Honeywell Dehumidifier How to & Troubleshooting Guide

If you live in an off-grid cabin in the middle of a serene forest or by the lake, chances are you have to deal with high humidity. Higher than average humidity can accelerate rot, mold, mites and debilitating dampness that will ruin your home over time.

Since moving is not an option, you have to rely on a dehumidifier to suck a huge percentage of moisture from the air hence reducing the humidity. Honeywell dehumidifiers are a reliable way to keep your humidity levels in check.

Despite Honeywell’s reliability and reputation in the climate modification niche, homeowners still have to deal with some problems or operational challenges now and then. This comprehensive how-to and troubleshooting guide will walk you through the basics of using different Honeywell dehumidifiers and how to fix them should a problem crop up.

Are Honeywell Dehumidifiers Any Good?

Honeywell garnered quite a reputation for making reliable thermostats. Some of the market research and connections that make their thermostats so reliable also goes into creating amazing dehumidifiers.

Regardless of the dehumidifier you buy, you will get a solid unit that gets the job done and will keep working as long as you take good care of it.

Since there are so many models of Honeywell dehumidifiers in the market, your reliability and functionality check should consider the price range. For instance, we won’t label a cheap Honeywell humidifier with a single button terrible by comparing it to a start humidifier from other manufacturers.

After all, Honeywell also manufactures smart dehumidifiers that connect to WiFi and can be controlled through a mobile app.

How Does a Honeywell Dehumidifier Work?

Dehumidifiers work by drawing ambient air in before passing it through dehumidifying coils that condense the moisture and turn it into water. The dry air is then expelled back into the environment, and the water stored for future use.

The cycle goes on until the air in the air hits a specific humidity in case your Honeywell dehumidifier has a humidity sensor or until you turn off the dehumidifier.

Additionally, the dehumidifier might pass the dehumidified air through a filter to further purify it, improving ambient air quality.

How Long Do Honeywell Dehumidifiers Last?

Your dehumidifier is a simple but efficient machine. If you take good care of it, you should expect it to last three to five years.

The actual lifespan will depend on the type of humidifier, how hard it works, and how many hours you run it for in a day. This, coupled with how you take care of your dehumidifier, will determine how many years you get from it.

If you live in a mildly humid place and don’t push the humidifier so hard, you could easily get up to ten years from your Honeywell dehumidifier.

There are two main types of dehumidifiers.

A Refrigerant Dehumidifier

This is the most reliable and longest-lasting dehumidifier in the market. They have a refrigerant and compressor and work like a refrigerator by condensing moisture in the air into water.

It does this by drawing humid air over cold evaporator coils. The moisture condenses into the water as the air cools and collects into the drain tank. The cold but dehumidified air is then pushed back into circulation.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

Simpler desiccant dehumidifiers use absorbent materials like silica gels to absorb moisture from the atmosphere.

Over time, the desiccant soaks more water, becoming saturated. However, you can dry the silica gel desiccant using heat and repeat the process.

The desiccant gets less absorbent over time, and the dehumidifier’s efficiency drops. Apart from this, the entire process of drying the desiccant is involving, and most people don’t do it often enough.

As such, desiccant dehumidifiers tend to have a shorter lifespan than refrigerant dehumidifiers. Honeywell has a wide range of refrigerant-based dehumidifiers, and you should buy them if you want top-notch reliability.

Why Is My Honeywell Dehumidifier Not Working?

A couple of things could prevent your Honeywell dehumidifier from working as expected. Even though these will vary depending on the model humidifier you have in question, the most common problems include:

Any Issue With the Power Supply

All dehumidifiers have an electronic system to dry up the air or circulate desiccated air actively.

If there is a problem with the power supply, the dehumidifier won’t run at all. You won’t get a display on the control panel, the fan won’t blow any air, and the compressor won’t work. Here are some things you can do to troubleshoot.

  • Confirm that the dehumidifier is plugged into a working power outlet
  • Confirm that the power cord is firmly attached to the dehumidifier. You can use a multimeter or tester to confirm it’s delivering power. Be careful. Most dehumidifiers work on mains power. Risk of electrocution
  • If the dehumidifier has a switch on it (mostly on the back panel next to the power cable), ensure that it is in the on position
  • Check and confirm that an attached fuse isn’t blown. Consult your user manual to find out if your dehumidifier has a fuse. If yes, find its location and replace it if it’s blown.

