Humidity, the amount of moisture in the air around you, plays an extremely important role in controlling the number of
airborne allergens in your home. The two most common indoor allergens, dust mites and
mold, thrive in warm, humid conditions. Allergens, such as mold and fungus are present
though dormant in nearly all materials, but in the presence of a food source and moisture, they can rapidly proliferate.
By keeping your relative humidity in the air below 50 percent, you can control the dust mite and
mold spore populations in your home. The easiest and
simplest way to do this and to increase the overall comfort level in your home is to control
humidity levels with a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers remove water
vapor from the air and lower the relative humidity in your home.
How Dehumidifiers Work
regulate humidity by removing moisture from the air and
creating living conditions that are inhospitable to dust mites,
mold and other allergenic organisms.
Room dehumidifiers, like a
Danby or an
Soleus, work much like air conditioners--warmer, moist air enters the dehumidifier and then crosses refrigerant cooled coils, causing the moisture in the air to
condense on coils within the machine. The moisture then collects in a drip pan or bucket for disposal while the air is slightly
reheated before being discharged. The reheat process is done by capturing and using heat generated from the energy spent to
cool the air. By being slightly warmed, the air exiting the dehumidifier is dry and warm - which means it will attract
moisture like a magnet and maximize the dehumidifier's efficiency. Of our residential units, our line of
Aprilaire dehumidifiers are the largest units we offer. The
two larger models are the only two whole home dehumidifiers we carry while the smaller Aprilaire 1710A is
ideal for any crawlspace, basement are large space with excess moisture.
Commercial and industrial units, like our
Ebac dehumidifiers and Dri-Eaz dehumidifiers, work exactly
the same way, but they have features like internal pumps and powerful fans that make them ideal for
cleaning, water damage, and restoration projects. Another key feature to the Ebac
line is that most are constructed of steel. This makes them heavier, but also itself to increased durability and longevity.
Dri-Eaz dehumidifiers are constructed of a rugged plastic that is
extremely resistant to dings, dents and cracking.
If you are allergic to dust mites or mold--or if you smell a musty, mildew-like odor in your home, or see
condensation on windows, walls, or floors--then
you should seriously consider using a dehumidifier to improve the indoor air quality. Some allergens, such as mold,
can turn into a serious and difficult problem to solve if allowed to grow unchecked in your home. In addition to
health concerns, excess moisture speeds the natural process of oxidation. From metals to wood, every material found on
this planet is subject to the process of decay and deterioration through oxidation. While researching a dehumidifier,
are some important factors to keep in mind before you make your purchase.
Moisture Removal Rate
|How much water does the dehumidifier remove from the
air in a given amount of time? Some Ebac industrial
dehumidifiers can remove a whopping 50 gallons
of water per day! One of our Dri-Eaz commercial models can remove
140 pints of water in a day at 80 degrees and 60% relative humidity. Because your particular situation may not call for a unit this powerful, a standard
room dehumidifier is the most common type of dehumidifier sold today. Depending on the
Soleus dehumidifiers, and
Haier dehumidifiers are all room-sized dehumidifiers that can remove between 30
and 70 pints of moisture per day.
If your dehumidifier is for a basement, garage, crawlspace, or any
other area that might get extremely cold during the winter, you will want to make sure that it can operate
at low temperatures. Ebac dehumidifiers are
industrial strength and have different temperature ranges
depending on the model, but they all work well in low
temperatures--most, like the
Ebac CD35 Dehumidifier, work all the way down to 33°F!
The Ebac Desiccant Dehumidifiers work at even lower temperatures.
The Dri-Eaz line of low grade refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers
are engineered to work in temperatures from 33°F to 100°F.
Danby models work in temperatures down to 44°F, while
Haier dehumidifiers have a temperature range down to 41°F.
Soleus units will typically function
in temperatures as low as 40°F. On the high end of this scale are the
Dri-Eaz 2800i and 3500i dehumidifiers, which
can operate in temperatures ranging from
33°F to temperatures as high as 125°F.
Choose a dehumidifier keeping in mind not only the temperature
range, but also the overall climate of the region in which you live. For instance, in the Northeast a dehumidifier would
be particularly useful since humidity remains high from May to October, while the temperature may
remain mild. An air conditioner,
which also removes some moisture in the air, would not run enough (due to the lower temperatures) to adequately control the
moisture levels in your home. In this case, a dehumidifier would be an excellent fit.
Similar to a thermostat, a humidistat indicates the relative humidity and allows you to adjust it to the desired level. Standard and
generally come with built-in, adjustable humidistat controls, while the smaller, portable dehumidifiers often times do not. If you need to monitor the relative
humidity in your home, we offer an affordable, high-quality humidity gauge, the Acu-Rite Digital
Like all appliances, different dehumidifiers use different amounts of energy for operation. Typical dehumidifiers can use anywhere from 50 to
800 watts. (For comparison sake, a typical
lamp uses about 60 watts, while a typical computer uses about 365 watts). Danby, Soleus, and Haier dehumidifiers are
all energy-star compliant for low energy costs.
All the room dehumidifiers we offer are
relatively quiet. For those who have owned
older models of dehumidifiers, you will find
that these new models are much quieter than
their predecessors. Larger dehumidifiers (whole house or for
commercial use) like Ebac are louder
than room size units, but they are
generally installed near or around your HVAC unit, on jobsites, or outdoors. So if the noise
of your HVAC running is not an issue, a
Dri-Eaz or an Ebac dehumidifier will likely not cause you any problems.
Ease of Use
Most modern dehumidifiers were designed to be user friendly.
For example, Danby dehumidifiers
feature electronic controls, fully adjustable humidity
settings, an auto de-icer, an auto-restart
feature, a removable and easy-to-clean air
filter, and a direct drain option for
continuous operation. Look for these options
that will make your life easier:
- Water level control to prevent overflow
- Full Tank Light that lets you know when it is time to empty the tank
- Drainage/Porting option so that you do
not have to worry about repeatedly emptying the tank
- Anti-Frost Sensor (or Auto De-icer that keeps the dehumidifier from freezing up)
- Movability--most of our dehumidifiers
come with wheels or casters for easy
transport and nearly all come with built in handles.
A manufacturer's reputation and the experiences of past customers deserve consideration in your decision. Certain manufacturers and products are highly respected
in the industry for a reason--and the same goes for products which have garnered less respect. So whether it is a review or award issued by a nationally
recognized magazine or simply an excellent review from someone just like you, it pays to do your research before buying.
A one-year warranty is the industry standard. A two-year warranty is even better! Take into
account what the warranty covers--motor, fan, electrical components? Also, find out if certain customer actions will void the warranty. Warranties
are your insurance policy against defect and malfunction, so it is prudent to take these into account when choosing a dehumidifier for your home.