If your room lacks adequate ventilation, or you live in an area with lots of moisture or in a geographic location with humid climatic condition most of the time in the year, chances are you’ve already seen stains of water on the walls, experienced dampness in the room and witnessed certain allergic symptoms in the body. These are caused by excess level of humidity which if left unchecked can lead to long term health hazards.
What is humidity?
Humidity refers to the invisible particles of water, known as moisture, in the air. This is what we see as condensed water on the outer surface of a glass consisting of ice, and this is what helps build clouds and cause rainfall. Too much of moisture in the air makes the weather stuffy, which accounts for the fact that summer in India is so unpleasantly sweaty and uncomfortable.
What is a dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance which absorbs extra moisture from the air inside a room or building to maintain a level of humidity conducive to both health and comfort. It also helps remove the musty odour typical of a damp and humid room.
Why do you need a dehumidifier?
It is so common for us to overlook the atmosphere inside the home we live in, just because it’s invisible. Nevertheless, it is an integral part of our life and plays a pivotal role in our health and well being.
A humid home can impact your health a lot in a negative way. If you live in a room with limited ventilation or in a humid area, you might find yourself sneezing a lot, you could be prone to skin rashes and irritations or you may experience difficulty while breathing, among other things. These are caused by virus, bacteria, allergens, molds and fungi which breed in humid conditions. Dehumidifiers help you tackle that by removing excessive moisture from the room and hindering the growth of harmful microbes.
Too much of moisture can spoil the walls of your room as you will find molds growing on them, or even on clothes, with rusty smell giving you company all the time! It also damages electronic appliances like computers, cameras etc. kept in the room. If you experience any such issues, you know you need a portable dehumidifier immediately.
If there’s excessive humidity in your room or the area you live in, your washed clothes will take a lot of time to dry and also the food or cereals kept in the room will tend to lose freshness pretty quickly. Dehumidifiers help you counter this issue.
Basic Difference between AC and Dehumidifier
Air conditioners lower the temperature in the room or building and cool the air. It does not eliminate any moisture from the air. It simply manipulates the temperature. If your room contains too much of humidity and there’s an AC running in the room, the air in the room will be cold and uncomfortably wet.
On the other hand, a dehumidifier absorbs the excess humidity from the air without directly affecting the temperature. This does not only enhance the efficiency of the air conditioner in the room, but makes you feel a lot comfortable.
How does a dehumidifier work?
A dehumidifier constantly absorbs the moist air from the room, removes the excess moisture from it and finally blows out the dry air back in the room until humidity in the room reaches the desired level. There are two ways in which a dehumidifier achieves this. While some of them do it through refrigeration process and others do it through absorption. Take a look at the types of dehumidifiers below which explains these processes further.
Types of Dehumidifiers
Based on the moisture removal technique used, dehumidifiers can broadly be divided into two types: Refrigerant Dehumidifer and Dessicant Dehumidifier.
- Refrigerant Dehumidifier:
Even though these dehumidifiers do not directly cool down temperature like a refrigerator, they use the same refrigeration process that a fridge uses to pull moisture out of air. Inside the product, air comes in contact with a coolant which brings down the temperature. As a result, the moisture condenses into water droplets which then get collected in a tank. The dry air is then heated back to its normal temperature and is blown out into the room.
- Desiccant Dehumidifier:
These dehumidifiers make use of a chemical known as a desiccant (eg: silica etc.) which absorbs the moisture directly from the humid air entering the machine and releases the same again after heating it back to the room temperature. These dehumidifiers do not need compressors and hence, are generally lighter in weight and quieter than their refrigerant counterparts. These are particularly effective in areas with high moisture level, but low temperature.
Dehumidifiers should be an essential home appliance in hot and humid countries like India. The summer here is not just long, spanning through the year, but is quite stuffy also, causing a lot of sweat and unpleasant suffocative feeling. In high summer, even ACs fail to make us feel comfortable. In such situations, dehumidifiers are a great relief. Not just in homes, dehumidifiers often find their application in various industries like food processing and packaging, water treatment plants, hospitals, pharmaceutical and leather industries, besides many more.