Understanding Dehumidifier basics
Looking for the basic facts about dehumidifiers for your home? Here’s interesting information from ENERGY STAR.
Dehumidifier capacity is usually measured in pints per 24 hours and is determined by two factors: the size of the space that needs to be dehumidified and the conditions that exist in the space before dehumidification. See a chart to estimate the capacity you are seeking.
Water Removal Options
Most dehumidifiers use a removable plastic bucket and warning lights to indicate when the bucket is full and needs to be emptied. There is typically an automatic shutoff when the bucket is full, so you won’t have to worry about the bucket overflowing. Most dehumidifiers come with a fitting that allows you to hook a hose directly to the bucket, which can then be directed into a floor drain or sump pump, so there is no need to empty it.
Most dehumidifiers have top-mounted air discharge and can be placed against walls, but if you do not have top-mounted discharge, make sure the dehumidifier is located away from walls and furniture, so that air can circulate freely around the unit. This will result in better operation of the product. Doors and windows to the space being dehumidified should be closed while the unit is running. This will ensure that the space is dehumidified as efficiently as possible. Locate away from sources of dust and dirt such as woodworking equipment), which can clog coils and grills.
If the space being dehumidified has temperatures that typically fall below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you may want to consider buying a product that is specified for use at lower temperatures. Frost can form on the condensing coils if the air temperature drops below 65 degrees, and may negatively affect the performance of the product by causing the compressor to cycle on and off repeatedly without removing moisture from the air. If this happens, the unit should be switched off and allowed to defrost before it is turned back on. Some dehumidifiers come with an anti-frost sensor, which will automatically turn the unit off if the air temperature drops below a certain point. Qualified ENERGY STAR models are available that are rated for use at temperatures as low as 42 degrees.
Relative Humidity (RH) and Humidistats
Humidity, the amount of moisture or water vapor in the air, is most often talked about in terms of Relative Humidity (RH). RH is the amount of water vapor actually present in the air compared to the greatest amount of water vapor the air can hold at that temperature. The optimum RH level for a building is generally considered to be between 30% and 50%. Anything above this range may promote bacteria growth.
The energy efficiency of dehumidifiers is measured by its energy factor, in liters of water removed per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy consumed or L/kWh. In general, a higher energy factor means a more efficient dehumidifier. See ENERGY STAR for more or more information.
About AirNow Cooling & Heating
AirNow Cooling & Heating is a full-service air-conditioning and heating contractor located in Millbrook, Ala., serving Montgomery, Autauga, Lowndes and Elmore Counties. The business services and installs heating and air-conditioning systems. In addition to completing scheduled service checks, repairing existing equipment and installing new equipment, the company finds ways to reduce the energy bills of its clients with a thorough cost-benefits analysis.
AirNow offers a patented Straight Forward Pricing Guide™ so that customers know what the price is before a project begins. Meanwhile, to contact AirNow Cooling & Heating for a service call, a free quote on a new HVAC system or further information on any of its services, please call 334-285-7065 or email email@example.com.Ask an Expert: Does Running Ceiling Fans Cool the Home Faster? » « How do I know if I need a dehumidifier?