Dehumidifiers are electronically-operated devices designed to maintain the moisture level, i.e., humidity in the air. Brands specially manufacture them to reduce humidity in residential and commercial facilities, giving you comfortable and odorless surroundings.
If you are living in a highly humid area, there are chances that you may develop a musty odor in your house over time. Moreover, the walls and windows are likely to grow mildew and molds due to moisture retention. All of these things can result in health issues and distress. In this scenario, the only thing to your rescue is a good quality dehumidifier for homes that removes mist from the atmosphere, leaving the air clean and fresh.
Dehumidifiers come with a range of types and categories, each suitable for a different kind of facility. And getting your hands on a reasonable dehumidifier for your home or office can be daunting when you are not entirely aware of all the details.
To your assistance, we have jotted down an explicit buying guide containing all the essential information about dehumidifiers so that you can better understand the best dehumidifier for your residence. Hopefully, this buying guide will help all the concerned individuals find a decent dehumidifier according to their requirements.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a dehumidifier, and What does it do?
- 2 What is the working principle of a dehumidifier? How does it work?
- 3 Parts of a dehumidifier
- 4 Types of dehumidifier
- 5 What are the efficiency levels of a dehumidifier?
- 6 What are the benefits of having a dehumidifier? Pros and Cons
- 7 What additional features do modern dehumidifiers have?
- 8 Taking care of your Dehumidifier
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions:
- 9.1 What size dehumidifier is ideal for my home?
- 9.2 What is the perfect moisture level for homes?
- 9.3 How much will a typical dehumidifier cost?
- 9.4 How long can I expect my dehumidifier to work?
- 9.5 What do I do with the water coming out of my dehumidifier?
- 9.6 Do dehumidifiers make noise?
- 9.7 Where should I locate my dehumidifier in the house?
- 9.8 How does a dehumidifier combat allergen?
- 10 Concluding Thoughts:
What is a dehumidifier, and What does it do?
Have you ever seen a vacuum cleaner work? The dehumidifier is somewhat the same in terms of working. It takes the humid air in and gives dry air out.
A dehumidifier is an advanced appliance that conditions the air by dragging out the moisture and water vapors. They don’t only contribute to providing comfort to the user, but they are furthermore beneficial for health purposes too.
Do you live in an area where there is high moisture content throughout the year? If you are residing in an upper humid region, you and your family are likely to have asthma, breathing issues, and allergies. A dehumidifier is made to offer you a more sustained, dry, and disease-free atmosphere. It helps reduce the hypersensitivity reactions and allergies caused by excessive humidity and high moisture level in the air.
What is the working principle of a dehumidifier? How does it work?
The moisture pulling operation of a dehumidifier is effortless to understand and depends on the principle of condensation. Just like your refrigerator, a dehumidifier also serves the function of condensation.
A dehumidifier has a cooling coil and a heating coil when humid air from the surroundings enter a dehumidifier, and it passes to the cooling coil. As soon as this moist air reaches the cooling coil, it condenses into water vapors. The vapors run down to the tank while the air passes to the heating coil. The air is then warmed and passed out to the surroundings as dry, moisture-free air.
Even though a dehumidifier comes with various types and categories (which we will discuss afterward), the main working components and the working principle are pretty much the same.
Parts of a dehumidifier
What are the primary and basic components of a dehumidifier?
Under this heading, we will outline the main components of a dehumidifier along with their functions.
A typical dehumidifier has the following four basic components that are the main building blocks of the device.
- A compressor.
- A condenser.
- An expansion valve.
- An evaporator.
Though the names of the components are self-explaining the functions, they perform. But here is a detailed explanation of the tasks these components perform for you to understand it better.
A compressor is one of the most crucial parts of a dehumidifier that operates the dehumidifier. It is basically a pump that initiates the cooling process by sucking in air.
The cool and low-pressure refrigerant gas enters the compressor. The refrigerant gas is compressed by the help of this compressor into a hot and high-pressure gas. This gas is responsible for moisture extraction and commencing the cooling process. The air then goes to the condenser for further operation.
