If you are thinking of buying a dehumidifier, you may be wondering, ‘how does a dehumidifier work?’ While best humidifier Adding moisture to the air when it’s too dry, a dehumidifier removes moisture from the air when it’s too humid, making these little beauties great if you live in a hot climate or just want a cozy environment. Schools live more comfortably during spring and summer.
We have all experienced humidity to one degree or another. That heavy feeling in the air often comes from heat, rain, or fog and can really affect how we feel as we go through the day. When this happens, it can feel stuffy and even smell bad, which can cause a host of problems for both you and your home. This is why getting a good dehumidifier comes with it, and it’s well worth doing your research and discovering how a dehumidifier can benefit you.
In this article, we will discuss what a dehumidifier is and answer a common question, how does a dehumidifier work? We’ll go over the benefits of using a dehumidifier, and finally, we’ll also give you an idea of how much energy it takes to run these devices and what that might cost you. .
How does a dehumidifier work?
According to National Asthma Council, a dehumidifier changes a room’s humidity to 30-50% relative humidity by taking excess moisture out into the air. When this happens, mold, dust mites, and other allergens are less likely to persist.
The dehumidifier detects the level of moisture in the air and turns on the power when necessary.
Refrigerant-based dehumidifiers are the most common model of dehumidifiers. They are usually made up of four parts:
- Fan compressor expands and contracts a refrigerant gas (such as freon) to cool the coils
- Heater Collect the heat generated by the cooling process
- Cooling or cooling coil take moisture from the air through condensation
- Collection tank or tray collect moisture from the coils to be cooled
Like dehumidifiers that use fans, dehumidifiers pass air through their cooling coils. This process is similar to how an air conditioning unit works and causes moisture to condense on the coils of the unit. The warm air contracts and loses the moisture it can no longer hold as it moves through the cool coils. This is when it creates condensate, which accumulates inside the dehumidifier’s reservoir or tray.
Do dehumidifiers really work?
A dehumidifier can provide the following benefits:
- Improve air quality with reduced humidity
- Prevent mold
- Dust removal
- Personal comfort
- Reduce energy costs
- Protect your home
For those of you wondering’Does a dehumidifier help with allergies?‘, The answer is yes. By reducing the humidity in your home, you can also help reduce asthma symptoms and irritation. If you are going to invest in a dehumidifier, you want to make sure you are getting all the benefits it has to offer. The good news is that there is a way to know if a dehumidifier is really right for you.
Measure the efficiency of the dehumidifier
According to Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of AmericaThere are two things that determine how well a dehumidifier is working and how well it works.
- Effective. You’ll need to rate your dehumidifier’s efficiency (“energy factor”) to see how well it works for you. Find this value by dividing the amount of water it removes by the amount of electricity it consumes. This value is measured in liters or pints per kilowatt-hour (L/kWh).
- Water removed every day. The amount of water a dehumidifier removes over a 24-hour period of continuous use (in liters or pints) clearly shows how well the unit is performing. Of course, a larger dehumidifier will remove more water than a smaller dehumidifier.
Wattage is also important to consider. While it doesn’t indicate the quality of the dehumidifier, a higher wattage usually means it works harder and removes more water per hour. Eg:
- A small desktop appliance that requires about 20 watts to operate, removes about 0.25 liters of water per day, and has a tank of about 500 ml.
- A large dehumidifier removes about 50 liters of water per day and uses 1,000 watts or more.
However, you need to look at these metrics together and then compare the two units to gauge their capacity – wattage alone can’t give you that.
The small unit will take about four days to discard a liter, or 200 days to remove 50 liters, which will use about 96kWh (200 days x 24 hours x 0.02 kW). The large unit will take about a day to remove 50 liters, which will use about 24kWh. So in this example, the large device is four times more efficient and 200 times faster than the small one.
Find the right dehumidifier
As with any product type, some dehumidifiers work well and do what they say they will, while others leave you wanting. There are several important things you can do when shopping for a dehumidifier.
First, talk to sales reps from retailers that sell units – you’ll likely get a more objective opinion from people not affiliated with a particular manufacturer. You can also learn about the return policy for the models you are interested in. This way you can take them home, try them out to see if they do what they claim, and if not, return them.
Finally, look for and rate trusted reviews, and listen carefully to what users have to say about the features that matter most to you.
Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?
With all the benefits a dehumidifier has to offer, energy efficiency is not one of them. While they don’t consume as much energy as an air conditioner unit that can be 300 kWh monthly, they consume more than a standard refrigerator. Of course, like any appliance, the amount of energy a dehumidifier requires will vary by make, size, and model. They average around 280 watts (for comparison, computers typically use about 360 watts).
To save on energy consumption and money on your monthly bill, check out dehumidifier models that meet or exceed Energy star requirements. The higher the Energy Factor (EF) of the model, the more water it removes per kWh of electricity it consumes. And, the larger the unit, the more impact on energy usage and costs, the higher efficiency ratings will have.
Here is an example from Learn the indicators how much it might cost you to run an energy efficient dehumidifier (EF of 2.0) versus an inefficient dehumidifier (EF of 1.0) in your home. In this case, let’s say the cost is 13 cents per kWh, with both units holding 70 pints and running for 1,000 hours. An efficient EF 2.0 unit will cost about $90 per year to run, while a less efficient EF 1.0 unit will cost about twice that.
Making sure you clean and maintain your dehumidifier properly can also save you on energy costs. Check out our guide for How to clean a dehumidifier? for more information. And, if you’re hoping to save on energy costs in general, there’s a great side effect of using a dehumidifier at home: you can feel cooler and, therefore, reduce energy consumption and expense. This is because we tend to feel warmer when there is higher humidity. So when your space is less humid, you may not feel the need for a fan or air conditioner as often.
Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America. (2007, January 1st). Google Books. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ibE5AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
ENERGY STAR. (In 2022). Simple choice to save energy. https://www.energystar.gov
Heffernan, T. (2022, April 29). The best dehumidifier. Wirecutter: A Review for the Real World. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-dehumidifier/
L. (year 2021, August 12). Power efficiency of dehumidifiers: Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity? LearnMetrics. https://learnmetrics.com/dehumidifier-energy-efficiency/
Australian National Asthma Council. (2016, February 16). Australian National Asthma Council. Accessed April 29, 2022 from
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