Does A Dehumidifier Make Noise?

Dehumidifiers are an important appliance for removing excess moisture in the air from homes or office buildings, but in quiet spaces it’s also important for any noise to be kept to a minimum.

Dehumidifiers make a certain level of noise from compression and air circulation systems. The fan used inside of a dehumidifier is the most common source of the noise, and lack of maintenance, wear, or other issues could cause the dehumidifier to become louder.

If you’re in the market for a dehumidifier then dealing with some noise will unfortunately be part of the process.

However, there are ways to help keep this noise to a minimum, and we’ll take a look at why a dehumidifier can be loud, what might be causing it, and what the manufacturer of our own dehumidifier states to help reduce any noise from its operation.

Dehumidifier Plugged In
Our dehumidifier is a fairly noisy appliance

How Loud Is A Dehumidifier?

The first thing to consider is how a dehumidifier actually works.

Dehumidifiers are often found in homes or office buildings, especially in basements. Using coils combined with a fan, warm or “wet” air is pulled through and pushed out the other side.

There’s a place inside of a dehumidifier to collect the water that is pulled out of the air.

Many people use dehumidifiers to not only reduce the moisture in a specific area, but they can also help those who deal with allergies or asthma. While it may seem like a dehumidifier is a great thing, they can be known to be quite loud, which can be a turn-off for some.

Dehumidifiers can be loud for a couple reasons:

  • The fan inside of a dehumidifier is pulling air through, which can sometimes cause a whistling sound on top of its normal operational noise. Additionally, if this fan becomes unbalanced or have another issue, it can cause it to be even louder.
  • The compressor on a refrigerant dehumidifier can produce a small amount of noise (similar to how your refrigerator sounds).
  • Dehumidifiers are typically larger than your average humidifier. Larger sized dehumidifiers can make more noise during operation.

Depending on the type, style, and even brand of dehumidifier you get, the noise may be minimal or something that’s a bit more of an annoyance. Be sure to take the time to read reviews before you purchase a dehumidifier.

We own and use a desiccant dehumidifier and make and relatively loud noise during operation.

This noise comes from the fan used to pull in the air through the back of the unit (through the various filters) and out through the air outlet at the top.

Dehumidifier Filters
A blower sucks in air through the filters at the back
Dehumidifier Air Outlet
The blower then forces air out through the air outlet at the top

Other noises can include the periodic dripping of water as it feeds through the appliance and into the water tank.

As this isn’t a refrigerant dehumidifier, we don’t hear any compressor-related noises.

Is A Noisy Dehumidifier A Sign Of A Problem?

Your average dehumidifier is going to make noise just based on how a dehumidifier works.

However, over time, you may notice that your dehumidifier is increasing in sound.

We go over a few common issues that can happen to your dehumidifier that may cause it to be louder below.

The Dehumidifier’s Fan Motor May Be Failing

On average, the fan motor is not only what causes the most noise, but it also can quickly need some maintenance as well. If you run your dehumidifier a lot, you will want to routinely check the blades to ensure no blocks or broken blades.

Since the fan motor is an integral part of the dehumidifier, having a working fan is essential and can’t simply be overlooked. Without the fan, the air is not being pulled into the humidifier, which completely defeats the purpose.

Thankfully, many manufacturers supply replacement fans that you can easily install yourself.

Dehumidifier Controls
A fan is located below this air outlet

The Compressor Motor May Be Worn

If you notice that your dehumidifier is increasingly loud, then there is a big chance that your compressor has gone wrong. When your compressor has worn out, you can either replace the compressor or purchase a new dehumidifier.

For most lower priced shelf models, it makes much more sense to simply replace the model if the compressor fails. However, if you have a larger, more expensive, or whole-house dehumidifier then look into how much a replacement would run you.

Is There Any Way to Make Your Dehumidifier Quieter?

Those who already have a dehumidifier that they use shouldn’t need to go out and purchase a new model.

There are a few ways that you can lessen the noise from a dehumidifier, but completely silencing a dehumidifier unfortunately isn’t possible.

That being said, here are a few tips to help you reduce the noise you hear from your dehumidifier:

  • Place your dehumidifier far away from the rooms that you are in most often. While there may be some noise, it will not be as bad as it would if you were in the same room with it.
  • If your dehumidifier has different settings or speeds, make sure you test those out to see which is best for you. Just because an appliance has the ability to run at full speed, it does not mean that it is meant to run at that speed all the time.
  • Localize your dehumidifier! If you primarily need it in your basement, then it has no reason to be upstairs. You also need to consider the size of the space you are trying to remove moisture from to be effective for your dehumidifier.
  • Place a dehumidifier on carpet to help dampen out the vibrations (if allowed by the manufacturer).

We typically leave our dehumidifier running in a room that we don’t use the most, such as the living room and so we’re rarely disturbed by the noise.

Our dehumidifier also has a button to control the fan speed so we can set to the ‘Sleep’ setting (aka Low setting) where the lowest amount of noise is produced.

Dehumidifier Fan Speed Control
Placing the fan setting on the lowest setting (‘Sleep’ in our case) will help to minimise noise

The manual to our particular model of dehumidifier also explains in regard to keeping noise to a minimum:

To reduce noise levels, place a piece of carpet or rubber under the unit to reduce any vibrations while the unit is running. For minimum noise run the unit in sleep mode.’


We therefore often place our dehumidifier on a rug and have never had any problems when doing so.

Dehumidifier Drying Washing
We often place our dehumidifier on a nearby rug to help reduce noise

While we all dream of a silent dehumidifier, it is almost impossible because of how they work. Remember that you don’t have to run a dehumidifier all day long, so it may be a good idea to use it while you are out of the house or when you are watching TV as a way to avoid the noise.

Does A Dehumidifier Make Noise?

Dehumidifiers are a great appliance to remove excess moisture from your home or office. They can help with drying out your basement or even acting as a way to help with your allergies or asthma.

However, one of the most significant downsides of a dehumidifier is the noise that they produce when operating.

Based on the general nature of how a dehumidifier works, it isn’t easy to find a completely quiet one.

There are a few ways to reduce the noise, like moving it from one area to another, leaving it on a lower fan setting or placing it on carpet rather than a hard floor.

If looking to purchase a quiet model, be sure you read reviews from actual users to help find the perfect dehumidifier for you.

Further Reading

Can A Dehumidifier Eliminate Odors?

Can A Dehumidifier Also Be A Humidifier?

Why A Dehumidifier Leaks Water