Dehumidifiers – all you need to know

Damp on walls is unpleasant. Whether you have a damp problem with your building or your moisture comes from cooking or drying laundry inside your house, the result can be a horrible smell, mold growing on your walls and a greater risk of illness. It can take time to sort out a major damp problem so what do you do in the meantime? One solution is to invest in a dehumidifier: an electric appliance that removes moisture from the air.

What is humidity?
You might think the air is dry and if you have central heating, it might even feel that way but there’s a huge amount of moisture around you too. If you dry laundry inside your home or do a lot of cooking without ventilation, the humidity levels can be surprisingly high. Water drops on the windows is a sure sign of a humidity problem.

Why does indoor humidity matter?
High humidity can cause all kinds of problems. It can make clothing go moldy in your cupboard, it’s bad for computers and optical equipment and it’s bad for your health too. A scientific review of the health effects of humidity high levels of indoor humidity can encourage a flourishing of bacteria, viruses, mites and fungi, and more respiratory infections and sicknesses.

What does a dehumidifier do?
A dehumidifier is a bit like a vacuum cleaner: it sucks in air from your room at one end. Takes the moisture out of it, and then blows it back out into the room again. The moisture drips through into a tank that you have to empty, from time to time.

How a dehumidifier works
Dehumidifiers work in one of two ways—by refrigeration (cooling air to remove moisture using similar technology to a refrigerator) or by absorption/adsorption (where moisture is absorbed into or adsorbed onto a drying material and then removed).

If you’re using a dehumidifier for much longer you’ll also need to study how much power your machine consumes. The best measurement in this case is the efficiency of the machine, which is how much water it removes divided by how much power it uses, measured in liters per kilowatt hour (L/kWh)

Water removed per day
The simplest one is how much water a dehumidifier removes, measured in liters collected in 24 hours of continuous operation: bigger machines will obviously draw out more water than smaller ones.

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