Dehumidifiers are fantastic devices to have at home. They help you remove any excess humidity from the air in your house, preventing the growth of mold, mildew, and mites which can be damaging to people with allergies and respiratory problems. Excess moisture can be extremely hazardous to our homes, if left unchecked it can cause damage to furniture, create musty odors, and even have an impact on the internal structure of your house.
But when you decide to upgrade or buy a new dehumidifier, what are you meant to do with the old one?
How Not to Dispose of a Dehumidifier
Since dehumidifiers have Freon gas in them, you can’t just pick up your dehumidifier, put it in the bin, or take it to the local landfill. There are strict laws, rules, and regulations on how to dispose of them.
Depending on where you live, it can make a big difference in how you will dispose of your old dehumidifier. States follow EPA guidelines that mark refrigerants as hazards for the environment so wherever you live, there’s going to be a procedure for disposal.
Some states like Arizona follow the EPA regulations with no other requirements, while others have more requirements. California and Missouri have stricter laws when it comes to sending electronic appliances to landfills.
Somewhere in the middle, we have Pennsylvania which has broad laws on disposing of appliances and prohibits sending electronic waste to landfills. As most new appliances contain enough electronic parts in them to be classified as electronics, it prevents them from being disposed of in landfills.
Under no circumstances should you try to remove Freon gas from the appliance yourself. Freon is a dangerous gas that can cause a lot of harmful consequences such as respiratory system problems, mild burns, skin irritation, etc. Always call a licensed technician to do it in a safe (and legal) way.
And don’t simply throw the dehumidifier into the trash can. It still has Freon inside and it will not only damage the atmosphere, but it can be harmful to garbage disposal personnel who are not trained nor properly equipped to deal with it. Also, just throwing your dehumidifier into the trash is illegal in most states so you can also receive a hefty fine for that.
How to Safely Dispose of a Dehumidifier
Disposing of a dehumidifier safely doesn’t need to be a huge task. Here are some pro tips on how to do the job properly:
- Local waste disposal services: The most important thing to remember is that it’s illegal in most states to remove Freon gas yourself. If you’ve decided to throw out your dehumidifier, you will need to check the local and state laws before doing so. Calling the local municipality’s public office should be your first stop. Most states follow EPA regulations so you will need to see a licensed technician to remove the refrigerant gas from the dehumidifier. This sometimes costs you a small fee.
- Recycling: There are plenty of recycling centers that accept dehumidifiers. Some will accept non-working units, some might even pay you for the dehumidifier. Before you bring your dehumidifier to the recycling plant, make sure that you drain all the water from it (they will thank you!).
- Donation: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, a great way to get rid of a working unit is by donating it to a charity. Charities and organizations like the Salvation Army might be good places to look into and also you can try local second-hand shops. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for a receipt for your donation since you can use that as a tax write-off. You could also think about donating it to friends and family, a school, church, or even your local shelter.
- Selling the dehumidifier: If you have a working dehumidifier, you could always sell it. There are a couple of ways to do it. Get down to your local flea market, have a garage sale, put an ad in the newspaper, or sell it via internet marketplaces such as Craigslist or eBay.
- Appliance stores with bounty programs: You can also look into appliance stores to dispose of your dehumidifier. Reaching out to a company that has a bounty program would be your first step. Usually, they are utility, appliance, and even some electronics stores. Bear in mind that most stores will only accept your dehumidifier if it’s in working condition.
Disposing of a dehumidifier isn’t a complicated process but the exact steps to follow depend on where you live. Different states have different laws and you will need to adhere to them to prevent having problems with the law, receiving fines and fees, and generally being environmentally friendly.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Stationary Refrigeration Safe Disposal Requirements. epa.gov.
Dennis Howard (2021). How To Dispose Of A Dehumidifier (Here’s What You Can Do). upgradedhome.com.
Department of Toxic Substances Control (2019). Guidance on Major Appliances for Scrap Recycling Facilities. dtsc.ca.gov.
Jiffy Junk (2017). Dehumidifier Disposal for the Conscientious Mind.jiffyjunk.com.