Different Types of Dehumidifiers | What does each type do?

Enjoying a cold soda on a hot day? Did you notice those bubbles on the surface of the can? Why do you think that happens? When the air loses its heat, it will also lose its ability to hold moisture. So the colder surface collects water from the warmer air and this process is called condensation. This is the principle of a dehumidifier. In this article, we are going to see different types of Dehumidifier.

About Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier’s job is to maintain a controlled environment with relative humidity levels. This job, it does effectively by drawing the air from the surrounding environment, removing the moisture from it and releasing it back again. The moisture is condensed into water and is collected in a tank.

Types of Dehumidifiers image
Types of Dehumidifiers image

Dehumidifiers can be broken down into some basic components:

  • Compressor – It works by compressing and expanding a refrigerant gas like Freon to cool the dehumidifier’s coils.
  • Reheater – To collect the heat generated from the cooling process.
  • Compressor cooling coils
  • Reservoir

How do they work together?

  • The fan collects air from the environment and pulls it into the machine.
  • It is then passed through the dehumidifier’s cooling coils. They use the principle of condensation to remove moisture from the air.
  • The condensed moisture on the surface of the coils will then drip down into the reservoir.
  • Now the dehumidifier reheats the air and pushes it back into the environment.

Types of dehumidifier

There are several types of dehumidifier available in the market and we have tried to group them here based on the construction and the way they function.

Compressor based dehumidifiers

Compressor based dehumidifiers image
Compressor based dehumidifiers image

Also known as refrigerant dehumidifiers, they work similarly to a fridge. They use a fan to draw in air and pass it through very cold coils. The water condenses on the surface of the coils and drips back into the water tank below.

Now the air devoid of moisture is reheated and pumped back into the surroundings as warmer and drier air. This way you can reduce the relative humidity of the atmosphere.

These dehumidifiers differ from others in the fact that they use a built-in compressor to cool down the coils instead of current.  The size of coils can be increased to cool larger quantity of air at once.



Thermo-electric dehumidifiers

Thermo-electric dehumidifiers image
Thermo-electric dehumidifiers image

Thermoelectric dehumidifiers use a Peltier heat pump to perform the job of condensation. A Peltier pump is a solid-state active pump, which works with the principle of heat transfer from one end of the device to the other, with the help of electrical energy, and it depends on the direction of the current.

This type of dehumidifier has a simpler design and is very quiet compared to one with a mechanical compressor. However, since their coefficient of performance is poor, they are used in small dehumidifiers. In some cases, ice buildup may pose a problem, similar to old model refrigerators.


Desiccant dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers image
Desiccant dehumidifiers image

True to their name, desiccant humidifiers suck in air and pass that over a desiccant material like silica gel. Remember those small packets of silica gel in your new shoes or electronics? That’s because desiccant materials are known for their natural property to absorb moisture.

Another advantage is that desiccant varieties do not require cooling of air before dehumidifying it and hence are ideal for sub-zero regions. The desiccant material is dried out by an electric heater so that they can continue to absorb moisture.

These types of dehumidifier run on simple but effective techniques and can be found in a variety of sizes and capacity. Portable small Dehumidifier, usually seen in home improvement stores, are made of plastic and are cheap and lightweight. They are effective in smaller spaces like bedrooms or kitchens.

However, there are certain disadvantages to this variety. They often end up absorbing more moisture, as much as 3 times more, from the air and make the air extremely dry. This also means removing about 8 liters of water per day, as opposed to 1 to 2 liters by other dehumidifiers.

All this water goes wasted and also there is the usage of more electricity as compared to other types.


Commercial Dehumidifiers

Commercial Dehumidifiers image
Commercial Dehumidifiers image

If you have a warehouse or a large basement, a commercial dehumidifier is all you need to remove the mildew and musty smell. The commercial or industrial dehumidifiers are rugged, powerful and heavy duty. They are very sturdy and can easily transform your space.

These dehumidifiers come in a variety of sizes to fit your square footage. However, the noise levels of industrial dehumidifiers are higher than most residential ones. Thankfully, these units are used in basements or warehouses, so the noise levels might not be a problem.


You are now equipped!

We hope that this guide provided you with all the basic details about a dehumidifier and knowledge on how to choose one that would suit your needs. Before buying one though, you need to check certain things, like if the damp is caused by a leak, the extra features that you might need in a dehumidifier, ease of set up and maintenance and warranty details. For more details on Dehumidifiers, do follow our website www.dehumidifierexpert.com

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