If your dehumidifier doesn’t work but has some display or beeps, chances are it’s getting some power, but core components have failed, or its programming is preventing it from running.

The Water Tank is Full

Several Honeywell dehumidifiers have a shutoff switch that will disable the entire unit if the water collection tank is full. Ideally, the collection tank should never be full. This only happens if:

The drain pipe is blocked or kinked

You did not install the drainage pipe, and the dehumidifier relies on the onboard tank

You can fix the problem by manually inspecting the collection tank and dumping it if it is full. After that, check the drainage hose and ensure it’s not blocked. If you didn’t install one, consider running it if it is convenient. Otherwise, you will have to monitor the collection tank and empty it as soon as it fills up.

ProTip: All condenser-based dehumidifiers need a collection tank. TheThe auto shut-off feature ensures that the tank doesn’t overflow and make a mess in your house.

Your dehumidifier uses a float switch to detect water levels in the water tank. If the float valve is damaged and stuck in full position, the system will think your tank is full and keep the unit off until you sort out the problem.

The Desiccant is Fully Saturated

If your dehumidifier is desiccant-based, you have to replace the desiccant now and then. Saturated desiccants are no good. The dehumidifier’s fan will keep spinning, but it won’t be spitting out dehumidified air.

Drying out the desiccant daily or every other day is the unavoidable inconvenience of using cheaper desiccant-based dehumidifiers.

You can dry it by airing it out under the sun or in a warm place to evaporate and lose all the humidity. Alternatively, you can replace it with a fresh batch of desiccants.

The Humidity Level is Set Too High

Smart dehumidifiers have a humidistat that controls when the dehumidifier runs and how hard it runs. This comes in handy in unmonitored units since you can just set a predetermined humidity level and let the Honeywell dehumidifier control how often it cycles.

If you have the humidity level set too high, the humidistat won’t trigger your dehumidifier since the humidity will still be within your desired setting.

Confirm that your unit is set to your desired humidity levels to ensure enough cycles. Don’t worry if it doesn’t start as soon you turn it on. You can lower the humidistat setting until it runs just to confirm that your unit works.

After that, set it back to your desired humidity percentage to get it up and running.

Your Humidistat is Damaged

Sometimes, everything in your dehumidifier might be working right, but the humidistat sends the wrong information to the system.

It either gives readings that are off, or it doesn’t give any readings at all. The Honeywell dehumidifier will act erratically and will not attain the humidity setting you choose. If it has a manual option, you could override the automatic control and get it running without using the dehumidifier.

The Room Temperature is too Low.

Dehumidifiers work best in warm settings. Warm air contains more moisture. This will condense once it hits the ice-cold evaporator coils in the dehumidifier. The condensed water drips to the collection tank, and the dehumidifier exhausts the dryer air back to the room.

However, if the ambient temperature is lower than 65F, the moisture from the air freezes instead of condensing, Frost sticks to the condenser fins making it less efficient.

Unplug your dehumidifier and open the panel covering the condenser fins to check for frost. If you find some frost, let the dehumidifier sit for around 30 minutes and slightly turn up the temperature in the room to prevent this from happening again.

ProTip: Cold air holds less moisture than warm air. Even if your dehumidifier doesn’t frost up, it will be less efficient drying up a frigid room.

The Refrigerant Levels are Too Low

The evaporator coils on your condenser-based dehumidifier use a pressurized refrigerant to cool down. Just like your fridge or car AC, a compressor continuously pumps the refrigerant between the coils and a cooling fin to exchange heat with the surroundings.

Even though the system is tightly sealed, tiny cracks can form overtime time, or seals can crack as they age. The refrigerant will be lost to the environment.

When the refrigerant levels drop, the system becomes less efficient at cooling the evaporator coils. It becomes harder to hit the low temperature required to condense water from ambient air.

While you can have the system repaired and refilled by a professional HVAC technician, it’s often cheaper to replace the entire unit – unless it is an expensive whole house or big space dehumidifier.

The Fan Is No Longer Working

The most basic dehumidifier has a fan that draws ambient air into the dehumidifier. The same fan pushes the air over the cold condenser coils, striping the moisture. The positive pressure generated by the intake fan expels the dehumidified air back to the environment.

The process repeats until you shut off the dehumidifier or the humidistat momentarily shuts down the unit.

