Both humidifiers and dehumidifiers can be found in many homes, businesses, and more. Some people might spend quite a bit of money in order to install a dehumidifier in their home. For those that must use a dehumidifier regularly, there is no doubt that they make the overall environment much more comfortable to be in. Sweat evaporates much more easily, the air may even seem cooler. But how does a dehumidifier work?
When to Buy a Dehumidifier
First, let’s talk about how you can tell when you need to invest in a dehumidifier. For some, there is no doubt that they feel they need a dehumidifier in their space. This may especially be true if they are looking at making a generally damp area (like a basement or garage) into a more livable area. If you notice that your floors squeak a lot, and that your doors, cabinets, and windows stick, you might look into getting a dehumidifier. If you have a mold allergy, and you suspect mold may has started growing in your home, you may want to purchase a dehumidifier. Or, if you notice any water stains in your home, condensation on windows, or any wood actually rotting, you want to purchase one of these machines. They help those with allergies, bad, congestive coughs, and can deter pests, like insects.
How a Dehumidifier Works
Most dehumidifiers, big or small, work on the same simple principal. A fan pulls in air from outside the dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are equipped with one or more cooling coils. The air is then moved over these cooling coils by the fan. The cooling effect of these coils cause the air to condense, somewhat. Water forms on the cooling coils, and drips downward into a pan to be contained. The air is then reheated and pushed back out into the open space. Through this process, dehumidifiers literally gather water from the air. Most dehumidifiers have automatic shut-off pans that shut them off when the water pans need to be emptied. There are many uses for the water from these machines.
Uses for Water from Dehumidifiers
As mentioned above, there are several uses for the water from dehumidifiers. Generally, this water is seen as grey water (waste water that can be reused). This water should not be used for human consumption, nor should it be used to water edible plants. You could simply pour it down the drain, or use it to flush your toilets. However, the most efficient way to use this water is probably by using it to water nonedible plants in your home. Think about using this on houseplants, as well as any plants outside that need watering. Some dehumidifiers do not have to be emptied, but, instead, run into a drain.
Types of Dehumidifiers
Mechanical dehumidifiers are the most typical types of dehumidifiers, and follow the process described above.
Desiccant dehumidifiers normally use a form of desiccant to remove moisture form the air. The air simply passes over the desiccant, which removes moisture from the air.
Ionic membrane dehumidifiers may be used in areas where humidity must be very carefully controlled.
Electronic dehumidifiers also exist. They are very quiet, but inefficient.
Air conditioners dehumidify the air by passing it over cooling coils, then putting it back into the air. This is why air conditioners must recycle the air they produce, or it drips out. In some cases, these can be used as makeshift dehumidifiers.
Dehumidifiers are available in smaller sizes, for only one room, or are available for very large spaces, like museums, factories, or laboratories.