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A Closer Look at Dehumidifiers: A Comparative Review

A Closer Look at Dehumidifiers: A Comparative Review


by Josephine Gan

I'm sure you all have come across dehumidifiers, but did you know that there are actually more than 1 type of dehumidifier? This article will cover the 3 main types of dehumidifiers, how each of them functions, and the benefits that each individual dehumidifier can bring to you and your home. 

Thermo Peltier Dehumidifier

Out of the 3 dehumidifiers that we will discuss today, the thermo peltier dehumidifier is one of the most basic dehumidifiers there is out there. Operating on a very basic thermo-electric structure, the dehumidifier itself is an ideal introductory model for small homes and rooms, which provides all of the basic functions and features that one needs whilst using a dehumidifier. 

These nifty little dehumidifiers are reliable, inexpensive, sturdy, and require very little maintenance. This is all due to the fact that these small humidifiers work based on a simple process called the “peltier effect.” This effect states that sudden changes in temperature can turn energy into temperature, and temperature into energy.  

What the peltier effect actually does is when electricity passes through the dehumidifier's module, a temperature difference is then created- one side of the module cools down, which the other side heats up. This is where the fan kicks in: the fan pushes through the humid air past the cold heat sink, which causes the condensed air to drip into the water tank as the dry air is pushed back into the room.

 

Below, is a diagram to show you how this process actually works:

 

As you can see, this is a relatively simple process- very little mechanics and components are needed in thermo peltier dehumidifiers, so therefore the maintenance cost is next to nothing, making these nifty little devices a great investment for a portable and personal unit.

On the flip side, due to the basic mechanics of the machine, they are actually quite small in stature, confining their effectiveness to small rooms and small areas within your house. If you're interested in purchasing an thermo peltier dehumidifiers, the ION681 is a recommended choice.

 

Compressor Dehumidifier

The compressor dehumidifier (also known as a refrigerant dehumidifier) is one of the most widely used dehumidifiers on the market, as it has been for the past 40 years or so. As such, this particular choice of dehumidifier has been a staple in most households because of their efficiency in dehumidifying the air, the large area that the dehumidifier covers, and their relatively affordable cost.  

Compressor dehumidifiers have a straightforward mode of operation, and their dehumidifying process is fairly straightforward as well. The way the compressor works is much akin to that of how a refrigerator works by utilizing a refrigeration coil, but on a much lesser scale than that of a fridge. This works by means of the compressor drawing in humid air, which then passes over a refrigerated coil, causing condensation to occur after contact with the cold surface, which has been cooled by a refrigerant. The condensed water is then channeled into a tank (that's why the water tank on your dehumidifier fills up over time), and then the dry air is then heated back to the ambient room temperature by means of the warm coil, and then the dry air is released back into the room.

 

Below is a chart showing the process:

 

 

With that being said, a compressor dehumidifier is always a good choice for your home, so long as you're in a warmer region of the country. Compressor dehumidifiers consume less energy per hour and are thus generally cheaper to run. If you're living in QLD or NT, a compressor would be one of the better options for you, as it does not raise the ambient temperature of the room by very much, but in colder regions such as NSW and VIC, the cold may affect the operation of the device. Also bear in mind that they are bulkier than the thermo peltier and dessicant dehumidifiers as they typically weigh in at 10kg or higher. 

If you're interested in checking out a compressor dehumidifier, check out our ION622 to see if it's the right fit for you!

 

Dessicant Dehumidifiers

Our last and final entry onto this list are the dessicant dehumidifiers- the newest entry into the dehumidifier line, and the most technologically advanced. Instead of using the traditional method of condensation to remove humidity from air, desiccant dehumidifiers utilise a harmless chemical, which is also called a dessicant, to remove humidity from the air. 

The dessicant rotor contains two different zones: the dehumidifying zone (which is the dessicant roller), and the heating zone (which is roughly 25% of the size of the roller, and is located directly in front of the roller). When humid air enters the dehumidifier, it is then pulled into the dehumidifying zone, and the moisture is absorbed by the dessicant roller. The air is then pushed out of the dehumidifying zone by means of a fan.

Covering the heating zone of the rotor is a basic heating device. This device warms circulated humid air, which is then pulled back through the desiccant drum in the opposite direction of incoming humid air. This warm air frees the moisture attached to the desiccant. Therefore, moisture is transferred from the desiccant to the air. The warm humid air that leaves the heating zone enters the condenser on the front of the dehumidifier. Here warm humid air condenses at room temperature, which then drips down into a condensate collection bucket- similar to how it works in a compressor based dehumidifier.

 

Here is a chart to clarify how the process works:

     

 

Essentially, the dessicant is a great all-rounder in terms of a dehumidifier, and even contains a heating element which will increase the surrounding air temperature between 3-5 degrees Celsius, whereas a normal compressor will only raise the surrounding temperature to about 2 degrees Celsius. This can be both a pro, and a con, depending on which area you're living in; living NSW and VIC, the dessicant would be great in increasing your living temperatures as it becomes extremely cold at times (thus making it a nifty device which has optimal energy consumption in cold weather), whereas the compressor would be a better option for warmer places such as NT and QLD. 

Also, bear in mind that dessicant dehumidifiers usually cost more than compressor dehumidifiers, but the technology is more advanced. The lack of refrigerants used in a dessicant also awards it with a lower need for maintenance and much lower noise levels, and are more durable due to the lack of moving parts.  Besides this, dessicant dehumidifiers are also much lighter than compressors, therefore making them easier to move from room to room in your abode. You can view our dessicant dehumidifiers: the ION632, the ION612, and the ION610. Both the ION632 and the ION612 have made it to the top of the CHOICE Consumer Reviews consecutively from 2013-2019.  

 

Whether you're in the market for a dessicant, compressor, or even a thermo peltier dehumidifier, we have the solutions for you. Browse our full dehumidifier range here, or feel free to give our friendly customer support team a call at 1300 800 200 to find a device that's suitable for you and your home!


Josephine Gan

As our Customer Service Manager, Josephine has a great understanding of people- which is not surprising, given that her major is in Psychology. She is able to transfer her friendly demeanour into our safety and support related posts for our products and services.


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