How Do Desiccant Dehumidifiers Work? (Solved!)

  • By: Irene
  • Date: March 10, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

If you are looking for a desiccant dehumidifier for your home, you may be wondering how do desiccant dehumidifiers work.

In this blog post, we will discuss how this type of dehumidifier works and why they are such a popular choice for homeowners.

How Do Desiccant Dehumidifiers Work?

How Do Desiccant Dehumidifiers Work?

A desiccant dehumidifier works by drawing in moist air and then forcing it through a desiccant material. Air gets in through one air stream and then leaves through another. The desiccant material is usually a silica gel or calcium chloride that absorbs moisture from the air, leaving the air dry.

The advantage of a desiccant dehumidifier is that it can work in lower temperatures than other types of dehumidifiers, making it ideal for use in basements and other cold areas of the home.

Desiccant dehumidifiers are also very effective at removing moisture from the air, making them a popular choice for homeowners who want to reduce the humidity in their homes.

Are Desiccant Dehumidifiers Better?

Whether or not a desiccant dehumidifier is a better option for you depends on what you are looking for. However, there are a few reasons why its stands out from other types of dehumidifiers.

They Work At Lower Temperatures

Desiccant dehumidifiers do not use condensation to remove moisture from the air, like most other dehumidifiers. This makes them ideal for use in cold areas of the home, like basements.

They Are Very Effective At Removing Moisture

Desiccant dehumidifiers are some of the most effective dehumidifiers on the market when it comes to removing moisture from the air. This makes them a popular choice for homeowners who want to reduce the humidity in their homes.

They Are Not As Loud As Other Dehumidifiers

Desiccant dehumidifiers are usually much quieter than other types of dehumidifiers, making them a good option if you need a machine that won’t disturb you while you are sleeping or working.

Some Have A Laundry Mode

Some desiccant dehumidifiers come with a laundry mode. This mode allows you to use the machine to dry your clothes, making it a two-in-one appliance.

Desiccant dehumidifiers also come with some drawbacks:

They Cost More Than Other Types

This is obviously a major downside for many people. Desiccant dehumidifiers usually cost more than other types of dehumidifiers, so you will need to factor this into your decision.

They Expel More Heat

This is another downside for some people. Desiccant dehumidifiers expel more heat than other types of dehumidifiers.

They add up to 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit to the surrounding air, so if you are looking for a dehumidifier to use in a small space, you may want to consider another type.

They Use More Power

A desiccant dehumidifier also uses more power than most other dehumidifiers. So, if you are looking for a machine that is energy-efficient, you may want to consider another type of dehumidifier.

When Should You Use A Desiccant Dehumidifier?

While you can use a desiccant dehumidifier any time of the year, they are especially beneficial in the winter months when the air is dry and you need a machine to help add some moisture to the air.

They can also be helpful in areas where the humidity levels are high.

Also, if you have a cold room in your house or office, like a basement, you may want to consider using a desiccant dehumidifier. This type of machine can help to keep the air in these cold areas from getting too moist.

Desiccant dehumidifiers are also great for garages.

So if you are planning to work in your garage for long hours and you live in a moist environment a desiccant dehumidifier can help to keep the air in your garage from getting too moist and uncomfortable.

Are Desiccant Dehumidifiers Safe?

Generally, desiccant dehumidifiers with silica gel are safe to use. They do not contain any harmful chemicals and are not flammable.

However, some older models contain calcium chloride, which can have a raft of health concerns associated with it.

While it is still safe to use this type of dehumidifier, the chemical can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and throat. So, if you are using an older model of desiccant dehumidifier, it is important to take some precautions.

How Long Do Desiccant Dehumidifiers Last?

How Long Do Desiccant Dehumidifiers Last?

Most desiccant dehumidifiers have a lifespan of around 7-10 years. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of the machine.

Factors that will determine how long your desiccant dehumidifier lasts include:

How often it’s used: If you use your dehumidifier frequently, it will not last as long as one that is only used occasionally.

