Thursday, May 21, 2015
How to Save $220
In September of 2011, our neighborhood of Westover, near Johnson City, New York, was flooded during Tropical Storm Lee. Our basement had several feet of water in it, which caused various problems in our house. Several thousands of dollars and much effort later, we ended up needing to buy a dehumidifier. We were told would need to run it constantly except in the heart of winter because once a basement floods, it will have a humidity problem for the rest of the life of the house.
And so we did.
This spring, we turned the dehumidifier on. Soon, we discovered it was not working. It turned on, but it didn't wring any water out of the air.
I called the store where we had bought it, hoping there was still some kind of limited warranty on the unit. There was not. We tried to find our owner's manual, but we couldn't locate it.
So I asked around, and got several suggestions about where I could purchase a reasonably priced dehumidifier. But first, we decided to read amazon.com's product ratings. The units were running $220 and up, which meant it was time for some bargain shopping.
We quickly found a unit of interest, but we needed a particular feature. Amazon, helpfully, allowed us to download a user manual. This was a different brand than the brand that quit on us after three and a half years.
We found the feature we wanted, but I kept reading, and noticed there was a troubleshooting section. One of the items mentioned checking the filter. I noted this other brand's unit had a filter that needed to be taken out and cleaned every two weeks. "Gee", I said. "How inconvenient. Our broken unit doesn't have a filter..."
We looked at each other.
Spouse went down to the basement. Several minutes later, he emerged, holding a filter clogged with dirt. "I had to figure out where it was", he said. "I had to take the water bucket out and take a guess. But once I found the filter, it was easy to remove." Spouse vacuumed and washed the filter, replaced it in the unit, and, an hour or so later, there was water in the water bucket.
When we had bought the unit, we never read the user manual, and never realized the unit had a filter.
I should be impressed that the dehumidifier worked for over three years without the filter being cleaned.
I am even more impressed that we saved $220 by cleaning a filter we didn't even know we have.
So, the moral of the story is: read the instructions!
Have you ever been embarrassed by not reading the instructions?