How To Choose Your Dehumidifier
If you are already familiar with dehumidifiers you probably don't need to read through the information below, however you may have landed here because you're confused by all the information available and are looking for some good honest and straight forward advice on how to choose the correct dehumidifier for your specific needs.
Below we have provided an overview of the things you should consider when choosing a dehumidifier. Let's face it, you are more likely to make the right choice if you know what you are looking for!
If you have other questions about choosing a dehumidifier that do not seem to be covered by the information below, then you can try our Dehumidifier FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page.
There are three main types of dehumidifier.
The three main types of dehumidifier are - Refrigerant, Desiccant and Whole House. Each has a different method of collecting the moisture as outlined below and knowing the difference will help you decide which one you need.
A refrigerant dehumidifier uses much the same process as your fridge at home. The refrigeration process cools a metal plate on to which moisture from the air condenses. A fan constantly draws the room air through the dehumidifier and over the cool metal plate(s) and all the time more and more of the moisture condenses onto the plate and drips into the dehumidifiers water tank. Eventually the relative humidity in the room/home is reduced to a normal level and the unit will then switch itself into standby until such a time as it is required again.
Refrigerant dehumidifiers are most effective at typical room temperatures and their performance declines dramatically in cooler conditions. The common reason for this is the formation of ice on the metal cooling plates (coils). This freezing can occur at any temperature from about 65°F/18°C downward. A refrigerant dehumidifier can operate effectively at lower temperatures but requires higher performing components and additional features to achieve this, making it more expensive. So if you think your dehumidifier may often be used in a room which often has a fairly low temperature then this may not be the best option.
However, on the whole, If you are choosing a dehumidifier for use in the normal living areas of your home, then a refrigerant model will be entirely suitable. Click here to view our range of refrigerant dehumidifiers.
A desiccant dehumidifier differs from the refrigerant type above. Dessicant dehumidifiers absorb water from the air using a desiccant. A desiccant is a material that absorbs water and will be familiar to anyone who has ever found a small pack of crystals, labelled "silica gel", packaged with a camera, computer or some other product.
How it Works. In a dehumidifier desiccant works as follows, a wheel consisting largely of the desiccant turns slowly through the incoming air stream and absorbs moisture. During the rotation cycle a proportion of the wheel is passing through a stream of warm air which "reactivates" the desiccant by driving off the moisture. This condensed water is then collected in the dehumidifiers collection tank or automatically drained out via a tube from the back of the unit to the outside or via a plug hole etc. This type of dehumidifier tends to be smaller and lighter than the refrigerant type.
The Main reason to Choose a desiccant dehumidifier is that it can operate at much lower temperatures than a refrigerant type. If you are choosing a dehumidifier for a particularly cool area, such as some garages and workshops you may wish to consider this type. However, a small word of warning, Desiccant dehumidifiers are by default power hungry ( usually consuming 600-800 watts of energy an hour ) and the technology is still quite unreliable - hence we have recently taken the decision to remove this type of unit from sale for the time being. We do expect to stock desiccant units again when the technology has been refined to the point where the reliability matches that afforded by refrigerant models.
Whole House Ventilation Dehumidifiers
Ventilation systems like The Lofty are considered to be the most effective way to remove damp, mould and condensation from your home. Cheaper to run than even the most economical plug in dehumidifiers, a Lofty generally costs less than a penny a day to run is so quiet you can easily forget its there. These units sit quietly in the loft space pushing air from there down into your home via a discreet grill mounted in the hallway. The constant arrival of this is new air from the loft forces the old, stale, damp air out through your homes natural leakage points leaving the house fresher, dryer and condensation free. Installation normally takes around an hour and the unit can be fitted by anyone with even just a little DIY know how. Click here to see the most popular home ventilation systems.