How do You Know if You Need a Dehumidifier?

How do You Know if You Need a Dehumidifier?

Each invention is created to improve the quality of life. Doctors have long been focusing on the fact that both mood and health of a person depend on the microclimate formed in an apartment. Air quality is affected not only by temperature but also by humidity, which sometimes exceeds the permissible standards (60-70%). A good way to normalize the indicators will be dehumidifiers for an apartment, eliminating excess moisture where it is needed.

When should you use a dehumidifier in your home?

The optimal parameters of humidity in a room are considered to be from 40 to 60%, the maximum allowable humidity is 70%. Anything higher or lower is considered a deviation from the norms that will have a detrimental effect on human health. If the decrease in humidity is usually associated with excessive heating of the home, then its increase often has more complex reasons, which are not so easy to deal with. The main causes of excess humidity in a room include:

  1. Disruption of natural ventilation. This often happens when debris accumulates in ventilation shafts or when the integrity of the mine is violated.
  2. Insufficient air intake. The reason is improperly installed plastic double-glazed windows with unregulated ventilation.
  3. The presence of an aquarium or a decorative fountain in the room, which leads to large evaporation of moisture.
  4. The presence of a large number of indoor plants or a winter garden. To create a comfortable environment for flowers, they are often too often sprayed with water from a spray bottle, thereby significantly increasing the moisture reading.
  5. The location of the apartment is on the ground floor. If the location of offices is not planned in the basement of a residential building, then waterproofing the walls is not taken seriously, which becomes the reason for constantly wet surfaces in the apartments located above.
  6. Improper roof waterproofing. Rooms located under a poorly covered roof will always have high humidity in the wet season.

Experts note the following pattern: when the humidity indicators are at least 10% higher than the maximum permissible parameters, the respiratory system begins to work incorrectly, which affects the general condition of a person. If you do not purchase a moisture trap for your home in time, there is a possibility of the rapid growth of mold or mildew on walls and other surfaces.

how do you know if you need a dehumidifier
Due to high humidity, furniture, wall and floor decoration in rooms deteriorate

Important! The appearance of fungal spores in the air and their active reproduction provokes diseases of the respiratory system. Over time, this can lead to the development of allergic reactions or chronic asthma. In addition, the visual organs begin to suffer.

As the hygrometer readings increase, molds develop, which most often multiply in the wall and ceiling corners. The more active their growth, the more pronounced the specific smell of mold becomes. With constant high humidity in the apartment, over time, the wall decoration begins to deteriorate, and the wooden surfaces swell, which can cause doors or cabinets to close poorly. Metal parts also suffer, which are exposed to rust, that is, corrosion develops.

What are the benefits of dehumidifiers for an apartment

To maintain normal humidity in the apartment, ventilation should be carried out more often and ventilation should be monitored. In most cases, such methods cannot solve the problem – and then it becomes necessary to purchase a moisture absorber for the house.

Industrial and household dehumidifiers differ depending on the way of use and the area of ​​housing, the main difference between which is performance. This indicator directly depends on the amount of air in the room that needs to be passed through the system to bring about normal humidity in the room. In an apartment or a small house, it is enough to install a device with a capacity of 15 to 50 liters. Industrial devices are capable of processing 3 times more – 50-120 liters.

Desiccants reduce heating costs
Desiccants reduce heating costs

The principle of operation of an air dehumidifier depends on the model, but in general, in terms of functionality, the devices have a similar scheme: they draw in waterlogged air, process and remove not only moisture, but also harmful microorganisms from it, and then release purified and dry air into the room.

Despite its small size, household dehumidifiers can be used for basement, garage, and even small office or warehouse environments. With proper use, the devices ensure the normalization of humidity indicators in the place where people directly live. According to reviews, dehumidifiers for apartments have the following advantages:

  • increase the service life of building structures;
  • protect housing from fogging and condensation on windows and other glass surfaces;
  • prevent the swelling of furniture, books, musical instruments, and other items made with wood or metal;
  • increase the shelf life of bulk food and construction products, as well as medicinal products;
  • eliminate the consequences of flooding;
  • promote faster drying of clothes and shoes;
  • reduce heating costs, because less heat energy is required to warm air with normal humidity;
  • do not take up much space in the apartment.

You can also use a desiccant dehumidifier in the bathroom, which is considered the most humid room, where it is difficult to achieve normal performance. In addition to the basic function of moisture absorption, many models have additional settings that provide ionization and disinfection. If you use special means, you can aromatize the room, filling it with pleasant smells.

Types of dehumidifiers

The principle of operation of an adsorption air dryer is based on the moisture absorption method, which is one of the most effective. In this case, excess moisture is absorbed or removed. This type of dehumidifier is used both at home and in production. The device is especially optimal for poorly heated rooms because its operation can be carried out even at subzero ambient temperatures.

