A house owner using dehumidifier to remove moisture from the room

How Does A Dehumidifier Work For Damp?

Key Takeaways

Role of Dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers are devices designed to expedite the drying process in damp-affected areas. They work by extracting excess moisture from the air, helping prevent mould growth and maintaining comfortable living conditions. Types of Dehumidifiers:
  • Refrigerant Dehumidifiers: These work by pulling in air through a filter and passing it over cold coils. On coils, water condenses and drips in the water tank, and is effective in warmer rooms.
  • Desiccant Dehumidifiers: These use an adsorbent material to pull moisture from the air, heat up the material, and collect the water. They are suitable for colder environments.
Choosing the Right Dehumidifier: The choice between refrigerant and desiccant dehumidifiers depends on the room's temperature. Refrigerant types are suitable for warmer rooms, while desiccant types are better for colder environments.   So, what happens when damp shows up in a house? Wetness, moisture, relative humidity, water patches, or whatever other term that reflects the presence of water in the home is what happens. Damp in a house is one of the worst situations that can occur. There are wet patches on the wall, flaking plaster, bad smells, high humidity, and a lot of other things that occur in a damp-affected house. And it's tough to fix this situation. The water accumulation on damp walls does not go away that easily. Even if the excess water has been cleared, there are some amounts of moisture that are still left – in the form of patches that take a lot of time to dry. However, there are some devices that can help speed up the drying process of wet clothes. These devices are dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers suck all the excess moisture present in a house and make the area to be drier. But how does that work? Let's find out. A dehumidifier in the house  

How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

So, dehumidifiers are one of the best things out there for moisture control. They're designed to tackle issues like condensation, prevent mould growth, and keep your walls from turning into a damp mess. The key players in this game are the refrigerant (or compressor) dehumidifiers and the desiccant dehumidifiers.

Refrigerant Dehumidifiers

To understand refrigerant dehumidifiers, you have to imagine a mini-fridge, but instead of keeping your snacks cool, it's pulling in warm air with the help of a filter and passing it over to the cold coils. As the air chills out on these coils, the water from the air condenses and drips into a water tank. These refrigerant types are more effective in warmer rooms because they need the air to be warmer than the coils to work. However, there's a catch. If the room gets too cold, these coils might get frozen. When that happens, the dehumidifier goes into defrost mode, spending time and energy thawing out instead of collecting water. So they might struggle in the cold.

Desiccant Dehumidifiers

A desiccant dehumidifier is all about heat. These dehumidifiers use an adsorbent material to yank moisture from the air. This material then gets heated up, and the collected water vapor drips into the tank. The cool part is that they aren't picky about temperature, making them the go-to for colder environments like garages, conservatories, or unheated basements. However, there's still a trade-off. Because they use heat to warm up the adsorbent material, desiccant dehumidifiers can be a bit more energy-hungry. They also give off more heat, which might not be ideal if your place is already cosy.

How to Choose the Right Dehumidifier?

The deal is that if your dehumidifier is destined for a warm and toasty room, the refrigerant type is the one to go for. But if it's going to face the chill in an unheated space or deal with various conditions, the desiccant is the way to go. And there are some refrigerants that handle the cold surprisingly well, but they might not be as thrilled in warmer temperatures. British weather can be a bit tricky, you know? Also, keep an eye on how the defrost function is set up. Less time defrosting means more time collecting water. A dehumifier in the garage of the house  

When to Use a Dehumidifier?

At your home, when suddenly everything feels kind of moist and clammy, that's when a dehumidifier must be used. First off, these things are great for areas that tend to be damp, like basements. Basements are like magnets for moisture, and that's where mould loves to incur. A dehumidifier swoops in and kicks that extra moisture out, preventing mould from setting up and making your place smell like a dirty, smelly place. Bathrooms are another dehumidifier hotspot. Hot showers are fantastic, but they turn your bathroom into a humidity hotspot. If you're tired of feeling like you need help to breathe comfortably after a shower, a dehumidifier can help by sucking up that excess moisture. And let's not forget those times when the weather decides to be more on the humidity side. If your home starts accumulating more humidity, a portable dehumidifier can can get things back to a more comfortable level. In a nutshell, if your space feels too sticky, smells funky, or you're just tired of that perpetual damp, that's the cue to use the dehumidifier and let it work. An advanced dehumidifier  

Is Using a Dehumidifier Worth it?

Absolutely, a dehumidifier helps against the damp that can make your home feel muggy and uncomfortable. When there is damp problem there's too much humidity hanging around, things start to feel kind of icky. Your clothes might feel damp, and the air can be heavy – not the ideal cosy atmosphere. Now, the best thing about dehumidifiers is that they suck that excess moisture right out of the air. It's more like having a humidity control button for your home. And why does that matter? Well, aside from the obvious comfort factor, it helps prevent mould and mildew from showing up on your walls. A dehumidifier is worth it in the battle against stickiness. It's convenient in places like basements or bathrooms where moisture tends to hang out a bit too much. So, in a nutshell, using a dehumidifier isn't just about comfort – it's about keeping your space fresh, dry, and mould-free. Container of a dehumidifier being changed  

Can a Dehumidifier Help in Reducing Damp and Mould?

