How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

June 21, 2016
Ross and Witmer

How much do you know about the way a dehumidifier removes moisture from your Charlotte, North Carolina, home’s air? Dehumidifiers use a simple process to cool down the air in your home, which releases the moisture the air retains, before sending it back out drier than before.

A Bit About Humidity

You probably already know that relative humidity means the amount of water vapor that’s in the air. The atmosphere can hold a certain amount of water vapor, hence why you hear humidity stated as a percentage, like 30 percent humidity. The warmer the air becomes, the more it’s able to retain additional moisture, which is why humidity is almost always a warm weather problem. Humidity causes your HVAC system to lose efficiency because the AC has to work harder to cool the air; humidity also causes IAQ problems that can make asthma symptoms worse.

The Dehumidifier’s Parts

A dehumidifier has several main parts:

  • The fan compressor and compressor cooling coils work together with the refrigerant.
  • The reheater warms up the cold air.
  • The reservoir collects the water that the dehumidifier removes from the air. Many reservoirs have floating devices that automatically turn the dehumidifier off if the reservoir gets too full.

How It Comes Together

Here’s what happens:

  • First, a fan pulls surrounding air into the dehumidifier.
  • Next, the air hits the cooling coils. The compressor both compresses and expands the refrigerant, which makes the cooling coils as cold as they need to be. When the warm air hits the cold coils, the moisture in the air condenses on the coils. That water drips into the reservoir.
  • Then, the dry air passes over the reheater, which returns the air to room temperature. After it passes over the heater, it blows back into the room.

Humidity issues may seem like a minor annoyance, but if your dehumidifier isn’t doing enough to reduce your home’s humidity, you may have more serious IAQ issues. At Ross & Witmer, we can address and repair your humidity concerns, so call us today at 704-392-6188.

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