Excess humidity can be such a terrible thing in a home. It makes the air pretty uncomfortable and supports the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria which can affect your health significantly. To tackle excess moisture in indoor air, there is usually a simple answer; dehumidifiers.
However, what is not as simple as deciding what type of dehumidifier to buy. There are quite a number of them and this plethora of product types, mechanisms and features can make it really difficult for anyone to make a choice.
In this post, we’ve attempted to simplify things by presenting the different types of dehumidifiers and showing you, which is best for removing excess moisture in your room.
Different Types of Dehumidifiers
A quick recap; a dehumidifier is an appliance that improves indoor climate by removing air moisture in a room in a bid to bring humidity to recommended levels of between 30% and 55%.
Types of dehumidifiers are broadly categorized into two groups; modes and sizes. Based on mode, there are two types of dehumidifiers;
1. Refrigerant Dehumidifiers
Simply put, the refrigerator-styled dehumidifier removes moisture by cooling the air. The unit pulls in air from the room and takes it through filters that remove particles, allergens, and dust.
This first stage cleans the air and makes it suitable for breathing. The cleaner air is then pushed through a series of coils by means of a fan; this condenses the moisture and causes it to collect in a water tank. What then comes back into the room is cleaner, drier air.
These Refrigerant Dehumidifiers are quite versatile, come in different shapes and sizes and are very functional when properly maintained.
Note that you’ll need to keep the grilles and exhaust clean, wash or replace the filter as regularly as needed, and empty the water collection tank frequently to prevent spills in your home.
The humidistat should also be checked on a schedule to be sure it is not broken or malfunctioning, because a broken or bumped humidistat can make things really bad for you.
As long as you put it in a good spot in your home- not too close to the wall- you will get great value from your refrigerant dehumidifier.
What is a refrigerant dehumidifier best used for?
Refrigerant Dehumidifiers are best deployed in warm environments. This is because they cool collected air before releasing them back into the room.
Also, as a result of condensation and water collection, it is also important to use it in a place where spilled water won’t cause a problem. Also, you must be sure it is a space where a collection water tank can be placed.
Generally, a refrigerant dehumidifier is more suitable for heated rooms due to its cold surface that can provide some cooling effect.
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2. Desiccant Dehumidifiers
A desiccant dehumidifier is another type of dehumidifying appliance. It uses a chemical drying agent to remove moisture in the air. This is different from the refrigerant type that cools the air.
A typical desiccant dehumidifier has a heat exchange wheel where tge desiccant or drying agent is placed to absorb the excess moisture in your room by sucking in wet air.
This air is dried and heated up in the appliance before it is released back into your room through vents.
You may have also come across desiccant bags. You’ll often find small types (with silica written on the bag) in new purses, travel bags and suit pockets to help prevent moisture building up.
But the bigger types are also largely used in large spaces. They attract and absorb moisture an are often reusable through some treatment an recycling processes.
What is a desiccant dehumidifier best used for?
In a cold climate where you need to take care of excess humidity, deploying a refrigerant dehumidifier will freeze your coil because the coils are already engineered to cool air.
This is where a desiccated dehumidifier comes into the picture. They are more effective in Cold environments because the refrigeration aspect of moisture removal is absent.
Instead, the air released back into the room will have some warm effect because of its heated and dried nature. This can help regulate temperature and reduce humidity at the same time.
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3. Ventilating Dehumidifier
This may also be called a heat recovery ventilation system or simply a ventilator by some people, although this is specifically meant to reduce moisture by providing some form of ventilation in your home.
The ventilating dehumidifier is a whole-house dehumidifier. It has a built-in sensor that sends a signal to the appliance when the ambient humidity is detected to be too high.
This then causes the machine to push some of the indoor air out of the house while pulling in and introducing drier air into the house.
This type of dehumidifier has an exhaust fan as well which helps to remove excessively humid indoor air. It is typically not as effective as most other types which can actually remove moisture from indoor air, but it is a good choice for basements and crawlspaces.
It can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew while keeping the space dry and safe.
What is a ventilating dehumidifier best used for?
One thing to note about ventilating dehumidifiers is that they are useful for aiding ventilation. This makes them really useful in modern airtight apartments that lack natural ventilation, ensuring that residents can breathe fresher, cleaner air at all times.
However, it will be a mistake to deploy this appliance in a muggy environment with harsh and excessively humid outdoor weather. The purpose of buying the unit would’ve been defeated as you’ll simply be replacing humid air with even more humidity.
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Types of Dehumidifiers by Size
1. Portable Dehumidifiers
The title says it all. These are small and compact dehumidifiers that can be placed on a table or a corner of the room. Some of them have stands, while others may have caster wheels.
Their portability is also often reflected in the capacity as most of them have a Pint capacity between 10 and 60; a coverage area between 120 and 600 Square feet, and smaller water tanks.
Portable Dehumidifiers have the advantages of easy carry and storage, manipulation and easy maintenance. They are also cheaper and consume less energy.
These dehumidifiers are also lightweight, often because they are built with plastic which doesn’t have as much weight as industrial parts and components.
Where and When to Use Portable Dehumidifiers?
The best place to use portable dehumidifiers is in small, closed spaces like small bedrooms, stores, bathrooms and studies. They are small and cannot handle the entire home.
Ensure the room is under 400 square feet for best results. Also, these dehumidifiers are best used indoors as outdoor air may be too much burden for them.
Another good way to use portable dehumidifiers is for restoration. If you’ve had a flood recently that affected your home and you need an appliance to remove the excess moisture, a portable dehumidifier should be your best bet.
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2. Whole-House Dehumidifiers
Unlike portable dehumidifiers, these whole-house units are larger and more powerful. It is more or less a centralized unit that functions as an air conditioner, removing moisture from every part of the house.
They are larger, more expensive and more difficult to maintain. In fact, you’ll require a professional for installation and maintenance. They may come as stand-alone units or require connection to the home’s ductwork.
A typical whole-house dehumidifier should be able to remove as much as 30 to 100 Pints of moisture per day.
They can be bought for as little as $200 to as much as $1,200, depending on actual size, brand and functionality. They can cover large spaces between 800 and 5,000 Square feet.
These dehumidifiers, as the name implies, are best for whole-house, basement or whole-office usage.
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3. Commercial/Industrial Dehumidifiers
Commercial dehumidifiers are industrial in nature and design. They are built to be durable, strong and powerful, helping to cut down the humidity in very large places like factories, warehouses, and sites.
These units are also sometimes deployed for outdoor uses. They have a PPD capacity in excess of 100, can cover areas from 3,000 Square feet and beyond, and cost between $1,000 and $2,500
As earlier said, these units are best used for extra large and excessively humid spaces like warehouses and factories because they are very powerful.
They are able to remove several little of the moisture from the air daily. While they can also be deployed in very large homes, you must be mindful of noise.
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If you’re facing a lot of trouble with humidity in your home or office, choosing the right unit to address the problem shouldn’t be such a tough choice anymore.
Your choice of dehumidifier should be dependent on your unique situation, like the size of the room, office, home or industrial space; your budget and relative humidity level. You can pick from among the recommended Products here to enjoy the best indoor weather you can think of.