Just like the absence of moisture causes problems, the presence of too much humidity also leads to issues like mold that can damage materials, bad smells, and adverse health reactions. People are generally most comfortable indoors when the humidity level is between 30% and 50%. That is why you need dehumidifiers to maintain optimal humidity levels.
Types of Dehumidifiers
They condense moisture out of the air. Damp air from within your home is drawn into the dehumidifier and passed over a cold evaporator coil which cools the air below its dew point temperature. Thus it causes condensation that is extracted from cold coils. The water is collected in a pan of removed manually. Some units come with a hose through which the water is automatically purged. The dry air in the dehumidifier is then passed over warm condensing coils, heating the again before exiting the machine.
These units operate by way of passing air through a rotor which contains moisture adsorbent desiccant material. Once the water is eliminated from air, the dry air actually blows back into the room to accelerate drying. Water collected within the desiccant wheel is removed by adding heat so the vaporized moisture can then be ducted outside. The desiccant material used is generally silica gel that absorbs moisture by attracting it within each granule. It is by the addition of heat that this moisture can then be released from the desiccant by evaporation and pushed out.
How about performance?
The main benefit of refrigerator coil dehumidifiers over desiccant is that they can remove a larger volume of moisture per day. The former is used during early stages of flood restoration when swift during is needed. But then again, extraction rates also depend on the make and model of dehumidifier, so check the manufacturers’ guidelines of extraction rates before buying.
Desiccant units operate efficiently in cold temperature conditions due to the silica gel desiccant still absorbing moisture. Refrigerant dehumidifiers suffer a fall in water extraction at colder temperatures, as the dew point is harder to reach and condensation of moisture out of the cold air is more difficult to achieve.
Running Costs & Noise
Refrigerant units use less electricity so the overall running cost is lower than its desiccant counterpart. On the other hand, the latter is much quieter than the former, which uses compressors.
Conduct thorough research before you buy a particular dehumidifier to ensure it meets your requirements.