As evident from the name, a condenser condenses the refrigerant gas. The hot and high-pressure refrigerant gas enters into the condenser of the dehumidifier. Here, the condenser turns this gas into a liquid by the process of condensation.
The condenser is the part where the exchange of heat between gases takes place. Hot air is cooled down and turned to liquid, and this liquid then goes to the next component, i.e., evaporator, via an expansion valve.
The expansion valve is located between the condenser and evaporator and serves the function of partial condensation. The expansion valve reduces the pressure of the hot, high-pressure refrigerant liquid. This pressure reduction helps in facilitating the evaporation process.
Once the hot refrigerant liquid passes through the expansion valve, a co-existing state of cool, low-pressure vapors and liquid is achieved.
Last but not least, the evaporator is the fourth most crucial components of the dehumanizers. The co-existing mixture of the gaseous and liquid refrigerant enters the system’s evaporator.
In the evaporator, the remaining refrigerant liquid vaporizes by evaporation. The refrigerant further cools down with the help of a cooling fan present in the evaporator.
The evaporator finally converts all the hot and high-pressure air into a cool, dry l, low-pressure, and condensed gas released into the atmosphere.
Besides these basic components, a dehumidifier also has the following components that control the device’s other operations.
Reservoir or collecting tank
It is a tank or a container that collects the condensed water that comes after evaporation. The reservoir is positioned beneath the evaporator to collect the water immediately after condensation.
The air filter protects the fan, coils, and other crucial parts, from pollution. The air filter tangles all the dirt particles, debris, and other impurities that enter the system and causes contamination.
The control board is the component that is manually operated by the user.
If you want to change the humidity settings and the moisture control settings, you can change the electronic control board’s input. It also automatically controls other settings like frost control, excessive humidity control, etc.
A humidistat is a built-in sensor that automatically comprehends the moisture level in the room or space and shifts the humidity level towards the higher or lower sides.
Types of dehumidifier
Different types of dehumidifiers according to working principles:
According to the conventional point of view, you can divide Dehumidifiers into two types based on their working. These two types were:
- Refrigerant dehumidifiers.
- Desiccant dehumidifiers.
However, with the passage of time and the advancement of the electronic world, various dehumidifiers were introduced. Talking about the present times, dehumidifiers are available in a variety of different types. Different brands are launching multiple dehumidifiers with advanced settings and options to fit your desired necessity.
You will find dehumidifiers for bathrooms, dehumidifiers for bedrooms, dehumidifiers for basements, and whatnot. But more or less, all of them will have the same working modes.
Let’s peek into the fundamental types of a dehumidifier and how they are suitable for you to buy and fulfill your desired requirement.
A refrigerant dehumidifier is also known as a condensate dehumidifier. The refrigerant dehumidifier works like a refrigerator you see at your home. It takes air in, condenses the moisture and expels dry air out.
The refrigerant dehumidifiers have hydrophilic coils or plates that attract the water vapors and turns them into a liquid, i.e., “condensate.” You would see the condensate as cloudy, dirty water, but you can reuse it for various purposes and treat it as greywater.
A desiccant dehumidifier is also known as a chemical absorbent dehumidifier as it contains a chemical absorbent material that absorbs the moisture.
The desiccant material can be gel, powder, cartridges, or other chemical material. These materials bind with moisture and absorb it, leaving the air dry. Brands have introduced new technology in desiccant dehumidifiers, i.e., rotors. Rotors are rolled sheets contained a suitable desiccant in-between the rolls. These rotors absorb the moisture between the sheet and desiccant while rotating.
Besides these two conventional types, you can find many new and modern types of humidifiers in the market. These are:
Whole-house ventilation dehumidifiers
Whole-house ventilation dehumidifiers are an excellent choice for people who want an all-in-one dehumidifier and ventilation system. A whole-house ventilation dehumidifier is a central unit that removes moisture quickly and effectively.
These dehumidifiers move musty, stale and smelly air from the house to the outside. Whole-house ventilation dehumidifiers can be installed at a certain point in the house, covering the whole house. It provides fresh, clean, and dry air to the residents without making any fussy noise. They are noise-free, easy to install, and low-cost devices that are gaining popularity these days.
