We get a lot of common questions about desiccant dehumidifiers, and we’re here to answer them all!
Our Ionmax desiccant dehumidifiers – the Ionmax ION612 and ION632 – are some of our best sellers, and with good reason, too! They’ve been the top choices in Choice Consumer’s Dehumidifier Review for two years in a row (three years for the Ionmax ION632 model), and all our customers’ feedback on both models are that they are both excellent, efficient units.
As they are a relatively new technology in the market, we get a lot of questions about what they are, how they work, and why they are so efficient. We’ve answered some of the most common questions below, so if you’re in the market for a dehumidifier, we hope it helps you understand the technology a bit more.
How does a desiccant dehumidifier work?
Desiccant dehumidifiers draw air from the room over a filter, and then passes it over a rotating wheel that is full of a material that is used to adsorb excess water out of the air. In Ionmax desiccant dehumidifiers, the material used is Zeolite. Learn more in: What are Zeolites?
The Zeolite wheel then becomes saturated and needs to be regenerated. This is done when a heater in the base of the dehumidifier blows warm, dry air over the Zeolite to force the moisture out of the wheel. The Zeolite is now ready to dry again.
The warm, wet air from the wheel hits a metal surface inside the dehumidifier, which ensures the excess moisture condenses and the water drips into the internal tank. The heat used during the drying process is then mixed with the dry air to ensure that the air that comes out of the dehumidifier is not just drier, but a few degrees Celcius warmer than the air that came in.
Does running a desiccant dehumidifier cost a lot of money?
Even though the wattage is high, desiccant dehumidifiers are actually very energy efficient. All energy that is consumed by the desiccant dehumidifier is returned to the room as heat, which can be beneficial as it replaces the heat that you would have generated from other sources such as heaters or radiators.
Desiccant dehumidifiers also dry the air more efficiently, allowing them to operate at shorter periods than compressor based dehumidifiers (3.5 times faster according to tests at the University of Southampton) when removing the same amount of water. This means that they can actually be cheaper to run compared to compressor dehumidifiers.
Furthermore, a dehumidifier can help to reduce your heating costs by making the air dryer. Dry air is much easier to heat than damp air (less water molecules in the air to heat up). In the long run, the money you save on the heating costs will outweigh the money that you spend on the dehumidifier.
Does damp / humid air really affect me?
You can tell if your home indoor air is too damp or humid if there is always condensation on windows, or you spot mould growing indoors. Excessive moisture in indoor air can have effects on not only your health but your home as well. In short, here’s how excessively damp or humid air can affect you:
- Dust mites reproduce in damp environments >55%RH
- People who suffer from Asthma, eczema and other allergies find that inhaling dust mite droppings can make their condition worse.
- Mould grows in damp environments > 80%RH
- Mould gives off mould spores (seeds)
- Inhaling these spores can lead to various health and respiratory conditions.
A dehumidifier keeps indoor humidity levels at an optimum level (30-50%RH) and helps stop dust mites from reproducing and mould from growing, helping to maintain healthier indoor air and alleviate symptoms that occur from air that is too damp.
Does the desiccant dehumidifier need any maintenance?
No. The dehumidifier automatically regenerates the desiccant internally and you will never have to replace it. Ionmax desiccant dehumidifiers have no replaceable parts, either. For the filter, just maintain the filter as instructed in the manual and it will be good for the life of the machine.
- Desiccant Dehumidifiers
- Dehumidifiers – Dehumidifier Buying Guide
- Which dehumidifier to buy – desiccant dehumidifier or compressor ?
Some quick facts:
Most viruses and bacteria are fond of humid and cold environments. They are afraid of heat, and could very well be inactivated under high temperature. The higher the temperature is, the shorter the inactivation time.
Due to the nature of zeolite (the main absorption material of the desiccant wheel), it is very good at capturing small molecules in the air- that includes not only vapour but also all kinds of pathogens, allergens, spores, and even formaldehyde.
There is an ultra high temperature core within the desiccant dehumidifier, and it's main purpose to evaporate the vapour absorbed in the zeolite wheel; however, since the core temperature could reach temperatures of 200°-500°C, it also automatically sterilises the wheel while dehumidifying.
Have a look at our desiccant dehumidifiers here:
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.