The quality of the machine: If you buy a high-quality desiccant dehumidifier, it will last longer than a cheap one. Do some research, read customer reviews, and compare prices before you buy.

How well it’s maintained: If you take good care of your dehumidifier and keep it clean, it will last longer than if you don’t. You want regularly check for dust and dirt build-up and clean it as needed.

What Is The Difference Between Refrigerant And Desiccant Dehumidifiers?

There are a few differences between refrigerant and desiccant dehumidifiers. They include:

How They Work

Refrigerant dehumidifiers use a cooling coil to remove moisture from the air. Air is drawn into the device by a fan. It is then passed through a refrigerated heat exchanger where the moisture is condensed and collected.

Desiccant dehumidifiers work by passing air over a drying agent, usually, silica gel, which absorbs moisture from the air. The dried air is then passed out of the machine, and the moist air is vented to the outside.

Energy Efficiency

Refrigerant dehumidifiers are more energy-efficient than desiccant dehumidifiers. Desiccant dehumidifiers use more power because they need to heat up the drying agent to release the moisture it has absorbed from the air.

Noise Levels

Refrigerant dehumidifiers tend to be louder than desiccant dehumidifiers. This is because the fan in refrigerant dehumidifiers has to work harder to draw air over the cooling coil.

Size

Most desiccant dehumidifiers are larger than refrigerant dehumidifiers. This is because they need more space to house the drying agent.

Operation Temperature

Desiccant dehumidifiers can operate at lower temperatures than refrigerant dehumidifiers. This means that they are more effective in cooler environments, such as basements and garages.

Heat Production

Desiccant dehumidifiers produce heat as a by-product of their operation. They can add up to 15 degrees of heat to the room they are operating in.

While refrigerant dehumidifiers also produce some heat, it is not as much as desiccant dehumidifiers. They add 3-5 degrees of heat to the room.

Desiccant Dehumidifier Pros And Cons

Desiccant dehumidifiers come with a raft of pros and a few cons. These include:

Pros:

  • They are effective at lower temperatures than refrigerant dehumidifiers
  • They are quieter than refrigerant dehumidifiers
  • They are very effective at removing moisture from the air
  • They don’t depend on condensation so they can work at any temperature
  • Easy to maintain

Cons:

  • They use more power than refrigerant dehumidifiers
  • They produce more heat than refrigerant dehumidifiers
  • They are larger in size than refrigerant dehumidifiers.

Tips For Using A Desiccant Dehumidifier

Here are some tips for using a desiccant dehumidifier:

  • Be sure to ventilate the room adequately. Desiccant dehumidifiers produce a lot of heat and can make the room quite warm.
  • Regularly clean the machine to ensure optimum performance.
  • Place the dehumidifier in a cool, dry place.
  • Don’t use the machine for more than 24 hours at a time. Give it a break to prevent overworking it.

FAQs

Are desiccant dehumidifiers easy to maintain?

Yes, you don’t need to replace the desiccant, and they don’t have filters that need to be replaced. You will need to clean the unit regularly, however.

Can I use a desiccant dehumidifier in my garage?

Yes, these units are designed to operate in cooler environments such as garages. You can use them in other areas of your home as well.

How much power do desiccant dehumidifiers use?

They use more power than refrigerant dehumidifiers. They can use anything between 600-800 watts of power per year. This is because they need to heat up the drying agent to release the moisture it has absorbed from the air.

What is the best way to use a desiccant dehumidifier?

The best way to use a desiccant dehumidifier is in a cooler environment such as a basement or garage. They can be used in other areas of your home as well.

Final Thoughts

Desiccant dehumidifiers are a great way to remove moisture from the air. They have many benefits, but they also come with a few drawbacks. Be sure to keep these in mind when deciding if a desiccant dehumidifier is right for you.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how desiccant dehumidifiers work. If you have any questions, be sure to ask in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

Looking For Dehumidifier Guides?

If you’re looking for more dehumidifier resources, consider checking out our other post on Dehumidifiers.

References: desiccant dehumidifier, Dehumidification Performance

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