There’s nothing worse than a humid summer day, and nothing that can make your home feel more comfortable than a dehumidifier.
But how do you use one correctly? Can you lay a dehumidifier on its side?
What happens if you do?
It’s not advisable to lay a dehumidifier on its side even when transporting or storing it. Laying a dehumidifier on its side can damage the compressor, which is a vital part of the dehumidifier. The oil from the compressor will also flow into the cooling coils.
Which will reduce the efficiency of the dehumidifier and potentially damage it.
Read on as I dive deeper and explain the dos and don’ts of dehumidifier use, including whether or not you can lay a dehumidifier on its side.
What Happens If You Lay a Dehumidifier On Its Side?
Laying a dehumidifier on its side can lead to some serious problems.
They include the following:
1. Oil From The Compressor Will Flow Into The Cooling Coils
The oil from the compressor is essential for lubricating the moving parts.
When you lay a dehumidifier on its side, this oil can flow into the cooling coils.
This will reduce the efficiency of the dehumidifier and could potentially damage it.
2. Damage To The Compressor
The moving parts of the compressor are delicate and can be easily damaged.
They need the oil in the compressor for lubrication so they can move smoothly.
Now, laying your dehumidifier on its side can cause the oil to leak out and deprive some of the compressor parts of much-needed lubrication.
This will damage the compressor and reduce the lifespan of your dehumidifier.
3. Interference With Refrigerant
Most dehumidifiers on the market today work like refrigerators and ACs.
Dehumidifiers come with refrigerant that helps to cool the coils and remove moisture from the air.
Note that the refrigerant in the dehumidifier coils changes between liquid and gas form as it absorbs heat. When the refrigerant moves to the compressor, it must be in gaseous form.
Laying the dehumidifier on its side can cause compressor oil displacement.
If this oil, by any chance, interacts with the refrigerant, it can change its chemical composition.
As a result, the refrigerant will no longer be able to change between liquid and gas form.
Also, this can cause wet compression, a condition that significantly reduces the efficiency of your dehumidifier.
4. Reduced Efficiency
Dehumidifiers are designed to work vertically so that gravity can help the water drain into the collection bucket or reservoir.
When you lay a dehumidifier on its side, this process is interrupted, and water might start building up in the coils.
This will reduce the efficiency of the dehumidifier as it will have to work harder to remove moisture from the air.
5. Damaged/Corroded Internal Parts
Imagine water leaking to some of the most delicate parts of your dehumidifier.
Parts such as the circuit boards can be easily damaged or corroded by water.
This will damage the dehumidifier beyond repair and will also void any warranties that might be in place.
6. Issues With The Filter Drier
Any refrigerant system highly depends on the filter drier. The filter drier is a device that helps to remove moisture and other contaminants from the refrigerant.
Laying your dehumidifier on its side can lead to the filter drier clogging. Why?
The oil displaced from the compressor can move to the filter drier.
Since the drier is only designed to hold small amounts of oil, this can cause it to clog.
A clogged filter drier will reduce the efficiency of your dehumidifier as well as shorten its lifespan.
Can You Transport A Dehumidifier On Its Back?
While you may transport a dehumidifier on its back, not following the guidelines on how to do so correctly can lead to some serious problems.
It is easy to damage the internal parts of the dehumidifier when transporting it on its back.
Note that there is still a possibility of the compressor oil leaking and flowing into the cooling coils when you transport a dehumidifier on its back.
Also, sudden movements and jostling can cause damage to the delicate parts of the unit.
Why Does A Dehumidifier Need To Be Upright For 24 Hours?
Many manufacturers require that you keep a dehumidifier upright for 24 hours before using it. This is because the compressor oil must settle well in the compressor before you start using the dehumidifier.
If you don’t wait for 24 hours, the oil might not have settled well, and this can lead to all sorts of problems, including clogged filters and reduced efficiency.
Also, if the oil doesn’t settle well, it can damage the delicate parts of the dehumidifier.
It is also a precautionary measure since the unit may have been transported on its side or back during shipping.
By waiting for 24 hours to run your dehumidifier, you can be sure that the oil and refrigerant are in the right position before using the device.
Can You Turn On A Dehumidifier After Moving It?
Whether or not you can turn on a dehumidifier after moving it depends on how far you have moved it and how you have moved it.
If you have just transported the dehumidifier a short distance, say, from one corner of the room to another, then you can turn it on immediately.
However, if you have moved it over a long distance or transported it on its side or back, then you need to wait for at least 2-24 hours before turning it on.
This will allow the oil and refrigerant to settle in the right position.
You can allow at least 30 minutes if you moved it from the leaving to, for instance, the basement.
What Happens If A Dehumidifier Tips Over?
Several things can happen if a dehumidifier tips over. The most common problem is that water will start to leak from the unit.
This can damage the internal parts of the unit including circuit boards and the compressor. F
The water can also corrode the metal parts of the dehumidifier.
It can also pose an electrocution hazard if the water comes into contact with the electrical parts of the unit.
Another problem that can occur is that the compressor oil might leak and flow into the cooling coils.
This will reduce the efficiency of your dehumidifier, and potentially damage the compressor if the unit is left running at the same position.
Finally, the unit may simply stop working if it is tipped over.
Some units have smart technology that will automatically shut off the unit if it is tipped over.
However, this is not always the case, and your unit may stop working since there have been damaged internal parts due to the tipping.
Dehumidifier Shipped Upside Down Should I Be Concerned?
Yes, you should be concerned if your dehumidifier was shipped upside down. This is because the compressor oil might have leaked and flowed into the cooling coils and other parts of the unit.
It is also possible that the refrigerant has leaked out of the dehumidifier. This can cause all sorts of problems, including damaged coils, clogged filter drier, and reduced efficiency.
If your dehumidifier was shipped upside down, you should contact the manufacturer and ask for instructions on how to proceed.
Note that even if the device appears okay or works just fine, there might be long-term damage that you are not aware of. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Final Thoughts– Can You Lay a Dehumidifier On Its Side?
In general, It is never a good idea to lay a dehumidifier on its side or back. This can cause all sorts of problems, including but not limited to: clogged filters, reduced efficiency, damaged coils, and even leaks.
It is, therefore, always important that you transport, use and store the device in an upright position.
Hopefully, this article has answered all your questions about whether you can lay a dehumidifier on its side.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to leave a comment below and we will be happy to help.
(writer & chief editor)
Irene Mills is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Want to know more? Check out our About Us page.