What are the efficiency levels of a dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier’s efficiency is what makes it stand out from the other species of the same kind. You need to look at the dehumidifier’s efficiency levels to select the best option for your facility.
The efficiency is essentially the amount of moisture that a dehumidifier can remove (or claim to remove) from the surrounding area. Mini humidifiers remove a limited amount of moisture and are installed in smaller rooms or compartments. Likewise, large dehumidifiers remove higher moisture. The dehumidifiers are tested with proper protocols, and you can categorize them into the following types according to the amount of moisture they can remove.
Mini or small dehumidifiers:
They can remove around 30 to 35 pints of moisture per day.
They can remove 50 pints of moisture from the surroundings per day.
They claim to remove almost 60 to 70 pints of moisture per day.
The first thing you need to consider before buying a dehumidifier is the humidity level in your area, and the amount of moisture your dehumidifier will be eliminating. This will help you choose the adequate dehumidifier for your home. Once you have calculated the moisture levels in your area, this efficiency test will guide your opting for the best dehumidifier as per your moisture levels.
What are the benefits of having a dehumidifier? Pros and Cons
There is always a right side and a wrong side to everything. Dehumidifiers also come with many benefits, along with a few drawbacks that you cannot ignore when buying one. The advantages of the dehumidifiers add value to this fantastic device, but the disadvantages are also there.
PROS OF A DEHUMIDIFIER:
This revolutionary electronic appliance has some excellent health and other benefits that are worthy of being mentioned. Below is the detailed list of the benefits of having a good quality dehumidifier in your locale.
1. Reduces Allergies and indoor hyper-sensitivities:
Humidity promotes the growth of allergens that cause indoor hypersensitivity reactions. When operated along with a good-quality air conditioning system, a dehumidifier can curtail the growth of these indoor allergens that can cause outnumbering breathing issues and allergies. These allergies include sinuses problem, red hot flushes, itching of eyes, nose, and throat, excessive sneezing and coughing, etc.
People with asthma remain on the verge of getting severe asthma attacks due to these allergens. Hence, with a dehumidifier, the risk is below the line.
2. Discards the stale and damp smell:
Excessive humidity may result in a stale, and damp odor built up in the house for long periods. This smell is usually eliminated due to mildew and dust mites that persist in moisture.
If you are sick of this disgusting odor that does not seem to go away, a dehumidifier is your best helping bud. The dehumidifier will absorb all the possible moisture that has to build upon your windows, pipes, walls, and doors, leaving it odor-free.
3. Kills mites, molds, and mildews:
Dust mites, molds, and mildews grow unduly in moist, warm, and damp areas. They multiply in a blink of an eye, and before you know, you are surrounded by a pool of dangerous microbes around you. In this scenario, a dehumidifier can help you eliminate these nasty organisms by lowering the moisture level. Once the dampness reduces, these microorganisms’ favorable habitat is lost, and they die, leaving the environment harmless and microbes-free.
4. Safeguards the belongings from moisture:
It’s not only your health that you compromise your health with high humidity. If your house is extremely humid, the belongings are also prone to get destroyed. Your furniture, clothes, books, and even metal objects like cutlery, jewelry, and sofas are likely to get devastated. Therefore, a dehumidifier will save you from all this havoc without costing you a fortune.
5. Protects the walls and ceiling from damage:
With a professional dehumidifier, you can save a lot of your housekeeping expenses. Moisture tends to damage the ceiling, walls, and even floors, causing them to wear off. This damage will only be rectified if you reduce the humidity in the first place. Otherwise, all efforts to renovate the house will be in vain.
So if you find water leakage, water drippings, or wet patches on your walls, it’s time to purchase a dehumidifier unit asap.
6. Improves quality of life:
Along with the breathing and health problems, a dehumidifier further settles the sleeping issues. Due to humidity, perspiration also increases, which causes difficulty in getting sound sleep at night. Moreover, if you have a baby or an older person at home, they will have a more comfortable and deep sleep. Hence, your quality of life is improved.