Condensation on windows can be avoided with dehumidifiers
Condensation on windows can be avoided with dehumidifiers

The principle of operation of the device consists in the passage of airflow through a drum or rotor, inside which an absorbent substance is contained on a fiberglass carrier. The adsorbent is a highly dispersed material with a large specific surface, due to which excess moisture is absorbed. Silica gel is most often the absorbing substance, but sometimes it is activated alumina or zeolite.

The drum of the device is constantly in operation, it is through it that air flows penetrate the system. Excess water vapor is absorbed by the silica gel, and the dried air is returned to the room. To remove moisture accumulated in the adsorbent, part of the air is separated, which then passes through a built-in heating element, which raises its temperature to 140 ° C. It is this temperature that is required to restore the properties of silica gel.

The heated air is then passed through a small part of the drum, leaving the moisture absorbed by the sorbent there, and returned to the room. This is how the working diagram of a hot regeneration air dryer looks like, the cycle of the device repeats itself all the time.

Important! Whatever the method of regeneration the device is different, all the same, the air is preliminarily purified from mechanical impurities and excess moisture.

The cold regeneration principle looks a little different. In this case, the recovery of the absorbent is carried out by removing and blowing the adsorbing agent with a part of the dried air, which is then returned to the total air mass. The main advantage of the method is significant energy savings, reaching 10-15%. The presence of special filters prevents rapid contamination of the adsorbent, which increases the service life of the device. It should be noted that due to the high cost of the device itself and subsequent maintenance, it is rarely recommended for domestic needs.

how do you know if you need a dehumidifier
The condensing dehumidifier is the most popular

The principle of assimilation is to normalize humidity indicators through air exchange between the environment and the apartment. In this case, humid air from the room is discharged outside, while fresh air is sucked in from the street. This circulation leads to the normalization of indicators. The use of forced ventilation to dehumidify the air in the room, in addition to solving the main problem, helps to stabilize the level of carbon dioxide and normalize the temperature.

The disadvantages include significant heat loss, as well as large consumption of energy required to warm up the air entering the interior. It makes no sense to use such a device in a region with a humid climate. It is important to remember that for the device to work properly, the windows and doors in the room must be closed, otherwise, the necessary indicators may not be achieved.

Where is the best place to put a dehumidifier in a house?

You can place the appliance near a wall if the air outlet is on top. Otherwise, you will need to locate the dehumidifier away from walls and other structures to allow air circulation in the unit. For the dehumidifier to operate more efficiently, it is important to keep windows and doors closed. Keep the appliance away from sources of debris or other objects that could clog the machine.

How do condensing dehumidifiers work?

This option is considered the most common and popular. It is condensation models that are widely represented in shopping centers. The price of air dryers of this type is lower than the cost of adsorbing models, in addition, they differ in the following advantages:

  • high power;
  • low power consumption;
  • long service life;
  • no need for frequent service.

The operation of the condensing device begins immediately after switching on the device when excessively humid air is forcibly pumped in and passes through a special compartment, where it is cooled to the dew point temperature. After reaching the desired temperature, the humid air turns into water droplets, which are collected in the trap. In general, the design of a desiccant for home consists of the following elements:

  • condenser or evaporator;
  • air compressor;
  • capillary tube;
  • containers for collecting moisture.

The initial intake of air takes place using a fan built into the device. Subsequent cooling is ensured by the contact of the air mass with the heat exchanger, to which the refrigerant flows through copper pipes. When exposed to warm air, the refrigerant is converted from a liquid to a gaseous state. This process is accompanied by the cooling of the heat exchanger to 1 ° C.

Condensation desiccant with high power and long service life
Condensation desiccant with high power and long service life

The consequence of this temperature difference is the formation of condensation in the form of drops. After the release of water droplets, the fan returns the drawn air into the room, and the refrigerant enters the compressor, where it is converted to its original liquid state. Accordingly, we can distinguish 3 main stages that air flows pass through, getting into the device:

  • decrease in temperature indicators;
  • the release of condensate after reaching the dew point;
  • warming up to normal temperature.

Interesting information! Before the air returns to circulation, foreign particles and other unnecessary impurities in the air are removed.

Despite a large number of advantages, according to reviews, condensation-type air dryers also have disadvantages. The main disadvantage is considered to be the operation of the device only in a certain temperature range – from 15 to 30 ° C, which often does not allow it to be used in a cold basement or garage. In addition, the dehumidifier is not suitable for rooms where the humidity needs to be kept below 40%, because it will not cope with this task.

Does a dehumidifier use a lot of electricity?

