Dehumidifier Buying Guide - How To Find The Right Dehumidifier In Australia
DEHUMIDIFIER BUYING GUIDE
Dehumidifiers are a very effective tool for lowering and maintaining humidity levels within the home. There are many flow on effects from maintaining humidity at optimum levels such as the prevention of mould and mildew growth, dust mite reproduction and certain bacteria from multiplying. Additionally, a dehumidifier will reduce general interior dampness and window condensation which in turn helps to protect your electronics, furnishings and carpets.
Identify the Signs of Excessive Humidity
It’s normally quite easy to identify if you have a moisture / humidity problem as your living environment becomes damp and uncomfortable plus you may see mould growth and experience musty odours, especially in or behind cupboards and corners of rooms.
Other indicators could be regular window condensation, lifting paint on walls and ceilings, discoloured paint on walls or near wall joints, musty smelling carpets, mould growth on your clothing and shoes. If you have dust mite allergy you may also experience an increase in allergic reactions and poor sleep.
Ideal Levels for Relative Humidity
Most manufacturers use relative humidity as a measure of their dehumidifiers efficiency and state those figures in their product specifications. Generally, the ideal range of relative humidity levels for a healthy and comfortable living environment are between RH 45% - RH 55%. This is the range that is least hospitable to mould, bacteria, viruses and dust mites whilst also being comfortable for humans.
Use Different Types of Dehumidifiers for Different Situations
There are three main technologies used in portable dehumidifiers plus another hybrid technology. Knowing the differences between each is important so you can choose a dehumidifier that will give you the best results with the most economical electricity consumption.
Compressor Dehumidifiers draw air in through the machine via a fan where it passes over cooling coils that condense the moisture causing it to drip into a collection chamber. The dry air is then warmed back to an approximate room temperature and blown back into the room.
Compressor dehumidifiers can operate in both cool and warm temperatures however; they are most effective in temperatures above 20degC. (especially eastern coastal regions from Sydney all the way up to northern Australia) They are the best choice for warm, humid conditions where there can be a lot of moisture held within the warmer air.
- Capable of removing large amounts of moisture from warmer air (20degC and up)
- Have large dehumidification capacities and large collection chambers
- Some of the large compressor dehumidifiers also have an auto pump feature as part of their continuous draining function, which allows water to drain out at a higher level than the dehumidifier. (All domestic desiccant and most smaller compressor dehumidifiers will only have a gravity based continual drainage option which requires the drainage point to be at approximately the same level or lower than the dehumidifier).
- A compressor dehumidifier’s performance decreases exponentially as the air temperature drops (Usually from 20degC and below)
- Large compressor dehumidifiers can easily weigh above 12 kg however; these larger units normally have castor wheels for easy manoeuvrability.
Our Popular Compressor Dehumidifiers
Compressor Hybrid Dehumidifiers
There are now compressor dehumidifiers that have a hybrid function enabling them to maintain good de-humidification performance even in cooler temperatures. The cooling coils within a standard compressor dehumidifier will basically freeze up as the air temperature drops in cooler climates which then results in very poor performance and high electricity usage. However, a hybrid system can “defrost” the cooling coils so they function as intended.
These types of dehumidifiers are ideal for situations where you require a bigger machine with larger dehumidifying capacity but also need to use it in both cool and warm temperatures. They are a great all-rounder for all climates and conditions.
- Able to maintain a high de-humidification capacity even in cooler conditions.
- If you require larger capacities than desiccant dehumidifiers for cooler climates, a hybrid compressor dehumidifier would be the best option.
- Hybrid dehumidifiers are normally larger machines with capacities of 25L and above, so initial purchase cost may be higher than a smaller machine.
Our Popular Hybrid Compressor Dehumidifiers
These types of dehumidifiers utilise an absorption material (commonly known as desiccant) to remove moisture. Air passes over a rotating wheel that contains the desiccant material which absorbs and holds the moisture. The “desiccant wheel” continuously rotates past a heating element that causes the desiccant to release the moisture which then drips into a collection chamber. The de-humidified air is then blown back out into the room.
As desiccant dehumidifiers tend to remove about the same amount of moisture from the air regardless of its temperature, they are great for cooler conditions.
- Good performance in lower temperatures
- Quieter than compressor dehumidifiers
- Usually lightweight
- The dehumidified air from a desiccant machine can sometimes be up to 5 degrees Celsius warmer than the room air temperature (This may be a good thing in cooler conditions but not so good in warm and humid conditions - Note that the dehumidified air from a Compressor dehumidifier will also be slightly warmer but not as much as a desiccant dehumidifier)
Our Popular Desiccant Dehumidifiers
This type of dehumidifier uses a Peltier module which is connected to two conductive plates. The Peltier module uses voltage exchange between the two plates to create a difference in temperature with one plate cooled and the other being heated. The dehumidification process itself is essentially the same as a compressor dehumidifier so the main difference is how the cooling and heating is generated. Humid air comes into the machine and passes over the cooling plate where the moisture condensates and drips into the collection chamber. The dehumidified air then continues past the heating plate where it is warmed back up to approximate room temperatures.
Peltier dehumidifiers are quiet, compact and inexpensive to buy. They work best in small areas with average room temperatures and moderate humidity levels.
- Very quiet, compact and portable
- Cheap to buy compared to desiccant or compressor dehumidifiers
- Low de-humidification capacity
- Inefficient power consumption in high humidity
- Only suitable for very small rooms or enclosed spaces such as closets and hallways
Other Useful Tips When Buying A Dehumidifier
- Coverage Area - It’s always better to buy a dehumidifier that is rated to about one third or more area than the room you will be using it in.
- Consider the size of the collection chamber (Water Tank) – A smaller tank will need to be emptied more often. Most Desiccant and compressor dehumidifiers today have a continuous drainage option however; it is gravity-based which means your drainage point will need to be on a similar or lower level than the dehumidifier. Some of the larger compressor units such as the NWT WDH-070EBP All Seasons 50L dehumidifier have an auto pump feature so the drainage point can be higher than the machine.
- Power Consumption – If you look at the specifications of a dehumidifier the manufacturer will state the power usage in Watts just like any other electrical appliance. The size of room, levels of humidity, air temperature, amount of time running and fan speed of the dehumidifier will influence the power consumption of your chosen dehumidifier. This is why its important to make sure your chosen dehumidifier ticks all of the boxes for your situation.
- Noise Levels – Consider noise levels in relation to where and when you will be running the dehumidifier. Peltier dehumidifiers are the quietest closely followed by desiccant dehumidifiers. Compressor dehumidifiers are generally a bit louder due to the compressor and larger fans that they use.
- Need for Maintenance – Domestic dehumidifiers shouldn’t require any maintenance regardless of the type of technology they use. Even domestic grade compressor dehumidifiers should not need to be serviced or “re-gassed” within the first few years of use.
- Warranty – Always consider the length of a products warranty and its terms. Australian manufacturer warranties for appliances and electrical goods will normally range between twelve months to five years in length. As a rule, the longer the warranty period a product has, usually is a good indicator to it being of better quality.
- Other Added Features – Some other useful features to keep an eye out for are: electronic louvre, advanced control panels, inbuilt humidity gauge/indicator (usually only found in the compressor dehumidifiers), laundry mode functions, particle and bacteria filters.
Still not sure which one to choose? Call us on 1300 174 659 and one of our staff will be happy to help.
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