7. Lessens your electricity charge:
With a dehumidifier, your air conditioning system will consume much less energy to cool down the room. Lesser energy consumption will reduce your electricity bill dramatically. High humid air requires higher energy to condition. When your air is less humid, the air will cool down readily, and thus your energy and money will be saved.
CONS OF A DEHUMIDIFIER
If you think that a dehumidifier is all glitter and gold, you are at mistake. Along with all the advantages, this electrical humidity controller has some drawbacks too. Let’s take a look at the shortcomings of a dehumidifier.
1. Makes excessive noise:
At low speed, a dehumidifier makes a little noise and is not very loud. The sound is bearable when the settings are on low, but when you turn the settings on higher mode, your dehumidifier can be noisy and disturbing. The noise can be a headache sometimes and can distract you from performing everyday tasks.
You can reduce the noise by keeping the settings on low and keeping your dehumidifier as far as you can. But eventually, you will be getting some noise that is a drawback.
2. Expels warm air:
The compressor of the dehumidifier can get heated up after a few hours of work. This causes heat emission from the dehumidifier’s compressor if your dehumidifier is placed inside the room, except your room temperature to elevate a few degrees.
3. Affects your electricity bill:
A dehumidifier is itself an energy-consuming device. Moreover, it also generates heat when operated for long periods. The air conditioning unit will require a hefty amount of energy to cool down your room, causing a drastic increase in your electricity bills.
4. Takes a lot for maintenance:
Dehumidifiers, just like any other electronic appliance, require regular maintenance and care. The reservoir that collects water needs to be emptied regularly and cleaned from time to time. You also need to clean the grill and other parts to avoid any dirt or debris built up in the device.
5. Limited operation range:
If you have a single dehumidifier in a single room, all the other rooms will remain humid. Except for the Whole-house dehumidifiers, all others work in a limited area or space, which means you can only get dehumidification.
What additional features do modern dehumidifiers have?
The new and modern dehumidifiers come with many advanced features that add to the value of the dehumidifiers. These features are cool and make the device easy to use and make the working smooth. These features are
● Control buttons and options:
The latest versions come with customer-friendly regulators, which can be easily used by people of all age groups. The user can change the settings according to their will from multiple functions like normal, dry, very dry, high, low, etc.
Some dehumidifiers also have digital screens that show humidity percentages and have switches that can increase or decrease the humidity percentage just by a click.
● Automatic restarting:
Some of the recently manufactured dehumidifiers have auto restart option. This option enables the device to start after a power breakout.
● Built-in timer:
This option allows you to select a time limit for the operation of your dehumidifier. You can leave the house after selecting a time duration, and your unit will automatically shut down after that time. This can save you money and also save your dehumidifier from exhausting.
● Automated defrost sensors:
In cold areas, the coils of dehumidifiers can build frost over them. This is extremely harmful to the device, and it can choke and get damaged if not removed. The modern dehumidifiers have sensors that detect any frost buildup on the could and automatically turn the unit off until the frost is gone.
● Embedded Air filter:
All the new manufacturing companies are now equipping their units with an embedded air filter. This filter removes dust and dirt from the air before letting it in the compressor. Once the filter overloads with dirt and debris, an indicator light will tell you it’s time to wash it.
● Directly draining pipe:
The new tried and tested dehumanizing units are coming with a dehumidifier hose connection. This connection lets you connect a pipe to the device you can empty into the drainage, so your condensate doesn’t have to be removed. Instead, it will directly go to the drainage.
● Handled condensate tank:
The new dehumidifiers’ water reservoir has comfortable handles and grips, which makes the water removal easy and effortless. You can also find a cover over the water tank, which helps in avoiding water spills.
All these fantastic features make the dehumidifiers worth buying.
Taking care of your Dehumidifier
The user manual will help you with all the things you are worried about. After unpacking your unit, read the user manual thoroughly to get the necessary know-how of the device. After the first few operations, you will get to know the settings. Besides that, here a few things to remember that will help you take care of your dehumidifier in the long run.
➢ Allow proper ventilation of the room where you have placed your dehumidifier.
➢ Keep your unit at a reasonable distance from the walls and furniture.
