Informational Guide

How To Recharge a Dehumidifier?

No matter what dehumidifier you choose, sooner or later, you’d have to recharge its coolant. Learn how to recharge a dehumidifier or when to call in a pro.

by Josh M

Excess humidity can lead to fatigue and frustration. Furthermore, it is also harmful to wooden furniture, leading to cracks and splitting.

In a situation like this, a dehumidifier is your best friend. But what if yours stops functioning when you need it the most?

In this scenario, you have to find a way to recharge it. And in case you don’t know how to charge a dehumidifier, we have prepared this guide for you:

Different Types of Coolant Found in Dehumidifiers

The first step is to find out which coolant you need. For this, you need to look at the back of the dehumidifier to find a label, or you can read the user manual.

Typically, there are three types:

R-12 or CFC Stands for Chlorofluorocarbons

R-12 has proven harmful to the environment. As a result, it has been phased out, and new dehumidifiers don’t use this as a coolant.

Moreover, it has elements of Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). Therefore, if your dehumidifier uses R-12, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible.

R-22 or HCFCs Stands for Hydrochlorofluorocarbons

R-22 is also known as Freon. It is comparatively newer and better than R-12, but it still is pretty old and has harmful effects on the Ozone layer.

Furthermore, scientists have claimed that It also has a negative influence on health. If you are using an old dehumidifier, it probably is using this coolant.

Hence, you must invest in a newer version for your safety.

R410A or Hydrofluorocarbons

R410A, also known as Puron, is usually found in most of the newer dehumidifiers. It is considered environmentally friendly and not harmful to health.

Moreover, Puron is not known to affect the Ozone layer. Consequently, this coolant is by far the most suitable for all types of dehumidifiers.

The reason it is considered to be even more preferable is that it is also energy efficient.

Silica Gel

Silica Gel is also used in dehumidifiers to control moisture, and it is reusable and rechargeable. Furthermore, it is entirely safe to use.

However, one should ensure that the humidity level does not go below 30%, as it can be harmful. But there are low chances of that happening because modern dehumidifiers come with sensors to detect humidity levels.

Dehumidifier Green Recharge Tank

When to Recharge a Dehumidifier?

It is crucial to know the right time to recharge your dehumidifier. Unlike your phone, you can’t charge it whenever you feel like it!

If you keep recharging it, the dehumidifier’s life decreases. Moreover, recharging is not always an economical option.

It’s a hefty process, and you may want to be sure before going for it. Furthermore, there are certain things that you need to check before diving into it:

Humidity Levels

Check the humidity level first. It is the most prominent indication of whether your dehumidifier needs charging or not.

When your dehumidifier cannot lower the humidity, it is of no use, and you need to recharge it. To check the humidity level, all you need to do is let it run and check for any blockages.

You can also try to make sure that the fans are working fine and there are no faults. If everything is in place and still the dehumidifier is not working correctly, it needs recharging.

No Dry Air

When the dehumidifier is working fine, it blows dry air from the exhaust pipe. This dry air is unmistakable and can be detected with ease.

However, if the air has moisture in it, the dehumidifier is not doing its job accurately, and it requires recharging.

No Condensing

The dehumidifier has coils to condense the moisture taken from the air. This moisture is visible in the form of liquid on the tray.

If the tray is empty, it indicates that the coolant cannot retrieve moisture from the air. Thus it needs a refill.

Control Panel

Lastly, there are lights on the control panel. These lights indicate whether recharging is required or not. Keep an eye on the red light and when it is on. Get ready for some recharging.

Clock Hygrometer

How to Recharge a Dehumidifier

No matter what dehumidifier you choose, sooner or later, you’d have to recharge its coolant. And if you are short on cash or don’t want to spend a moment more in that heat and humidity, you can do it yourself by following the mentioned below easy steps.

Tools Needed

The first prerequisite to recharging your dehumidifier is having the correct tools to do the job. They may be available online.

But if you don’t have the time to order them and then wait for them to be delivered, you can visit your local mechanic or home improvement store.

However, if you visit a local hardware store in hopes of finding them there, you may end up disappointed because they’re not as easy to find.

Of course, you may already have screwdrivers and wrenches; however, you will need to acquire a gas cylinder with your choice of coolant (ideally Puron).

