Choosing a dehumidifier
Before choosing a dehumidifier for your home/office, it is important that its water extraction capacity should meet the requirements of the area size where it is going to be installed. As a rule of thumb, a 12-20L room dehumidifier will handle 1-2 rooms up to 80sqM and are capable of removing large quantities of water efficiently.
Dehumidifiers work best in temperatures from 5-35ºC depending on the model chosen. Generally, they use very little power costing approx .70c to $1.40 per day to run. Compared to an AirCon unit at approx $4.50 per day! They are much more economical for portable humidity control. Coolbreeze CB20 shown left is a reliable & popular model
Facts on humidity levels for the home and office.
The Relative Humidity of air (RH) in your room indicates the moisture content in the air. Higher the RH, the more water vapour is contained in the air. Generally, 50 to 65 per cent RH makes us feel comfortable and also protects us from many health hazards related to high humidity.
With higher RH levels, you need to make sure that your dehumidifier has enough capacity to extract the water from the air to maintain the required RH level.
For instance, a 20L to 28-litre dehumidifier is what you require, when you have more than 80 % relative humidity. Especially in tropical areas. More arid areas may only require 12L-20L dehumidifier to handle a large room.
Take the room size into consideration
In the same way, the relative humidity and temperature levels affect the performance of the dehumidifiers, the room size or area that you plan to dehumidify also becomes a criterion when choosing a dehumidifier.
There are various water extraction capacities available with dehumidifiers. For example, a larger room 80-140sqM may require a dehumidifier that can extract 20 to 30 litres of water every day, especially during very humid days. If smaller areas say 10-30sqM, need to be dehumidified, half the capacity of this can be sufficient, ie: a 12L dehumidifier.
The dripping water from the dehumidifier is collected in a tank which has to be emptied periodically. The smaller the tank, more frequently it needs emptying. So, it is a good idea to choose a bigger tank with your larger model dehumidifier, (ie: Seccoprof 28L model with 10L tank) as it can be emptied of water on a daily basis or once in every two days. A smaller 2.5 – 6L tank is common in the 12-30L models dehumidifiers, light commercial SeccoProf models have a large 10L tank. Most models have a continuous drain outlet which will allow 12-30L/day to be removed. When the tank is full the dehumidifier automatically switches off.
Since dehumidifiers use mechanical energy and move air, they tend to make a noise similar to a typical pedestal fan. While choosing a dehumidifier, make sure that you are informed on the noise it produces (generally in dB ie: 38-42dB is typical at 1 metre). Some distributors give a 2m-5m reading value which gives a lower noise level ie: 30-35dB. The latest models produce much less noise than their predecessors so you may find the suitable dehumidifier with noise levels acceptable to you.
|10dB Recording studio||60dB Average conversation, dishwasher|
|20dB Quiet living room||70dB Average factory|
|30dB Quiet office or library, small Dehumidifier, Fan||80dB typical home stereo volume|
|40dB Quiet conversation, library, med. size dehumidifier||90dB Heavy truck|
|50dB Average office noise, clothes dryer, a typical commercial dehumidifier||100dB Aircraft|
Filters Carbon or 3M HAF?
Dehumidifiers have filters that remove the dust particles from the air before it is passed through the cooling coils. By removing the dust, filters can clean the air as well as protect the coils from dust and corrosion build up prolonging the life of the dehumidifier. However, over time, filters will become clogged with layers of dust and mould spores and will need cleaning or vacuuming periodically at least once per month, especially, some basic filters are washable. It is best to look out for dehumidifiers that can fit the newer 3M HAF filters available as they are a higher quality filter for dust and mould spore collection, being anti-microbial and electrostatic in composition. Great for Asthma and allergy sufferers. 3M Haf filters are best replaced after 3 months or sooner if clogged with mould and dust. After 3 Vacuums they will loose there capacity to hold dust and need to be replaced.
Auto defrost or Hot gas feature
During extreme cold climates, the coils in dehumidifiers get frosted and the dripping of water completely stops and they may grind to halt. To prevent this, some standard units also come with an extra heater that prevents water vapour from getting frozen on the coil. When the water gets frozen on the coil, the coil is heated and the ice melts away.
Benefits of a Dehumidifier & Handy Hints
1. Reduces musty mould growth on items such as clothes and leather goods, lounge suites, walls and all stored goods.
• Move the dehumidifier around every 1-2 weeks to different areas to enable even drying and better mould protection.
