How Does a Dehumidifier Work – Reducing the humidity, and understanding the process

When thinking about dehumidifiers, you will ask “ how does a dehumidifier work ?” There are various devices that remove the moisture, some are little more than silica gels, some are small electric devices that go in a closet or small area, and others remove the humidity from the entire house or basement.

In how does a dehumidifier work, the first thing to understand is why a dehumidifier is needed in the first place. Typically, if there is evidence of mold and mildew growing in the home, blistering, or bubbling paint, warped door and window frames, in addition to that horrible musty odor and damp feeling.

If there’s condensation on the window panes, the wall paper begins to peel (particularly when no one is trying to remove the wall paper), stairs begin to swell and creak, and cabinets begin to stick there’s a good likelihood that there’s too much humidity in the home and a dehumidifier is necessary.

How These Devices Work

Think about getting a glass of iced tea in the summertime and notice the outside of the glass soon develops beads of water on the outside of the glass. As the air around the glass is cooled, the cooler surface of the glass gathers the water molecules from the surrounding air.

These molecules that are attached to the side of the glass are called condensation. This same effect somewhat reflects in how does a dehumidifier Work. Let’s take a look at how they do this a little closer.

1. there are generally four main components that work together to perform the functions of the dehumidifier, and these include the following parts:

  • The Fan – This part of the device uses a cooling gas like Pureon to expand the cooling gas and coils on the dehumidifier.
  • The Reheater – This part gathers the heat that the process of cooling generates
  • Cooling Coils on the Compressor – This part attracts the water molecules

Tank – This part is a reservoir to hold the condensation water as it drips from the coilsSo now that the main components are identified, the next part to understand is how they work together to pull the humidity out of the air. Let’s look at how this part of the equation works.1. The Fan pulls the air from the surrounding room into the dehumidifier unit.

2. The air continues through the dehumidifier and it passes over the coils that are much cooler than the surrounding air.

3. These cooled coils attract the water molecules in the air and act like a magnet to collect the moisture that is pulled from the air.

4. These water molecules, or condensation, stays on the coils and eventually drips into the tank.

5. The dehumidifier then reheats the air that has now been cooled with the water molecule removed, and blows the warmed air back into the room.

6. The container that hold the condensation is then emptied, or directly connected to a hose that allows the water to continuously drain out of the tank.

In a nutshell, that’s how easily these devices work to remove the humidity from the air. In addition there are also some great features that allow the owner to determine the most comfortable levels of relative humidity.

One of the features of these dehumidifiers is a Humidistat to determine this setting. Let’s look at how the Humidistat works.

This Humidistat has two components, one is a sensor, and the other is a relay. The sensor has two conductors made of metal and the changes in the amount of humidity increases or decreases the amount of electrical resistance between the metal conductors.

The relay then measures the amount of resistance on the conductors and indicates the dehumidifier to process more moisture out of the air or to turn off and stop processing. These devices together work to reduce the moisture in the area and it makes them much more comfortable and healthier.

That’s how the refrigerant devices work to remove moisture from the room, but there are other methods as well, such as desiccants that are basically silica gels, that also reduce the humidity in the room. Let’s look at how these desiccants work also.

A desiccant is a silica gel that also does a great job of keeping a very small space dry because it retains the water molecules that are in the surrounding air.

They absorb about 40% of the moisture in the surrounding air. Eventually, the gel gets saturated and must be renewed. This renewal is done by heating the silica packet in the oven to 300°F. Once renewed these silica packets can be reused.

That’s the Idea

When people wonder “How Does a Dehumidifier Work ?”, there’s always an answer somewhere, it’s just than some explanations are a little more difficult to understand.

When a dehumidifier removes the moisture from the air, it’s doing nothing more than attracting the water molecules in the air, collecting them on the coils, and dumping the condensation into a tank.

The process is straightforward and easy to understand, plus it makes the house dryer and healthier, mold, mildew, and disease carrying insects do not find it hospitable and cease to grow. Certainly a drier home is more comfortable than the hot, humid home.