➢ Allow your unit to breathe by turning it off a few hours every day.
➢ Clean the air filter frequently to avoid dirt buildup.
➢ Reduce humidity manually by clearing the moisture on windows, vents, and other downspouts.
➢ Install exhaust fans in your house to let the hot air out.
➢ Never clean the dehumidifier unit when it is connected to electric power.
➢ Attach your dehumidifier to a sustainable electric source like a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to avoid voltage fluctuations.
➢ Don’t empty the water tank when the unit is plugged in.
➢ Don’t move the dehumidifier from one place to another, unless it is essential.
Keeping these points in check will boost your dehumidifier unit’s lifespan, and it will also protect you from any possible electric shock or currents.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What size dehumidifier is ideal for my home?
Well, the ideal dehumidifier size for your home depends upon various aspects like how humid your area is? What is the size of your room or house? Etc. You can select a dehumidifier according to your room size (small, big, medium, full-house) or your room type (crawl space, basement space, living area, bathroom).
What is the perfect moisture level for homes?
The number of water vapors in the air is called relative humidity. The more the moisture, the more is the relative humidity. The exemplary humidity range is from 45% to 50%. A humidity level above or below this range would be problematic.
Humidity greater than 50% will cause molds, mites, mildew, and stale odor, and breathing problems. In comparison, humidity lower than 30% will cause an influenza virus, cold and cough, and dry and cracked walls.
How much will a typical dehumidifier cost?
The cost of a dehumidifier depends on how much time your dehumidifier is working per day and the value of electric units. As a general idea, an average-sized residential dehumidifier unit will cost you approximately $5 to $10, while commercial dehumidifiers can cost around $30 and above.
Many companies such as Energy-star dehumidifier manufacturers are designing energy-conserving dehumidifiers that will save you a great deal of money, so that can be a budget-friendly alternative for you.
How long can I expect my dehumidifier to work?
Commercial dehumidifiers are more robust as compared to the residential ones. A commercial dehumidifier can last up to eight years when maintained properly, while a residential dehumidifier can work effectively for about three to five years.
A few things that can boost your dehumidifier’s life can be:
● Using it in summers and at most humid times of the year.
● Using the dehumidifier in a space that’s ideal for its size.
● Maintaining the dehumidifier from time to time.
What do I do with the water coming out of my dehumidifier?
The water coming out from the dehumidifier is called condensate. It is free of any fecal contamination, so you can use it for cleaning purposes, for watering plants, and for bathing your pets. However, it can not be used for drinking purposes as it may contain other contaminations.
Do dehumidifiers make noise?
As the dehumidifier’s compressor has a fan, it will make a little noise. You can expect the sound to be a little louder than a typical ceiling fan or an air purifier. The noise also varies from brand to brand and from type to type.
Commercial dehumidifiers are louder than the residential ones.
Where should I locate my dehumidifier in the house?
The area that has the highest moisture level needs a dehumidifier the most. The areas where there is a lot of water usage like a laundry room, bathroom, kitchen are more likely to be humid. Besides these, you can also locate your dehumidifier near your swimming pool, crawl spaces, basement, or living room.
How does a dehumidifier combat allergen?
For example, most common allergens, molds, dust mites, and mildews thrive in moist environments. Humidity levels of 50% and lower are ideal for allergens to flourish. In this case, it is essential to keep the environment dry and moisture-free. A dehumidifier controls the moisture level, and in turn, reduces the allergies caused by these allergens.
Getting the best suitable dehumidifier for your facility, whether residential or commercial, is not a simple task. It takes a lot of time and research to get your hands on one, especially when you are buying for the first time. Without proper knowledge of the device’s features, pros, and cons, the selection becomes even more daunting.
If you are residing in a humid area, you would probably be looking for all the possible dos and don’ts before buying a good one. So, to your ease, we have come up with this fantastic buyer’s guide for dehumidifiers, which has all the apparent information of a dehumidifier’s aspects. Give this guide a good read so you can choose the best dehumidifier according to your need and wants.
Last update 2020-07-17. Price and product availability may change.