Your Compressor is Bad

If you suspect that your dehumidifier compressor is the culprit, you can perform some troubleshooting steps to determine if it’s indeed the cause. These steps include:

  1. Clean the coils and air filter to ensure they’re not clogged with dirt and debris
  2. Check the power source and make sure the dehumidifier is properly plugged in and turned on
  3. Ensure the room temperature is optimal for dehumidification. The ideal temperature for a dehumidifier to operate efficiently is between 65-80°F (18-27°C)
  4. Test the humidity sensor to ensure it’s functioning correctly and reading the correct humidity level in the air
  5. Listen for any unusual noises, such as rattling or hissing, that may indicate a compressor issue

If none of these steps resolve the problem, it’s time to consider repairing or replacing your dehumidifier compressor.

4. Repairing vs. Replacing Your Dehumidifier Compressor: Which Option is Best?

When it comes to addressing a faulty compressor, you can choose to repair or replace it. If your dehumidifier is still under warranty, it may be more cost-effective to repair it under the manufacturer’s warranty. In contrast, if the compressor is no longer functioning, repair costs may exceed the cost of purchasing a new dehumidifier.

In some cases, replacing the compressor may not be the ideal solution, especially if your dehumidifier is old, and other components may also be on the brink of failure. In such cases, it’s best to purchase a new unit that will provide efficient dehumidification and save you from potential headaches and costly repairs in the future.

5. Preventing Future Compressor Damage: Maintenance Tips for Your Dehumidifier

To avoid compressor damage and extend the life of your dehumidifier, it’s crucial to maintain it regularly. Some maintenance tips include:

  • Clean the coils and air filter regularly to prevent clogging and reduce strain on the compressor
  • Avoid using your dehumidifier in temperatures below 41°F (5°C) or above 95°F (35°C)
  • Place your dehumidifier in an area with good ventilation to ensure optimal airflow
  • Ensure the room is adequately sealed to prevent outside air from entering and impacting the humidity level

By following these simple tips, you can keep your dehumidifier compressor functioning correctly and maintain optimal humidity levels in your home.

2. Signs That Your Dehumidifier Compressor May Be Malfunctioning

If you own a dehumidifier, then you know how well it works to keep the humidity levels in your home under control. The compressor is the key component of the dehumidifier that removes moisture from the air to keep your home safe and comfortable. However, like any other appliance, the compressor can malfunction over time. Knowing the signs of a bad compressor can help you take the necessary steps to repair or replace it.

1. Your Dehumidifier is No Longer Removing Moisture from the Air

If you notice that your dehumidifier is no longer doing its job of removing moisture from the air, then your compressor may be malfunctioning. Check the humidity level in the room using a hygrometer and compare it to the humidity level on your dehumidifier. If the humidity level in the room is higher than what your dehumidifier is displaying, then your compressor may be bad.

2. Unusual Sounds Coming from Your Dehumidifier

Another sign that your compressor may be malfunctioning is if you hear unusual sounds coming from your dehumidifier. This can include noises such as rattling, clicking, or buzzing. These sounds can indicate that the compressor is working harder than normal or that it is damaged.

3. Leaking Water from the Dehumidifier

If you notice water leaking from your dehumidifier, then it could be a sign that your compressor is malfunctioning. A faulty compressor can cause the coils to freeze, creating excess moisture that can leak out of the unit. If this is the case, then you may need to repair or replace your compressor.

If you notice any of these signs, then it’s important to take action quickly. A malfunctioning compressor can cause your dehumidifier to stop working correctly, which can lead to potential problems like increased humidity levels, mold, and mildew growth, and respiratory health issues. In the next section, we’ll take a look at troubleshooting steps to determine if your compressor is bad.

3. Troubleshooting Steps to Determine if Your Compressor is Bad

If you suspect that your dehumidifier compressor is malfunctioning, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to confirm your suspicions.

Step 1: Check the Power Source

Before jumping to conclusions about your compressor, make sure there is no issue with the power. Check if the dehumidifier is getting power by plugging it in and turning the switch on. Inspect the power cord for any visible damage or wire fraying, as this can impede the flow of power. If the dehumidifier is not turning on at all, the issue may not be with the compressor directly.

Step 2: Listen for Unusual Sounds

A malfunctioning compressor may make unusual sounds, such as grinding, screeching or banging noises. Turn on your dehumidifier and listen carefully for any of these sounds coming from the compressor unit. If you hear anything, it is a strong indication that there may be an issue with your compressor.

Step 3: Inspect for Refrigerant Leaks

Another indication of a bad compressor is the presence of refrigerant leaks. These can often be detected through a noticeable decrease in the unit’s performance and a lack of humidity reduction. Check the compressor unit and surrounding area for any visible signs of leaks. You may notice a greenish or oily substance around the compressor unit, which is a telltale sign.