2. Reduces corrosion and formation of condensation on ceilings, walls, windows and electrical wiring in boats/yachts/RVs etc.
• refrain from opening windows and doors to obtain the best performance from using the Dehumidifier.
3. Protects books, collectables and food products from the effects of moisture.
• For greatest drying effect place the Dehumidifier in front of open cupboards and bookshelves, making sure that any windows nearby are closed.
4. Great for Allergy and Asthma sufferers, reduces dust pollen and mould spores,
• also reduces the number of dust mites by lowering the humidity level below 55%RH, affecting the breeding cycle.
5. Most efficient clothes dryer. Avoids sun damage and clothes shrinkage. Less than 1/10 of the power used compared to a clothes dryer.
• Use the Dehumidifier in the laundry with your wet clothes on a drying rack, allow clothes to dry overnight. Great for fire brigades, racing yacht crews and ski lodges where wet clothes are a problem.
Preparing the area. When first installing a dehumidifier, vacuum and wipe clean the area with diluted vinegar in water (1 cup/5L water), removing any mould deposits from clothing, walls, furniture, inside drawers, carpet etc. Dry the area with a fan. This prepares the area to be maintained ready to install the dehumidifier.
Continuous Drain Feature If you want to go on holiday or are sick of emptying the catchment tank, think about using the continuous drain feature by simply connecting a hose to the drain outlet, see your manual for size details, we sell suitable Drain Kit hoses for 8mm, 10mm, 12mm and 14mm outlets. Your dehumidifier will drain moisture at a continuous rate, up to the amount that the dehumidifier is rated at, ie: 12L, 20L, 25L, 28L etc. Periodically (monthly) check that the outlet hose has no kinks is clear, as insects may enter overtime. HINT: Drain hose end must be lower than the outlet, no kinks to allow free flow of water, don’t allow the hose end to sit in water as this blocks the flow and may backflow into the tank.
Run the dehumidifier on high for 1-2 weeks to remove excess moisture then set the unit to a mid-range auto setting, this will maintain levels at approx. 60-65% humidity. Setting to automatic mode will ensure no over-drying of the air will occur.
Set the humidity level for dehumidifying to 50-60%RH using a humidity meter as a guide. If you have video or photographic equipment keep dehumidifier setting higher to reduce the humidity more, to around 45-55% RH. An air conditioner can be run in conjunction with the dehumidifier to cool the air. Keep doors and windows shut when weather is wet, run dehumidifier continuously to dry up any dampness.
- Use a humidity meter to monitor relative humidity levels. Some dehumidifiers have them built-in.
- Ideal humidity to stop mould and musty smells from forming is below 60-65%RH.
- For really damp homes, an external drainage hose can be fitted to the dehumidifier for longer, continuous use. Especially when away for extended periods.
- Use the dehumidifier to prevent mould in clothing, footwear and leatherwear, photographic equipment, negatives, photos, videos, slides, computer discs, art paper and artwork .
- Run the dehumidifier in a bedroom with the windows and doors closed, and all the drawers of cabinets open.
- A dehumidifier will remove any excess moisture trapped in cupboards and wardrobes.
- To dry towels and eliminate condensation on walls or windows in or near the bathroom run a dehumidifier at a safe distance from baths or showers.
- Do not splash the unit.
- Eliminate dampness in mats and carpets.
- Run the dehumidifier when mats and carpets are damp due to a rainy season or prolonged rain.
- Use the dehumidifier to eliminate dampness in a linen cupboard.
- Run the dehumidifier in front of the linen cupboard with doors open.
- When the air outlet is aimed at the cupboard, moisture can be eliminated much faster.
- Make the best use of the timer operation before going to bed or going out.
- If a preset timer is built-in, set it to turn off after 4 or 8 hours (we have timers available on our website)
- A dehumidifier is great for drying clothes in the laundry. Make use of space in the laundry to set the dehumidifier with the louvre adjusted “upward” so that the wind can hit the clothing directly.
- A small closet allows for faster drying. Or, inside the house, hang clothes on an airer or clothes horse, and run the dehumidifier next to it. The dehumidifier will speed up drying damp clothes.
We certainly hope that this information has been helpful to you in making your choice of a dehumidifier for your home or office.
If you would like to discuss the options available please call, we would love to help you. 1300 353 043