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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Desiccant vs. Dehumidifier

8/1/2023 (Permalink)

Desiccant dehu vs Compressor dehu

SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County and SERVPRO Jefferson County/Oconomowoc use both types of dehumidifiers on our jobs.  The commercial grade Phoenix D385 dehumidifier units are used for large jobs or cold temperature situations.

A desiccant dehumidifier functions by drawing air through an intake duct, where it is then passed through a large rotating wheel composed of a water-absorbing material (desiccant). This is a material that absorbs the humidity from the air. The air is then pushed by a fan operated by an electric motor and the air is blown back out into the room. The air duct is often kept hot by an electric heating element, which also heats the airspace within the rotating wheel to dry it out. Excess moisture is ran through a drain line or directly outside through lay flat ducting creating a negative air process if viable. In some cases, a desiccant is ducted directly into a standard compressor dehumidifier. This is a viable option for above average moisture levels accompanied by a secondary heat source to get rapid drying done in large spaces.

When it comes to using a standard low-grade refrigerant dehumidifier in an area such as a basement, garage, or space below 60 degrees, it is important to know that these dehumidifiers will often have trouble working to their full potential. This is due to the fact that the inside of a compressor dehumidifier needs to be colder than the ambient air in the space it is occupying in order for it to work efficiently. If the room temperature falls below 50°, it means that the components within a compressor dehumidifier will be close to freezing, which means that ice could form on the cooling coils. Most compressor dehumidifiers will spend the majority of their time defrosting themselves when faced with temperatures below or around 50°.

With this being said it is important to know when it would be better to implement the use of a desiccant dehumidifier vs a standard compressor dehumidifier.

For all your water damage questions or needs, please contact a certified water restoration technician.  The SERVPRO of SW Waukesha County location is 262-542-0900 and our SERVPRO of Jefferson County/Oconomowoc location is 920-674-3002

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