If you have confirmed that your compressor is indeed malfunctioning, it is time to consider your options for repair or replacement. It is important to address any issues with your dehumidifier to ensure continued performance and prevent further damage.

4. Repairing vs. Replacing Your Dehumidifier Compressor: Which Option is Best?

When you’ve determined that your dehumidifier compressor is the cause of the malfunction, you are left with two options: repairing or replacing. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. As a responsible homeowner, you must carefully weigh these factors before making a decision.

Repairing Your Dehumidifier Compressor

Repairing a dehumidifier compressor can be a viable option if the problem is minor and can be fixed easily. This option is usually less expensive than replacing the compressor completely. However, it is important to remember that there is no guarantee that the repair will completely fix the issue.

If the problem is not solved after the repair, you may have to spend additional money on further repairs or ultimately replace the compressor anyway. It is also worth considering the age of your dehumidifier, as older models may not have replacement parts readily available.

Replacing Your Dehumidifier Compressor

If repairing your dehumidifier compressor is not an option, or you are concerned about the risk of future repairs, replacing the compressor entirely may be your best bet. A new compressor will ensure that your dehumidifier runs at peak efficiency, reducing energy costs and keeping your home free from excess moisture.

However, this option can be more expensive than repairs, and it may require professional installation. It is essential to research and compare prices of different models to find one that fits your budget and needs.


In the end, whether to repair or replace your dehumidifier compressor depends on various factors, including the cost of repairs and the age of your unit. If you are unsure about which option to choose, seek the advice of a professional technician.

5. Preventing Future Compressor Damage: Maintenance Tips for Your Dehumidifier

One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your dehumidifier compressor is through proper maintenance. A well-maintained dehumidifier compressor will not only run more efficiently but also help prevent costly repairs in the future. Below are some maintenance tips to keep your dehumidifier compressor functioning optimally.

Clean the Filter Regularly

The filter in your dehumidifier is responsible for trapping dust, dirt, and other impurities in the air. Over time, the filter can become clogged, restricting the flow of air to the compressor. This can cause the compressor to work harder, leading to wear and tear in the long run. Cleaning or replacing the filter regularly can not only prevent this from happening but also improve indoor air quality.

Check the Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerant is the lifeblood of the dehumidifier compressor. If the refrigerant levels are low, the compressor will have to work harder to extract moisture from the air, leading to premature failure. Check the refrigerant levels regularly and top up if necessary or call in a professional if you suspect a leak.

Keep the Unit Clean

Dirt and dust can accumulate on the coils and fins of your dehumidifier compressor, affecting its performance and efficiency. Regularly cleaning the coils and fins with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner can help prevent this buildup. Additionally, make sure the room where the dehumidifier is placed is clean and dust-free.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can help prevent future compressor damage and extend the life of your dehumidifier. A well-maintained and functioning compressor will not only save you money in the long run but also provide a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

People Also Ask

What are the signs of a bad dehumidifier compressor?

The most common sign of a faulty dehumidifier compressor is the inability of the machine to remove excess moisture from the air, resulting in a humid environment and elevated humidity levels. The compressor may also emit unusual noises, such as hissing, rattling, or banging.

What causes a dehumidifier compressor to fail?

A dehumidifier compressor may fail due to several reasons, such as wear and tear, overheating, electrical malfunctions, or clogs in the refrigerant lines. Additionally, using a dehumidifier in a room with high humidity levels or leaving it running continuously can cause pressure on the compressor, leading to its failure.

Can you replace a dehumidifier compressor?

While possible, replacing a dehumidifier compressor is neither easy nor cost-effective. It involves dismantling and reassembling the dehumidifier and requires complex technical knowledge and specialized equipment. It is often a better option to replace the entire unit instead.

How long do dehumidifier compressors last?

The lifespan of a dehumidifier compressor varies depending on factors such as usage frequency, quality of upkeep, and brand. Most compressors last between five and ten years. However, E-bac advises that their machines are designed to last 20 years.

What is the cost to repair a dehumidifier compressor?

Repairing a dehumidifier compressor can be costly, ranging from $150 to $500, depending on the repair required, the specific replacement parts, and the hourly labor rate charged by the repair service. As a result, it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire unit instead of fixing the compressor.


A faulty dehumidifier compressor can cause elevated humidity levels and an uncomfortable environment in your home. Familiarizing yourself with the signs of a bad compressor, such as unusual noises and poor performance, can help you resolve the issue proactively. Although repairing a compressor may be an option, replacing the entire unit may be the most cost-effective and efficient solution.