How Do Dehumidifiers Work?

by Raymond Archambault

Is something damp invading your home without you noticing it? Not just a little bit of water on the floor, but maybe more like rising walls and condensation in general? It’s time to take action!

Dehumidifiers use water evaporation to remove humidity from the air. In order to do this, they require the following components: A fan or blower, a heating element, and a water-filled container that collects the moisture. A thermostat or humidistat controls the temperature of the air passing through the dehumidifier. A water filter removes any impurities from the water, while a dust collector traps the particles of dirt and dust that fall out of the air.

What is at risk here is a severe respiratory illness, mold growth on your walls and clothes, as well as an increased possibility for developing allergies.

In order to sort out these problems sooner rather than later, there are a few solutions that can help an electric dehumidifier being one of them. Keep reading for further details!!


What is humidity?

We don’t think about the atmosphere of our home(s) very often. If we do think about it, we tend to consider it as a gas. Looking up at the sky gives us an entirely different point-of-view on how this gas functions – clouds whizzing over your head are sure signs that air contains water either as vapor or liquid!

Inside your home, there’s also lots of moisture around you if you dry laundry or cook without proper ventilation and even more so with condensation happening on windows (or worse still, dripping down walls).


Why does indoor humidity matter?

 In order to avoid pesky problems with high humidity in your home, such as clothing going moldy or computers short-circuiting inside their cases, it’s important that you do not have too much of the stuff. According to a scientific review published by Arundel et al. which states that “the majority” of adverse health effects related to indoor humidity would be minimized if one maintains an indoor air level between 40 and 60%; not having too much is the key.


What does a dehumidifier do?

 A dehumidifier is based on a principle that it absorbs air from the closed room and takes the dampness out of it and filled your room with fresh air. When you need to empty your tank that collects any remaining water, a dehumidifier is more like an air conditioning unit (sometimes called an AC or HVAC) which works on similar principles as a refrigerator.


How does a dehumidifier work?

 There are two ways in which a dehumidifier can work. One way is by refrigeration- when it works as an air conditioner or refrigerator. The other way is through the process of absorption/adsorption, where moisture is taken up and removed from the air as it evaporates off into water that drains away to a collection tank below. We’ll take this strategy one step at a time, beginning with refrigeration first.


 Water is removed from the air via absorption and adsorption, which can be done differently. Some dehumidifiers are refrigerated, while others don’t use a cooling system at all.

 I haven’t been able to find out if there was an original inventor of the dehumidifier or not someone who first came up with the idea of removing water from air with the machine, but I’m confident that pioneer Willis Carrier is one strong contender for such innovation.

His machines were primarily based on refrigeration technology and described as “air conditioners,” even though they could remove moisture from the air too. Another person in this run was James; he produced the new unit of dehumidifier and air conditioning unit for Honeywell near about 1939, illustrating many key components at once! In my opinion, however, I want to gloss over these details because it would make my explanation more complicated than necessary.

How does it work?

  • Moist air is drawn in from the room and sent out to a duct through filters.
  • An air purifier is a device that removes the humidity in the surrounding area by absorbing water and moving it through its system.
  • Air is drawn in by an electric fan operated by an electric motor.
  • The air that is blown in at the start of every cycle is dry and not very humid, so it’s just expelled into the room.
  • An electric heating element keeps an air duct underneath hot by providing heat.
  • The moisture-absorbing wheel is designed to rotate through the heated air space while a fan blows past it to dry out.
  • The fan pulls air past its blades and an electric motor, similar to the one up above.
  • Hot, wet air is blown out through an exhaust duct.

 The Honeywell thermostat is easy to be controlled by the central room thermostat. As you can see from the picture, electric circuits all over will keep a steady temperature and regulate humidity. The black lines on top of the machine show where some electrical circuitry is located.


How do you compare dehumidifiers?

The Code of Federal Regulations describes two measurements you can use: water removed per day and efficiency.

Water removed per day

 Dehumidifiers vary in the amount of water they remove from a space. A larger dehumidifier will draw out more water than a smaller one; for example, if you have to shift an entire river’s worth of water very quickly after it’s spilled onto your property (and hopefully only do so temporarily), this would be the best measurement to go by.

In situations like these, electricity is usually not an issue because there isn’t much time spent using it during such emergencies- most likely just short bursts or large loads at once.


If you have been using a dehumidifier for some time, its efficiency would be the best way to measure how effective it is. Measuring in terms of liters per kilowatt-hour (L/kWh). This value implies how much water-absorbing capacity it has.


What about the wattage?

 Dehumidifiers aren’t the same because their power consumption is not what tells you how good or efficient they are. You need to look at more than just the wattage of the machine in order to determine which one will be better for you.

What varies is total capacity, so comparing them on this metric alone won’t tell you anything about efficiency and speed. In reality, as long as it extracts some water and/or uses energy efficiently enough that it’s cost-effective relative to other devices that use fewer watts – then whatever model makes sense given your needs!



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