There won’t be any airflow over the condenser if the fan is damaged. The entire system won’t work since it can’t rely on ambient air circulation to effectively dehumidifier even the tiniest rooms.

Blocked Airflow

Over time, the intake fins and filters could get clogged with dirt and debris—this impairs airflow. Reducing airflow means you will not have enough air flowing over the condenser to efficiently dehumidifier a room.

Luckily, you can fix this problem by cleaning your dehumidifier. Use a vacuum or air compressor to blow away any dust and debris around the intake and exhaust vents. If the condenser fins are dirty, clean them too while at it.

If your Honeywell dehumidifier has a filter, consider cleaning it or replacing it to restore efficient airflow.

Damaged Electrical Parts

At times, though very rare, Smart Honeywell dehumidifiers can have electrical problems. Some components in the control board could cause you problems. This will either render the entire unit inoperable or disable specific parts of the dehumidifier fail.

An Overloaded Dehumidifier

The last thing that could stop your dehumidifier from working is drying up a room that’s bigger than it can handle.

The dehumidifier will be working, but the room will still be very humid and damp. Sizing your dehumidifier right will help you avoid overloading the unit you buy.

Additionally, it would be best to place it at the most suitable place to ensure that you get the best performance from your unit.

Why Does My Honeywell Dehumidifier Run But Not Collect Water?

Ideally, for your dehumidifier to work, it must draw water from the environment. You’ll know it’s collecting water if the levels in the collection tank are going up. Some of the reasons why your dehumidifier might be on but not collecting water include:

The Ambient Temperature is Too Low

Dehumidifiers work best when the ambient temperature is high enough. While most Honeywell dehumidifiers will still work below 65F, they won’t be as efficient.

Your dehumidifier will be running, fan, compressor, and everything, but it won’t be gathering notable amounts of water.

The only way is to warm the room up a bit. Keeping your dehumidifier running in such a setting might overload your compressor and damage it. A compressor will also fail sooner if you run it on long extension cords that limit the quality of power to the dehumidifier.

The Humidity Levels are Very Close to Your Setting

Suppose your dehumidifier uses a humidistat to control how often and how hard it runs. In that case, It won’t remove as much water from the environment if the set humidity is close to what is already in the ambient air.

This is not a bad thing. You can get it by collecting more water by lowering the humidity setting. Just ensure that you don’t go too low. The air will be too dry, and you will start thinking of getting a humidifier to compensate.

You can just drop the level for a while to confirm that the unit does collect water before setting it back to your preferred humidity level.

A Faulty Fan Motor

A problem with the fan motor will reduce how much air the dehumidifier can blow across the dehumidifier’s condenser tubes.

You will still hear the compressor kick in, but the unit won’t gather as much water as it would with the fan running efficiently.

Check all the fans in your unit and confirm that they run when you turn on the dehumidifier. If it is a smart programmable unit, you might have to lower the settings drastically to force the system to start running.

There is a problem if the fans don’t run when the compressor is running.

  • Check and confirm that debris isn’t jamming the fan
  • Clean the fan
  • Ensure that all fan fins are intact
  • Install a replacement fan

Issues With the Compressor

A problem with the compressor will prevent your dehumidifier from collecting water since it needs the cold condenser fins to pull moisture from ambient air.

Your compressor will fail either when it is mechanically damaged or when the capacitor that helps it kick on is faulty.

ProTip: The compressor capacitor retains a charge even when the unit isn’t plugged to power and could shock you. Don’t try troubleshooting it if you’re not conversant with electronics.

No Enough Refrigerant in the System

If everything is running fine, but you’re still not gathering any water, you should consider checking if your condenser fins are cold. As the compressor runs, these should be cold enough to pull moisture from the air to form water.

When you don’t have enough refrigerant, the condenser fins can’t get cold. Luckily, this only happens if your dehumidifier is really old and has lost refrigerant over time.

However, if some physical damage to the cooling system led to punctures, all the refrigerant might have leaked out. In this case, you have two options:

  • Call an HVAC expert to repair the damage and refill the dehumidifier
  • Buy a replacement dehumidifier

In most cases, buying a new dehumidifier is faster and cheaper. You should only consider repairing the damage if you have a big or full house dehumidifier where it is cheaper to repair than it is to buy a replacement.

How to Clean a Honeywell Dehumidifier

While emptying the bucket whenever it’s full is the most involving maintenance task when you own a dehumidifier, there is a lot more you need to do to keep your unit clean, healthy, and efficient.