Recharging Refrigerant Dehumidifier

Once you have the tools for the job, follow these steps:

  1. Run the dehumidifier; this step is optional; you can recharge it without turning it on too
  2. Remove the valve cover
  3. Connect the filler line to the exposed valve, don’t open it yet
  4. Let out all the excess air from the filler’s pipe so that there aren’t any damages to the valve or the compressor
  5. Connect the valve with the filler and make sure the connection is fit
  6. Now open the valve and check whether the coolant is there or not
  7. Start refilling in short bursts
  8. Keep an eye on the level and stop filling when the level reaches sufficient height.
  9. Close the valve and remove the filler’s pipe

Recharging Desiccant Humidifier

If you have a desiccant humidifier, you should try to recharge it by drying it under direct sunlight. However, these types of dehumidifiers also come with electric charging capabilities, which can be used to complete the process quicker.

However, what people mean when they ask for a desiccant recharge is that they require the silica beads to be replaced. This is because desiccant models don’t rely on refrigerants; they use silica beads instead.

Albeit, when replacing Silica, follow these steps:

  1. Plug the dehumidifier into an electric source
  2. Wait for the beads to heat up
  3. Once the moisture removal properties are activated, you’re good to go

Safety Precautions When Recharging a Dehumidifier

We suggest you get professional help to recharge your dehumidifier. But if you are determined to do it yourself, you must take the following precautions:

Keep Away from Children

Children are curious and tend to poke around unnecessarily. Therefore, if you have a toddler roaming around, be smart and keep them away when you are at it.

Coolants are dangerous gases, and they can cause severe harm. Therefore, you must keep your children far from dehumidifiers when recharging them.

Heat Resistance

When recharging, place your device on a hard heat-resistant surface; otherwise, it will suffer damage due to the heat emitted.

Since dehumidifiers get extremely hot when recharging, you should keep them open for a while so that they can cool down. Then, when the gas is filled, the coil will start working again.

Wear a Facemask and Find a Well-Ventilated Place

It is advised to recharge the dehumidifier in an open place to release hazardous dry air and chemicals without any harm.

Moreover, it is wise to wear a face mask to protect yourself, as there are chances of you getting exposed to harmful chemicals.

Barometer and Thermometer

Recharging the Most Popular Dehumidifier Brands

There are numerous brands available that make reliable and long-lasting dehumidifiers. Some of the prominent ones are:


Frigidaire dehumidifiers come with easy-to-clean filters. In addition, they are also built with custom humidity control. Therefore, the need to recharge them is pretty rare.

Depending on whether it is a desiccant or refrigerant, you will first need to arm yourself with replacement silica beads or Puron. Most new Frigidaire models only use R410A.

Apart from this main difference, the rest of the process will be similar to what was mentioned above.


The Kenmore makes less noisy dehumidifiers, and this comes from their advanced compressor technology.

However, this compressor can be quickly overworked, and the coolant can be exhausted sooner than expected.

Therefore, you should follow the steps to recharge as mentioned above. But it is crucial to conduct a complete clean-up of the tray and filters to avoid the compressor from falling short.


Pingi is responsible for making some of the finest desiccant dehumidifiers on the market. Moreover, they also make great car dehumidifiers.

When the dehumidifier is spent, its indicator will mention that it is time to recharge. Pingi products are pretty easily rechargeable.

All you have to do is stick it in the microwave for 5 minutes, wait for it to cool down, and you’re good to go again!

DIY vs HVAC Professional: Do I Need a Contractor?

Recharging a dehumidifier yourself can be a stressful task. First, you have to go around town looking for the tools required for the job — as mentioned, these can be hard to find.

After that, you will have to watch hours of YouTube tutorials about how to go about doing it – this includes differentiating between refrigerant and desiccant models.

Instead, hiring an HVAC specialist is less time-consuming, saves you from spending on tools, and is safer because you won’t be exposed to harmful Freon.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Do dehumidifiers get clogged?

Yes, dehumidifiers can get clogged, but a professional can service yours in no time. However, if you wish to do it yourself, you can spray a mixture of vinegar and water and thoroughly clean the insides.

How can you avoid recharging your dehumidifier?

The best way to avoid having to recharge your dehumidifier, you should take good care of it. This involves regularly cleaning and emptying the water tray, letting it rest, and closing windows when it functions.

What happens if recharging doesn’t work?

Dehumidifiers are the most commonly overworked appliance in American households, and sometimes recharging it may not work. Unfortunately, this means that it either needs a new compressor or needs to be replaced entirely.


Without a refreshed dehumidifier, dealing with the heat and humidity is going to get on your nerves this summer.

Therefore, it is ideal to find a professional who will help you prepare yours. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can follow the above mentioned information and do it yourself.

Last Updated on January 13, 2023

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.