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How Does A Dehumidifier Work? Your Ultimate Dehumidifier Guide

by Resto Pros on July 5, 2019

how does a dehumidifier work

Other than mold, you’ve probably heard us mention a dehumidifier a lot. We often say that a dehumidifier is a great solution to decreasing or controlling the moisture in your home to prevent mold, which is a fungus primarily attracted to damp spaces.

However, we understand that not everyone is familiar with how a dehumidifier works. The team at RestoPros is here to answer that question – and any common inquiries regarding the workings and features of a dehumidifier.

How Does A Dehumidifier Work? A Little Like an Air Conditioner

Essentially, the dehumidifier absorbs air from the surroundings, removes moisture from it and lets out dry air. Just as an air conditioner removes humidity from the warm air it absorbs, so does a dehumidifier. In fact, it does it more effectively than an air conditioner.

A fan draws warm, humid air from the surroundings which blows over an evaporator coil. This coil contains a cooling agent called refrigerant, which is also used in air conditioners. When warm air is drawn over the cold evaporator coil, it goes through the process of condensation.

During the process of condensation, the previously warm and humid air loses its heat as well as its ability to retain moisture. The moisture pulled from the air eventually turns into liquid and drips into the bucket or reservoir of the dehumidifier. The dehumidified air blows over warm coils, before passing back into the room as warm, dry air.

Do I Even Need A Dehumidifier?

Now that you know how a dehumidifier works, you’re probably wondering whether you need one or not. To help you figure out whether you should purchase a dehumidifier or not, here are some factors you should consider:

  • Are you susceptible to indoor allergens?

Indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold, mildew are ever present in humid environments. For people who are susceptible to allergies, these allergens can trigger reactions such as a stuffy nose, watery eyes and sneezing. If you don’t want to deal with the discomfort that comes with sudden allergic reactions, especially during times when humidity is high, a dehumidifier might be a good option for you.

  • What kind of climate are you living in?

Your decision to purchase a dehumidifier is dependent on the climate you are living in. If it’s a humid climate and the area you are living in is prone to mold and mildew as well as humidity damage (like stripping paint and wall paper) a dehumidifier would provide a preventative solution.

  • How big of a dehumidifier should you get?

Dehumidifiers usually come in three size categories. Small capacity, which removes up to 35 pints of moisture per day, medium, which can remove up to 50 pints per day, and large, which can remove up to 70 pints per day. The damper and larger the space, the higher capacity dehumidifier you should consider using.

Costs and Features of a Dehumidifier

Before purchasing a dehumidifier, you should also investigate the costs and features of the model you decide to buy. Depending on the brand and the size, a portable dehumidifier can run anywhere from $40 into the thousands. However, a typical name brand 70 pint unit will cost around $250.

Consider the water removal options different dehumidifiers offer. Most dehumidifiers come with removable plastic buckets. When a dehumidifier is full, most models will automatically shut off and give some indication that the bucket needs to be emptied. While you can manually do this, dehumidifiers also come with an option to hook a hose to the bucket which will direct the moisture into a drain.

Dehumidifiers also frequently come with humidistats which measure the amount of humidity in the air. Use the humidistat to ensure your home’s humidity is usually between 30 to 50%, especially to prevent mold.

Pro tip: If you’re purchasing a dehumidifier, consider going with models endorsed by Energy Star. These dehumidifiers have more efficient refrigeration coils compared to traditional models but use about 30% less energy.

Call RestoPros for Mold Testing and Removal

A dehumidifier is a valuable appliance to have because it can contribute to a comfortable, mold-free lifestyle. However, keep in mind that mold can spread easily and if your dehumidifier isn’t well maintained, mold can show up in there too. If you think you have a mold problem in your home, contact RestoPros for professional mold testing and remediation. Call 855-587-3786 or schedule a service online!