A room dehumidifier is a modern appliance that extracts moisture or relative humidity from the air. The water is also known as condensate and is not suitable for drinking. Room dehumidifiers vary in size and area of coverage. They may be small, desktop units or large commercial products that dehumidify entire houses or buildings.
It’s Not the Heat, Its the Humidity!
To have your body temperature elevated is one thing. To have a high humidity level is an added dimension to the problem. High humidity levels can exaggerate the sensation of heat to your skin and brain! If the air is hot and muggy, then the body simply has a harder time overcoming the feelings of being weighed down and sluggish.
Condensate can appear on windows and stains on the ceiling or walls. In addition, you may smell mold and musty scents coming from the basement and closed off areas. If these symptoms are not given the attention they require, further damage may result
A general rule of thumb is to try to keep humidity levels between 30-50%. This level of humidity is not so high that molds will develop and not so low that conditioned air will not be too dry for human inhabitants.
Capacity and Capability
To determine the size of a room dehumidifier needed for a space, an assessment of the size and type of space to be dehumidified is necessary. It must also be determined how much humidity needs to be removed to reach a level of comfort.
A room dehumidifier may be placed in up to four different sized areas. A small room dehumidifier remove approximately 25 pints of moisture from the air in a 24 hour period. They work best in dimly lit, small enclosed spaces.
Medium sized room dehumidifers will remove up to 50 pints of moisture from the air. They work well in bedrooms, living rooms and garages.
Large sized units will remove up to 75 pints of moisture from the air. These are good with spaces that have suffered water damage or areas that receive a great deal of moisture routinely.
It is also possible to install a dehumidifier that works in conjunction with the HVAC system already installed in a space. They work well for areas up to 3000 ft. Commercial applications are rated for even higher square footages.
Room Dehumidifier Cost of Operation
Manufacturer specifications and cost vary according to size, area dehumidified and the specific manufacturer of the product. However, there are some mathmatical formulas that will prove helpful in determining cost and savings for a room dehumidifier.
There are two primary factors that must be included in the calculation of cost. The number of hours the unit will be operating per day and the cost of your electricity will be needed. Energy Star products are recommended as they have been laboratory tested to yield the highest return on your investment.
The calculation is fairly simple. Look at the label on the unit and find the wattage. Divide this number by 1000 and this will determine the kilowatts per hour. Multiply this number by how much your energy provider charges per kilowatt hour. Multiply this number by the number of hours per day the unit is operating.
(Note: If watts are not provided, then multiply amps x voltage.)
Features and Options
A room dehumidifier will come with different options for control and ease. For complete control over dehumidification, look for options that include a programmable timer and an easily viewed control panel. Make sure there is a bucket over flow feature and suitably installed wheels that will allow the unit to be moved easily. Some units will only have a bucket to catch the water and some will have a quick connect drainage option. A digital, electronic humidistat is handy for absolute control over the room dehumidifier.