The power consumption of the dehumidifier depends on its performance and can vary from 200-700 W. Want to save money? Choose devices with a power of 200-400 W, and if the efficiency of the device comes to the fore, then pay attention to dehumidifiers with a power of 400 to 700 W. However, manufacturers are now striving to minimize energy costs, while fully maintaining the performance of dehumidifiers. Such models are more expensive, but pay off during operation.

How do I choose a dehumidifier?

Before you buy a dehumidifier for an apartment, you should make sure that it is advisable to purchase a device. To begin with, you need to acquire a humidity measuring device – a hygrometer, which will make it possible to understand the presence or absence of a problem. It is necessary to determine the humidity in all rooms to know where the absorber should really be installed.

If you cannot solve the problem of humidity in the usual ways and it is decided to purchase an air dryer, experts recommend paying attention to indicators as:

  • productivity. This parameter is considered the most important when choosing a device model. The indicator is calculated in liters per hour or per day. Performance should be selected based on the volume of the room. Most often, a simple formula is used for this, where the area of ​​the room is multiplied by a factor of 0.7. After calculations, it will be possible to get only an approximate number, because temperature and initial humidity are not taken into account here.

Helpful advice! It is recommended to purchase a model with a small performance margin, because if the power is insufficient, the absorber will work for a long time without interruption, which will lead to its overheating. You should also not choose too high a performance, because the operation of such a device will be accompanied by excessive noise.

  • Another important characteristic is air exchange. Devices that can drive air through themselves in an hour to four times are considered optimal. The indicator directly depends on the volume of the room, which can be calculated by multiplying the length by width and height. So, for a room 4 m long and 3 m wide, with a standard ceiling height of 2.75 m, the volume will be 33 m³. To drive such a volume 4 times, you need a device with an air exchange rate of 132 m³ / h.
  • Power or energy consumption level. This indicator directly depends on performance. Accordingly, the higher it is, the greater the energy consumption. Modern devices use technologies that save energy consumption. The choice of the optimal power depends on how often you plan to use the device.
  • Noise level. The average noise level of the devices is 40-45 dB. If the absorber is too noisy, you will not want to use it often.
  • Drainage system. There are 2 types of outlets in dehumidifiers: storage and drainage. The accumulative type assumes the presence of a container for collecting the secreted liquid, which must be emptied from time to time. The more humidity in the room, the more preference should be given to the tank volume. The drainage type empties on its own and does not require external intervention.
  • Weight and size. Depending on the features of operation, mobile or stationary models are selected. Portable options are characterized by smaller dimensions and are divided into 3 types: wall-mounted, floor-standing, or table-top. For a large room or basement, you can use an overall stationary model.
  • Additional functionality. Many options help to make the work with the device more comfortable. So, you can use a timer that will limit the operating time, which will allow you to save on electricity and reduce the likelihood of repairing the air dryer due to less wear on parts. Another useful feature is the built-in hygrometer, which allows you to evaluate the humidity in the room. Some models are equipped with an automatic switch-on sensor that reacts to an increase in humidity values ​​above normal.
  • Cost. The price of a dehumidifier for an apartment depends on the capabilities of the device, as well as on the availability of additional functions, the need for which must be assessed before purchasing.
  • Some models differ in the 2-in-1 principle when one device simultaneously performs the function of dehumidification and purification or ionization of the air. If a device has a whole set of options at once, it is called a climate complex.
how do you know if you need a dehumidifier
When buying a dehumidifier, you need to pay attention to its power and energy consumption.

How to make a DIY desiccant dehumidifier

The simplest version of an air dehumidifier for an apartment with your own hands is considered to be an adsorbent absorber, the manufacture of which does not require significant costs, both in terms of finance and time. To create a moisture absorber with your own hands, you need 2 plastic bottles with a volume of 2 liters. Sequencing:

  1. Make many holes at the bottom of one bottle and cut it into 2 parts.
  2. In the cut-off part of the bottle, place the 2nd part, opened with the neck down. At the same time, a cover with a large number of holes is screwed onto the thread.
  3. An absorbent substance is poured into the upper part of the structure, most often silica gel in the amount of 250 grams.
DIY adsorption dehumidifier
DIY adsorption dehumidifier

After that, you will need to cut off the bottom of the 2nd bottle and place a small fan there, which will draw the air towards the cut bottom. For this purpose, a small USB fan or a cooler from an old processor is suitable. The pressure unit is placed 10 cm from the cut bottom. Then this bottle is put on a container with a sorbent, and the joints are qualitatively wrapped with electrical tape. The neck of the 2nd bottle must be open to allow air to enter. A fan in a self-made desiccant will push air through the silica gel, after which dry air will come out through the perforated bottom.

High moisture content in the air not only causes health problems but also leads to damage to furniture, books, and other objects. A dehumidifier will help prevent the development of fungus and condensation. The devices are not very expensive, and if you wish, you can make a simple device yourself.

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