Be it during hot, humid summer or cold, wet winter, high indoor humidity can have detrimental effects on both our health and home furnishings. Fortunately, a suitable dehumidifier is not only able to mitigate these problems efficiently, but will also prevent them from happening in the first place. There are several criteria you should take into account when considering the specifications of a dehumidifier for your home.
Deciding between a desiccant or compressor dehumidifier is the most important step when it comes to choosing a suitable dehumidifier. It’s straightforward enough—if the climate is warm and the surrounding temperature exceeds 20°C year-round, a compressor dehumidifier would be the best choice. On the other hand, if you experience 4 seasons in a year, you’ll find a desiccant dehumidifier more suited to your needs. The rationale behind this has to do with how each compressor works—compressor dehumidifiers require a temperature difference to condense water vapour into liquid form, while desiccant dehumidifiers rely on the hygroscopic properties of desiccants to adsorb moisture from the air.
- Consistently warm climate >20°C: Compressor dehumidifiers
- Warm and cold climates: Desiccant dehumidifiers
While the main purpose of using a dehumidifier is to remove moisture from the air regardless of the location it will be placed, some properties of compressor and desiccant dehumidifiers can affect the suitability of their placement.
Wine cellar: Compressor dehumidifiers
As it is important to maintain a relatively low temperature in the wine cellar, compressor dehumidifiers are a better choice as they do not release heat. Desiccant dehumidifiers can increase the surrounding temperature by 2-3°C when they are running.
Bedroom: Desiccant dehumidifiers
Where quality of sleep is concerned, you can’t go wrong with having a desiccant dehumidifier in your bedroom. These dehumidifiers are known for their low noise levels of around 35 dB. Meanwhile, compressor dehumidifiers have a noise level exceeding 45 dB, due to having a compressor in operation.
Drying clothes indoors: Desiccant dehumidifiers
While most compressor dehumidifiers have only one or two fan speeds, many desiccant dehumidifiers come with a laundry or turbo mode which has a higher airflow that can help speed up the drying of clothes indoors.
How much moisture needs removing
For places that are prone to high humidity issues, such as houses in the coastal region and basements with poor ventilation, a dehumidifier with higher performance capabilities is needed. Dehumidifiers of different sizes have varying dehumidification rates, in most cases larger capacity units remove moisture more quickly compared to their smaller counterparts.
Dehumidification rates aside, water tank capacity should be taken into consideration as well. For heavy moisture removal, a dehumidifier with a large water tank capacity with a drainage feature would be ideal as it would remove the hassle of having to manually empty the water tank regularly.
As a general rule of thumb, desiccant dehumidifiers usually weigh between 5-9kg while compressor dehumidifiers can weigh more than 10kg. If the dehumidifier is moved around the house regularly, a desiccant dehumidifier would be a better choice. However, some compressor dehumidifiers now come with wheels so they can be moved around with ease.
After having the main specifications of the dehumidifier sorted out, it’s time to decide on the brand and model of dehumidifier to buy. With so many reviews in marketplaces and blogs on the internet to reference from, making a decision can be daunting for a first-time buyer. CHOICE, a reputable consumer advocacy organisation in Australia, is a good starting point that provides brand and model recommendations. Each year, they conduct tests and reviews on dehumidifiers to provide consumers with an unbiased perspective so that they can make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing a suitable dehumidifier for their homes.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your business’s needs.