As the nights grow longer and the weather turns a little wetter (hard to believe after such a damp summer) demand increases for dehumidifiers, to dry out rooms or framing timber.
Controlling moisture can be a tricky game. Moisture pervades everything, and tries to find a consistent level of humidity throughout the house. Drying out a room, whether it’s the result of a leak or the need to reduce the moisture content of timber, can be made easier by understanding how the drying process actually works.
Completely dry air has the wonderful ability to absorb water. The warmer the air, the greater the ‘holding capacity’ of the air to absorb water: this principle is the reason tumble driers work, even in hot humid environments.
Conversely, the colder the air, the lower the holding capacity of the air. Cool the wet air enough and you’ll arrive at the air’s dew point, where moisture condenses. It’s the reason a cool night often results in a morning dew on the ground; this phenomena describes how the vast majority of air dehumidifiers work.
Our range of dehumidifiers work by cooling the humid air down to a point where the air cannot hold any more water, and it condenses as liquid water. The excess moisture is simple collected in a bucket or discharged outside through a drain hose. The dehumidified or ‘dried’ air is then returned to the environment, where it can absorb more moisture from the surroundings.
This also explains why it’s vitally important to keep a damp room tightly shut when you are running a dehumidifier. Any exterior air entering the room is probably also damp, and certainly damper than the air vented by the dehumidifier. Your poor dehumidifier is then forced to remove the moisture from the furnishings AND the air from outside.
A room full of wet furnishings is happy to return moisture to the air, especially if the humidity of the air is less than the humidity of the furnishings. You’ll often find that you will collect a considerable amount of moisture from the room in the first few hours, then the drying process starts to slow down, as the air becomes less humid and the furnishings start to dry.
Dehumidifiers work best where there is some warmth in the room, so some electric heating can be useful. While LPG or natural gas heaters are also great at warming up rooms, they also produce moisture and Carbon Dioxide (and carbon monoxide when the equipment is not correct adjusted). The moisture from gas heating must also be removed by the dehumidifier, hence the preference for electric heating.
The best example we can give of the successful use of a dehumidifier is a recent case where one of our units was used at an Ice Hockey tournament. The players finished each game with their equipment rather damp from the ice and sweat. Each night the gear was hung up in the changing room, the dehumidifier (with the fan set on full) switched on, and the room locked up for 12 hours. Next morning the changing room was opened to find all the gear comfortable and dry and about 30 litres of water collected. The opposing team, who left their changing room window open, didn’t enjoy quite the same joy when they donned their damp gear.
If you like more information on our range of fans and dehumidifiers, please go to http://bit.ly/UHH2pjQ60H