Does a Dehumidifier Need to Be Cleaned?

Yes. Dehumidifiers get dusty and yucky over time. Frequent cleaning will keep airflow channels open, improving efficiency. It also keeps dirt and debris off the airflow system, improving the air quality you get.

Finally, a clean condenser fins cool air better, and a clean radiator makes the entire compressor condenser unit more efficient at cooling and condensing air.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dehumidifier

Clean your dehumidifier as soon as you see dust and dirt build-up. If you live in a relatively clean neighborhood, clean your unit once to twice a month regardless of whether it looks dirty or not.

Cleaning a Dehumidifier: What to Do

Here is a short but comprehensive guide on how to clean your dehumidifier.

Unplug it From the Power Supply

Start by unplugging the dehumidifier from the power supply. This is a great way to ensure no power flows through the unit as you clean it. Even though the capacitors still have power, unplugging reduces the chance of electrocution.

If it is a portable unit, you can carry it to an aerated and well-lit area to make cleaning easier and faster.

Clean the Exterior of the Dehumidifier

Most of the dirt and dust on a dehumidifier sits on the outside. Cleaning the outside will give your dehumidifier and clean and sleek look while also unclogging the intake and outlet vents.

  • Use compressed air or a vacuum to blow off or suck away loose dust particles on the dehumidifier.
  • Use a soft brush to rub off any remaining debris and dust before blowing it off or sucking it out with a vacuum.

Take a damp, lint-free rug and use it to clean any remaining gunk and dust. Ensure it’s damp, not wet. You don’t want to wet the entire surface of the dehumidifier. This could mess up with electrical components.

Clean the Collection Tank

While you might empty the collection tank weekly, chances are you never take time to clean it. You can even go for longer without seeing the tank if your unit lets you plumb a drain hose to empty the tank automatically.

Failing to clean it could encourage mold and mildew, which will trigger allergies and asthma.

  • Empty the reservoir tank completely
  • Fill it a quarter way with clean, warm water
  • Add around 15ml of dish soap
  • Use a sponge to scrub the tank, ensuring you cover all corners and edges
  • Empty the dirty water and rinse the tank with clear water
  • Use some water or a damp cloth to wash and clean the outside of the tank
  • Spray the inside of the collection tank with vinegar and let it sit for around twenty minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth

ProTip: If you have a drain hose, it also needs cleaning and sanitization. Flush it with clean water before running undiluted white vinegar through it to kill and discourage mold, algae and mildew.

Clean the Filters

Air filters keep fine dust off the internals of your dehumidifier while also cleaning and purifying your house to some extent. Over time, the filter gets clogged, and the dehumidifier stops working as well since it can’t circulate enough air through the plugged filter.

Most Honeywell dehumidifiers have washable, reusable filters. You can wash and reuse these filters for a while, but you’ll eventually have to replace it. Consult your user manual to find out if your dehumidifier has cleanable filters or not.

While at it, confirm how many filters you have. Some units have multiple filters. You have to get all of them.

How Do I Clean the Filter on My Honeywell Dehumidifier?

Cleaning washable Honeywell dehumidifier filters is simple. Here is what to do:

  • Consult your user manual and find out how to remove the filter from the dehumidifier. Take note of the orientation (which side faces the inside of the unit and which side is out)
  • Take the filter to the outside and gently tap it to get rid of most of the loose dust, lint and debris
  • Use an air compressor, canned air or vacuum on blow mode to blow away dust from the filter. Blow from the inside since the dust is lodged on the outside of the filter
  • If you use a vacuum, use a brush attachment and vacuum the outside of the filter to get rid of loose dust.
  • Prepare a solution of warm water and dishwashing detergent in a container large enough to submerge the filter fully.
  • Soak the filter in the soapy water for around 10 minutes
  • Use a soft brush to clean off any remaining gunk from the filter
  • Rinse it under running water. Running the water from the inside to the outside will make it easier to clean off dirt on the outside
  • Rinse the inside of the filter too
  • Air-dry the filter under the sun (or any dry open space) until it is completely dry before reinstalling it to your dehumidifier

Wipe Clean the Condenser

While the filters will protect your condenser, it isn’t unheard of for some debris to make it there. If you have your dehumidifier open and you can access the condenser, wipe it clean with a damp cloth to restore its sheen.

