When I think of life before I got a dehumidifier, a part of me shudders. There was low air quality and the unusual symptoms it brought on in myself and my roommates, and of course, the surprising new ceiling paint that appeared in the bathroom. (Hint, it was mold).
But while this tool is helps me with my apartment maintenance, occasionally it needs a helping hand in the form of regular upkeep. Recently this fact was highlighted in the news when manufacturer Kenmore recalled more than 700,000 dehumidifiers. It turns out, there had been about 100 reports of fires started by the devices because of their penchant for overheating. If you have one of the recalled machines, you should stop using and unplug it immediately, then return it to the store so you can obtain a refund.
But, while stories like this may turn you away from these helpful tools, you can mitigate most safety issues by ensuring that your dehumidifier is used correctly. To keep your machine operating safely:
1. Keep up with any safety variations listed in the manual of your individual model. That way, you can enjoy all of the benefits of your dehumidifier for years to come.
2. Make sure that your unit is turned off and unplugged before you empty or move it. In certain cases, relocating the machine while it's on could create a fire hazard.
3. Never place anything in front of the grill while your machine is running. Even putting a small item in the path of your unit could interrupt the airflow from the device.
4. Watch your dehumidifier placement. Bionaire, a dehumidifier manufacturer, says that the optimal location for these is four inches out from an interior wall. Be careful that your dehumidifier is plugged in away from stoves, radiators or other heating devices, as these too can create a fire hazard.