When you have excess moisture in the air, it becomes a breeding ground for mould and mildew. They love that humid environment. Now, what a dehumidifier does is pretty straightforward – it sucks in the moist air, cools it down, and then collects the water in a tank or drains it out. As a result, you're left with air that's way less humid. By reducing the humidity, you're essentially putting up a big no-entry for mould. They thrive in damp, so when you take away the moisture. No moisture, no damp problems or mould growth – it's like giving your home a protective shield against fungi. And it's not just about preventing mould; dehumidifiers also help in making your space more comfortable. A dehumidifier keeps things cool and dry, making your living space way more enjoyable. So, in a nutshell, a dehumidifier is your go-to gadget for taking damp and mould to the curb while turning your place into a comfy, mould-free zone.  

Is it Safe to Use a Dehumidifier?

Yes. Using a dehumidifier is totally safe and can actually be pretty darn helpful. Here's why:

Mould Prevention

Dehumidifiers are meant for moisture control. They suck up excess moisture from the air, which is a big deal because too much moisture can lead to mold growth, mould and mildew.

Comfort Level

Besides saving you from a potential mould invasion, a dehumidifier can also make your living space more comfortable. It helps in maintaining cool air and an optimal humidity level, preventing that sticky feeling.

Health Benefits

Controlling humidity is not just about keeping your home cosy. It's also good for your health. High humidity can make breathing difficult, especially for people with respiratory issues. A dehumidifier helps in creating a healthier indoor environment. So, using a dehumidifier is a smart move for a comfy, healthy home. Just keep it in check, and you're good to go!  

Wrapping it up

The emergence of damp in a household signifies the unwelcome intrusion of wetness, moisture, and high humidity, manifesting in various issues such as water patches leaking pipes, flaking plaster, and unpleasant odours. Addressing this predicament proves challenging as residual moisture persists even after initial water removal. Enter dehumidifiers, ingenious devices designed to expedite the drying process by extracting excess moisture. The functionality of these devices hinges on a comprehensive understanding of their inner workings that effectively combat the persistent damp in a house.  

Can a dehumidifier help with damp?

A dehumidifier can effectively help with damp issues by removing excess moisture from the air, which can contribute to damp and mould growth. The device pulls in humid air, extracts moisture, and then releases drier air back into the room. This process helps maintain optimal humidity levels and prevents the conditions that lead to damp.

How long does a dehumidifier take to dry a damp room?

The time it takes for a dehumidifier to dry a damp room depends on factors such as the size of the room, the severity of the damp, and the capacity of the dehumidifier. Generally, it may take a few hours to a few days to notice a significant improvement. Regular monitoring and adjustment of the dehumidifier settings may be necessary to achieve the desired results.

Will a dehumidifier work with windows open?

Using a dehumidifier with windows open is generally not recommended. Dehumidifiers work most efficiently in enclosed spaces where they can effectively circulate and extract moisture from the air. Opening windows introduces additional humid air, counteracting the dehumidification process. For optimal results, it is advisable to keep windows and doors closed while using a dehumidifier.

Do dehumidifiers use a lot of electricity?

The electricity consumption of a dehumidifier varies depending on its size, capacity, and duration of operation. Generally, smaller units are more energy-efficient. Energy-efficient models equipped with features such as adjustable settings, timers, and humidity sensors can help optimize performance while minimizing electricity usage.

Table of Contents

Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Sam Fitzgerald – CSRT Damp Surveyor

Author – CSRT Damp Surveyor
Sam is a highly qualified and seasoned damp surveyor with over ten years of specialised experience. With a strong academic foundation in building surveying and numerous professional certifications, Sam has established himself as an authority in the field of damp diagnosis and remediation.

At Damp Surveyors Ltd, Sam applies his extensive knowledge to help homeowners across the UK address and solve their damp issues effectively. His approach combines cutting-edge techniques with a commitment to honest, client-focused service, ensuring that every survey and recommendation is tailored to the specific needs of the property.

As a thought leader, Sam’s insights into damp prevention and treatment have been featured in industry publications, underscoring his role as a trusted expert dedicated to maintaining the integrity and comfort of your home.

Testing device for measuring dampness in a house

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  • Exclusive 3 Free Quotes: We offer a one-of-a-kind optional service where you not only get our top-notch damp survey but also receive 3 free quotes from vetted local companies, giving you peace of mind by saving you thousands on getting the most competitive quotes, and also time researching and contacting other reputable companies.
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