How to Fix a Dehumidifier Fan

Updated February 21, 2017

Most dehumidifier fan problems are caused by a clogged filter or coils. Debris in the fan cabinet can also stop it from being able to rotate freely. Many of these problems can be fixed without hiring an expensive repairman. Follow these easy steps to open, clean and troubleshoot your dehumidifier fan.

Make sure the dehumidifier is unplugged whenever you are working on it. Remove the water tank and empty it. Loosen the screws holding the front and back grills on the dehumidifier and remove the grills. Some types of dehumidifiers use latches that the grills slide into. Use a screwdriver or putty knife to push in between the grill and housing to release the latch.

Take out the filter and let it soak in warm water mixed with soap. The filter is usually located near the evaporator coils or affixed on the front grill. To kill mold and mildew, add a small amount of bleach to your soap and water mixture. Mold can be dangerous in a dehumidifier because the fan will spread it all over the room.

Use the brush attachment of your vacuum to clear out the evaporator coils. Scrub the coils with a brush and light cleanser to get rid of any caked-on debris. Be sure not to bend any of the fins that cover the evaporator coils. Inspect the fins for any damage or bending. Use a fin comb (available at most appliance stores) to straighten out the fins.

Repeat the above step to inspect and clean the condenser coils and fins.

Open the body of the dehumidifier. Loosen the screws that hold the bottom of the cabinet onto the body. You may also have to loosen the screws holding the drain tray and control panel onto the body. Hold each side of the dehumidifier body, pull it slightly toward you, and lift it up off of the rest of the cabinet.

Use the crevice attachment of your vacuum to clean off the fan blades. Clear out any dirt and debris inside the body.

Reassemble the body and attach the water tank. You are now ready to plug the dehumidifier in and test the fan.


Dehumidifiers do not work well in cold climates. The fan can be working properly, but the unit still may not be able to remove any humidity from the air.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Bleach
  • Brush
  • Vacuum with brush and crevice attachments
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