What is humidity?
To be well versed with the use of dehumidifiers, it is very important to understand humidity first. Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the air. High humidity can wreck a house and its atmosphere. The result can be a horrible musty smell and the very much feared mold will also make its appearance. Just thinking about it feels ghastly, doesn’t it? Mold not only grows on walls, but it can also invade your wardrobe and spoil your clothes! High indoor damp is also a much loved environment by the silverfish. Additionally, high indoor humidity can also cause unwelcome health problems. During autumn and winter, humidity is generally revealed through condensation.
What are the problems associated with poor humidity?
We can think of a myriad of reasons why moisture and humidity are not good for your home! Here are some of the most prominent ones:
1. It can be costly
Damage from moisture to your beloved home can be very costly. The condensation on walls and windows is known to create wood rot, damp spots and corroding furniture. Paint on the wall will also get peeled off under the effect of high moisture and humidity. This can make your home look older and less attractive than how it actually is.
2. It can cause a number of health problems
The poor indoor air quality caused by the excess of humidity during the cold season can even make you feel depressed! Obviously, mold and mildew and a damp smell do not create the most thriving of environments. In fact, a study carried in 1975 by Persinger demonstrated a significant relationship between humidity levels and mood scores (which are representative of happiness levels). Other illnesses associated with poor humidity levels include upper respiratory congestion, wheezing, fatigue, dizziness, and watery eyes. More severe health effects due to poor indoor air quality include rashes, nausea, rapid heartbeat, heat stroke and frequent headaches.
Another significant problem that might arise is mold allergy. Mold allergy cause hay fever-like symptoms. Mold spores can also reach the lungs and trigger asthma. Mold allergy can also lead to long time conditions, such as nasal congestion, itchy throats, coughing and irritated eyes. In some cases, mold allergies can really be troublesome; especially if you are dealing with hypersensitivity pneumonitis – (long exposure to mold inhalation). It can cause permanent damage to your lungs (scar tissues),leading to muscular pain, fever, blood-streaked sputum and chills.
3. It is an environment where mites and insects flourish
Moisture and damp in your home is to bugs and mites what a lovely holiday destination is to you – cockroaches, dust mites, centipedes, silverfish and fungi will simply love to crawl around your home! Silverfish can cause damage to your home by ruining papers, wallpapers and even clothing. Dust mites can cause allergy and even asthma. High humidity can also cause certain bacteria and viruses to grow.
Types of dehumidifiers
There are 2 main types of dehumidifiers to choose from- the refrigerant and the desiccant dehumidifiers.
1. Refrigerant Dehumidifiers
This is the most popular choice of dehumidifiers in UK homes. Refrigerant dehumidifiers are divided into 4 main parts: the fan, the compressor, cooling coils and the water tank. The fan pulls the air into the dehumidifier. The compressor expands and compresses refrigerant which travels through the dehumidifier coils, cooling them down. The water collects on the coils and drips down into the water tank. Refrigerant dehumidifiers usually do not work as well as they usually do when temperatures drop between 00C and 50C because refrigerant dehumidifiers rely on freezing rods which condense the humid air. Due to this, if the temperature of the air falls below 5ºC it would be harder for a dehumidifier to condense and extract the humidity in the room.
2. Desiccant Dehumidifiers
Desiccant dehumidifiers do not feature a fan, compressor, cooling coils and a water tank. Rather it functions by using a water absorbing desiccant material such as silica gel- the same silica gel found in those new shoes boxes- to capture moisture. Desiccant dehumidifiers are usually more suitable for smaller spaces such as a kitchen or a living room. Desiccant dehumidifiers, however, are more stable as they perform constantly at any temperature between 00C and 300C. Despite a high power consumption, a desiccant dehumidifier removes humidity at a faster rate than a compressor dehumidifier, leading to greater energy savings in the long run with fewer running hours needed for moisture extraction!
Which dehumidifier is the best for me?
The following criteria can help in the choice of a dehumidifier:
1. Extraction Rate
We have a wide range of dehumidifiers with varying extraction rate in order to suit your lifestyle, budget and home dimensions. We have our Eco Air models which range between 7-12 litres of moisture removal per day and which are ideal for 3-4 bedroom houses and small warehouses. We also have our Ebac 3850E, suitable for larger spaces with an extraction rate of 21L. Our Dimplex dehumidifiers also have an extraction rate between the ranges of 10L to 16L. Hence, to optimise the use of your dehumidifier, make sure that it is adequate for the size of your house. With our vast range of dehumidifiers, you are certain to find the one which fits you best!
2. Water Tank Capacity
Water tank capacity is a very important criterion when deciding to purchase a dehumidifier. A small water tank will create the trouble of having to empty the container very often and surely, nobody has the amount of time to keep on emptying water tanks! Hence, you have to make sure that you have a large enough water tank to cope! We recommend using a water tank which has a 2L capacity atleast. In this way, you can have peace of mind for 1-2 days that the water container won’t fill in case you forgot to empty it. Our Eco Air dehumidifiers have a water tank capacity ranging between 2 L to 3.5 L, while our Dimplex Forte dehumidifiers have a water tank capacity of 2.3 L. Our Ebac 3850E also carries an exceptional water tank capacity of 3.5 L.
3. Size of the dehumidifier
Normally, desiccant dehumidifiers tend to be less bulky, smaller and easier to transport than refrigerant type dehumidifiers. This is because the refrigerant-based dehumidifiers tend to contain more components and a large water tank, making them heavier and more difficult to handle. Our Eco Air dehumidifiers tend to be very lightweight, ranging between 6 kg to 7 kg. Our Eco Air DC12 is also equipped with “easy glide” castors, hence making them easily movable across the house- you can use it in the kitchen, in your bedroom or living room.
4. Running Costs
Desiccant dehumidifiers typically use more electricity than refrigerant-type ones.
As we mentioned before, despite a high power consumption, a desiccant dehumidifier removes humidity at a faster rate than a compressor dehumidifier, leading to greater energy savings in the long run with fewer running hours needed for moisture extraction! Moreover, our Ebac dehumidifiers are also very efficient despite being refrigerant-type dehumidifiers. They make use of a patented Smart ControlTM feature that adapt to its surroundings (the outside weather, the indoor environment and your lifestyle) and accordingly, learns when to be on and off. This makes them three times more efficient than a manually controlled dehumidifier. Our Eco Air dehumidifiers, on the other side, feature a humidity sensor/ a humidistat that senses humidity levels and work accordingly.
5. Noise Level and other Features
Desiccant dehumidifiers are usually a lot quieter than refrigerant-based dehumidifiers. Our Eco Air desiccant dehumidifiers usually make use of a “whisper quiet” technology and have a noise level of around 40- 50 dB(A)- which is equivalent to the background music in a restaurant. Our Dimplex Forte and Ebac dehumidifiers also have the same range of noise level, making them very quiet devices as well. Other additional features of our Eco Air include the laundry mode and an easy to use rotary humidistat while our Dimplex Forte dehumidifiers come with continuous drainage, auto shut off and auto defrost features. The Ebac dehumidifiers also come with the patented Ebac Intelligent Defrost for greater efficiency and 8 hour boost setting, perfect for drying laundry as well. Moreover, our dehumidifiers also come with several security features, making them very safe for use.
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