Sometimes, the condenser could have some mold and fungus growth. Clean it and douse it with some vinegar to keep this from happening again.

All Honeywell Dehumidifier Error Codes, Their Meaning, and Fixes

If you have a smart dehumidifier, chances are it throws error codes whenever something goes wrong. We have come up with a roundup of Honeywell dehumidifier error messages, their meaning, and fixes to make troubleshooting your smart dehumidifier easier.

Error CodeCauseMeaning
“90”Humidity over 90% or Sensor FailureThis means the humidity level is above 90%. The unit will stop operating and try again after a while or when the humidity is below 90%. It might also mean that your humidity sensor is faulty, especially if you can use another humidistat to confirm that humidity is below 90%
“30”Humidity below 30% or sensor failureThe dehumidifier won’t run if the humidity is below 30%. This is the lower limit you should dehumidify your rooms to. It could also mean that you have a faulty humidistat. Use a secondary humidistat to confirm your humidity is really that low.
“LO”Ambient temperature too low (Under 32F)The ambient temperature is below 32F (0C). Operation is paused because dehumidifiers aren’t efficient in such low temperatures. It will resume after 2 hours once the temperature is above 41F (5C) or if you restart with temperature within range. It might also mean your temperature sensor is faulty if another thermometer confirms the temperature is above 41F
“Hi”Ambient temperature too high (Above 122F)Ambient temperature too high (above 122F, 50C) The unit will resume operation once the temperature cools to 32C for 2 hours or if you restart at the right temperature. It could also mean your temperature sensor is faulty if another thermometer confirms the temperature is around 89F
“EH”The humidity sensor is malfunctioningTry turning off the unit for a while. If the error persists after restarting, consider contacting a technician.
“E3”Possible gas leakageConfirm ambient temperature is within range. If it is and the error shows up again within 2 hours, contact a technician.
“P1”Unit in defrost modeDefrosting takes a while, but the unit will resume again once it’s done defrosting.
“E2”Defrost sensor failureThe unit will not automatically defrost but might defrost manually. Contact support for servicing
“EC”Ambient temperature errorIt will show up in some units if the temperature is out of range (41F-95F)
“P2”Bucket is fullThe water bucket is full. Drain your dehumidifier to get it working again
E1Control unit not receiving a good signal from temperature or humidity sensorThe dehumidifier control unit gets unexpected readings from your temperature or humidity sensor. Sensors might be faulty, their wiring faulty or dirty.
“E5”Pump sensor faultThis happens if your dehumidifier uses a pump to drain the collection tank. It could mean the pump is faulty or has a hard time pumping through the drain hose. Check that the drain hose isn’t blocked in any way.

What Does the Honeywell Dehumidifier Continous Mode Do?

Continuous mode ignores input from all other sensors and keeps the unit running continuously regardless of humidity or temperature.

It takes away all programming and smart features from your dehumidifier and turns it into a manually controlled unit.

Only do this if you have a secondary thermometer and humidistat to confirm that your unit is running in the correct ambient temperature and humidity.

Should My Honeywell Dehumidifier Run Constantly?

It depends on whether it is a programmable dehumidifier with a humidistat or not. Set the preferred humidity level if your unit has a humidistat and leave the unit on throughout. It will not run constantly but will run just long enough to hit the programmed humidity level.

If your unit doesn’t have a working humidistat and works on continuous mode, you have to manually turn it off once your humidistat tells you the room you are drying is down to your preferred humidity range.

Check this too: Duo Therm RV Air Conditioner How to and Troubleshooting Guide

ProTip: A programmable dehumidifier will seem to run constantly if you use it bigger than it can handle room. Ensure you size your unit correctly for improved efficiency and longer lifespan.

Why Does My Dehumidifier Run Constantly Without Stopping?

If your dehumidifier seems to be constantly running and never goes off unless you turn it off manually, you could be in one of the following scenarios:

  • A manual dehumidifier without an auto-off feature. This relies on you switching it on and off when your external dehumidifier tells you the humidity is right
  • The dehumidifier is too small for the room you are trying to dehumidifier
  • You have an open window or door, and humid air from the outside keeps mixing with dehumidified air forcing your unit to work harder.

Oscar

In his spare time, Oscar loves tinkering with electronics. Solar panels, wiring, old TVs and sometimes DIY powerwalls. When he is not busy trying not to electrocute himself, you can find him in the garden tending to his vegetables and chickens.

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